My whole reason for venturing to the land down under in the first place was to attend a good friend’s wedding.
Mel and I met when she lived in London for a year once upon a time and we kept in contact since. I was honoured to be invited to her wedding – it wasn’t a case of deciding yes or no – it was a case of how fast could I book the trip! Her wedding was in the Barossa valley where I began my 7 week Aussie trip. I also ended the trip back in Adelaide to catch up with Mel and her family a few weeks after the wedding – this time with newly acquired boyfriend in toe for a few days before leaving my beloved Australia and the De Leo’s for New Zealand.

I personally did not spend much time exploring Adelaide’s town, as I was staying with Mel and she took me to see far more prettyful things (like wine) in the surrounding regions. However I don’t believe there was much here really to do so I don’t feel like I missed out. I still feel I covered a lot of what the region has to offer.

What to do in Adelaide?

Visit the Winelands! The region is famous for producing some of the world’s most amazing wines. I highly recommend Barossa Valley – Spend a night in this gorgeous winelands and explore the wineries around. Special mention goes to Kellemisters which was lush. Also check out Mclaren Vale/Clare Valley.
Kangaroo island – Spend a night or 2 over at this little wildlife haven.
Beachlife – Visit the beautiful beaches and enjoy the stunning sunsets the west side of the country has to offer.
Festivals – Adelaide is known for having a lot of festivals – if you know when you will roughly be in the area have a little look online and see if there is anything on that takes your fancy!

My Experience

Upon landing Mel picked me up from the airport with my name on a sign she had made in hand. She promptly whisked me away for a wander along the beach to wake me up and breathe in the fresh salty sea air. We went for lunch in town along the docks, where her friend had recently bought a restaurant.


By the time we got to her lovely house, I was welcomed with a aussie package Mel had bought for me (she is so kind! Thank-you Mel!) unpacked and settled in before Ant came home, and their friends and family came over for a BBQ that night and introduced me to everyone. By the time I went to bed I had been awake for almost 48 hours having not slept on the plane over from Singapore. Yep I was one very tired lady! I slept like a log.

The next 2 days were spend getting beautified for the wedding, spray tans, nails, tying bows onto the groomsmen’s presents, whisking between Mel’s friends to secretly pay for the wedding cars she had arranged as a surprise for Ant and so on.. last minute wedding preparations were in full flow. Day 3 Mel, her bridesmaids and I set off for the Barossa ahead of the big day!

The De Leo Wedding!

I spent an amazing few days with Mel before her wedding day in the Barossa Valley and meeting her friends and family – who were all so lovely and welcoming, especially her parents, sister and friend Kristina. The wedding was in the stunning Barossa valley at Lyndoch hill and it was gorgeous – Mel was such a beautiful Bride and the day flew by in whirl of toasts, photos and celebrations.

Mel took myself and her bridesmaids Haley, Jamie and sister Nikki to the winery Kellermeister in lyndoch the day before the wedding and we stayed at the wedding venue overnight. We enjoyed cheese platters with a good red and view to die for! The day after the wedding we spent back at the same winery, this time with Anthony and a few more of their friends for the afternoon before driving back to Adelaide. The next day (Monday) the De Leo’s left for their honeymoon and I flew on to begin my travels in Cairns.

I returned to Adelaide 6 weeks later, arriving at Mel’s at 11pm on a Thursday night with Jamie. We stayed up chatting until around 2am until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I woke up with KittyPurry (Ant’s tabby cat) curled up with me and feeling so happy to be back!

Jamie left early that morning to drop the car back we had rented to drive the Great Ocean road and spent a night at a hostel so I could catch up with Mel. We had a chilled out girls day and watched gossip girl with Benji; Mels adorable golden Labrador – just what I needed!

The next day Mel’s parents Sue and Des picked us all up, we collected Jamie who was returning to Mel’s (she and Antony really are so kind) and we were taken wine tasting in the McLaren Vale!

McLaren Vale

Such a beautiful beautiful place! We had a fabulous day exploring the wineries here! With Mel’s Dad Des appointed driver, Jamie, Mel, Ant, Sue and I enjoyed lots of wine sampling and eating cheese boards. By the time we got home there was a very sore head from me!

We were also spoilt by Mel’s best friend Hayley’s parents – who kindly invited us over for pizza with Mel and Ant that evening. Hayley’s dad had built a huge woodstove pizza oven in the conservatory where we enjoyed making our own pizzas/calzone and proceeded to play ping pong.. ashamed to say I was terrible until round 2 when my skills decided to perk up abit. A wonderful evening with fabulous people! Thank you so much for having us!

Day 3 we went to Antony’s niece’s birthday party, and then down to the beach in the late afternoon where we met Hayley and the Kids. They enjoyed playing around in the sea for a few hours before we headed up to a little thai festival that was happening on the beachfront. We had dinner on the grass and walked along the pier at sunset – Adelaide really does have the most amazing sunsets!
TIP – Sunsets are amazing the west side of Australia; don’t expect anything on the East Coast! If you want good sunsets you need to be on the west coast; look at the Great ocean road, Adelaide or Perth.

Before we knew it Jamie and I were packing our backpacks and  next morning bid a sad farewell to Mel (Ant the night before as he need to be up early for work) as she headed off for work, and Sue and Des arrived to take us to the airport (Again how amazing are they!).

I was super sad to be leaving my lovely friends, Australia and Jamie, who was heading onto Tasmania. Needless to say the flight from Adelaide to Auckland was an emotional one. But goodbye is only farewell for now, and I know I will see Australia and the De Leo’s again soon 🙂

Next Stop –  New Zealand!

-TheSloanRanger x

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