Marina Bay Sands – A touch of luxury

Singapore has always been one of our favourite layover destinations. We have been coming here on and off for the last ten years and each time we come we say, “one day we’ll stay at the Marina Bay Sands”. From the exterior, this memorable hotel looks like a boat sitting on three towers. The three towers contain the available rooms and the boat structure features the hotels romantic infinity pool with a few restaurants and bars.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Marina Bay Sands Hotel at night

As we have just commenced our extended twelve-month travel expedition, we decided to grasp the opportunity and indulge ourselves in a stay at the Marina Bay Sands. On arrival into Singapore, we didn’t head straight to the hotel because we had already organised a stay at the Betel Box Backpackers and Hostel. After our night and an 11 am checkout from Betel Box we headed back to the Paya Lebar MRT station and catch the circle line train to the Bayfront MRT station.

On our arrival to Bayfront we alight inside The Shoppes. This luxury shopping complex it situated alongside the Marina Bay Sands, and has a skating rink, gondola ride, theatre and casino.  Gamble responsibly.

Marina Bay Sands
The Shoppes at the Marina Bay Sands has an indoor gondola ride.

It’s then a short stroll through the mall before you turn into the hotel complex. Just up the escalator and to the left is the hotel porter collecting your bags to take up to your room once you have checked in. Normal check-in is at 3 pm but we headed to the check-in desk at tower 1 and was immediately greeted by Marina Bay Sands staff member Kateline. We were presented with some satisfying complimentary refreshments whilst the check-in process occurred. Kateline was extremely helpful and had us checked in straight away so we didn’t have to spend a couple of hours shopping. She was also able to organise a late checkout for us on our last day at the hotel.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Check in counter at the bottom of tower 1

Our King Deluxe room was in tower 3 on the 47th floor. Each guest is given a room key to provide access to the elevators, rooms, and swimming pool area. So don’t make the mistake of accidentally leaving one of your keys behind. Because there are no exceptions. Children must be accompanied by an adult in the pool area.

Upon entry into our room and insertion of our room key, the blinds automatically open to provide one of the most spectacular views I’ve had the privilege of seeing. Our room overlooks Gardens by the bay horticultural area, this engineered masterpiece is an incredible must see attraction.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
What an amazing view from our room of the Gardens by the bay

The room is very nice. There is of course a King-sized bed, a day sofa, desk, chest of drawers and large flat screen television containing 50+ channels. Wi-Fi is available to guests which needs to be reactivated every 24 hours, which can get painful. Fortunately, the Wi-Fi is available throughout the whole complex including the shopping mall. The room is very clean and as mentioned the view is extraordinary. Each room has an automated climate controlled air conditioner which can be adjusted to your desired temperature from the wall control. As an Eco-saver when the balcony doors are opened the air conditioner will automatically turn off, then return once doors are closed again. Additionally, each room also has a pressure sensor mini bar fridge which will automatically charges your room when an item is removed.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
King Deluxe room, spacious, clean with an incredible view!

The bathroom is pristine. With a large shower cubicle at one end of the room, a central basin with plenty of bench space and a toilet at the other end. There is no lock on the siding door, so hopefully if you are staying with another person, they know you well. Otherwise it could get a little awkward.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
The King Deluxe room’s pristine bathroom nicely matches the rest of the room.

We tried to fit as much as we could in our brief stay at the hotel. Taking the elevator to the 57th floor to visit the world-famous infinity pool, the sky-deck and bar and restaurant. The pool stretches for a generous section of the roof area, consisting of three pools. Each pool has an incredible view of the Singaporean skyline. We swam and lounged around the pool for a few hours, making sure we ticked it off our bucket list.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Swimming in the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands. Ticked off Josie’s bucket list.

The sky-deck also produced some magnificent views of Singapore. Such views included the city skyline, the Singapore Flyer and the Gardens by the Bay.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
The Singapore Flyer, from the sky-deck of the Marina Bay Sands

Food options at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel are exceptional. From multiple celebrity chef restaurants like Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen to your shopping centre food court. So no pressure, the choice is yours, depending on your budget.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen in The Shoppes complex

For the fitness conscious, the Banyan Tree Fitness Club is located on the 55th floor of tower two. They have a good variety of equipment to be used. So, if you want to burn off a few calories then head on up. If training isn’t your scene but you would like a spa treatment then the Banyan Tree Spa could be the place for you!

Overall the Marina Bay Sands is one of those hotels where you must stay, just to say you’ve stayed there. It is expensive, so depending on your travel budget it may not be an excellent choice. The facilities are world class and the infinity pool and spectacular views alone make it worth it. If you are into luxury and glamour then this is the hotel for you. If you are like us and want to tick it off your bucket list then book you stay today. Also, tell them Simon form Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for Marina Bay Sands Hotel

10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
Ph: (65) 6688 8868
Website: www.marinabaysands.com

Book your stay at Betel Box Backpackers now with Booking.com

Accommodation ranges from AUD $559.00 – AUD $6153.00 per night.

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Betel Box – Backpacking Accommodation in Singapore

Backpacking can be a relatively cheap way to travel the world. Over the years we have been able to travel though Malaysia, Vietnam, some parts of Europe and New Zealand with our children and our trusty backpacks. The main idea of doing this type of travelling was so that as a family of four, we could keep our expenses down and in doing so teaching our girls how to travel. Hopefully, these experiences would then help them in the future if they decided to venture out by themselves or with friends.

Singapore has been our stopover or transit city for a while now, and although we dearly love the country it will once again be a three-day stopover on our first leg to Europe. During our first stay in Singapore we found a cheap, friendly and clean backpacker in the Joo Chiat district called Betel Box Backpackers Hostel. We selected this hostel because it had some great reviews and had a family room which we could stay in.

View of street outside Betel Box
Looking down Joo Chiat Road towards the MRT station

It’s pretty easy to find so, hop onto Singapore’s easy and efficient Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). If you’re travelling from the airport you will need to change trains at Tanah Merah by crossing the platform to the green line train. Take the green line train to Paya Lebar, then type the address into google maps and you will see it’s about a 10-minute walk.  Take that quick walk down Joo Chiat road and look for the green door that leads into the Betel Box backpackers hostel.

Betel Box Singapore
The green door of the Betel Box Backpackers Hostel

Make your way up the stairs to the first level which encompasses the reception area, kitchen and recreation room. There is always a friendly face in this room. You never know who you may meet, and which country they are from. The communal kitchen is fitted with all the essentials; toasters, kettles, cutlery and coffee supplies. Help yourself once you’ve settled in and introduce yourself to some of the residents.

Betel Box Hostel
The front reception counter of Betel Box
Betel Box
The kitchen. Help yourself to coffee, bread, condiments and fresh fruit.
Betel Box Hostel
The gaming area. Play some pool, watch some television or surf the net.

The Betel Box Backpackers Hostel offers a range of different 1 star accommodations for its visitors. They have four shared room options from a 6, 8 or 20-person mixed gender rooms to an 8 female only shared room. We usually stay in their family room which can accommodate a family of four. To be honest the rooms aren’t fabulous, but they are comfortable and clean. No bed bugs here!

Betel Box Hostel
The family room is comfortable and clean, and can accommodate a family of five.

The bathrooms and toilets are all communally shared, so you may have to time your bathroom and shower usage around other residents. The bathrooms are fairly clean and are located on each floor. They are tiled with small signs of wear and tear, but they aren’t disgusting. There’s no clutter or rubbish, but if you were looking for a 5-star bathroom, you probably wouldn’t have chosen a backpacker anyway. Don’t worry there is a decent lock on the door to ensure privacy.

Betel Box Hostel
The second-floor bathroom next to the family room. It’s not fancy but relatively clean for a backpacker.

From our experience, we’ve found out that the Betel Box Backpackers Hostel looks after their visitors. A laundry service is available at a reasonable price and they also provide incredible food tours that given you an excellent feed and plenty of information about Singaporean life.

Real Singapore tours at Betel Box
The tours and equipment available to try. I recommend the food walks.

In conclusion, the 1-star Betel Box Backpackers is a friendly, clean and safe place to stay. For families trying to extend their holidays, i would happily recommend their family room. The air conditioner alone is a lifesaver on those muggy nights. It’s not noisy and children are welcomed and looked after. Definitely do a food walk, they are fantastic. They do last 4-5 hours, and our children found it tiring but worthwhile when we done it. Enjoy your stay at the Betel Box Backpackers Hostel and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for Betel Box Backpackers Hostel

200 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427471
Ph: (65) 6274 7340
Website: www.betelbox.com

Book your stay at Betel Box Backpackers now with Booking.com

Accommodation ranges from SGD$20.00 – $80.00 and includes:

  • Continental Breakfast selection of fruits, toasts, jams / spreads and tea / coffee
  • Professionally sanitized thick and firm mattresses
  • Hot and Cold Showers
  • Use of bed linen and blanket
  • Use of a security locker and lock
  • Free usage of our Internet Terminals
  • Free 24 Hours WiFi with our 100mbps cable internet connection
  • Discounted scheduled tours and attraction tickets
  • Free use of Fitness Centre Facilities
  • 50% discount for children age 12 & below
     *Post contains affiliated links

Money, Money, Money and Royal Australian Mint

Have you ever wondered where Australia makes its unique coin currency? During our recent trip to Canberra, we decided that one of our “things for free” stops would be the Royal Australian Mint.

Before my visit to the Royal Australian Mint, I honestly thought “how interesting can this be?” We are basically going to the place where our coins are produced. Fortunately, I was misplaced in my original thoughts because I learnt the Royal Australian Mint produces more than just our everyday coinage.

Canberra Mint
Australia’s Coat of Arms on the Royal Australian Mint Building

The Royal Australian Mint is a relatively small building compared to other attractions in Canberra. Entry is via the ground floor with a reception desk, cafeteria and gift shop all located at this level. So, after your visit, sit and have a coffee or a quick bite to eat. Browse the merchandise from the gift shop and be amazed by what things they have available for purchase.

Canberra Mint
Customers browsing the Royal Mint shop, deciding what they should buy.

The main viewing area is located on the second level, so climb the stairs filled with money and make your way to the first displays. Their displays show how our coins were designed and the impressive artwork of how the designers envisioned the final product to look. Take a look at the now defunct one and two cent coins or the rare two-hundred-dollar coin.

Canberra Mint
Staircase of 5 cent pieces.

Continue to make your way around the exhibit and enter the medal area. The Royal Australian Mint is tasked with creating numerous awards and medals. From military service medals to the medals you may have seen at the Sydney Olympic Games or the upcoming Commonwealth Games. They also create special edition coins and the Australia Day awards given to our most deserving.

Canberra Mint
The gold and bronze medals from the Sydney Olympic games. The silver medal was resting on this day.

Once through this area you can look at how the coins are made from the viewing platforms into the various workshops. From Royal Australian Mint employees checking each coin for flaws to the sorting and packaging machines. I must admit I was a little mesmerised by the automatic machine doing its little dance as it tipped a barrel of coins into the sorting hopper.

Canberra Mint
Titan bowing down next to the hopper full of golden coins.

The Royal Australian Mint is an interesting place to visit and it is amazing what their coins commemorate. All coins are available for purchase from their shop or online, like this $1695 silver coin celebrating the Year of the Rooster for Chinese New Year.

Canberra Mint
Year of the Rooster commemorative coin. It could be yours for $1695.

As I mentioned earlier it’s not a huge place so young children shouldn’t get bored to quickly. We spent about an hour there and that included sitting down for coffee at the cafeteria. So, head to the Royal Australian Mint buy a souvenir coin and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview Sent you!

Additional Information for the Royal Australian Mint

Denison Street, Deakin ACT 2600
Ph. (02) 6202 6999
Website: www.ramint.gov.au

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 8.30 am to 5 pm
Sat, Sun and Public Holidays: 10 am to 4 pm

The Mint is closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Entry is FREE

Public Tours
Free public tours are run seven days a week.

Mon-Fri: 10 am and 2 pm
Sat, Sun and Public Holidays: 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm

Accommodation is available in Canberra

www.booking.com

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Inspired by the National Gallery of Australia

Australia’s capital, Canberra has so much to offer tourists. This well designed city stretches out over the lush landscape providing visitors and residents with a picturesque city. From the top of Mt. Ainslie one can see the major sites of Canberra from the Australian War Memorial down ANZAC Parade to Australia’s Parliament House. Canberra is the home to some great artistic and historical attractions. Personally, I don’t think you should visit Canberra without seeing the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, the old and new Parliament Houses or the Australian War Memorial. Getting to these sites is relatively easy and the best thing of all is many of them are free.

Mt Ainslie from the war memorial to parliament house
Looking down from Mt Ainslie

On this trip Ourworldinreview came to Canberra to experience as many of these free attractions as possible starting with the National Gallery of Australia. The gallery is located in Parkes and houses some of the finest pieces of domestic and international art of our time.

Canberra art gallery
Fabulous art pieces spread out along corridors and rooms inside the National Art Gallery

Upon entry, this large building opens up exposing the main visitor area. To the right is the art galleries souvenir store and to the left is the entrance to their visiting exhibition. In this case their current exhibit is the Versailles collection: Treasures from the Palace running until the 17th April 2017.

The National Art Gallery contains masterpieces from some of history’s most well known artists. From international greats like Cezanne, Monet, Warhol and Pollock, to Australia’s own Sidney Nolan and Arthur Streeton.

Art Gallery Canberra
Sidney Nolan’s Burning at Glenrowan
Canberra Art Gallery
Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles
Canberra art gallery
Claude Monet’s Waterlilies

Take your time walking down the corridors and through the rooms to see these magnificent works of yesteryear. Additionally, make sure to check out the ideas of today’s upcoming artists, because some of their pieces are fascinating.

Depending on how much you like art, you can easily spend a few hours investigating the corridors. Don’t worry if you’re hungry, as the National Gallery of Australia to gallery has two cafes so you can  rest those weary legs. Their Street cafe is located outside the main entrance and the NGA cafe can be found on the lower ground floor.

Additional Information for the National Gallery of Australia

Parkes Place, Parkes ACT 2600
Ph. (02) 6240 6411
Website: www.nga.gov.au

Trading Hours

Daily 10:00am – 05:00pm (except Christmas Day)

Entry Fee

Free to main gallery

Visiting Exhibit – Versailles: Treasures from the Palace

Accommodation is available in Canberra

www.booking.com

*Post contains affiliate links

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Port Adelaide’s Pride in the Port Club

It’s that time of year again in Australia when the cricket season is winding down and the football season is starting to gain momentum. The city of Adelaide has two Australian Football League (AFL) teams, Port Adelaide Power and the Adelaide Crows. Both teams are vying for the ultimate season prize, the premiership cup. Training is well under way and the clubs are currently finishing the pre-seasons JLT series to finalise their game plans. Ourworldinreview decided to head into the Port Club to test the food they produce for their loyal supporters.

The Port Adelaide Football Club is in Alberton situated in Adelaide’s Western Suburbs. The club was founded in 1870 and has been a dominant force in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) with 36 premierships, which happens to be a SANFL record. With the club’s entry into the national competition in 1997 Port Adelaide also known by their other moniker “The Power” have had some success, winning the 2004 premiership against the Brisbane Lions and competing in the 2007 Grand Final against Geelong.

Port Adelaide Football Club
Port Adelaide Football Club Headquarters and training facility.

An extremely proud sporting club, upon entry you are greeted by their 2004 AFL success, the premiership cup. Directly to the left after entering is the Port Club’s store. Here supporters can buy the clubs merchandise for the upcoming season. To the right of the premiership cup is the membership counter to obtain your season or game passes. Walking further into the Port Club it opens into a major dining area to the left and the clubs bar and poker machine area to the right.

Port Adelaide Football Club bar
The Port Club’s bar area

The club rooms are nicely decorated with club’s history and memorabilia on full display. So there is no doubt you are in the Port Adelaide Football Club.

Port Adelaide Football Club
One of the many display cases showcasing the history of the Port Adelaide Football Club

The main dining area is nicely spaced and the service counter is well attended for that initial greeting and subsequent seating. The menu has a good range of dishes available at a fair price. As the hard working history of Port Adelaide being in the club’s mindset, it makes sure not to alienate its core supporters by overpricing their menu. The welcoming atmosphere and the friendly staff oozes pride in this football club.

Port Adelaide Football Club
The large dining area in the Port Club

Our main meal purchases consisted of the Cajun crusted chicken from the daily specials menu and their vegetarian lasagne. We also opted to try some of their available desserts and selected the banana nut sundae and the cookies and cream cheesecake. All food ordering is done at the main service counter and drinks are bought from the bar area. Any purchased main meals come with access to the Port Club’s well-stocked vegetable and salad bars.

Port Adelaide Football Club
The salad bar, which is consistently turned over to ensure it is always stocked.

As we arrived quite early during the meal service the main meals arrived in a satisfactory timeframe. The first meal to arrive was the Cajun crusted chicken. This spicy chicken is served on a bed of baby spinach and lettuce with fresh salsa and sour cream. The chicken was evenly flavoured and succulent and the combination with the sour cream and balsamic dressing made for a tasty dish.

Port Adelaide Football Club's Food
Cajun crusted chicken

Our next meal was the vegetarian lasagne, and it arrived as a large portion covered with cheese and a serving of chips. Unfortunately, the lasagne lacked flavour. Consisting of eggplant and zucchini layers with a thick layer of ricotta cheese, the lasagne just didn’t impress.  The eggplant and zucchini was hard to cut through and the dense layer of ricotta was too much. Ideally other  vegetables needs to be added to improve the dish or change the core vegetable groups. As a suggestion, by adding some grated carrot or layering it with some roasted butternut could give it more appeal. Additionally, if they add some herbs or chopped wilted spinach to the ricotta layer it would also change the outcome.

Port Adelaide Football Club
A large portion of a vegetarian lasagne

Once the main meals were cleared away we waited patiently for our desserts to arrive. After a little wait, with more and more patrons starting to roll into the club, the two desserts arrived. The banana nut sundae, was like any other store bought nut sundae, a serving of vanilla ice-cream covered with banana topping, a dollop of cream sprinkled with crusted nuts and a couple of wafers. Nothing to boast about, but it was sweet, tasty,  a good size and value. These nut  sundaes come in different flavours and  would be a real hit with the kids.

Port Adelaide Football Club
The Port Club’s banana nut sundae. Sweet, tasty and a good size.

The cookies and cream cheesecake was once again a nice portion served with vanilla cream and strawberry compote (topping). Although, I suspect it to be supplier made to guarantee a homogenous product, it was still worthwhile.

Port Adelaide Football Club
Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

The Port Club is full of history and tradition, and the club provides honest food at a low-cost for the club and value for its patrons. The staff and service are good and the dining area is well maintained. You’d expect the atmosphere to be buzzing during the football season, therfore bookings will be essential. Although we found the vegetarian lasagne rather plain, the Cajun crusted chicken was excellent. The Port Club’s menu offers a good range of dishes, so patrons should be able to find the right meal for them. So, pop into the Port Club during the season, have a meal and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the Port Club

9 Queen Street, Alberton SA 5014
Ph. (08) 8447 9902
Website: www.portadelaidefc.com.au

Club Memberships and supporter game package are available here, so don’t miss out.

Main Meal Price Range AUD$13.50 – $28.90

Trading Hours – Mon-Sun
  •    Lunch 12 noon to 2pm
  •   Dinner 6:00 to 8:30pm
  •   Hours subject to change
The Port Club rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Décor =7
Atmosphere =7
Service =7
Price =8
Food =7

Overall = 7.0

The South Australian Maritime Museum

We recently visited Port Adelaide and experienced some of the fabulous things they have on offer. From dolphin cruises, ghost tours, and the museums, Port Adelaide’s history is available to be experienced by everyone. Actually, there is an interesting write up by our partner site Josie Wanders regarding “Things to do in Port Adelaide”. So, after reading this article, head over and find out what other things are on offer. One of those ideal places to visit is the South Australian Maritime Museum.

Located in a historic building in Port Adelaide the South Australian Maritime Museum is three levels of displays and interactive education. Entry via the main entrance leads into the museums shop with fun and exciting things for those people who are awestruck by the prospect of maritime life and history.

Maritime Museum
Entrance and exit through the museum’s shop

South Australia’s colourful maritime history is completely on display as you investigate the various areas within the museum. As soon as you walk through the two big sliding doors you are greeted with a full-sized ketch. Active II is a replica of the original working vessel the Active. The museum gives it visitors a chance to climb on-board and investigate the areas around a ketch. Climb into the hold and get a feel for the cargo space and how the stevedores would have had to manoeuvre around the hold to discharge and load the goods. Then check out the forecastle for crew accommodation and compare it with the Captain’s cabin. Also, see if you can fit in the ship’s galley where the meals were prepared.

Maritime Museum's Ketch
Climb aboard the Active II and check out what a working ketch looks like.

You will notice on some walls the various figureheads that used to be mounted on the bow of vessel to ward off evil spirits or to ram and scare rival vessels. It is amazing how much work goes into the carving of these figureheads and sculpting that perfect showcase.

Maritime Museum
Vessel figureheads, amazing craftsmanship!

Moving through the doors the next exhibit is about the importance of the Australian Navy in our maritime history. The models of naval ships, the uniforms and some of the equipment used to measure distance, time, location and direction are all on display.

Maritime Museum
Where was Captain Matthew Flinders on a certain date?

If you work your way downstairs the museum has an area dedicated to the migration of people into South Australia. They have some computers set up if you wish to discover if any of your relatives migrated to South Australia by ship. This area also gives the visitors an idea about what it was like on those vessels from the early 1800’s to the mid 1900’s. Climb into an old sleeping bunk to see how comfortable it is…..or isn’t!

Maritime Museum
Hop in and test out the beds the first colonists used to travel from England.

Now head on up to the top floor, here you will find exhibits about life on the LeFevre Peninsula. Check out the old surfboards, jump on the spring-loaded surfboard and test your balance, but be careful. Look at the old carnival sideshow clowns, or the range of old fishing rods.

Maritime Museum
Surf’s Up!
Martime Museum
Fishing anyone?

Keep on moving and you will discover the shipwreck area of items found from various shipwrecks around South Australia. Finally walk around and discover the ships and families that serviced Port Adelaide and some memorabilia donated by these proud family members.

Maritime Museum
Entry to the lighthouse is included with your museum entry.

Another unique thing about the South Australian Maritime Museum is that once you leave, the Port has other exhibits associated with the museum. Your entry ticket also gives you the opportunity to visit the lighthouse on fisherman’s wharf and look at the retired tugboat the Yelta moored alongside.

Maritime Musuem
A tugboat called Yelta moored alongside the lighthouse

Overall the South Australian Maritime Museum is the most known museum in the Port. And although it is not huge, it offers a good few hours of discovery. I really like the museum, but that may be due to my family’s maritime background. I’ve always been drawn to the Maritime Museum, so hopefully you and your family will be too. Once again I recommend incorporating the South Australian Maritime Museum with another fun activity like the Railway or Aviation Museums. So, enjoy your day, enjoy the museums and tell them, Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the South Australian Maritime Museum

126 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide SA 5015
Ph. (08) 82407 6255
Website: www.maritime.history.sa.gov.au

Trading Hours

Daily 10:00am – 05:00pm

Entry Fee

Adult: $12.50
Concession: $8
Child: $6
Family $29.50

Accommodation is available around the Port Adelaide area

Book now with Booking.com

*Post contains affiliate links

Poddy Dodger’s- Wilpena Pound Resort

The Wilpena Pound Resort offers an incredible amount of natural beauty. The National Parks amphitheatre and the possibility of having interactions with kangaroos and emus in their natural habitat is heart-warming. Visitors who stay at one of the available accommodations has use of the resorts facilities. During our time, we make sure we fill the car with fuel, shop at the resort store and test the resorts bar and bistro, Poddy Dodger’s.

Wilpena Pound Resort's Poddy Dodger's
The dining and bar of Poddy Dodger’s

With a well-maintained bar and dining area, Poddy Dodger’s has a good range of South Australian wine and beers available. The staff is friendly respectful and helpful in choosing that right drink for you. The bar area is comfortable with a lounge area overlooking the swimming pool and a dining area looking out into the front gardens.

Resort Swimming Pool
Resort Swimming Pool – All visitors welcome

The garden area is where the resort performs its welcome to country presentation nightly. Our recommendation is to make sure you visit the bar between 5pm and 6pm for the resorts happy hour. The resort also has a restaurant called Captain Starlight which is adjacent to Poddy Dodger’s. During our stay the majority of visitors we saw ate at the bistro. A  bonus while eating or drinking at the bar is that if you wait long enough you just never know what kinds of animals may visit the garden.

Garden area at Wilpena Pound Resort
A very thirsty kangaroo drinking from a sprinkler

We initially sit on the lounge and take advantage of the AUD$5 glasses of wine. Honestly, you can’t go wrong. We also grab some menus to see what types of food they have on offer. After some glasses of wine, we move to a table and prepare to order dinner. The bar doesn’t have full table service, so ordering of your meals is done at the main counter.

Lounge Area at Wilpena Pound Resort
Resting in the lounge area overlooking the swimming pool

Since we are hungry from a long day of adventuring the Ikara-Flinders National Park we decide to order some garlic bread as a starter. Our mains consist of a Mediterranean salad for MacKenzie, a fish and chips for myself and a chicken schnitzel with pepper sauce for Josie. For dessert, we selected two Pavlova with mixed berries and a Cherry-ripe cheesecake.

Is isn’t too long before the garlic bread is served which disappears from the plate just as quickly. Soon the main meals come out. First to arrive is the chicken schnitzel with pepper sauce. The lightly panko crumbed chicken fillet is a good size, it doesn’t encompass the whole plate and is served with chips and salad. The pepper sauce comes in a small pot and is quite nice. Overall the whole meal is evenly cooked and meets our expectation.

Wilpena Pound Resort
Lightly panko crumbed chicken schnitzel with pepper sauce.

The next meal to arrive is the fish and chips. This mouth-watering beer battered Flathead fillets are golden brown and served once again with chips and salad. The Flathead fillets are small but as the serving comes with three fillets it is enough to satisfy my appetite.

Wilpena Pound Resort
Three small beer battered Flathead fillets served with chips and salad.

Finally, the third dish to be served is the Mediterranean salad. Mac’s Mediterranean salad consists of mixed salad leaves, Spanish onion, feta, artichokes, olives, caper berries, cherry tomatoes, butternut pumpkin, cucumber and bell peppers dressed with a bush tomato balsamic. A chicken addition option is also available, but as Mac’s a vegetarian she eagerly consumes her fresh and tasty salad.

Wilpena Pound Resort
A fresh Mediterranean salad. They also have a chicken option available

Once we finish our main meals, the staff efficiently clear the table and commence bringing out the three desserts. The girls both selected the Pavlova with mixed berries, cream and toffee crumb. The Pavlova was an interesting combination of ingredients with the large dollop of cream and the toffee crumb. Unfortunately, the girls were a little disappointed as the meringue base didn’t have that meringue crunch that you expect from a Pavlova.

Wilpena Pound Resort
The Pavlova with mixed berries, unfortunately the meringue had no crunch.

The Cherry-ripe cheesecake was served with ice cream, a passionfruit sauce and biscuit crumb. Rich and strongly flavoured the large cheesecake slice was a little sickly. It had a creamy smooth texture and looked nice with a bright pink colouring, but it was very sweet.

Wilpena Pound Resort
Cherry-ripe cheesecake with passionfruit sauce and biscuit crumb.

Overall Wilpena Pound Resort’s Poddy Dodger’s was a nice bar and bistro. There is a good selection of dishes on the main and specials menus. The room is clean, the food is good and the adventurous wildlife is a bonus. So, visit the Flinders Ranges, head into Wilpena Pound Resort, have a meal at Poddy Dodger’s and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for Poddy Dodger’s

Poddy Dodger’s – Wilpena Pound Resort
Ph: (08) 8648 0004
Website: www.wilpenapound.com.au

Main Meal Price Range AUD$23.00 – $40.00

Trading Hours
  •    Lunch 12 noon to 2pm
  •   Dinner 5:30pm to 9pm (last orders)
  •   Happy Hour 5 ~ 6 pm daily
  •   Daily Specials board
Poddy Dodger’s rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =8
Atmosphere =7
Service =8
Price =7
Food =8

Overall = 7.5

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Travelling to Wilpena Pound Resort

As we get closer to our international departure date, we are trying to fit as much in as we can in our remaining weeks in Australia. Therefore on this trip, we excitedly hop into the car and drive towards the Flinders Ranges. The Flinders Ranges holds a special place in our hearts as Josie’s parents owns a farm in the township of Wilmington. So with this in mind we decide to head to Wilpena Pound for a night book-ended by a couple of nights on the farm.

Snowtown's town sign
Every town has their own town sign to show who they are. This was Snowtown’s town sign.

Once again, time is on our side and we take advantage of it to get to our destination. We stop at various small towns along the way to stretch our legs, have a coffee, a toilet break or just to take a look around. We stop at the country towns of Port Wakefield, the unfortunately infamous Snowtown, Crystal Brook, Laura, Melrose and finally to Wilmington.

Flinders Ranges
Crystal Brooks feature rotunda in a well maintained park.

A catch up with family, a walk around the farm and some time with the dogs all goes past relatively quickly. Then it’s a few drinks, a BBQ, some light conversation and finally a comfortable bed. I know Josie’s got me back in a tent when we reach Wilpena Pound.

A working dogs life
Farm dogs Bob and Tim relaxing after a hard day’s work.

Early next morning we head off towards Wilpena Pound and after a night of discussing our travel plans we heed Josie’s father’s advice and head towards Parachilna Gorge, Blinman and then back around to Wilpena Pound.

Wilpena roadtrip
The road to Quorn

The first thing you notice when heading north towards the townships of Quorn and Hawker is that there is not much traffic. We drove along the straight highway without really seeing anyone except….cyclists. It was unusual seeing a group of around 20 cyclists riding along a highway in the middle of nowhere, but cyclists seem to be everywhere. Since we were the only car for miles we stopped to take some photos of the landscape and surroundings.

Sheep Jump to nowhere
Our young MacKenzie performing a sheep jump.
Handstand on the road
Those ten years of gymnastics has paid off!

It wasn’t too long before we started ticking off the kilometres. We travelled through Quorn, Hawker, and a closed Parachilna. The whole town was shut for the summer… too hot. Then we went through Parachilna gorge where we met some of the local wildlife. Once out of the gorge we immediately came across the small yet beautifully maintained township of Blinman.

Wilpena pound
A friendly kangaroo on the side of the road in Parachilna gorge
Emus
Emus crossing the dry river bed at Parachilna Gorge

Blinman has the honour of being near the end of a few walking trails. The Heysen Trail is a massive 1200km trek which ends at Parachilna Gorge and the 900km Mawson trail ends at the Blinman Township. We stopped here to have lunch, a coffee and to stretch our legs. I meet a lovely lady in the town’s cafe who told me the population of this incredible town was only 12 people. There was 14 but the owners of the towns pub shut the doors and left. I have noticed the trend of country pubs shutting down. I recommend visiting them if you are staying overnight in a township and showing your support for country pubs.

Blinman South Australia
Blinman also offers tours of their old mines.

After lunch we travel the remaining distance to Wilpena Pound. Surprisingly we once again come across the cyclists at the turn-off, this time with their support vehicles. As a bit of history, Wilpena Pound is a naturally formed amphitheatre approximately 430km’s from Adelaide’s city centre in Adnyamathanha Country. Wilpena Pound is a part of the Ikara-Flinders National Park and visitors can stay within the Wilpena Pound Resort as a base for their National Park Adventures. With various walking tracks and the Aboriginal culture on show, the Wilpena Pound Resort is a good place to learn and be at one with nature.

Wangara Lookout
The view from the Wangara Lookout hike

Wilpena Pound resort has a variety of accommodation options available for visitors. We stayed within the caravan park this time with non-powered and powered sites starting from AUD$25 and AUD$10 for additional people. The public facilities are quite clean and the water pressure is excellent. If you prefer not to camp then the resort has comfortable rooms starting from AUD$193 per night. Also, if you are looking for a little luxury, their Glamping (or glamorous camping) safari huts are available from AUD$320 per night. And to make your stay memorable the resort offers other activities for its visitors which can be booked through the visitors centre or online. Scenic Flights, 4WD tours, bush walks, mountain biking and Aboriginal Cultural Tours are some of the activities available to visitors.

Visitors Centre
Entrance to the Wilpena Pound Resort Visitors Centre

All camping and overnight visitors have access to the resorts pool, bar and restaurant. If you forgot something, supplies can be purchased from the resort store. In addition, if your vehicle is low on fuel, don’t worry because the resort also has on-site petrol bowsers.

Wilpena Pound Resort is a perfect base for any stay in the Ikara-Flinders National Park. If you are going to be doing some of the longer hiking trails like the St Mary’s Peak hike. Make sure you are wearing proper enclosed shoes; take plenty of water and food. Log your time of departure in the book provided or at the visitor centre. You know, just in case! Safety First! So enjoy yourself, breathe in the fresh air and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information Wilpena Pound Resort

Resort Reservations: 1800 805 802
Email: reservations@wilpenapound.com.au
Resort Reception: 08 8648 0004
Campground Bookings: 08 8648 0048
Website: www.wilpenapound.com.au

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Making our way to the Marion Bay Tavern

South Australia has a lot of things for visitors or tourists to do. The problem is most of it is a couple of hundred kilometres away. Sure the city of Adelaide has plenty to do around this time of year as the festival season is upon us and the city comes alive. Yet, South Australia offers much, much more. With a few days to spare we pack some gear into the trusty car and just decide to drive and see where the road takes us. We drive out of the city and make our way onto the Yorke Peninsula and head right down to the foot of the peninsula to Marion Bay. Once there we try out the Marion Bay Tavern.

Welcome to Marion Bay
Hello from Marion Bay

Marion Bay is a popular stopover for fisherman and surfers. This is due to some of the beaches providing great surfing conditions and long jetties stretching out into the Great Australian Bight.

The Marion Bay Jetty
The Marion Bay Jetty

As South Australian’s we have been to the Yorke Peninsula before, usually just rushing to the place we need to go. But this time we know, time isn’t an issue and take our time visiting some of the small towns along the way.

Ardrossan's coastline
The small town of Ardrossan’s coastline

We have a quick lunch at a local tuck shop in Ardrossan, and stop for coffee and hot donuts in Port Vincent before arriving at our final destination of Marion Bay.

Port Vincent foreshore
Having coffee and donuts at Port Vincent

As we haven’t booked anywhere to stay we locate the Marion Bay Caravan Park and pay for a non powered site for AUD$25. Now I must admit I’m not the best camper around, preferring 5-star camping in big fancy hotels. My wife is the camper in our family, so in the name of being a good sport we quickly erect our two man tent before heading into the town for a meal.

Marion Bay
I’m not a good camper, but I was able to erect the tent successfully.

The Marion Bay caravan park is a large spacious family park with playground equipment and an impressive kangaroo jumper (jumping pillow) for the children.

Marion Bay’s caravan park has a range of accommodation options with powered and non powered camping sites available. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a tent or caravan, because the park also has a variety of cabins available.

After my impressive display of erecting the tent (see above) and subsequent victory lap, we took a walk around the township to watch the sunset, take a stroll along the foreshore and find a place to have dinner.

Marion Bay Tavern
Welcome to the Marion Bay Tavern.

Making our way past the popular fishing jetty we find the Marion Bay Tavern and head in for a meal. Uniquely, it has a pizza shop at the front for takeaway pizzas with a more casual dining area and front bar if you prefer to dine in.

Marion Bay Tavern dining area
Casual dining area with friendly staff and locals

The tavern has a good sized menu with a variety of dishes available from their popular pizzas to your more traditional pub fare. The wine menu was also impressive with an excellent selection of South Australian and New Zealand wines.

We decided to have a serving of their crusty bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Marion Bay’s local dukkah. The warm crusty bread was fresh and the Marion Bay dukkah was spicy and full of flavour. Unfortunately we ran out of bread and olive oil both before the dukkah was finished.

Marion Bay Dukkah
Beautiful warm crusty bread with Marion Bay Dukkah

Since we were in a fishing town we once again opted for a Seafood Basket. I mean unless you are allergic to shellfish, how can you resist fresh local seafood. The seafood was nicely cooked, but the scallops were tiny.

Seafood Basket Picture
Marion Bay Tavern’s Seafood Basket, unfortunately the scallops were tiny.

Finally our last food selection was a roasted field mushroom stuffed with baby spinach, caramelised onion and sweet potato. This was served with a dressed rocket and citrus salad. The dish was a perfectly constructed success, full of flavour and wonderfully cooked.

Marion Bay Tavern food picture
Roasted Field Mushrooms stuffed with spinach, served with a rocket and citrus salad.

For a country pub, the Marion Bay Tavern is a great place to have a meal. The friendly staff and local atmosphere is inviting, I could see myself spending the evening there and watching a band and getting to know the locals better.

Marion Bay Beach
Marion Bay Beach

Once dinner was over we took a leisurely stroll along the foreshore to the bluff (Penguin Point) to catch the spectacular sunset.

Sunset photo
A spectacular sunset from the bluff lookout at Marion Bay (click the photo for the full effect).

After watching the sun fade away, we headed back to the caravan park to settle in for an early night, ready for our early morning trip into the Innes National Park. Visit Josie Wanders for our experience in Innes National Park.

Additional Information Marion Bay Caravan Park

17 Willyama Drive, Marion Bay SA 5575
Ph: (08) 8854 4094
Website: www.marionbaycp.com.au

For other accommodation options on the Yorke Peninsula click here.

Additional Information Marion Bay Tavern

5 Stenhouse Bay Road, Marion Bay SA 5575
Ph: (08) 8854 4141
Website: www.marionbaytavern.com.au

Main Meal Price Range AUD$18.00 – $36.00

Marion Bay Tavern rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =8
Atmosphere =8
Service =8
Price =8
Food =8

Overall = 8

 *Post contains affiliated links

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Come fly with us to the Aviation Museum

Over the years, Port Adelaide has had a thriving transport history, from cargo ships, to the busy road and rail networks. So in my opinion it would be fairly obvious that the Maritime and Railway museums would be located in Port Adelaide. Yet surprisingly there is another museum in Port Adelaide that is just as impressive. Ourworldinreview recently made our way into Port Adelaide to visit this incredible place. Welcome to the South Australian Aviation Museum.

Located right next door to the National Railway Museum the South Australian Aviation Museum is tucked away in a hidden aircraft hangar. Make sure you take care, as the entry into the museum grounds is easily missed.

Aviation Museum
Don’t miss the entrance sign into the museum grounds

From the outside, the museum looks like a vacant shed with the only indicator being a small sign above the front door.

Once you enter the hangar you are greeted by the friendly volunteers who man the service desk. The front office also acts as a shop and has various model airplane kits stocked on the shelves. This is quite fitting for those adults and children inspired by the aircraft they are about to discover.

I must admit I was unsure what to expect in the museum. Would there be a couple of small planes or some scale models with information plaques? Hence, when you enter the main hangar you can’t help but be impressed with the full sized aircraft available for your viewing.

Aviation Museum
Inside the Aviation Museum. It’s so clean.

The first thing you notice is the hangar is spotless. There is a good variety of planes on display, from the F-111 fighter jet to the World War II Spitfire. The museum also has a helicopter used in the Vietnam War and other incredible aircraft’s that have done some extraordinary flights around the world.

Aviation Museum
F-111
Aviation Museum
World War II Spitfire

South Australia’s Aviation Museum provides some good educational information for its visitors about the aircraft and other aviation matters. Visitors also have the ability to climb aboard a few aircraft to check out the cockpits and the flight controls. So many buttons and levers!

Aviation Museum
Looking inside the cockpit

In conclusion the South Australian Aviation Museum is a good way to spend a couple of hours. I would recommend combining a visit to both the National Railway Museum and the Aviation Museum in a day trip. Therefore, grab the children and head down to the Aviation Museum and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the Aviation Museum

66 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide SA 5015
Ph: (08) 8240 1230
Website: www.saam.org.au

Trading Hours

Daily 10:30am – 04:30pm except Christmas

Accommodation is available around the Port Adelaide area

Book now with Booking.com

Entry Fee

Adults $10, Concession cards $8

Children (under16) $5

Family (2 adults, 3 children) $25

*Post contains affiliate links

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Our world is an amazing place, so go out there and enjoy it!

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