Mate, it’s all good Down Un­der!

Model Nikita Chawla ex­plores the laid­back con­ti­nent of Aus­tralia

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle -

You know, Mel­bourne was to be named Bat­ma­nia.” Sur­prised, I turn around to see a hand­some Ital­ian guy talk­ing to me as I ad­mire the aerial view from the tallest Sky deck in the South­ern Hemi­sphere. I learn he runs a scaf­fold­ing busi­ness and comes here job scout­ing.

“You see the con­struc­tion hap­pen­ing right off Yarra River? That’s where I’ll be pitchin mah busi­ness next.” I thank him for the city tour that fol­lows and he gives me a thumbs’ up “Aah, no wor­ries mate!” This catch­phrase pretty much sums up the Aussie at­ti­tude to­wards love, life and every­thing in be­tween. Per­haps they draw in­spi­ra­tion from the fairly laid­back na­tives — the kan­ga­roo and koala.

Speak­ing of wildlife, Phillip Is­land is a ma­jor at­trac­tion. Time bound or on a shoe­string bud­get? No wor­ries! Just take the tram to St Kilda’s pier at dusk. The break­wa­ter is home to fairy pen­guins that charm you with their quirks and wad­dle back to their nests af­ter a swim.

No trip to the Great Ocean Road is com­plete with­out vis­it­ing the mighty 12 Apostles. These de­fi­ant lime­stone col­umns jux­ta­posed with mankind’s best laid roads are a pho­tog’s dream come true. “Care­ful with that selfie there! It is heaps of pa­per­work if you top­ple!”

My guide jolts me back to re­al­ity. So I signed up for the next best thing: A 20-minute he­li­copter ride to soak in the breath­tak­ing views of the bay of is­lands via the Lon­don arch and other mes­meris­ing cliffs forged by the in­domitable will of na­ture. I ex­pe­ri­enced a slice of Vic­to­rian heaven as the or­ange sun folded into the dis­tant blue.

Next on my bucket list was the iconic Barossa val­ley. Its rep­u­ta­tion hinges on its unique ter­roir and Mediter­ranean cli­mate pro­duc­ing one of Aus­tralia’s finest blends. The ser­pen­tine road flanked by lush al­mond olive or­chards, straw­berry farms and a whiff of eu­ca­lyp­tus add to the pic­turesque drive. Throw in wild kan­ga­roos, thor­ough­bred horses and an obliv­i­ous koala, and you have a heady mix of na­ture and wildlife right by your steer­ing wheel. A kook­aburra sings in the old gum tree watch­ing me laze with a glass of bub­bly.

PHOTO: ISTOCK

Wine val­ley in Barossa

Panoramic view of Mel­bourne from South­bank Bridge

At The Twelve Apostles

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