Raking through the options to fill our accommodation around the Easter Break, I stumbled upon this YHA gem. It begins with a trip into Adelaide city to pick up the keys, then a trip to the supermarket to purchase all food and water to keep us going for a few days, and finally we head out for Mount Lofty.
It’s not far, just down the freeway. At the foot of the hill is a botanic gardens, at the summit a large restaurant, serviced by a car park, and an information centre. Here is a vast viewing platform, and what would seem to be a lighthouse (?) below is Adelaide spread before you.
The YHA is some 400 m below the summit, down a gravel road protected by a fire gate. The whole YHA must be booked by one group, all two of us, and no warden or other staff are present. It’s stone built with a verandah. The boys and girls have separate bathrooms outside, under a converted porch. There are three bedrooms, 2x doubles and one with 3 sets of bunk beds. There’s a living room with bare tiled floor, three plastic sofas and a tv which cannot receive any channel. Lastly, there is a kitchen which could serve 10+ in typical YHA style: loads of hot plates, large sinks etc.
Basic? Yes! Clean? Moderately so but I ask John to brush the bedroom for spiders, and I note the clear instructions for bandaging a patient who has been bitten by a snake plastered on the wall!
The view, the peace, the concept is wonderful. It’s colder in than out and reminds me of sending year 5 camping in the New Forest each year and the staff comments on accompanying this trip (sorry guys!)
We climb to the summit to watch the sunset, and observe the sun setting on one side and a thunderstorm on another. Although we cannot hear thunder, the clashes of lightning discharge form an upper cloud to a lower and just occasionally to the ground.