For a start, given the nature of the beast, I think it’s reasonable to anticipate an airport terminal will, more than likely, be somewhat crowded. But even in Whitsunday Coast, arguably the smallest and most cramped domestic terminal in Australia (if there’s a worse one I hope I never come across it) you can at least stand in the sunshine and see the world that surrounds you. 

Inside the terminal at Coolangatta, it’s almost as crowded and you can see walls. Hughesy’s appraisal of the place: On the extremely ordinary side of very ordinary.

The sight that greeted us when we emerged from the air bridge two hours after leaving Queensland airspace was a complete contrast. 

Adelaide Airport might not be the best airport in the world. If it isn’t, I hope our travel arrangements fluke us into some of the ones that are better. Spacious with high ceilings and picture windows looking towards the Adelaide Hills, this one is everything that Coolangatta isn’t. 

Hughesy’s rating: On the stellar side of out of this world.

With baggage claimed and hire car negotiations completed, finding our way to the accommodation couldn’t have been more straightforward. Turn left onto Sir Donald Bradman Drive, follow that as far as you can go and then turn right into Seaview Road. 

It was after dark when we set out, and I was about to suggest we pull over and find a street number when I noticed the illuminated Meleden Villa sign.

Our upstairs room promised water views in the morning. Advice about eating options saw us striding purposefully towards the traffic lights which signalled the location of the restaurant precinct.

Eight-thirty on Monday night isn’t the optimum time for an extensive appraisal of options, so we opted for Asian at Red Rock, one of a number of noodle-oriented establishments scattered around the city and across the nation, but we didn’t know that at the time, did we? 

And the hour was latish.

Madam’s pad thai was a spicier than she would have preferred, but my red beef curry was fine, as was the $4.90 glass of house Riesling (from a bottle, not a cardboard box). With those affairs dealt with it was time to head back southwards to the cot in the attic at Meleden Villa for a good night’s sleep before the real adventures began.

© Ian Hughes 2017