13 Aug South Australia: Kangaroo Island
One of the most beautiful places I have been without a doubt in Australia is Kangaroo Island. Whilst I had fun in the Whitsundays and on Fraser Island, the less well-known Kangaroo Island had a much more rugged, picturesque, back-to-nature feel. Powder white sandy beaches, seals, kangaroos, rivers, sand dunes, koalas…Kangaroo Island is a naure lover’s paradise. The island has a small population so all the locals tend to know each other, meaning it has a very friendly, laid-back atmosphere. If you seek some thrills and adventure, you can go surfing, quad biking and sandboarding.
On our Vantastic Advenures we took the Sealink ferry from Cape Jervis to Penishaw on Kangaroo Island for a weekend of partying in Kingscote. Vehicles are allowed on the island but currently the only way to get to the island is by ferry which means it retains its remote feel without droves and droves of tourists. You can pay to take your car on the ferry or alternatively if you prefer you can go on one of the tours that operate from Adelaide.
It just so happened that the Coopers Kangaroo Island Cup horse races were on so we went to the Twilight Street Party at the Ozone Hotel and drank a bottle of Coopers (or two or three!) and partied away with the locals. A perfect way to begin our stay on Kangaroo Island! I would highly recommend going to Kangaroo Island for the biggest highlight in their calendar so make sure you check to see what dates the races are on here. We took a shuttle bus from our campsite to the race course and enjoyed a day of betting, drinking and trying out the local farm produce.
After a big day at the Kingscote races we jumped on board a guided tour of Kangaroo Island, (more affectionately known as simply K.I.) with Surf and Sun. We met up at Peneshaw with the crew to start the mission around K.I, greeted by our legend tour guide Brendo. We visited a beautiful surf beach by the name of Pennington Bay for a little team bonding which involved some silly beach shenanigans which only pictures could describe, a bit of a surfing and a sandcastle building competition.
From there we cruised towards the camp for a BBQ at Vivonne bay, which was voted Australia’s best beach in 2002. I could understand why it was voted the best, with its caribbean-like white sand and turqoise blue water.
After a good feed we were back on the bus to Seal Bay which isn’t just a clever name. On the one particular beach there a couple of hundred seals from big fellas to mummas and their pups, I must say being only 10 metres away from them is an experience that will stay for a while to come.
We had our thrills for the day by racing around on QUAD BIKES at dusk around the scrub and fields of Vivonne Bay. We had the opportunity to see kangaroos running through the bush as the sun goes down which was magical.
On day 2 we visited the Remarkable Rocks which are really very remarkable indeed and provided a great photo opportunity as we struck some poses amongst the amazing natural rock formations. At Admirals Arch we observed another seal colony as they basked on the rocks after a hard day of swimming and fishing. We watched as a young pup tried to scramble out of the water and get thrown around by the giant waves. To see the seals in their natural habitat is quite tremendous.
We travelled in the bus through the Flinders Chase National Park that was ravaged by bush fires back in 2007 and the impact is still very visible today. We relaxed and played on Stokes Bay which was probably my favourite-a pristine beach with great water for snorkelling and swimming.
We visited a honey farm where we enjoyed some honeycomb ice cream before watching a pelican feeding show in Kingscote which was fun to see for a gold coin donation. As the tour came to an end, the crew on the bus were just winding up and there was much goon drinking to be done on the way home.
On our last few days on Kangaroo Island we went sandboarding, kayaking and night fishing! Sandboarding is so much fun but believe us when we say you’ll be finding sand in places you never knew sand could get for weeks after you hit the dunes! We went to Little Sahara and nearly passed out in the heat trying to climb up that steep sand dune!
We then took kayaks down to the river and had a leisurely cruise in the afternoon sunshine. We stopped for a couple of breaks along the river bank so that Trent could play with the Kangaroos and admire the trees (Trent really likes the Kangaroo Island tree, the Black Boy). On the way back we were paddling along when we spotted a snake on a tree branch. The Dutch Boys were kayaking by when all of a sudden it launched itself at their kayak! The snake had clearly been trying to hitch a ride for a while and looked a bit pieved that it missed its chance! At least we avoided a couple of snake bites and a trip to hospital.
We visited Hanson Bay Koala Wildlife Sanctuary and stayed the night in their lovely homestead playing some snooker on their billiards table and the boys went on the koala nocturnal tour whilst I caught up on some video making.
On our last night on Kangaroo Island we were fortunate enough to go and stay with Wallaby Bob, a local who says “With a name like Wallaby Bob I can get away with things.” Bob was up for a laugh and pretended to fillet a fish with a chainsaw for our video! We slept the night in his beautiful home at Baudin Beach and we were made to feel so welcome. It wasn’t like a tour but more like relaxing at a friends house and swapping stories. We enjoyed beers and Trent and the dutchies put their war paint on to go spear fishing! Bob cooked us an amazing fish supper on the BBQ- best fish I’ve ever had! I had a fever so unfortunately I couldnt go spear fishing but the boys came back with plenty of fish for a fish breakfast the following day! It was one of the highlights of our trip!
So for anyone visiting Adelaide or South Australia this really is one place not to be missed.