Kangaroo Island is this little island a bit south of Adelaide that I mainly wanted to visit because it’s called Kangaroo Island. And it turned out to have more than just kangaroos!
Kangaroo Island is reached via ferry from Cape Jervis, which is just south of Adelaide. We camped at a nearby station in order to catch the early ferry across.
Upon arrival at the island, we started to drive over to Kingscote, which is the biggest town on the island and where we were camping for the first couple of nights. On the way we stopped to climb Prospect Hill. Chris was not impressed with the number of stairs but there were some nice views from the top.
Kingscote and Emu Bay
Considering Kingscote is the biggest town on the island, it is pretty small, consisting of mostly holiday homes and a main street with a few cafes. North of the town is Emu Bay, where there is a nice white beach.
Kangaroo Island Honey!
One of the things Kangaroo Island is famous for is its honey. That’s because the island is home to the only remaining population of a special species of bee, originally from Italy but now extinct there and everywhere else. The bee makes really good honey, I guess. We visited a couple of the different honey farms (Clifford’s Honey Farm and Island Beehive) on the island and tried several honey types (different types are created by the bees pollinating different types of flowers). I’m not really a honey connoisseur so I’m not sure I could tell them apart from any other type of honey, but they tasted good, as sugar does. My favourite, however, was the honey-flavoured ice cream, and Chris liked the honey wheat ale, of course.
On the south side of the island is Vivienne Bay, a place with a pretty beach and a cafe that makes really good sandwiches. Yes, I only have a picture of the sandwiches, and not the beach.
Also on the south coast is Little Sahara, an area with really big sand dunes. You can take a walk around or rent sandboards/sleds to ride down the dunes. We were watching when we saw a guy (a bro-type backpacker who clearly had no idea what he was doing) go straight down before wiping out with a massive faceplant, which was pretty hilarious but also made us decide we would just walk around the dunes instead.
Nearby is Seal Bay, a conservation area where a large population of Australian sea lions lives. In a kind of annoying manner (but I guess it’s for conservation reasons), they have built a big visitors centre there and charge you to walk down to the beach to see the sea lions. It costs more to walk on the beach than on the boardwalk, so we opted for just the boardwalk since we had already seen sea lions quite a few times. It’s a nice area, but just not the same as actually swimming with the sea lions.
Stokes Bay is a beach on the north coast that’s kind of cool because you have to climb through a bit of a rock tunnel to get to it. Not much else to report though.
Flinders Chase National Park
The western side of the island is composed mainly of Flinders Chase National Park. We camped at a nice campground nearby, where there were a lot of wallabies, kangaroos, Cape Barren geese, and koalas in the trees. Fun fact: The kangaroos on Kangaroo Island have evolved differently than the ones on the mainland, so they are smaller and have darker fur.
Remarkable Rocks are some weirdly shaped rocks on the coast of the national park. We managed to get there in the morning before the crowds appeared to do some exploring.
Nearby is Admirals Arch, another cool coastal rock formation that is especially exciting because there is a big colony of New Zealand fur seals living there. They are pretty cute in a kind of derpy way. There was even a teeny adorable pup flopping around.
Cape de Couedic Lighthouse
Also in the area is Cape de Couedic Lighthouse, which we hiked to from Admirals Arch. Neither of us is really into lighthouses, but is was there, so.
Snake Lagoon and the Platypus Holes
There are a number of walking trails on the west coast, so we also decided to hike Snake Lagoon. It’s a neat walk that goes through a river valley and ends up at a secluded beach.
There is a bit of a vague and ominous “Freak Waves” sign at the beach.
The park also has a nature trail that goes to several platypus holes. We looked, but apparently platypus are super shy so you have to be very quiet and patient (which we are not), as well as lucky, to see one. It was also pretty dry so they may not have been around anyways. We did have an echidna cross our path though – super cute!
Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
In the middle of Kangaroo Island is Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, a park that specializes in koalas. They have a big tree-lined koala walk that you can do, which we were told contained about 30 koalas. We found 26, which is pretty good I think. We are expert koala spotters!
Partway through the walk we came across a very industrious echidna. We followed him as he ambled along and found an ant nest in a burned out tree stump, then watched as he tore the stump apart and devoured all the ants. He was pretty strong a little guy! It was fascinating and also very satisfying to Chris as he hates ants, so we ended up watching for like an hour.
Koala hunting is hard on the neck (looking up so much), so we recovered with some lamington cake afterwards.
We spent our last morning in Penneshaw, the town where the ferry terminal is. There was a Saturday market that turned out to be like eleven stalls, so we spent most of the morning in a cute seaside cafe. Then it was back to the mainland!