By Marc Llewellyn
Located 13 kilometers (8 miles) off the coast of South Australia and 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is full of indigenous animals, craft cuisine, epic rock formations and even the best hotels in the world, perched on the edge of the sea. There’s plenty to fill your days here, but don’t forget to follow the local journey and just enjoy the fresh air, beautiful food and rare wildlife.
How to get there
Kangaroo Island Sealink operates a regular ferry service to Penneshaw, a major town on Kangaroo Island, from mainland South Australia. The ferry leaves Cape Jervis City, which is a 90-minute drive south of Adelaide (or take the shuttle bus service from Sealink). The Regional Express airline also moves passengers from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island on two weekly flights. The island is surprisingly big, 155 kilometers (96 miles) in length and 55 kilometers (35 miles) at its widest; to explore it, you will need at least a weekend. Several tour operators provide multi-day trips and guided experiences. On the Sealink ferry, you can take a car or rent a car on the island.
Walk among rare sea lions
The Seal Bay Conservation Park on the south coast of Kangaroo Island is the only place in the world where you can walk among the Australian sea lions in danger. On a Boardwalk Tour, you can walk along a 900-metre (2950-foot) wooden boardwalk and see the animals on the sand and surfing, or you can take a 45-minute guided Seal Bay Experience tour to the beach itself. The best swimming spots are off the north coast, if you feel like taking to the water yourself. Thanks to its clear waters and long shoreline, Emu Bay, near Kingscote, is one of the most famous. A good camping place and a sea pool surrounded by rocks are provided by Stokes Bay.
Wine and beer
In particular, Kangaroo Island is a gourmet destination renowned for its freshly caught seafood, cheese and wine. Drink craft beer at the Kangaroo Island Brewery, or drink within the island’s wineries’ cellar doors, like Dudley Wines, near Penneshaw, and near Kingscote, Bay of Shoals Wines. Kangaroo Island Spirits manufactures small batches of homemade Australian gin, vodka, and liqueurs that can be tasted at the door of a rustic cellar. Try the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery for local eucalyptus products.
Wild koalas, kangaroos and more
Native Australian species abounds on Kangaroo Island. All over the island, you will find short-beaked echidnas and broad goannas, and watch out for black swan troops around the American River. At Kingscote Wharf, there is more birdlife to be found. Here, for their daily fill of fish, hundreds of pelicans gather at 5pm. Only follow the guides at Kangaroo Island Odysseys to spot koalas, kangaroos and wallabies. On a cruise with Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures or Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari, where seals, whales and bottlenose dolphins frolic along the coast, head out to sea.
Island’s Remarkable Rocks
Flinders Chase National Park is a large natural refuge for many species of native Australian wildlife, such as endangered tammar wallabies and the elusive platypus, on the western side of Kangaroo Island. Remarkable Rocks, a seaside array of huge orange-lichen-covered granite boulders formed into odd shapes by millions of years of rain, wind and waves, is a big attraction here. Admirals Arch, a distinctive stalactite-covered eroded rock bridge shattered by waves that often hosts basking New Zealand fur seals, is another highlight. For their odd looks, both draw tour groups and sightseers, so be sure to carry your camera.
Walk through the wilderness
There is a lot of rugged forest in Flinders Chase National Park, but it is accessible by regular cars and is cut by several walking trails. The 3.5-hour Ravine des Casoars Hike is one of the easiest, heading through a wooded valley to a remote sandy beach. On the two-hour Platypus Waterholes Hike, try to find a platypus, or wind your way through remote bushland on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. There are four secluded campgrounds within the park, but at Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, you can also stay in the charming lighthouse keeper’s quarters. Wherever you stay, the steep cliffs and the remote beaches that make the park so special will surround you.
(Article by www.australia.com)