Kangaroo Island

We spent two days but should have spent a week!

Kangaroo Island is a large island off the coast of South Australia, roughly south of Adelaide [location].  It has small villages – perhaps 4,500 year-round residents farming, working in the national parks, or in the tourist industry – and a lot of wildlife.  We saw kangaroos, fur seals, sea lions, koalas, birds, and a lot of beautiful bushland. Read on and check out the photos!

Kangaroos on Kangaroo island, Australia. They let us get very close, but watch us closely.

We left Adelaide after lunch and drove south along the Fleurilieu peninsula, a beautiful place made of rolling grassy hills dotted with sheep, cattle, and gum trees. We caught the last ferry of the day – a posh catamaran with comfy seating and bar service – to arrive on the island after dark.  It’s the off-season, but the winter rains have turned everything green.

Pam arranged for a day-long tour.  We chose a small outfit, which was nice because the five of us filled their 6-person Land Rover and thus we had a personalized tour. Our guide, a farmer whose wife works for the tour company, was a pleasant and interesting bloke.  He raises sheep and cattle and some feed crops, following in his father’s footsteps. As a treat we stopped by his farm so the kids could bottle-feed a newly orphaned calf.

Andy helps feed an orphaned calf on Kangaroo Island, Australia.

We visited one of the major honey producers. Years ago, a strain of Italian bees were imported here; while they have cross-bred or died of disease in all other parts of the world, here they have remained. Paired with the diverse range of eucalypt flowers, they produce wonderful honey.  We got to taste them all!

We visited Seal Bay, where Australian Sea Lions basked in the sun.  We visited Cape Du Couedic at the western end of the island, to watch the New Zealand fur seals.  We stopped at a wildlife sanctuary to walk among the kangaroos and wallabees (small kangaroos), although they were often visible along the roadside too.  We strolled through a eucalyptus grove to snag peeks at koalas snoozing among the branches.  We had a wonderful steak and wine lunch, cooked on a barbie at one of the park picnic areas. 

Sea lion pup approaches us, within a few feet. Kangaroo island, Australia.

I really enjoyed talking with Peter, our guide, as we drove about the island, listening to his stories of life on and history of the island, about bush fires and wool prices, about the balancing act on an island that supports both farms and wildlife.

Sunset at Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island, Australia. Family portrait.

See the photo gallery.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2021, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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