I’ve fallen in love with Kangaroo Island.
When we first came to Australia, we hadn’t even heard of it. After living here for a good few months I have come to the conclusion it is one of Australias most overlooked destinations. That being said, I guess it is the lack of tourists and residents that helps maintain the island as a wildlife sanctuary.
Before I start telling you how amazingly stunning KI is, there is a downside. Other than a short 35-minute flight from Adelaide airport (around $140), the Sealink ferry is the only means of public transport to the island. For two of us and our car, it cost us a whopping $180! But if you can see past the fact that Sealink is robbing you blind, you will get to explore one of Australias most hidden gems.
Flinders Chase National Park
Located on the west side of Kangaroo Island, Flinders Chase National Park is probably the most beautiful place I have been too in Australia so far. Entry fees into the park are $11 per person but it is worth every penny. If you want to see as much as you can I would recommend dedicating a full day trip.
One of our first stops was Admirals Arch and the Cape du Couedic lighthouse. We hadn’t really researched the national park prior, so when we saw the lighthouse we assumed it was the main landmark we had come to see. But after admiring the beautiful backdrop we walked down the stairs and were overwhelmed with the spectacular views of the Admirals Arch. This natural beauty is home to adorable seals, crashing waves and the blue ocean all viewed through its cave-like structure.
Our next stop was the Remarkable Rocks, probably the trademark of Kangaroo Island. On every magazine or advertisement for the island, a photograph of the Remarkable Rocks is shown. Whilst I didn’t find them as impressive as Admirals Arch, the rocks are still in fact “remarkable”. If I had it my way it would be the Remarkable Arch and the Admirals Rocks, but I can’t see that happening. They are located on the southern part of the park and come in all different shapes and sizes. I would advise going in the evening or early morning so it’s a little quieter with fewer tourists.
While Kangaroo Island is small, Kingscote could be assumed to be “the capital”. It is home to some adorable independent shops and cafes, Chocol art and Coffee being my personal favourite. Aside from coffees, this modern, almost hippie cafe serves a variety of confectionery, smoothies and milkshakes. One thing about the Island is it doesn’t offer much in terms of eating out. Bella is an Italian restaurant in town that makes beautiful pizzas at an affordable price. There is also Rogers Deli (where I often take advantage of the Wifi), and the Queenscliffe Family Hotel. Plus, a short 5-minute walk from the town centre is Kingscote Jetty, the perfect place for a spot of fishing. Not a fisher? Go down and sit with the seals and feed the pelicans at 5 p.m every day!
While I am writing Seal Bay as a “must see” I have to admit I am on the fence about this one. It is a gorgeous drive out to the beach and it is such a rarity to see so many wild seals together. However, they charge $16 per adult to see them from a distance on the boardwalk self-guided tour. To be able to approach and touch them it is $33 per adult. Being on a tight budget we opted for the cheaper boardwalk option. But, had we known you can see seals more often than not down at Kingscote Jetty we may not have gone at all.
Kangaroo Island Brewery
Me and James love breweries. We discovered Kangaroo Island Brewery purely by chance after driving past it every day on our way to work. The brewery is locally owned and was completely hand built by owners Nina and Mike. The interior design is beautifully simple offering a very modern, homey feel to the inside. There is a small yet impressive selection of beers on offer and all at a reasonable price. We chose the four tasters of 100ml beers for just $8! It is on North Coast Road not a far from Kingscote. This place has quickly turned into our local.
All the Beaches
I could talk for hours about all the different beaches on Kangaroo Island. Stokes Bay, Emu Bay, Pennington Bay, Snelling beach, Vivonne Bay, the list goes on! Spending a summers day on one of these amazing beaches is the perfect opportunity to soak up the sunshine. It would be worth having a research which bays are the best fishing spots. We were lucky enough to catch a few bites whilst we were on the Island; Australian salmon, whiting, mulloway and tuna are all pretty popular.
One of my favourite days here on Kangaroo Island was when our friend took us for a drive with no destination to explore. We spotted a wedge-tailed eagle, wild echidnas, and went off-roading on parts of the island I didn’t even know existed. We were even lucky enough to take out our friends boat and saw wild dolphins for the first time, amazing!
Finally, if you need to more ideas the following are great for a day out:
- The Honey Farm
- KI Spirits
- Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park
- Middle River
- American River
If you like the sound of Kangaroo Island read my post The True Australia? Living on Kangaroo Island now!