Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Kangaroo Island

With a pick-up time of 6.10am, our Kangaroo Island adventure was a long day indeed.  But we were ready and waiting for the bus in the dim dark morning, which drove us about 100km down to the port, picking up passengers along the way.  There she was, our Sea Link ferry, waiting to take the adventurers across.  Cars and caravans drove aboard, followed by bus loads of day trippers and those who had booked in for multiple nights on the island.

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Ferry to Kangaroo Island

On disembarking, we checked which bus was to be ours for the day and climbed aboard.  We passed some local kangaroos as we drove along, together with geese and cockatoos.

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Our first stop on the tour was at Seal Bay, to view the breeding colony of Sea Lions.  A Conservation Officer took our group along a board walk and down to the beach, warning us to keep together and not approach too closely to any animal in our path.  Our first glimpse was a large male lying just off the path, and we were carefully shepherded around him.

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We walked carefully past this big boy

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Check out these youngsters

The animals didn't seem too bothered by the hoards of people milling around, and as long as we kept a respectable distance from them, all seemed well.

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On the boardwalk at Seal Bay

We lunched at Vivonne Bay Bistro, then headed off to see the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and look for koalas in the beautiful gum tree lined entrance.  Koalas are not native to kangaroo Island and were introduced in the 1920s to establish a disease free colony.  The Koalas were all having an after lunch siesta, it seemed.

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Siesta time

Our tour then took us down to the south-western corner of the island to view the Remarkable Rocks, which are a cluster of granite boulders perched on a granite dome and sculptured by the weather over time into amazing shapes.  It wasn’t till we walked up close that we realised just how huge they were.

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Remarkable Rocks

A little further along the coast was the Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, built in 1906 – such a lovely elegant classic shape.

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Cape du Couedic Lighthouse

One more walk beckoned, along a blustery boardwalk, down a flight of steps, and the sea was rushing across the rocky foreshore with strength and ferocity.  Down, down we went to view the Admirals Arch, a natural arch formed by eons of erosion from the pounding sea.  Why oh why do young tourists get in our way, sticking their fingers in the air while they take selfies?

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Admirals Arch

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Rugged rocky coastline

We travelled 370km around the island, our driver informed us.  A third of the island is a designated National Park, and the rest is in private ownership.  Sheep and cattle are farmed, barley, canola and wheat are grown, there is a thriving bee and honey industry, as well as eucalypts oil industry.  The 4500 residents are a self sufficient bunch, live off the grid, collect their own water, and dispose of their own rubbish – no services available here.

We arrived back at the port to catch the last ferry of the day, finally arriving back at our hotel at 10.30pm.  Traffic was diabolical in the city as footy (AFL) revellers were everywhere, some roads were closed because of the crowds, and our coach driver had a terrible time trying to drop people off at their hotels.  It was a very long day, but a great experience.

3 comments:

Tom and Jan said...

I don't suppose the guide told you that with no natural predators the 'introduced' Koala population exploded and they became a pest. The initial plan was to cull them by shooting but that caused an uproar with the general public. Consequentially a number were relocated back to the mainland and others sterilized. The problem is many of the mainland Koalas have VD. Dirty little buggers!

Janice said...

Now you are making me really jealous. What a fantastic day. It was worth having a long day to see all that you did Stunning scenery.

texascraft said...

So pleased you had a lovely day on Kangaroo Island Janet