Today, my beloved sister, Anna, has taken over the Lines of Escape blog. She moved to Australia with her husband a year ago and, not satisfied with only hearing her travel stories and about the gorgeous places she gets to experience via Skype, I’ve asked her to publish a few posts in a new blog series, Tales from Down Under.
As you’ll soon see, Anna is an INCREDIBLE photographer and you can see more of her impressive work on her Instagram account. For now, though, sit back, relax and take in the first Tales from Down Under post.
I consider Kangaroo Island, known as ‘KI’ to the locals, to be a little gem off the coast of South Australia. My husband and I spent a long weekend there for our wedding anniversary and we loved our three-day taster visit of the island.
KI, Australia’s third-largest island, is located 112km from Adelaide and involves a short 45-minute ferry ride from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw, which makes for an easy weekend destination.
What follows are our recommended highlights from the trip:
Seal Bay Conservation Park
Located mid-way on the south coast, Seal Bay is home to the third-largest colony of Australian sea lions in the world. Exploring this spot is by guided tours only, but these are both informative and allow tourists direct access to the beach to watch the seals and their pups.
Kelly Hill Caves
These stunning dry limestone caves are found within the Kelly Hill Conservation Park. There are standard show cave guided tours as well as caving tours for the more adventurous at heart where one dons hard hats and slips/crawls through caves and tunnels. The tours vary on start times, but are generally on the hour at quarter past. Some steep stairs lead down into the caves, but these are well worth the incredible cool escape if visiting on a hot day!
This beautiful protected area is on the far south-west side of the island, 110km west of Kingscote, and has some of the top landscape icons of KI. The two geological monuments are Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, which are a short drive apart from each other. The extensive park has numerous walking trails and a large variety of wildlife, which includes a New Zealand fur-seal colony at Cape du Coudiec.
Found in the town of Parndana, this wonderful park gives tourists the opportunity to hold koalas, feed kangaroos and wallabies and see a variety of birds, reptiles and other marsupials.
KI Marine Adventures
KI Marine Adventures operates a coastal marine tour and an island explorer tour, the latter involving swimming with wild Bottlenose dolphins. This three-hour boat tour includes the use of wetsuits, snorkelling gear and a morning tea with homemade snacks. The highly professional staff guarantee dolphin spotting (as well as bird and seal spotting) and we had three surreal swims with large pods of dolphins, including a few calves. As we moved off from the various pods, the boat created waves which the dolphins thoroughly enjoyed and put on a photographic jumping display. I cannot recommend this tour enough as it was our stand-out highlight!
KI is home to the unique and protected Ligurian bees, originally from Bologna, Italy. Clifford’s Honey Farm is well worth a visit and has an interactive bee display and a lovely shop full of honey products and a delicious honey-flavoured ice cream.
On top of all these activities, KI has numerous wine farms/cellar doors, lighthouse guided tours, horse riding trails, art galleries, cafes and a rugged coastline with many beaches to explore.
*Additional tips for KI: *
If you are wanting to do all the above activities, then the Kangaroo Island Tour Pass, valid for 12 months from date of purchase, is most value for money at $70 and allows entry into Flinders Chase, Seal Bay, Kelly Hill Caves and two lighthouse guided tours.
In terms of car hire, this is very limited on KI, so car hire on the mainland in Adelaide is highly recommended!
I don’t know about you, but Anna’s experience on Kangaroo Island has brought on a serious bout of wanderlust. From activities to good food (and wine) to stunning sights, Kangaroo Island looks like the perfect spot for a weekend getaway in South Australia.
Is Kangaroo Island on your travel bucket list? Which place/activity would you most like to experience? Let me know in the comments below!
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