18 May 2017
On Kangaroo Island today we experience a wildlife sanctuary, Flinders Chase National Park, the Remarkable Rocks, and the fur seals at Admirals Arch.
We have a 7.00 am breakfast and ready to depart again by 8.00 am. First we go down to Vivonne Bay which has been voted best beach in the world (criteria included longest stretch of sand). Next stop is the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary where we have an hour to explore, looking out for koala, kangaroo, wallaby and echidna. Maggie the dog would supposedly sit underneath trees with koala in them and look up to show us – but she was clearly not at the top of her game today! She also entertained us by wanting us to throw sticks but then not wanting to give them up again (she got quite a collection of sticks). There was also the best toilet sign I have ever seen.
Then we head across the island to Flinders Chase National Park towards the Remarkable Rocks – a big dome of granite rock with bizarre rock formations on the top. We are able to climb up and explore the area but access is restricted as people have slid to their deaths off the sometimes slippery rocks. We pose for various group and individual photos amongst the mysterious shapes – truly remarkable.
After that we go towards Cape du Couedic, firstly stopping to see the old lighthouse keepers’ store house and the steep cableway that was used to bring supplies up from the rough water far below. We hear that there used to be 3 lighthouse keeper families who didn’t get on so the storehouse had to be divided into 3 separate rooms. The 3 houses were further around, much closer to the lighthouse. From there we walk down towards Admirals Arch and the NZ fur seal colony (I can’t believe I’ve come this far to see NZ fur seals but enjoy it anyway). It is a long boardwalk with many, many steps and it is extremely windy out on the point. The seals haul themselves out of the rough sea onto the steep rocks to sun themselves. Many of the rocks have dark stains where seals have spent many an hour lazing. We watch baby seals frolicking in a relatively sheltered rock pool that is only occasionally inundated by waves. Admirals Arch is an amazing rock arch formation with tiny stalactites hanging down and looking through to rocks with waves crashing in. I was somewhat surprised to see, right out on the furthest point where the only place left to go was where the waves were crashing on the rocks, a sign saying “Bushfire Last Resort Refuge” – not much of a choice!?!
Then we drive on to a picnic area where Greg surprises us by lighting up the barbeque and we cook some delicious chicken, capsicum and onion to go in wraps with salad. Feeling replete we walk through the bush around to the visitor centre and Greg meets us there with the bus.
It is then a long drive broken by a stop at the Island Beehive where we see the displays and hive of Ligurian Bees. Kangaroo Island was the world’s first bee sanctuary (established in 1885) and the bees are pest free and genetically pure. We also stop at the wharf area at Kingscote and are amused by the tidal swimming pool with a sign that says ‘do not release sharks into the pool’ (apparently it has been done).
Monica is flying back to Adelaide so we have to drop her at the airport (with the shortest tower anyone has seen) before heading to Penneshaw to await our ferry. Greg again surprises us by taking us quickly to visit his little spot of paradise on the island – we walk up the hill behind his house to see the sun setting on the beautiful bay. In Penneshaw, we have a quick circuit of the town in the bus to point out the various places to eat then are set loose to explore. We all decide to go to the Italian Cafe and have wine and pizzas before having to head down to the ferry for 7.00 pm (7.30 pm departure).
Greg is there to meet us and we collect our bags to load back onto the Luggage Van and our boarding tickets. With farewells to Greg we head on board and find the man who allocates us tickets to buses heading back to various parts of Adelaide. Thankfully it is a much calmer crossing than when we came over. We share photographs and Facebook details so that we can keep in touch.
We have a nearly 2 hour bus ride back to Adelaide as our bus makes a stop at Glen Elg on the way. We arrive back at the bus station at 10.30 pm. Erin and I have both booked into the YHA again for that night and we are very glad to get to our rooms.
The Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island Adventure:
Day 1: The Great Ocean Road
Day 2: The Grampians
Day 3: The Grampians to Adelaide
Day 4: Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
Day 5: Kangaroo Island to Adelaide
For this and other similar trips see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort and independent tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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