Day 2: Kangaroo Island in depth – Land’s End, Koalas and Kangaroos

Realistically, we only had one full day on Kangaroo Island so we went to all those touristy places and tried to cramp as much as we could in one full day. We did manage to see lots of things and even did a little walk in Flinders Chase National Park – the weather was mainly nice (will come back to the not nice bit later).

So our route today:

Map

We started off with a good morning in Kingscote. It was Easter Saturday. Any hot breakfast in town would cost around $20 with coffee/tea so we went to the supermarket yesterday (just 5 minutes walk from the hotel) for some bread and yoghurt for breakfast instead.

It was a comfortable morning start at 8:45 am, to arrive at Seal Bay for the 9:45 guided tour (to arrive at 9:30).

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Upon arrival at Seal Bay, we were greeted by some wild kangaroos on the side. Driving on Kangaroo Island evokes mixed feelings in some ways: on the one hand, you are constantly amazed by the views and nature around you; but on the other hand, you are almost guaranteed to see dead animals hit by cars (be it kangaroos or others) on the road or on the side. So, drivers, while there is always the temptation to go at the speed limit (i.e. 110 km/h for most of the Island), be careful. Drive slow to protect the precious wildlife!

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Following the signs, one could find the Seal Bay Visitor Centre where you could buy tickets for the guided tours (or just for the Broadwalk), for the souvenir shop and for facilities. Or, in our case, the Visitor Centre was a good shelter because soon enough we would be met by pouring rain.

Kangaroo Island’s Seal Bay features a special type of seals – the Australian sea-lion, not the common ones you see in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco or in zoos. They are quite different – for instance, they spend half their time on land and half in the ocean, as opposed to the other sea-loving seals. They usually go out and find food for three days straight and come back to the beach here at Seal Bay for 3 days worth of rest. So, if you want to get up close with the seals without getting wet, Seal Bay is the place to be.

The Visitor Centre:

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You can only access the beach and get quite close to the seals with the guided tours, which cost $35 when I went there. You can buy a less expensive ticket to access to viewpoint (for ocean views) and the broad walk (to get near the beach with signage explaining the sea-lion colony to you!). I did the broadwalk first and then did the guided tour.

On the broadwalk, I saw some seals. Needless to say, they are very tired from the hunting so most of them are resting, sunbathing… But some of them would be fooling around!

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We planned on doing the 9.45 guided tour but upon arrival, the tour was sold out. So we bought tickets for the 10 o’clock tour. Shortly after the start of the tour, it began to rain heavily – as I put it, raining elephants and monkeys! (I don’t know why I say that, but… You get the idea!) So the tour was shortened and we only got a few snaps.

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The rain clouds as seen from the viewpoint:

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We got all wet. So we went back into the Visitor Centre for some warmth. There are some exhibitions in the Centre to keep us all entertained while getting dry and warm. Slightly miserable for my Hong Kong-based family; but for me, someone from England, it’s just another normal day, indeed.

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So we jogged on with our planned trip, with the lovely staffs at the Centre telling us the weather should be finer over in Flinders Chase National Park. And indeed the weather was extra lovely there to compensate for the miserable morning. We first stopped by the Visitor Centre at the Flinders Chase National Park for lunch.

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The lunch was excellent. I went for a BLT. Upon hearing my English accent, the waiting staff told me that I would need to tell the Brits how to do their BLTs, and I agreed wholeheartedly.

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My family went for the burger – which according to them, was equally delightful.

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After lunch, we went straight for Cape du Couedic for its lighthouse and the Admiral Arch. On our way there, we had time for a lovely picture of this road that just seems to go on and on and on and on and on…

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There is a lovely loop walk from the lighthouse to the Admiral Arch and back. It would take around 1 hour with plenty of time for pictures and stuff. It is a lovely walk from the lighthouse to the Arch’s broadwalk as it gives you extra elevation to descend into, which broadens your perspectives. And needless to say, the nature is lovely and no one would mind a few extra doses of fresh air

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View from the lighthouse to Cape du Couedic

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And views working down from the lighthouse:

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Once you get to the Admiral Arch’s Broadwalk, you are getting closer and closer to the sea. I personally find the view of the waves really soothing, and you can get plenty, both close up and afar. The island directly across has plenty of cliffs offering great views for waves!

Close-up:

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Afar:

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And this is a picture that every tourist would need to bring home to say that they have visited the Kangaroo Island. This is very stunning – but difficult to photograph – you will find plenty of other tourists trying their best too to take a good picture of themselves and the Arch… but for me, just the view is good enough!

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The walk up is quite refreshing too. Next up for us is the Remarkable Rocks, still in Flinders Chase National Park. The rocks are about 15 minutes drive away from the lighthouse’s parking lot. The signage pointing you to the Rocks (a branch road from the main one) is not that clear, so slow down when you go there or you might miss the turn.

Once you have done your turn, you should see the stunning view of the coastline extending East and the Remarkable Rocks in far sight. You probably would get the best picture of the Remarkable Rocks here (jokes, but also seriously!) because the Rocks are so famous and full of people it would be impossible to get a full picture of the rocks without getting people in your picture (oh well, I lied, you can, in a postcard…)

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Once we parked, we proceeded to the Rocks. We were told by some other tourists that the broadwalk is the longer way. We did the paved road instead and reached the rocks easily in 3 minutes.

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Well I mean… I tried my best to not get anyone in my pictures…

We left Flinders Chase National Park at around 2:45 pm to get to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. The Park is privately owned and costs $20 per person for entry. It is the most wonderful experience, I think. There were not many other tourists there (well barring us, there were possibly three more people) so it felt like our own park; and we were allowed to get up close with the animals (per two people, you get a bag of food to feed kangaroos; and there is a koala interacting session for you to pet koalas!). And for the first time in my life, I saw koalas climbing! For an animal that sleeps most of the day, we were pretty successful. The trick I think is that we went there during their dinnertime (4:30 pm), so they were extra active.

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I think the Wildlife Park is definitely worth a visit. You cannot get any better than this for wildlife experiences – feeding kangaroos and petting koalas.

Dinner soon hits us too. We went to the hotel restaurant for the second night because of the lovely food and atmosphere. We got a table next to the window today.

Today’s specials include a red snapper fillet which was well executed with lovely textures. Suffice to say, we loved it.

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We also enjoyed some Kangaroo Island wines too. We had a rose sparkling to start today:

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And a white, too.

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I highly recommend both bottles of wine. They were affordable and very drinkable. From the wines we drank on the Island, I think one should also try to fit in some visits to the vineyards and wine tastings, too. The Dudley Peninsula (where Penneshaw is) has most of the vineyards on the wine list, and near Kingscote, there are few too. So it should be easy to centre in one town and go out and visit vineyards like a spider web.

Another delicacy of the Island is honey. Explicit custom controls have it that you cannot bring bees or pollens into the Island and the reason why is that the Island produces excellent and authentic honeys that once external bees or pollens hit would cause a change in the honey made. So for tonight, we had a honey panna cotta for dessert, which with the cheery compote, was fantastic too.

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And finally, I will show you the hotel room I stayed in to give you some ideas how it fares.

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Until later, happy flighting.

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