Australia, Kangaroo Island

So having arrived in Adelaide it was time to pack the bikes and relax. We had about two weeks before we were due to fly home so we started looking at trips we could do. When I say we, what I really mean is Naomi started looking !!

After a little research on the internet she proposed a two day trip to Kangaroo island, I had a quick look at the itinerary and thought it looked great. We decided to book it through a travel agent, that way we get the documents in our hand and we get to ask questions about food and accommodation. I have to be honest, it wasn't a cheap trip but we decided we'd do it as we're unlikely to come back !!

The day arrived and we were up at 5.00am to get a taxi a few miles up the coast to Glenelg. We'd arranged to meet the minibus at the Stamford Grand Hotel and it turned up on time…a good start ! The minibus then drove us across South Adelaide to meet the coach that would then take us to the ferry at Cape Jervis. Now I'm sure the scenery on the way down was fantastic but sadly I fell asleep and only woke on the arrival at the terminal !!

The coach doesn't come on the ferry so we walked on and took our seats for what was a very smooth crossing across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island. We were met as we disembarked by our guide a very bubbly young lady called Kate. She rounded up our small group before giving us some info and setting off !

We were lucky, the minibus could seat about 24 people but there were only 12 of us so lots of room to spread out and get comfy. The info was mainly safety related, seat belts, doors, not talking or distracting the driver (Kate), the usual stuff. It also gave more info on our itinerary and what was expected of us. For instance, at meal times Kate would prepare and cook but we as a group would be expected to clean and wash up…reasonably fair 😉

We got going and headed out to Rob's Sheep Shearing, it wasn't to far from the ferry terminal, about twenty minutes was all. Now I have to be honest, I wasn't looking forward to this bit, I just wanted to see the rugged coastline !! So it was a bit of a surprise to me that I actually enjoyed it, Rob was a great guy and spoke with passion, honesty and knowledge about his farm and life…..it was evident that he loved it. He literally told his dogs to go fetch the sheep and of they went, five minutes later they were back with a dozen sheep…brilliant. He told us all about the sheep, the wool, shearing and weaving, the demonstration was great to watch and then he answered all our silly questions…..all in all a very worthwhile visit.

Next up was a visit to a stunning beach, sadly I can't remember the name, on the way we passed some stunning scenery and Kate gave us a running commentary about what we were seeing.

From the beach we had a short drive to a eucalyptus distillery where we would also have lunch. The distillery is a little out of the way and it took a while to get there, great place though ! When we arrived we were introduced to Phsyco the emu, scary looking bugger !!

Inside were plenty of things to spend your money on, mostly eucalyptus based, the free sample was more than enough for me though !! Outside, rusty trucks made for great photos as did the old carriage in the foyer. Lunch was ok, sliced meats, bread rolls, salads and fruit, plenty of it and cheap tea and coffee if you wanted it..perfect !!

Well so far, great trip, and it just kept getting better…

Next up, a trip that several us us had been looking forward to….Seal Bay !!

Self explanatory really, a colony of sea lions have made this particular beach there home and to protect them you can't visit without a guide. There's a wooden walkway and steps down to the beach and on the way we saw plenty of seals resting in the undergrowth, they do look cute !!

Once you get on the beach the guide gives you the do's and don'ts before leading you in the direction of the seals.

Your not allowed to approach them but if your stationary and they come to you it's ok !! There were plenty of seals and they were reasonably active so we all got some great shots…another cracking visit !!

Well it's getting late in the day now so it's time to head to Vivonne Bay and our rooms for the night. Kate drove all the way to the beach first, and what a beach, no wonder it was voted Australia's best beach at some point !! A huge bay with exquisite soft white sand that just went on for miles, and hardly anyone on it !!

We took a few photos before Kate drove us a short distance to the lodge. Some of the group were in dorms but Naomi and myself had opted for a private room. I think everyone was impressed with the accommodation and facilities, very modern, clean and bright. Pool table, television, free tea and coffee, great kitchen, lounge and dining room and some great outside spaces as well….excellent !!

Once settled in you could either borrow a bicycle and hit the trails, borrow a kayak and take a leisurely paddle down the river or take a walk to the beach. We opted for a walk, hoping to spot some local wildlife. We'd seen some wallabies and kangaroos but what we really wanted to see were Echidnas, they look like hedgehogs but aren't even related !! The walk itself was lovely, great brush, fantastic view but sadly no wildlife ;-(

Dinner was fantastic, a proper BBQ and plenty of it, good salads and bread were also on offer as was a desert….Kate did us proud !!

After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast it was time to get back on the minibus, first stop, a kuala sanctuary. It's not a hospital but rather a safe place with the correct species of eucalyptus trees that they need. On the way in we were amazed by the amount of kangaroos grazing in a nearby field, later we'd get closer for some great photos. The sanctuary is basically an avenue of trees, they put markers underneath the trees if there are Kuala's in them….makes finding them much easier !!

After a good walk, great photos and a coffee we were once again back on the minibus, our next stop would be the highlight of the trip..”The Remarkable Rocks” !

The trip to get there was almost as good as the rocks themselves, incredible roads and scenery !! Before you get to the rocks there is an opportunity to stop for photos of the view from a distance. The road twists and turns away in the distance with the rocks standing on a steep cliff above the bay, it looked amazing and we couldn't wait to get closer.

Our arrival was timed perfectly, one coach load had just left and there were only a small amount of people left. We managed to get some great photos of this incredible place without people getting in the way. The orange lichen that covers huge areas of the rocks was such an intense colour with the sun shining on it and made a great contrast to the coarse grey granite. Of course we posed for a few silly photos before heading off to the next attraction !

Cape du Couedic, the lighthouse and Admirals Arch were the highlight here, not forgetting the colony of seals !! To get there we passed through Flinders Chase National Park, we'd stop for lunch here on the way back. We stopped briefly to take photos of the lighthouse before driving down to the car park and then walking down to Admirals Arch.

It's a natural arch in the limestone cliff, it's huge and difficult to take good photos as the arch is in shade but the sunlight streams through, the contrast is tricky.

Lunch was great, chicken wraps, salsa, sour cream, avocado and veggies….mmm !!

A great place as well, Kuala's and wallabies made themselves comfortable in our presence and gave us all more great photos.

Our last stop was at Little Sahara, a huge expanse of sand dunes, quite a long way from the sea where we would have time to do some sand boarding. Well I tried but I think it's a young mans game so I just took some photos of this wonderful place.

After everyone had played enough and was thoroughly covered in sand we headed back to the ferry port. Time was on our side so Kate made a brief stop at the islands Beehive and honey shop, tastings and photos taken we were off again 😉

On our way to the ferry terminal we were gifted a beautiful sunset, a fitting end to what was a fantastic trip. The subsequent ferry ride and coach trip back to Adelaide went without any problems and we were soon back at Kate's house in Brighton.

Looking back on the trip it really was one of the highlights in our Australian adventure and a trip I would heartily recommend to anyone !!

Hope you enjoyed this blog and that you continue to follow our adventures 😉

Thanks

JC

 

 

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About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
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