Kangaroo Island

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Pictures:  American River Inlet  |  Parndana Wildlife Park  |  Flinders Chase National Park  |  Kangaroos  |  Admirals Arch  |  Weirs Cove  |  Rainbow  |  Remarkable Rocks  |  Beckwith Farms  |  Vivonne Bay  |  Mailboxes  |  Seal Bay Conservation Park  |  Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery  |  Fairy Penguins  |  Emu Airways 
History:  Kangaroo Island  |  Island Map 

The SeaLink Ferry arrived at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island after a 45 minute rough ride.  It was an hour's drive to American River for our two night stay at the Kangaroo Island Lodge.  By the time we arrived at our lodge, our stomachs were finally calming down after the water crossing.

We had a great dinner at the lodge.  The dinning room overlooked the American River inlet.

We had a very full day exploring Kangaroo Island.  Our first stop was Parndana Wildlife Park to see the local fauna.  We were not disappointed.  We got to feed and pet the Kangaroos, touch the koalas, hold a joey, see an Emu, get up-close to an eagle and many other birds.  The most interesting animal was an albino wallaby.

Then we were off to the  western end of the island to Flinders Chase National Park. It's one of Australia's largest and earliest conservation parks.  One third of Kangaroo Island has never been cleared of natural vegetation and the thick eucalypt scrub is the habitat of many species of wildlife, much of which is uncommon or extinct on the mainland.  We stopped at Yacca Flat to get a great view of the forest canopy.  At the visitor's centre wild Kangaroos came right up to the bus door (probably looking for handouts).  They are cute creatures with very strong hands.

On the southwest coast is Cape Du Couedc lighthouse and Admirals Arch formed by erosion from the pounding sea.  The area is a breeding ground for a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals.  We saw them on the rocks and frolicking in the water.

As we headed around Weirs Cove a beautiful rainbow appeared.  We saw rainbows most of the day.  The next natural wonder was Remarkable Rocks. They are a cluster of granite boulders, sculptured by weather and perched on a granite dome rising steeply from the ocean.  We took a walk around the rocks to see the many shapes and curves.

We then exited the national park to have an Australian style barbeque lunch at Beckwith Farms.  Chris and Regina own the 550 hectacres of natural bush and grassland and also manage a caravan park and a wildlife preserve.  The covered eating area has numerous picnic tables with a central fireplace.  We had our choice of lamb, steak or chicken and couple of pasta and garden salads.  After lunch we had the opportunity to stroll among the gum trees to see the resident koalas in the branches.  We had on and off light rain all morning and we did get more rain while walking in the trees.  As we were leaving, a kangaroo came strolling through and went into the eating area and sat by the fire.  Very interesting.  

Our next destination on the South Coast Road was Vivonne Bay, which is a fishing town at the mouth of the Harriet River.  Along the way the driver stopped to let us view some unusual mailboxes.  They were made from discarded items such as:  refrigerators, 55-gallon drums, old barbeque grill, electric boxes, etc.  We continued on to Seal Bay Conservation Park to see the second largest breeding colony of the Australian Sea Lion.  We had a park ranger take us down to the beach to walk among the seal lions and see them frolicking in the surf.  

As we headed east we used some dirt roads to arrive at the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery.  The oil is extracted from the leaves of 2 to 3 year old eucalypt bushes.  The oil is used as:  disinfectant, insect repellent, for bites and stings, decongestant, stain remover, cleaner, and penetrating oil.  The owner gave us a tour and demonstrated the simple process.  Some of the products of the oil were for sale.  This was a very interesting operation.  The owners previous occupation was a sheep farmer.

Dinner was at the Ozone Restaurant in Kingscote on the northeast shore.  After dinner we saw the fairy penguins coming to shore and wandering around the dock area.

The next day was a full day of travel.  We left Kingscote Airport to fly Emu Airways for a 30 minute flight to Adelaide airport.  The plane seated only 18 passengers.  The airline weighted every bag and even asked the weight of passengers.  It was a  good flight to Adelaide.  As we walked from the plane to the Adelaide terminal, it started to rain.  Thank goodness it was not too far away.

The flight from Adelaide to Melbourne was delayed 2 hours because of mechanical problems.  Since we only had hand carried luggage (we packed a light bag for the Ghan train and for 2 nights on Kangaroo Island), I could not put my camera bag into the small hand carried bag.  So the camera bag got pushed under my chair in the waiting area.  As soon as I boarded the plane I realized I left the camera bag.  The pilot and flight crew would not let me return to the terminal to retrieve it.  On arrival in Melbourne I was informed the camera bag and everything inside was found and would be sent on the next plane to our final destination in Hobart, Tasmania.  It did arrive but not until the following day.  So I missed a half day of digital picture taking.

on to Hobart, Tasmania