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Published: September 7th 2014
On the ferry to Kangaroo Island I met a man who had been visiting regularly for nearly 30 years, as that is where his wife originates from. I mentioned it was my first visit and he said, "Kangaroo Island is a very special place.....it seeps into you." He's right, it is an extraordinary place.
It was quite a journey to get there. We had flown from Melbourne to Adelaide, then drove around 90 minutes to the ferry which is in the Fleurieu Peninsula - a stunningly beautiful destination by itself - a 45 minute ferry journey, then another 90 minute journey on Kangaroo Island to reach our final destination. However it was definitely worth the hike.
We were staying at a gorgeous house overlooking Snelling Beach. It was the perfect spot. While Kangaroo Island offers lots to see and do, this spot with its endless views over the island and back to the mainland lent itself to lazy afternoons doing not much at all. In the mornings and at dusk in particular, we were surrounded by troops of Kangaroos and Tammar Wallabies. With wine in one hand and a book in the other, I stared at them while they
stared back at us, then went back to their grass munching, or boxing. They were surprisingly combative and fights would frequently break out. These fights were comical to watch as they stood back and boxed each other, or leaned back on their tails which supported them as they used both legs to viciously kick at each other.
The real thrill however was seeing the koala. I had taken to the 'lazy life' quite well, but had reluctantly agreed to go for a short run on the Sunday morning. As we came back into the driveway to the house our reward was seeing the koala. We spotted him in the distance, obviously having just come down from a tree, and then he meandered across the ground almost as if he was coming to welcome us home, before posing for a few photos and scampering up another tree. It was easy to see why they are mistakenly called 'koala bears', as it lumbered towards us exactly like a bear. There must've been another one nearby as we could hear a strange grunting kind of roar
in the background, a little bit like an elephant, however we didn't see a second koala. No matter, I was
ridiculously excited at the koala sighting I did have.
It wasn't a completely lazy weekend however, and we spent a day driving around to see some of the more well-known tourist sites on Kangaroo Island. Probably best known is the Remarkable Rocks, an odd collection of strange rock formations overlooking the ocean. They didn't disappoint, living up to their name and are 'remarkable' indeed. Beautiful shapes and colours, we spent longer there than I could have anticipated. We visited Admirals Arch, and the Cape du Couedic lighthouse. We wandered down to see the New Zealand fur seal colony, where we whiled away a fair bit of time, watching them bask on the rocks and frolic in the surf. Then we headed inland, enjoying lunch at the marron farm, which happily also makes some very nice wine.
Kangaroo Island definitely does seep in, with wildlife, natural beauty, food and wine, I think if you got stuck there for any reason, it would take you a long time to get round to asking for any assistance in getting home again. On the bright side though, McLaren Vale was on the way home. A new wine area to try!
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