NOW: Kangaroo Island.
With the GPS set to take us by ferry again, we crossed The Backstairs Passage from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. The staff at Sealink were very helpful when we booked our crossing. Including our first night’s accommodation at Penneshaw Caravan Park in our package gave us the best price for our 6 night stay. We were also on the 3.00pm crossing so it helped to know where we were going on that first night. We were the first vehicle to board but it did mean backing the full length of the vessel (with directions from the crew!)
Knowing what a poor sailor I am I took all the precautions- tablets, wristbands and look out to the horizon – and 50 minutes later we arrived on a surprisingly calm afternoon. Penguins often come ashore at Penneshaw as well as all the tourists who visit this pretty bay.
We followed the main road from Penneshaw to Baudin and island Beaches and into American River to the Oyster Farm Shop which was closed for the weekend! We did return on a week day for oysters grown in the bay and delicious grilled whiting. D’Estrees Bay was next where we looked out across the ocean towards Antarctica I think!
At Seal Bay Conservation Park we took the guided ranger tour down onto the beach to see the Sealions. While we baulked at the cost initially we were definitely in awe as we stood near the mothers with their pups and watched the young male strutting and posturing at the girls! After an hour or so we’d seen dozens of sealions in the water on the beach and up in the dunes. Unlike their cousins the New Zealand fur seals these Australian sealions have a relatively light coat and lie in the sun and warm sand to dry off and stay warm.
We also met an Emu at the Emu Hill Eucalyptus Farm and tasted Kangaroo Island Cider, Wine and Spirits. We didn’t think we liked gin until we tried it mixed with carbonated cranberry juice. Quite delightful! You can spend a lot of time tasting the local produce including the honey, sheep cheese and marron but we also wanted to experience the natural environment as well.
At Flinders Chase National Park I got my Mothers’ Day wish by donning my raincoat and spotting 7 koalas, in the trees, in the wild, in the rain. Well the rain wasn’t part of the wish. The Cape Barron Geese were also enjoying the rain and the weather didn’t change the spectacular impact of the rock formations at the Remarkables. They were truly remarkable. New Zealand Fur Seals call the Admirals Arch home and they were in the water and on the rocks here. You can also smell their presence in the arch!
In our 6 days we visited the capes, lighthouses and attractions of Kangaroo Island from two ‘base camps’. We stayed at Vivonne Bay on the southern side and Browns Beach on the north in the Council Campgrounds which had hot showers ($2 in the slot), gas barbecues in shelter sheds and drop toilets. We started in the south and when the wind changed direction we moved north to shelter in the trees! The weather had been fairly wild and windy but this added to the spectacular coast line views out across the ocean and luckily for this great sailor we got a calm day for our crossing back to the mainland!
NEXT: Port Augusta, Ceduna and the famous Googs Track!
See you On The Emu Track
Cheryl and David.