Last night at dusk we were surrounded by wildlife. Kangaroos everywhere, including under the car and caravan, then the walk to the toilets I nearly tripped over baby kangaroos and then on the way back a possum ran under my feet, and then a koala walked straight in front of me. We are loving being back in the bush with the remoteness of wildlife just wondering around.
Lach has done the planning for our next few days here, we want a really relaxing time with not much rushing around, but at the same time we want to ensure that we see the ‘must-do’s’ of Kangaroo Island. We all woke up at 730am, and then discussed with the girls what we were going to do today – they were excited. The plan was to go and see the New Zealand fur seals at Admirals Arch, followed by Remarkable Rocks, then some beach and fishing, followed by a lunchtime sleep for the girls seeing as they haven’t had one for the past 8 days, and its really beginning to show.
We were all ready to go, and Audrey followed Lach for a last minute toilet stop, so Ava and I drove around to the amenities block to pick them up to find Lach carrying Audrey (which isn’t an unusual sight) however Lach signaled back to the van, as Audrey had a massive stack – her hands didn’t break her fall, so she gained a fat lip, sore nose, and bloody knee. So after some quick medication and plasters, she was all patched up and in the car with an ice-block in the hand.
First stop – Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre. A fantastic static exhibition of the flora and fauna which has been found here, including the fossils of the worlds Largest Marsupial – called a Diprotodon Optatum – which was found in 2003. They also have a table with all the furs/skins of all of the animals on the island. Lach used the lizard skin to make Ava jump. Initially she didn’t see the funny side, but afterwards she did.
A display that showed that Kangaroo Island used to be connected to the Fleurieu Peninsula as well as the Yorke Peninsula over 17,000 years ago. There was also a fossil pit for children to be able to dig and play trying to find specific fossil samples. We didn’t manage to get to this exhibit as we spent far too much time observing nature within the national park. After buying our park fee entry, we drove about 30km to Admirals Arch, which is a rock bridge formed over thousands of years of erosion right at the tip of the Cape du Couedic near the lighthouse which has been there since 1902 (Ava loved the red roof of the lighthouse). The boardwalk down is stunning as well as the actual bridge itself. Its also a fantastic place to view the New Zealand Fur Seals, which are in prime breeding time at the moment. However the smell of the seals is VERY distinctive and on occasions, I had to hold my nose – its disgusting. Between Admirals Arch and the Seal viewing platform about 100m along the rock face, we saw over 100 seals either swimming, playing or sun baking on the rocks. After a beautiful walk amongst the seals and the amazing rock formations, we headed to Remarkable Rocks, which you could see along the coastline from Admirals Arch.
Remarkable Rocks are a selection of granite rock formations which have been shaped by wind, sea and rain over 500 million years. They are perched on the top of a cliff precariously over the southern ocean. Its believed that these granite deposits were initially formed by tectonic plates moving and magma being forced up to the surface of the earth. The rocks were stunning and such a contrast to the Murphy’s Haystacks we saw, of the same nature, but in the middle of a field a couple of months ago. The rocks are easy to walk on, and I said to Lach that one day you wont be allowed to walk all over them like we can today, as today there is no restraint about where you can walk/climb, only a few white marker on the ground to stop you going too close to the edge.
After here we decided that seeing as it was already noon, and a beautiful day, we would pass on the girls sleep and go to a cafe for lunch before heading east to a beach for Lach to fish. The girls were happy with this, so they had a mini snooze in the car – we keep forgetting how big this island is. We keep saying ‘pop’ there, but its actually 50km. We had lunch at a fantastic cafe in the middle of nowhere called ‘Rustic Blue‘, where the reviews had been fantastic and our experience was identical. A brilliant garden and cafe owned by two artists. A credit to them. Upon leaving the cafe, the owner asked where we were heading, so Lach got excited and said that we were going to Vivonne Bay for a fish and to get some bait at the local General Store. His response was not what we expected “Ah, that shop is closed, it was petrol bombed about 5 weeks ago, along with the servo next door”. So no bait for Lach, as the closet place which may sell bait is about 30km away. So we talk to him about beaches and he recommends going to a beach called Bales Beach, which he says will be great for the girls as its really shallow for a really long way, and we could even see Seals on the beach. On the way to Bales Beach, Ava’s questioning in relation to the petrol bombing was intense.
Off we headed to Bales Beach and we are literally the only people on beach, its rustic and beautiful. We walk down trying to remember where we entered the beach, so that we know for the way back, as its all dunes. The girls are running around like lunatics, and Audrey is singing and jumping everywhere. Ava says to me “Audrey is enjoying life Mummy”. We walked out about 50m into the water and it was only up to my mid calf. The water was so clear that your toe nails were magnified, and all you could see were the shadows of the baby king george whiting.
Lach was said that he hadn’t had an opportunity to fish today, it was already 230pm when we left the east of the island, and to get bait was a big d-tour to enable jetty fishing, so we landed on the plan that we would return to the campsite and get some bait from there and head back to Hanson Bay (where we went yesterday) for a quick hour of fishing/beach time.
Hanson Bay was busier than yesterday – about 8 families – however when we walked onto the beach, we saw a man filleting fish – 2x 6kg salmon and 1x 2kg salmon. Lach asked where he had been fishing and so headed to the same spot, the girls and I followed with the beach mat and bucket and spades. We built a sand village (24 castles between us) and Lach caught a small Tommy Ruffa (which he returned) and nothing else :(. At least he got his fishing in for the day, and then seeing as it was 5pm we headed back to the caravan park for dinner and showers. The sun was only 23 degrees today, but it felt more like 30 degrees. It is meant to rain tomorrow so Lach has been planning our day of food tasting 🙂
Kangaroo Island so far has been all and more than we expected. It reminds me of the rural outback of Western Australia along with the stunning beaches and lack of people. Its so quiet, and nothing along the roads, but the nature its just stunning beyond words. We were talking today and you definitely have to be organised to come for a week, as you cant just ‘pop’ down the shops for groceries when you need them, as its a 2hour round trip. Glad we went shopping in McLaren Vale to stock up.
I’m sure we will be graced with more kangaroos tonight surrounding the van.