Among the ANIMALS
SouthS Australia’s Kangaroo Island is a wildlife paradise writes ALISHA STODDART
Coach tours have always reminded me of boring school trips, so I’m a little hesitant to hop on one for my two-day adventure around Kangaroo Island. But before long I’m stretching out in my comfy seat as our friendly guide reveals the island is true to its name: it’s paradise for animal lovers!
With all that animal talk on the 90-minute drive and 45-minute ferry ride from Adelaide, I’m super excited to see some native animals. Luckily I don’t have to wait long. Our first stop is Seal Bay Conservation Park, where I end up just metres from a colony of adorable sea lions playfully wrestling and sunbaking. Some are even napping on the path down to the beach, and I have to be extra careful not to startle them.
And this is just the start of my close encounters. That afternoon, I overcome a long-held fear by getting up close and personal with a huge wedge-tailed eagle
at the In-flight Birds of Prey presentation at Raptor Domain. Pretty pleased with myself, I decide it’s time for something less adventurous but equally thrilling to finish the day: a cuddle with a koala. It’s a must-do at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, and while I’m there, I stop to hand feed some kangaroos and watch the penguins play, too.
After a jam-packed day, the coach drops us at Aurora Ozone Hotel in Kingscote for the night. I’m lucky enough to have a balcony with sea views over Nepeanepean Bay – the
perfect spot to watch the sun go down.
Day two is all about the island’s incredible coastline. We travel west to Flinders Chase National Park to get a glimpse of the Remarkable Rocks – they didn’t get their name for nothing! I’m so amazed by their sheer size and rich, earthy colours. Better yet, they’re not roped off, so I have the freedom to explore and climb over them. Just a short drive through the national park is Cape du Couedic, where we stop to check out Admirals Arch, a spectacular natural rock arch sculpted by thousands of years of coastal erosion. It’s a good few steps down to the viewing platform and boardwalk, but the view out to sea is well worth it. And if you’re lucky, it’s another chance to catch some seal pups lazing around.
For a break from nature, the tour also takes us to Emu Ridge eucalyptus oil distillery – the only one in SA – and Clifford’s Honey Farm. A word of advice: do not leave the farm without trying their famous honey ice-cream. If only it would last the plane ride home!
I take back what I said about boring coach trips – this was awesome. I just wish it had lasted longer.
Alisha snaps a selfie with the sea lions. The locals are pretty cute!
Jack the eagle helps Alisha confront her fear of birds. Flinders Chase National Park has stunning views.
A wombat at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Cape du Couedic offers a workout with a view. The natural rock bridge of Admirals Arch. Spot the writer! Alisha checks out the Remarkable Rocks.