Among the AN­I­MALS

SouthS Aus­tralia’s Kan­ga­roo Is­land is a wildlife par­adise writes AL­ISHA STODDART

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Travel -

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.

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