off we go onto the Sealink ferry direction the 3rd largest island in Australia?
Definitely worth a visit! Many tours are on offer from Adelaide and we have tested the 2 day/ 1 night Adventure Tour with Sealink, which we have combined with a self drive day. These are our favourite places on the island and a few personal travel tips!
14th June 2014
Must Do experiences on
N°1: LEARN FROM ROB, THE SHEEP SHEARER !
Rob is a friendly farmer, his family has been farming since 1883 on KI, they breed merino sheep. You know the ones with the great wool?
Assist to the shearing is one of the most Aussie experience you need to live while Down Under.
Rob gives a good demonstration, educational and down to earth. Very interesting to get to know what his life's like and job involves. We watch his sheepdogs working the animals, they know what they are doing! Once the sheep are gathered inside the shed, Rob grabbs one and start shearing. Such an intense job, definitely not easy!! He tells us that when he was younger he used to shear sheep of all the farms on the island. He managed to shear up to 200 sheep a day!! It was hard but good money! Today, the young people are not so keen anymore to learn such a job, too hard...
Details: Located only 10 minutes from the ferry (Penneshaw) /
Cost: Included in the tour (KI Adventure Tour 2 days /1 night)
About $10 for an hour visit if you go solo
N°2: Feel like in a david attenborough documentary at Seal Bay Reserve
Kangaroo Island, it's a bit like a zoo without fences, wildlife is everywhere on the island and this is why it's a great place to get up close with some unique Australian animals.
At Seal Bay Reserve, you can meet Australian fur seals, an entire colony lives on the beach. About 1000 of them come and hang out in between two trips to the ocean. A ranger guide takes us to the beach for a 45 minute tour during which you can see these guys from pretty close. When we were walking on the board walk, I got surprised by the call of a mum looking for her baby. Pretty loud and unexpected! The baby arrived and started to suck her, just in front of us, so sweet ! It doesn't get much better than this I reckon!
Details: Located on the south side of the island, about 1h30 min from Penneshaw (ferry)/ www.environment.sa.gov.au/sealbay
Cost: Included in the tour (Kangaroo Island Adventure Tour 2d/1n).
If you are on your own:
$32 per adult for a 45 min visit
$15 for a quickly visit solo on the board walk only (no beach access)
N°3: Surf SAND Dunes AT Little Sahara
Kangaroo Island has it all, even a massive sand dune called Little Sahara. Here, Max had a lot of fun going down hill very fast on the top of a sandboard! A perfect way to taste sand! It will go everywhere so as you know :-)
Details: Located just before Vivonne Bay / www.kioutdooraction.com.au
Cost: Included in the tour (KI Adventure Tour 2 days /1 night)
On your own: $29 to rent a board for 2 hours
N°4: GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH UNIQUE WILDLIFE AT KI Wildlife park
There are a few wildlife parks on the island but if I have to recommend one, it is no doubt Wildlife Park Kangaroo Island located in the central town of Parndana (ex Parndana Wildlife Park). A lovely couple Dana and Sam bought it last year and are very hands on to offer the best experience to the public and to the animals as well. They have been working hard to upgrade enclosures in order to give more space to the wildlife. The comfort of the animals is their priority and it's good to see.
Did you know that they have a baby echidna born a few months ago ? (which is known as a puggle and has the funny name of Bubbles!) Sam told me that only 25 puggles were born in captivity in whole Australia so far! So it's pretty awesome to have been able to hang out with Bubbles!
These little creatures are very special and I invite you to check it out on google, they are monotreme, which is a egg laying mammal! (like the platypus)?! I know crazy only Australia has such creatures !
We also cuddled Chloe the juvenile koala which was simply adorable!!! Couldn't resist!
The place was also packed with wallabies and kangaroos, even an albino! Never seen this before :-)
Very friendly, they gathered all around me while I was feeding them!
Details: Located a couple km after the sign of Parndana coming from Penneshaw / www.kiwildlifepark.com
N°5: WALK THROUGH "koalas'AVENUE" AT Hanson Bay SANCTUARY
Stop at the café and go for a short walk among the “Allee” of gum trees, look up and surprise: koalas are resting up there, as they are not easy to distinguish from the trees, look with attention :-) You can expect to spot between 15 to 20 koalas here. We were lucky and saw at least 15! Even one male sleeping down a tree, perfect for photos :-)
Don't forget to look down on the ground as we encountered an echidna, but an adult one this time! Anyway they are very cool to observe as they look so clumsy (but are not!)!
After koalas and echidnas, you can also see kangaroo island's kangaroo, the species just found on Kangaroo island. They have a thick fur and look darker.
Details:Located on your way to the West End www.hansonbay.com.au
Cost: Included in the tour (KI Adventure Tour 2 days /1night)
On your own: $6
N°6: Visit an open air natural art gallery at remarkable Rocks
Remarkable Rocks are just unbelievable, massive granite rocks with a curious shape just stand there at the west end side of the island. Formed million and million of year ago after a volcanic eruption, they have been shaped by the erosion. It's a magic place where you can't resist but take a picture of every single rock!! Watch out the crazy road leading to them as well, which is as remarkable as the rocks!
Détails:Part of Flinders Chase NP / www.environment.sa.gov.au
Cost:Included in the tour (KI Adventure Tour 2 days/1night)
On your own: $10 fee for 1 day (National park Fee)
N°7: Look at new zealand fur seals at admirals Arch
Just next to Remarkable rocks, there is a place where you can see funny animals sunbathing, doing laps in the pool or also fighting. These guys are the “ kiwi cousins” of the Australian fur seals you can observe at Seal Bay, they are the New Zealand fur seals. They are much more darker and act differently in the way of “walking” , calling and resting. I spent one entire hour looking at them, the boys like arguing! It's very cool to watch actually as you know it's not a real fight! And they got a private pool formed between the rocks, it's a replica of the natural Bondi Pool J ! (it reminds it me of that lol).
Detail: Part of Flinders Chase NP / www.environment.sa.gov.au
Cost: Included in the Tour (KI Adventure Tour 2 days /1night)
or $10 fee for 1 day (National park Fee) by your own.
Our Travel Tips
Tour or self drive with a rental car ?
KI Adventure Tour with SEALINK:
A very good option for those who don't want to drive, organise themselves and have a short period of time. Our guide Kate was a lot of fun and leaded the tour with the same enthusiasm as on her first day on the job :-) She gave us very interesting & entertaining explanations about the island and its wildlife.
The tour takes you to the main attractions.
Cost: About $400 per person
Self driving and rental car with BUDGET:
If tours are not your thing, it's good to know you can actually rent a car direct at the ferry terminal. This is with Budget rentals and it's very easy.
Just be aware that renting it for one single day is not worth it at all! Km are not unlimited unless you rent it for 4 days or more...It's limited to 200 km per day, so on one day you are pretty restricted and you won't be able to go to the most spectacular parts and back without paying extra fees... which I find very bad...2 days will give you more flexibility, 3 days even better
The freedom you have will allow you to select exactly what you want to do and make the most of your time. But it can get quickly expensive (everything is more expensive on island..)
Driving on KI is easy, you can't get lost and it's well signed everywhere. Just be aware of the wildlife hoping across the road...it will be such a pity to kill a wallaby or incautious kangaroos...so drive slowly and respect a simple rule: don't drive at night!
Coût: $115 per day / insurance : $29 per day / extra km: 0.30cents
When to go ?!?
Summer: is definitely the peak season. If you go with a tour, expect to be part of a full bus of 20 people (which can be fun and perfect to make new travel mates). Thanks to daylight saving, you can make the most of the day and the last ferry leaves at 7:30pm which leaves you plenty of time on the island!
Winter: is a perfect option I reckon, and for many reasons: the island is very quiet and it's great for a relaxing stay. The nature looks incredible as green and lush. Wildlife is more active and visible on cool days. On tour, it's really relax, we were only 6 in June! The only negative point: It gets dark at 5pm which reduces your activities on the island.
A Special Merci to:
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