No Scary Animals Here
One thing Australia does well is the abundance of animals from the cute and fluffy to the scary and dangerous, and Kangaroo Island is no exception. As the name suggests, there are plenty of kangaroos found on this island, and during the spring, you will see the joeys make their first appearance outside the pouch. However, it’s not just kangaroos to look out for.
Driving along the coastline, or snorkelling and diving in the pristine waters, you will spot dolphins and whales on their annual migration to warmer waters and sea-eagles soaring by. However, if you dive within the corals, you may spot a leafy sea-dragon, harlequin and even the blue devils as they brighten the water with their own colours. Although, if you’d rather look to the sky, keep an eye out for the migrating birds of sorts – trust us, there’s plenty to spot in the sky, and the rivers, including stilts, swans, wader birds and ducks.
As you walk across the island, you may come across the rare opportunity to spot a nesting platypus in the wild or even one of the endangered Cape Barren geese within the iris grasses. You’re also bound to spot plenty of possums, bandicoots, goannas, wallabies and echidnas. If you’re lucky, you may even get the opportunity to cuddle a koala or possum, hand feed a lorikeet or feel the slither of a snake as they wrap around you at Stokes Bay. However, if it’s koalas in their natural habitat you’re looking for, then head to the trees of Western KI Caravan Park and the Hanson Bay Sanctuary, where you are most likely to find them if you look up.
Despite the abundance of animals, the most famous attractions on the island are over at Penneshaw and Seal Bay. At Penneshaw, if you’re quiet and stay past the glorious sunset, you may come face to face with the little penguins making their nightly return home after foraging for food in the Southern Ocean. Over at Seal Bay, there are – you guessed it – seals galore. To be more specific, this is where you will find a colony of endangered Australian sea lions, interacting with over 7,000 New Zealand fur seals.
A Rainbow Of Wildflowers
Animals aren’t the only attractions – after all, you need to look within the wildflowers to spot them. Whether you make your way to Hanson Bay, or one of the many natural attractions, you will be blessed with a colourful array of wildflowers. As they flood the island with an abundance of colour from late August to mid-October with shades of white, yellow, blue, orange and pink, you can’t help but stop and smell a few. With over 100 varieties of flowers in bloom, there are 40 that are unique to Kangaroo Island. From wattles and native orchids to bottlebrushes and small bush flowers, be sure to ask a local for the nicknames that will put a smile on your face (if you don’t already have one) – ‘Jam Tart Bush’ and ‘Egg and Bacon’ flowers are just a couple.
To keep the native animals, especially the koalas, happy, there is an amplitude of eucalyptus plants, where one tonne of leaves produce up to 30 litres of oil. Lucky for you, this unique aroma can be found alongside many other products – like Ligurian honey and wine – from a distillery in Kingscote and other locations.
If you’d rather spring into another life, there are plenty of locations on the island that will tell an important story of the past. Living on the island as early as (around) 16,000 years ago, the remains of stone tools and Aboriginal campsites can be found across the island. Likewise, you can discover the original mulberry tree, post office, quarry sites, well and jetty from the first official European settlement in South Australia at Reeves Point.
Other historic explorations that can be made include a trek through to the historic Cape Borda Lightstation, walking to Frenchman’s Rock – where French explorer Captain Nicolas Baudin was anchored in 1803 – and a dive to the wrecks of the Loch Vennachar and Portland Maru from 1905.
Being an island full of native wildlife and majestic scenery, there’s no reason to not uncover the secrets of Kangaroo Island. Across the island, there are plenty of rugged rock formations, underground caves, beaches and bays, and bush-cloaked national parks for you to discover. Although there are spectacular coastal views across the entire island, there are many drives and hikes that can be taken for the best – from a six-hour hike in Kelly Hill Conservation Park to a short cliff top hike at Cape Border.
Rather take a dive in the warm waters? Whether you want to take a swim at Stokes Bay, surf along the waves or the sand dunes of Vivonne Bay or ponder whilst fishing at Emu Bay, there are plenty of places to stop for a different adventure. When under the water, you will come face to face with wildlife galore and plenty of bright colours like the towering walls of red, orange and white coral sponges.
Two of the most enchanting coastal landmarks of Australia are found in Kangaroo Island – the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. Located in Flinders Chase National Park, after you’ve admired Admirals Arch, you can immerse yourself in the wilderness or make your way to Penneshaw Beach for the perfect picnic.
The Kangaroo Island Spring Showcase carries throughout spring for you to take a lengthy holiday here or make several trips to discover everything there is.