Kangaroo Island #1

For the last few days, Chris and I have been holed up in paradise.
DSC_0187_editDown an unsealed sandy track, past sunbathing goannas and up a shady drive to the sun-bleached house with the blue roof.

DSC_0479_edit

DSC_0474_edit

DSC_0475_editAnd this cheeky chap.

DSC_0480_editThis is Kangaroo Island, just off the coast of South Australia, reached by a two hour(ish) drive from Adelaide and a 45 minute ferry journey. My aunt very kindly took us for a long weekend to stay in my cousin’s beautiful beach house. From the veranda you have a view over a wide shallow bay populated by seabirds and dolphins during the day, and the occasional wallaby at night. We spent the next few days exploring the island in search of birds and wildlife. Although KI is a popular tourist spot with visitors and locals alike, the school holidays have just finished so sometimes it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. We could drive for hours and meet more goannas than people.

DSC_0154_edit

DSC_0202_edit

DSC_0470_editThis beautiful guy just sauntered across the road in front of us. He knows who’s boss.

DSC_0215_editWallaby tracks in the sand!

DSC_0184_edit

For the next few days we explored the island, getting adventurous with unsealed red dirt roads, going in search of birds and wildlife. My aunt is a very keen birdwatcher, and knew many of the best spots to see them. And KI is home to two large sea lion colonies at Seal Bay and Admiral’s Arch. I could watch sea lions for ages, their group behaviour is fascinating.

DSC_7899_edit

DSC_7910_edit

These guys are Australian sea lions, an endangered species that has a breeding colony on the south coast of the island. And the adorable cutie below is a New Zealand fur seal pup.

DSC_7946_edit

His folks prefer to hang out on the western tip of the island, and because they are seriously gangsta instead of lounging on a beach they have selected a more dramatic crib.

DSC_0322_edit

DSC_0308_editThis is Admiral’s Arch, part of a collapsed cave system that is continuously pounded by gigantic swells from the Southern Ocean. It is quite a head rush to stand on the cliffs and know that there is nothing between you and Antarctica! Good luck little seal dude, I hope you grow up to be a big ol’ badass some day. Like this guy.

DSC_7958_edit

Just down the coast from Admiral’s Arch are the Remarkable Rocks. This might sound like Thorpe Park-style advertising, but these rocks are actually pretty amazing. Large granite boulders that have been weathered and eroded into the most amazing shapes. We saw them amidst dense fog, caused by what my aunt described as a southern change. All morning the temperatures were hot, like thirty degrees plus hot, and with a fierce north wind bringing hot air from the centre of the continent. Then after lunch, the change came, a change in wind direction bringing cool air from the south, that happened so suddenly that dense fog rolled across the road in front of us reducing visibility to no more than a hundred metres or so.

DSC_0298_edit

DSC_0336_edit

DSC_0342_edit

DSC_0358_editSee? Pretty remarkable.

I have so many more photos from this trip, including one very special animal encounter, but those will have to wait for another time. We’re on the road to Melbourne now, taking in the Great Ocean Road as we go. I have been brushing up my very best road trip mixes! Tonight we are staying in an old gaol… but more on that story later.

DSC_0394_edit

DSC_0392_editAs always, I have stolen plenty of photos from Chris, whose splendid travel photography blog can be found here.

On a side note, I amย guttedย to be missing the latest series of the Great British Sewing Bee! But thank you to everyone posting about it on Istagram who has not given away any spoilers. I will find a way to get caught up!

 

 

 

What do you think?