Kangaroo Island – Wildlife and Wines
For a nature lover’s dream, nothing is better than a perfect holiday on an island full of native wildlife, along with pristine beaches, and delicious local food and wines.
Australia has always been one of the best winter getaways for many American and European
who are looking for summer weather during cold winter months. If you want to celebrate the festive season in an unusual environment, without colorful lights, animated displays, holiday sounds, and a swarm of people, Kangaroo Island can be a good choice with its wildlife and natural landscape. Despite spending time in small rural towns, there are a variety of activities waiting for you there.
Kangaroo Island is in South Australia, only 112 km from Adelaide. A direct flight from Adelaide to Kingscote Airport takes only 30 minutes in a small airplane. Or, you can drive or take a coach involving a ferry across the water which take around a couple of hour. Despite being the one of the largest islands in Australia with an area of 4,405 square kilometres or 1,701 square miles, there are only around 5,000 people living there. More than a quarter of the island are National Parks and Wilderness Protection Areas. During your vacation here, you are guaranteed to spot local wildlife like wallabies, koalas, echidnas, possums, penguins, sea lions, and of course, kangaroos.
Normally, I always use public transport. However, in Kangaroo Island, the public transport is very limited, so it is more practical to rent a car to get the best out of your visit. You can follow one of these self drive itineraries suggested by the South Australian Tourism Commission (http://www.southaustralia.com/things-to-do/roadtrips.aspx). While driving around the island, please take extra care as you are likely to encounter wildlife in the middle of the roads! Kangaroos, koalas and wallabies like to come out at night while heath goannas and other lizards enjoy sunbathing on the roads during day.
What to do
If you want to meet and mingle with wildlife, you just drive around the island and visit national parks or preservation areas. They are practically everywhere. At Seal Bay Conservation Park, you can observe sea lions and their babies in their natural environment. The Penguin Centre allows you to observe penguins on the beach and witness the Pelican feeding. Flinders Chase National Park is where the hundreds of kangaroos and other animals live.
Although the island seems like a quiet sanctuary for animals, there are many adventurous activities that you can enjoy as well. There are all
kinds of hiking trails that you can do at any national parks. This place is also a diving paradise with many colorful coral and exotic fish as well as ship wrecks which are great spot for diving. Apart from that, there are many underground caves and sinkholes to explore. The Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park are also great photo spot at sunset or sunrise.
3. Food and Wine
Kangaroo Island is among the wine regions with many great local wine labels. You can visit the vineyards to learn more about the wines and buy the products from the sources. If you love cheese, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit sheep dairy farm and cheese factory with a chance to taste local cheese and dairy product made of sheep’s milk. Apart from that, Kangaroo Island is one of the largest organic honey producers in Australia. The honey there is from pure Ligurian bees imported from Italy more than one hundred years ago.