Getting Lucky on a Kangaroo Island Tour

Before we get started I must say that I am a strong believer in the “your bring about what you think about” philosophy.  You know, those moments when that thing you’re really focused on just seems to come true?  Ask anyone in my family, I’ve been doing that since I was a kid … I just didn’t understand it until much later.

When it comes to luck, I was never really a believer.  It’s just not how I’m wired.  I’m often told how lucky I am by others, but I know whatever I achieve is not the result of luck – it’s planned.  Having said that; however, we all have those times in our lives where things just seem to work out without thought or explanation.  During a trip to Australia, our Kangaroo Island Tour was just such a moment.

Where is Kangaroo Island?

Kangaroo Island is a small island off the coast of South Australia, 112 km (70 mi) from Adelaide.  It’s 150km (93mi) long and 57-90km (35-56mi) wide and has a population of about 4,400 residents.

How to Get to Kangaroo Island

There are 2 main ways to access Kangaroo Island:

  1. Kangaroo Island SeaLink Ferry is the most popular, running between Cape Jarvis on the mainland and Penneshaw
  2. Regional Express (REX) operates short flights between some mainland airports and Kingscote on the island

For our trip, we chose to rent a car in Adelaide and take the lovely drive to Cape Jarvis, where we boarded the ferry.  If you prefer, there are rental car companies on the island, or you can book an organized tour and go car-free!

Our Adventure Begins

The ferry-ride over to Kangaroo Island was quite a nice 45 minute journey, and we arrived in Penneshaw full of excitement for what the next few days had in store for us.  With a borrowed GPS in-hand we were off!

Our Kangaroo Island tour began with a 45 minute drive to Kingscote, the largest town and main hub on the island.  Along this drive we found the first of many “must see” roadside stops – Prospect Hill.

The 512 steps to the top of Prospect Hill is not the easiest of climbs, but the panoramic views of such a picturesque island are well worth it!

We arrived in Kingscote as the sun was setting and went directly to the hotel we had made reservations at … where were told we were too late!  Apparently we had made reservations for the previous night, and when we didn’t show our reservation was given to someone else.  The very nice concierge called around and we were very lucky to find one of the only rooms available on the whole island: the Honeymoon Suite at a motel just outside of town … overlooking the ocean!

Seal Bay

We awoke the next morning a took in some beautiful scenery from our motel balcony before hopping back in the car for the 40 minute drive to Seal Bay Conservation Park.

Seal Bay is an absolute MUST STOP during your kangaroo island tour!  I highly recommend taking the Ranger Guided Tour where you are lead down onto the beach among third largest Australian Sea Lion colony in Australia, under the supervision of a park ranger.  Don’t let their size and apparent awkwardness fool you, they are much faster than you are if threatened or if you come between them and their pups!

Flinders Chase National Park

After our seal adventure, we took the hour-long drive to Flinders Chase National Park.  When we arrived, the park was open, but there was nobody in the Welcome Center so we couldn’t buy park passes.  There were signs everywhere warning of the huge monetary penalties for not purchasing a pass before entering!  With no other options, and being unable to return the next day, we ventured into the vast park to take our chances.

Our first stop was at the Remarkable Rocks.  As we approached them we realized that their name really is the best way to describe what we were looking at!  These granite boulders were formed by 500 million years of rain, wind and pounding waves.

Having our fill of these remarkable formations, we headed deeper into the park to Admiral’s Arch, near the Cape du Couedic Lighthouse.  This former cave has many stalactites dangling from the rocky ceiling, and can be enjoyed from a viewing platform looking directly through and out into the ocean beyond.  Most days you will also be able to enjoy the New Zealand fur seal colony that has taken up residence here.

As the park closing time approached, we decided not to push our luck any further and head Back to Kingscote.  On the journey back we realized our luck was far from running out!

As we exited the park we were met by a number of kangaroos grazing along the roadside, and a golden eagle whose wingspan was at least the width of the road!

Fairy Penguins

The night-time fairy penguin tour is a lot of fun, and another opportunity to see some wildlife up close and personal!

The tour begins with a very informative aquarium experience before heading out on a guided tour of the penguin colony.  These tours are always at night  because the penguins spend the day feeding at sea to avoid larger land predators.  The penguins have very sensitive eyesight so flashlights and camera flashes are not allowed.  It is believed that penguins cannot see the red spectrum of colour, so your guide will lead you around by red flashlight (giving any pictures or video a red hue).

Pennington Bay

During our drive back to the Penneshaw ferry docks we decided on a whim to follow a tourist sign pointing down a dirt side road, not far from Prospect Hill. A few minutes and a lot of dust later, we rounded a bend and were met with one of the most picturesque beaches i have ever seen!

Pennington Bay is a beautiful, secluded beach that needs to be on your list when you take your own kangaroo island tour.  At times it becomes a hotbed for surfing, but you’ll always want to have your camera handy for the stunning scenery!

The End of our Kangaroo Island Tour

Kangaroo Island was definitely a highlight of our Australia tour, and I’d highly recommend it to everyone!  I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to returning to Australia partly to experience even more of this beautiful island.

Have you been to Kangaroo Island and experienced something I haven’t mentioned?  Maybe you’ve had similar experiences “getting lucky” on your travels?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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