Time to Visit Kangaroo Island
By Evette Wolf
Have you been to Kangaroo Island? No? I hadn’t either. It’s easy to over look what’s right in front of your eyes. After moving so close to Kangaroo Island I could literally see the island from my front deck, I started to feel it was ridiculous that I had never been. I have lived in South Australia all of my life, but never once visited our world famous island. I believe I am not alone.
Not Exotic Enough?
So, why hadn’t I been to KI? I have always been excited by new, exotic places. I spent my teenage years drooling over magazines and travel brochures of Africa. I worked and saved until my head was happily hanging out of an African safari truck. Yes, to me, that was an exotic adventure. Some years later, standing on a glacier in Iceland also felt exotic; it was so vastly different from my South Australian home. When I had children, I did not want to stop exploring. I saved and I planned and I shared my excitement. Together we poured through atlases, travel guides and brochures, and dreamed of the adventures we could have. It’s hard to stay angry at your two year old when a giant scribble on the wall is calmly explained as a ‘map of venz-wayla’ (Venezuela). I have taken my children to Borneo to see orangutans in the wild, Greece to explore ancient history, and New Zealand to experience snow. So why had I never taken them to Kangaroo Island? Perhaps, in my mind it didn’t seem exotic; I craved the foreign and the unusual, and that required a passport, foreign money and a guide book. Didn’t it?
Kangaroo Island is Isolated
Well, what exactly is exotic? It’s somewhere foreign, alien, unusual, and out of the ordinary. I didn’t hold high hopes that a forty five minute ferry ride could take me on an exotic adventure, but I was wrong. Isolation has created a world significantly different from the South Australia I am used to. More than half of the bushland has not been replanted, rehabilitated or rescued; it just is, as it always has been. On Kangaroo Island you are among the ancient and the original. To me, it felt like walking amongst bushland elders; I wanted to take my time, listen, observe and respect their age and wisdom. The absence of foxes and rabbits on the island creates a unique environment where native wildlife thrives. Kangaroo Island is home to many species that I have only viewed in books, such as Tammar Wallabies, Southern Brown Bandicoots and Pygmy Possums. The endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart, also lives in this island paradise.
I love our South Australian beaches; they are clean and usually quiet. It’s hard to imagine it can get better, but it can! Kangaroo Island beaches are not just clean - they are pristine. One piece of rubbish would catch your eye immediately, as an alien, out of place. The water glistens with good health and the landscape is always interesting, whichever side of the island you are on.
Life is Different
I was delighted by the pace of the island. Even in country South Australia, there can be an expectation of having everything we want and need. I felt that Kangaroo Island is different. There are no big shopping malls or large supermarkets. The locals have everything they need, and everyone appears content with that. They are in tune with their surroundings.
Travel over Water
I realised the ferry journey to Kangaroo Island was similar to a day cruise I had taken in Greece; a modern ferry with a licensed café, a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and ample viewing platforms. The ferry ride was a new, unusual, even foreign, experience for my family, which gave the whole adventure an edge. Calmly arriving by sea set the tone for our entire holiday, and was a highlight for my children. Unintentionally, I had booked us on the “sunset cruise” home. We sat upstairs, in the open air and watched the sun slowly disappear behind the island. We had barely travelled three hundred and fifty kilometers in total, but we were returning home with adventure in our hearts. How lucky we are to live in South Australia!
Feel like going to Kangaroo Island? Why not start with a self drive package from $236pp!