The rediscovered desert of Kangaroo Island

In the Indian Ocean, 13 kilometers off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to discover Australian nature and its fauna. In complete freedom in this true outdoor zoo, endemic species such as kangaroos, kangaroos, koalas or sea lions peacefully coexist in this atoll as large as half of Corsica.

After a two-year break, tourists in a private vehicle or on organized tours can once again switch to water sports, watch whales and dolphins and get to know the fauna and flora. Not forgetting the essential visits to the spectacular rock formations that the island has.

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In search of koalas and kangaroos

For a 2 or 3 day excursion, the discovery of the fauna and flora will be more interesting accompanied by an expert guide. It will give visitors “a lot” of accurate information about wildlife and allow them to see places that are difficult to reach on their own. This guide will also organize at lunchtime, in the middle of the woods or on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean, a picnic consisting of various salads, cold meats and fruit, all accompanied by a good Australian wine.

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In the forests, the green is gradually winning its fight against the darkness of the trees scorched by the devastating fires that destroyed half of the island in 2020. It is walking with your nose in the air and your head held high towards the top of the eucalyptus that we will have the opportunity to see a young koala or one of the wildfire survivors. Some experts estimate its current population on the island at 10,000 individuals, compared to 40,000 before the catastrophic fires.

The small marsupial that only eats or sleeps, sometimes 20 hours a day, is not easy to spot, as its clothing can blend in with the colors of the eucalyptus branches on which it feeds for its leaves. If, with a little luck and patience, the pet doesn’t land too high, the unforgettable encounter will be easy to immortalize with magnificent photos.

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Another iconic animal from Australia, the island kangaroo is smaller and darker in color than its mainland island cousin. When the sun is at its zenith, these nocturnal animals are discreet and seek coolness in the shade of the undergrowth.

It is at sunset that they come out of their hiding places to graze, on strips of grass and leaves in the meadows. You can easily see them in tribes at the end of the day or at dawn on roadsides and near villages. Fearful, they do not allow themselves to be approached easily, but sometimes a person who is curious and more intrepid than the others allows us to observe them more closely.

Finally, kangaroos are small kangaroos that have the same way of life as their larger counterparts. As shy as they are, they are easy to spot in the early evening in all corners of the bush when they are feeding.

Expert island guide

Kangaroo Island Odysseys

https://www.kangarooislandodysseys.com.au/

2-day safari €600 per adult

Walk among the sea lions of Seal Bay

The Seal Bay Animal Conservation and Protection Park is home to a large colony of around 500 sea lions that live there permanently. The exceptional encounter with these endangered animals is highly regulated and can only be done in the company of an experienced guide.

There are no enclosures in Seal Bay and walking among the Australian sea lions, which can weigh up to 250 kg, is impressive.

With the only condition of respecting a certain distance, marine mammals gladly accept the intrusion into their territory of bipeds laden with cameras.

On this beach surrounded by white sand dunes, you can watch these giants of the seas and their young resting after a bath or returning from a hunt in the open sea.

Animal Conservation and Protection Park

https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/experiences/seal-bay

Prices and visiting hours

Adults 25€

Children €15

Flinders Chase National Park Tour

The other must-see attractions on the island are to the west at Flinders Park, home to two geological wonders.

Perched above the sea on top of a lava dome, huge granite rocks carved over more than 500 million years by sea spray and the erosive force of winds form the “Remarkable Rocks”.

Covered in orange or golden lichens, the impressive rocks, balanced and twisted, are particularly photogenic and look like something out of a work by the Catalan painter Salvador Dali.

The place is best visited in the morning or at the end of the day to enjoy the magnificent lights that illuminate these works of nature, but also to avoid many visitors. Then hiking and climbing will be much more enjoyable.

The other geological phenomenon to see in the park is the Arco do Almirante. This ancient cave crowned with stalactites was also shaped by the force of the wind and the sea. A walk along the cliffs of Cape Couédic along a path marked with information panels on the local fauna leads to the Arch.

A colony of New Zealand seals numbering several hundred individuals has taken up residence on the surrounding rocks battered by the waves. Thanks to a platform raised at the foot of the cliff, it is pleasant for young and old to watch their baths and games for long periods of time.

Gastronomic and Enological Tours

The vacation can end with a more gourmet exploration of the island.

Sheep farmers, beekeepers, oyster farmers and above all wine growers offer visits to their activities followed by warm tastings of their products.

It is also possible, accompanied by an expert guide, to participate in cocktail mixing classes at a gin distillery or during gastronomic workshops.

gastronomic tourism organizations

https://www.viator.com/fr-FR/tours/Kangaroo-Island/Kangaroo-Island-Gourmet-Food-and-Wine-Trail-Tour/d4863-30831P2?mcid=56757

8 hours tour from €70

https://www.viator.com/fr-FR/tours/Kangaroo-Island/Kangaroo-Island-Half-Day-Food-and-Wine-Trail-Tour/d4863-30831P7?mcid=56757

From €130

For accommodation on the island there are many hotels, as well as luxury beachfront apartments and villas for rent, such as one offered by Hamilton & Dune in Emu Bay. In the village situated on a crest of dunes overlooking the ocean, rest is guaranteed. Only the lapping of the waves or the visit to the garden of a reckless kangaroo can disturb the tranquility of the place.

Or sleep?

Hamilton and Dune

Emu Bay SA 5223

Phone: +61467 714 712

3 bedroom house rental for 1 night between €550 and €800 per day;

https://hamiltondune.com.au/

Where to eat?

the strange dish

51 Chapman Terrace,

kingscote

https://www.theoddplate.com.au/

How to get there ?

Qantas daily flights Adelaide to Kingscote

Limitation of 23 kg for checked baggage and 4 kg for hand luggage

Adelaide–Kingscote Award

Between €130 and €200

https://www.qantas.com/en/en.html

Ferry crossing between Cape Jarvis and Penneshaw

Kangaroo Island SeaLink

https://www.sealink.com.au/

Kangaroo Connect Island

https://www.directferries.fr/kangaroo_island_connect.htm

Crossing, 200 dollars for a vehicle and 2 people

More information

Australian Tourist Board

Home Page

Kangaroo Island Tourist Board

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