Kangaroo Islands rediscovered wilderness

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, wallabies, koalas or sea lions live peacefully together on this atoll as large as half of Corsica.

After a two-year break, tourists driving in a private vehicle or on organized trips can once again alternate water sports, observe whales and dolphins, and discover the flora and fauna. Without 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 a specialized guide. It will give visitors a “lots” of accurate wildlife information and will allow them to see places that are difficult to access on their own. This guide will also organize at lunchtime, in the middle of the bush or on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, a picnic consisting of various salads, cold cuts and fruits, all accompanied as it should be by a good Australian wine.

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In the forests, the green gradually wins its battle against the variety of trees charred by the devastating fires that destroyed half of the island in 2020. It is about to go with its nose in the air and its head raised towards the top of the island. eucalyptus that we get the chance to see a young koala or one of the survivors from the bush fires. Some experts estimate their current population on the island to be 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 gown can blend in with the colors of the eucalyptus branches from which it feeds on their leaves. If the little animal with a little luck and patience has not set itself too high, the unforgettable meeting will be easy to immortalize with magnificent pictures.

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

It is at sunset that they come out of their hiding places to graze, in bands of grass and leaves on the meadows. One can easily see them in trunks at the end of the day or at dawn on the edge of the roads and near the villages. Feared, they are not easily approached, but sometimes a curious person who is more intrepid than the others lets us observe him more closely.

Finally, wallabies are small kangaroos, they have the same way of life as their larger congeners. As shy as they are, however, they are easy to admire early in the evening in every nook and cranny of the bush when feeding.

Island specialist guide

Kangaroo Island Odysseys

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

2 day safari 600 € pr. adult

Walk among the sea lions in Seal Bay

Seal Bay Animal Conservation and Protection Park is home to a large colony of about 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 at Seal bay, and hiking among Australian sea lions, which can weigh up to 250kg, is impressive.

On the sole condition of respecting a certain distance, marine mammals willingly accept the intrusion into their territory by bipeds loaded with cameras.

On this beach surrounded by white dunes you can observe the giants of these gardens and their puppies relax after a bath or return from a hunt in the open sea.

Animal conservation and protection park

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

Prices and schedules for visits

Adults 25 €

Children 15 €

Flinders Chase National Park Tour

The island’s other must-see attractions lie to the west in Flinders Park, home to two geological wonders.

Situated above the sea on top of a lava dome form huge granite cliffs sculpted over more than 500 million years by sea spray and the erosive force of the wind that forms “Remarkables Rocks”.

Covered with orange or golden lichens, the impressively remarkable cliffs, balanced and with tortured forms, are particularly photogenic and appear to emerge directly from a work of the Catalan painter Salvador Dali.

The place is best to visit in the morning or late in the day to take advantage of the magnificent lights that illuminate these natural works, but also to avoid too many visitors. Then walks and hikes will be much more pleasant.

The second geological phenomenon to be seen in the park is the Admiral’s Arch. This ancient cave crowned with stalactites was also shaped by the force of the wind and the sea. A walk on the cliff Cap Couédic along a path marked with information panels about the local fauna leads to the arch.

A colony of New Zealand fur seals, numbering several hundred individuals, has taken up residence on the surrounding cliffs, hit by the waves. Thanks to a platform erected at the foot of the cliff, it is comfortable for young and old to observe their swimming and their play for long periods.

Gastronomic and oenological tours

Holidays can end with a more gourmet exploration of the island.

Sheep farmers, beekeepers, oyster farmers and especially winegrowers offer visits to the sites of their activities followed by hot tastings of their products.

It is also possible, accompanied by a specialized guide, to participate in cocktail mix teaching in a gin distillery or during gastronomic workshops.

Food travel organizations

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

8 hour visit 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 apartments and luxury holiday homes by the beach for rent, such as one offered by Hamilton & Dune in Emu Bay. In the villa located on a ridge of dunes overlooking the sea, the rest is secured. Only the crashing of the waves or the visit to the garden of a ruthless wallaby can disturb the tranquility of the place.

Or sleep?

Hamilton & Dune

Emu Bay SA 5223

Phone: +61467 714 712

3-room house rental for 1 night between € 550 and € 800 per person. day;

https://hamiltondune.com.au/

Where to eat?

The odd plate

51 Chapman Terrace,

Kingscote

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

How to get there?

Qanta’s daily flights from Adelaide to Kingscote

Limit of 23 kg for checked baggage and 4 kg for hand baggage

Adelaide Kingscote Awards

Between € 130 and € 200

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

Ferry crossing between Cape Jarvis and Penneshaw

Kangaroo Island SeaLink

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

Kangaroo Island Connect

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

Crossing, $ 200 for one vehicle and 2 people

More information

Australian Tourist Board

Home Page

Kangaroo Island Tourist Board

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