Kangaroo Island

After a night spent in Adelaide in a real bed (King Size!), we went to pick-up our rental car by foot with our backpacks on our back at Wicked Campers. We chose this hotel because it was located just 1 km from Wicked Campers. No luck, they moved two days before we arrived, so we had to walk almost 4 km.

We walked and after 1,5 km we took a break in a park to make our shoulders feel better. A 60 year old man was passing by and started to talk to us, “oh you are french, bonjour!”. After 5 minutes, he offered us a lift to Wicked Campers. We accepted with pleasure and walked with him to his place, 300 meters further. And there, oh surprise, the man had a Renault Scenic (the same as yours Catherine, but obviously with the steering wheel on the right). On the road Lauriane asked him if it was not too expensive when there were some repairs to do and he told us that indeed it was a bit more expensive but not so much, “no worries”.

Once arrived, we thanked him a thousand times and wish each other the best for the future.

We took our rental car and used our 100$ voucher (for those who follow). And here we are on the road again. We stopped for one night in Normanville, to go on Kangaroo Island the next day.

On Wednesday, December 3rd, we went to Cape Jervis to take the ferry that would take us on Kangaroo Island. We went to buy our tickets, and the woman who made the booking told us that if she booked us a private room in a backpacker, it would be less expensive than just paying for the ferry. Obviously, we chose the first solution. It cost us 368$ with a night in a backpacker instead of the 384$ initially planned just to take the ferry with our car. A certain amount of money, but it was a win for us.

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island. It lies in the state of South Australia 112 km (70 mi) south-west of Adelaide. Its surface area is 4405 km2.
In 1802, British explorer Matthew Flinders named the land ‘Kanguroo Island’ after landing near Kangaroo Head on the north coast of Dudley Peninsula. He met there the French explorer Nicolas Baudin, who named the island ‘Decrès island’ in honour of Denis Decrès. Although the French and the British were at war at the time, the men met peacefully. Baudin mapped much of the island (which is why so many areas have french names like Cape du Couedic or Ravine des Casoars).

At our arrival on Kangaroo Island, we went to Kingscote, the most populated town on the island (around 1700 people, 4000 in total). We went to check-in at the backpacker and walked around the city. Not much too do, besides the ‘Pelicans feeding’ at the seaside (daily at 5 pm, 5$ per person).

On our second day on Kangaroo Island, we went to Cape du Couedic where we could admire Admirals Arch.
First, we went to the lighthouse. Although there was a lighthouse at Cape Borda, ships were still wrecked at Cape du Couedic because their captains chose to sail south of Kangaroo Island in preference to using the hazardous Backstairs Passage. Construction of the Cape du Couedic light began in 1907. The light was first lit in 1909 with visibility to 27 miles seawards. The original fuel for the light was kerosene. The light was automated and de-staffed when converted to acetylene gas in 1957. Conversion to electricity occured in 1974.

We were able to see a lot of New-Zealand fur-seal.
Australia’s seal colonies were severely depleted and many wiped out by uncontrolled hunting from the early 1800s. Skins, meat and blubber were among Australia’s early exports – a vital source of income.
The New Zealand fur-seal is now recovering. Breeding was first recorded again here in the 1960s. By 1999 the estimated population size on Kangaroo Island was 19300 animals – still lower than before sealing began.

The biggest animal you see is not necessary a breeding male. Likewise, the smallest animal may not be a pup.
Bulls are massive around the neck and shoulders, and sometimes wounded from fighting. They weigh up to 180 kg – 3 times bigger than cows. Cows weigh up to 50 kg.
Pups are born black, then moult at about four months to the same dark grey as the other animals.

Then, direction Remarkable Rocks. The formation of these rocks is a five hundred million year old story of change. There are 100 000 visitors per year. Curious shapes are formed by erosion. For the last 200 million years the granit dome has been subjected to erosive forces:
– alternate heating, cooling, wetting and drying
– sea spray entering cracks and crevices – the crystallising salt expands and breaks up the rock
– wave action during periods of higher sea levels

Then, we went to Hanson Bay. A very nice beach where we were alone.

Finally, we stopped one night at Vivonne Bay. We are at 5 minutes by foot from a heavenly beach. We went to see it, Jérémy tried to do some snorkelling but eventually the visibility in the water was not good. And we have to admit that we were far from Cape Tribulation beaches: water was pretty chilly. A little goana buddy came to visit us at the back of our car, so did an awful hairy spider. In the evening, we were able to see 5 wallabies and a koala that lived in a tree in the middle of the campsite.

The next day, we went to Little Sahara, which is a heritage area, naturally occurring sand dune system roughly covering two square kilometres. The dunes vary in size with plenty of small dunes and the highest dune is approximately 70 metres above sea level.
Visitors may Sand-board and Toboggan on the dunes by renting the equipment from several local merchants located in Vivonne Bay.
Unfortunately, it was not open yet so we could not actually see it.

Then, we went to Seal Bay, where you can see an australian sea lion colony. To get close to the animals, it is regulated and you have to pay (32$ for a guided tour on the beach). That way, we were able to get very close to those sea lions, for who the breeding season was coming.
Sealions usually go 3 days over seas to hunt and eat, and then rest 3 days on the beach. That is why they sleep a lot.

To sum up, we really enjoyed our two days on the island during which we could admire animals in their natural habitat and see wonderful landscapes.

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