Kangaroo Island Australia: The Australian Island Paradise
Kangaroo Island has been described as one of the world’s last unspoiled island sanctuaries, and with good reason. This idyllic island off the coast of South Australia is a picturesque tourist destination for those seeking the sun, surf, and all that comes with them, such as swimming, sailing, fishing, and scuba diving. Islands are generally unique places… seclusion, privacy, the ocean… just consider the West Indies, Hawaii, and the Maldives, all of which have unique attributes and unique natural surroundings that have evolved over thousands of years of seclusion. Kangaroo Island in Australia is no exception.
1. Dimensions and features
Kangaroo Island is the closest island to the Australian coast, seven times the size of Singapore and approximately 155 kilometers long, with Kingscote serving as the island’s capital and main settlement. The city is regarded as one of the oldest European settlements and one of the largest towns. The island is teeming with wildlife, with koalas lounging in the gum trees and seals relaxing on the beach. Furthermore, the island is home to kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, platypus, and goannas. Kangaroo Island, due to its relative isolation, has seen far less impact from European settlement than the South Australian mainland. Most of the green on Kangaroo Island has remained untouched since the island was named by British navigator Matthew Flinders in 1802. More than a third of the island is designated as a National Park or Conservation Park. This beautiful bushland professionally supports the wildlife population. As a result, Kangaroo Island is one of the best places in Australia to see wildlife in its natural habitat. Most visitors are taken aback by the sightings of animals such as kangaroos. Nonetheless, the island’s residents learned to live with them and, in some cases, even kept them as pets. Kangaroo Island’s reputation in the travel world stems from the fact that it is one of the few places on the planet where people and animals have learned to coexist.
1.2 Extracurricular Activities
There are numerous activities to discover on such a charming island, ranging from swim tours to sites to wildlife to the breathtaking natural beauty of the area. Kangaroo Island offers a variety of tours that allow you to relax while someone else does the driving. On the way, guides can also provide a wealth of information about Kangaroo Island. There are coach trips and four-wheel drive tours available, with most trips picking up guests from their lodging, the airport, or the ferry terminal. Bike trekking and riding are also options for those with the energy; however, keep in mind that Kangaroo Island is large, and these activities require a certain level of fitness. Between Cape Jervis on the South Australian coast and Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island, large high-end lorries and guest ferries operate (traveling time: 45 minutes). There are four departures per day, with additional services available during peak times. There are bus connections from Adelaide to Cape Jervis, as well as Penneshaw to American River and Kingscote on the island. Regional Express operates a 30-minute flight from Adelaide to Kingscote Airport, which is 13 kilometers from Kingscote.
2. History and setting
Kangaroo Island broke away from mainland Australia around 10,000 years ago. The now-endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo, as well as the Sooty Dunnart, are both unique Kangaroo Island subspecies. Similarly, King Island’s plants have evolved in isolation to the point where at least 45 types are endemic (found only on Kangaroo Island), including numerous eucalypts. The absence of feral animals such as rabbits and foxes contributes to the conservation of Kangaroo Island’s bushland ecosystems. Kangaroo Island’s distinct plant and wildlife types (some of which are threatened or unique to the island) were recognized by the establishment of National and Conservation parks across the island very early in its European settlement history. Kangaroo Island’s National Parks provide access to incredible coastline scenery, distinct geological developments, fascinating history, and abundant wildlife. Flinders Chase National Park (walking trails and spectacular rock formations), Kelly Hill Conservation Park (limestone caves and hiking), Seal Bay Conservation Park (Australia’s largest accessible colony of sea lions), and Cape Willoughby Conservation Park are the four major parks (first lighthouse in South Australia). Kangaroo Island is a major tourist destination in Australia, with Kingscote serving as the island’s capital and primary settlement. In recognition of Kangaroo Island’s unique plant and wildlife species (some of which are threatened or unique to the island), National and Conservation parks were established throughout the island very early in its European settlement history. Kangaroo Island is one of the world’s last unspoiled island havens, with the majority of that owing to the fact that nature continues to thrive on the island to this day. Still, the island’s human population decided to keep the flow of nature a part of the island’s charm, and it worked.
Why Is Kangaroo Island
Australia A Nature Lover’s Paradise?
Kangaroo Island is a naturalist’s paradise. The following is a description of our visit to this incredible location.
Please keep in mind that parts of Kangaroo Island were severely damaged by bushfires in early 2020, and the beautiful Southern Ocean Lodge was tragically destroyed. However, the Australian bush is resilient, and this magnificent property will be rebuilt in the coming years. In the meantime, visitors can still visit Kangaroo Island, staying in smaller private villas – and the islanders rely on tourism to survive. Our thoughts are with them during this extremely difficult time.
After Tasmania and Melville, Australia’s third-largest island is a naturalist’s paradise and one of the best places in the country to see large populations of endemic animals up close. Kangaroo Island, which was separated from the mainland eons ago, is home to over 65,000 kangaroos and just under 5,000 people.
Captain Matthew Flinders, a British explorer, discovered the island while mapping Australia’s south coast in 1802. When he and his companions arrived, they encountered a large number of kangaroos, which Flinders compared to those found on the east coast. These were shot and eaten by the crew, who were becoming increasingly hungry as a result of the ship’s meager food rations. “In gratitude for such seasonable a supply, I named this southern land Kanguroo (sic) Island,” Flinders wrote in his journal.
Koalas, wallabies, possums, bandicoots, echidnas, and platypuses are among the other unique animals found in Australia. Kangaroo Island also has about 200 different bird species, including the country’s largest bird of prey, the wedge-tailed eagle. The climate is extreme; winters can be very wet and cold, and summers can be hot and dry, so spring and autumn are the best times to see wildlife.
I visited Kangaroo Island in April, when autumn was in full swing, and stayed at the world-class Southern Ocean Lodge, which has one of the most memorable locations of any hotel I’ve ever visited. It is so sensitively designed that it blends seamlessly with this rugged, untouched landscape. It is set on a secluded clifftop facing out to sea. With nothing between the lodge and Antarctica, the ocean crashes along the shore for the majority of the day, making for spectacular viewing, especially at sunrise and sunset. Although the waters are every shade of turquoise, the currents are too strong for swimming, and great white sharks have been spotted off these wild shores. Swimmable beaches protected by reefs, on the other hand, are only a short hike away.
All of our tour guides are long-term residents who are enthusiastic about their community. Some are farmers or small business owners, while others are naturalists, but the majority were born and raised in the area. They are true storytellers, not reciting a script but bringing this amazing island to life before your eyes. We recommend that our clients stay on Kangaroo Island for at least three nights. Our guides will take you to see sea eagles and osprey, ancient fossil beds, and swim with bottlenose dolphins in shallow and protected waters – a truly magical experience.
One of my favorite days on the island started with a walk to see the massive Remarkable Rocks, which resemble a dramatic natural sculpture perched on top of a granite dome that emerges from the sea. We continued on foot to Lathami Conservation Park, where we met our wonderful guide and wildlife expert, always on the lookout for wallabies (which are almost extinct on the mainland) and a kangaroo species only found here, as well as learning about local birds and plants. Along the way, we stopped at Stokes Bay, a hidden white-sand beach, for a quick dip before a delicious barbecue.
We then drove to Seal Bay for a private encounter with the Australian sea-lion colony. I finished the day at the Southern Ocean Lodge’s private historic cottage, which overlooks a kangaroo colony. We sat with a glass of wine in the quiet stillness of the bush, watching the roos as the last rays of sunlight cast a dusky glow over the island.
Another highlight was the chance to meet the world’s foremost authority on echidnas. Dr. Peggy Rismiller has been studying the natural history and ecology of Kangaroo Island’s short-beaked echidnas since 1991. Rosenberg’s goannas, a large monitor lizard that shares the echidna’s habitat and is an important predator of these spiny mammals, have been added to her project in recent years. Our clients can explore this natural habitat with Peggy and learn about the life history and biology of these two ancient species, which have survived millennia of global change.
Kangaroo Island is the type of place where slow travel is the norm. This is not a place to check boxes, but rather to unwind and tune into the slow pace. Because the island is large and the distances to cover can take up a significant portion of the day, we prioritize the quality of the guided experiences over the quantity.
Topic: Kangaroo Island Australia: The Australian Island Paradise
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By: Travel Pixy