Kangaroo Island is a large, sprawling island nestled off the coast of South Australia. A brutal and rugged coastline encircles an inner core ladened with fine fare and gastronomy, laid-back locals & a fine selection of attractions. It is still largely unknown to the vast majority of Australians who favour the iconic ‘S.A’ wine regions when holidaying in South Australia. This writer thinks it’s time to share the secret.
You can fly onto Kangaroo Island directly from Adelaide but on my visit I utilised the ferry service from Cape Jervis in both directions. It was quite literally ‘smooth sailing’ for me but I am told this stretch of water possesses quite a temper. Maybe something to note and potentially prepare for if you aren’t a great sailor. My journey across to the island was in the late afternoon and I was very lucky with the gorgeous light that met us upon our arrival. The ‘K.I’ sun casting warm shadows and golden shards of welcome.
When I disembarked I was immediately struck by how large the island was. The locals tell me that poorly prepared visitors often disembark the ferry from the mainland expecting to wistfully wander around the island on a day visit. Presumably then they might be more than a little surprised to find that Kangaroo Island, or ‘K.I’ to the locals, is actually Australia’s third largest island and measures 150kms long by 90kms wide.
In all of my travels, and there have been many spanning the past two and half decades, I have never seen a coastline meet waves with such ferocity and bombast as along the magnificent southern coast of Kangaroo Island.
The sound and violence of the foaming, heaving water is almost biblical. Shipwrecks festoon the coast and on the days I was there you could imagine the wind carving even more abstract shapes from the rock before your eyes. The entire coastline is testament to, and shaped by, the elements. It is brooding and magnificent in equal measure and the canvas of azure-blue churning ocean as a backdrop makes it simply spell-binding.
But hold on to your hat! Often you must observe this spectacle of mother-nature whilst leaning into a powerful ocean wind. It all adds to the drama of the setting but does make getting a ‘sharp’ photograph a little difficult on occasion.
A must visit natural phenomena on the island is The Remarkables. Located in The Flinders Chase National Park these natural sculptures hewn from ancient rock will take your breath away. They are one of Australia’s greatest natural treasures and are still little known outside of South Australia.
But weight there’s more… No that isn’t spelled incorrectly. You can really spoil yourself after a day’s sightseeing by sampling the excellent local produce on offer. There’s Kangaroo Island honey, ice-cream, island-made cheese & yoghurt, fresh seafood and local wines waiting to tempt your indulgence.
For an island of only around four thousand inhabitants there’s also ample accommodation on offer. From budget to Luxe. Fancy a splurge? Wedding anniversary, 50th birthday? Then a stay at the exceptional Southern Ocean Lodge combines fine local fare, luxurious facilities, peerless vistas, thundering ocean views and exceptional, yet not fussy, service all at once. In other words – Everything Kangaroo Island, the epitome of ‘K.I’.
Sorry South Australia, but the secret’s out!
Kangaroo Island Gallery.