Ahh, Kangaroo Island.
It’s subtly romantic yet at the same time dramatically jaw-dropping. The way the golden fields sway with the southerly cool winds, the way the white sandy beaches exist untouched. How looking out across the hills of sprawling shrubbery that seemingly stretch for miles end at soaring cliffs and how entering this soil we are careful to tread because we remember it belongs to wildlife that walk the earth too. Here, we get back to nature. We relax, reflect and regenerate on all the more important things in life.
This is Part 2 of my photo journal on my road trip through the island. Make sure you check out Part 1, where I visited the “bedroom” of a rare animal species, felt like I was in a romance novel at a lagoon at the end of an Alice in Wonderland tunnel of greenery, and climbed over granite boulders formed over 500 million years.
Enjoy – and let me know what you think below!
Part 2: Western River Cove, Snelling Beach, Stokes Bay, Emu Bay, Cape Willoughby, Ironstone Hill Hike, Dudley Wines Cellar Door
1. A lookout to Cape Jervis (the mainland) from Penneshaw. We woke up slightly disheartened, hoping for a day of sun-drenched beach-hopping but instead was greeted with cloudy skies. Still beautiful, the mystical haziness over the calm ocean lifted our spirits so we set on a mission to visit the other end of the island where we might have a better chance of sunshine.
2 & 3. Chasing summer. And we’re in luck! I was actually standing in the exact same spot and captured opposite sides of the road – what looks like to be two completely different days! Goodbye gloomy weather.
4 & 5. Driving toward Western River Cove. Like something out of a Monet painting, a burnt orange gravel road took us through swaying fields and winding hills. It was 34 degrees – we were dying to get into the water but I just had to stop the car to take a photo.
6. Western River Cove. Or, “What dreams are made of.” I was almost afraid the destination wouldn’t live up to the dramatic, suspenseful way in. Then upon arrival, the first thing I said to myself out of pure awe was, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!” The first thing my British travel buddy said was, “This reminds me of the Greek Islands. Except there aren’t another 700 Brits on the shore.” Beaches here: never packed, always (seriously) beautiful.
7. L taking a dip behind the Cove. I love the shades of olive green.
8. Driving toward Snelling Beach. The drive along the north coast was a treat in itself. Huge, isolated trees stand tall on empty golden hills, flaring their leafless branches in different ways, each solid structure like a pose of a ballet dancer. It’s what people imagine an African safari would be like except without the lions and leopards. We squealed, having stumbled across more postcard perfection of a sapphirine sea.
9. A quaint, rustic beach shack at the entrance. Ahh, the simple life.
10. A THIS-is-an-Aussie-holiday sight. 4WD – check. Beach umbrella – check. Loaded esky with frosty drinks – check. All your loved ones, a classic beach and beautiful weather – check, check, check!
11. Buddy & Scarlett. Your four-legged family members can enjoy this dog-friendly destination.
12. Venturing to Stokes Bay. “This feels like we’re in Indiana Jones.” We ventured through a short tunnel of rocks in search of another calm turquoise sea and white sandy paradise.
13. A stranded starfish washed ashore. We weren’t sure if it’d already dried up but L threw it back into its home anyway. The island’s protect-the-precious-wildlife vibe must got to him.
14 & 15. Flour Cask Bay. We were recommended to visit this beach by a local as tourists rarely come here because it’s far off the main road compared to other destinations. Make the trek – a gravel road through rolling hills and a steep sandy pathway (work those muscles on your way back up!) will land you to soft sweeping waves along a rugged, pristine coastline.
16. Emu Bay. Or, “Blue meets blue meets blue.” Another classic beach where small cars are able to drive onto the sand.
17. Ironstone Hill Hike. With spectacular views across Backstairs Passage to the Fleurieu Peninsula, the hike leads you up to the ruins of a cottage and farm workstation. But it’s the journey that’s the standout. A beautiful walk during sunset, we looked out to sea and saw a pod of dolphins dancing gracefully across the horizon.
18. A prompt to scrub our shoes before and after trekking. An initiative by National Parks and Wildlife SA to help stop the possible spread of infected soil and protect the ecosystem.
19. Bright fauna along the hike. Isn’t the contrast of colours beautiful?
20. L. Inner peace.
21. Swaying fields of long, yellow grass. Pretty.
22. Cape Willoughby. For a unique accommodation experience, you can stay at one of the two fully-refurbished heritage-listed lightkeepers’ cottages that were built in 1927 from $225/night, with views over Backstairs Passage. If you’re lucky, you’ll see schools of salmon, humpback or killer whales.
23. Sign pointing to cafe Zest & Thyme. Or, “A few of my favourite things”.
24. The outdoor deck at the cafe. Morning coffee and homemade cakes and scones while taking in Kangaroo Island’s famous majestic sea views? Yes, please.
25. Wine-tasting at Dudley Wines Cellar Door. Only 15 minutes from the ferry terminal, this was the perfect way to conclude our road trip. Taste handcrafted wines followed by a gourmet light lunch using fresh local produce. The views on the deck are a good enough sole reason to visit.
Au revoir Kangaroo Island.
When and where was the last time you took the time to relax, reflect and regenerate? Write me a comment below.
This experience was independently paid for.
Did you like this blog post? Share it with your friends and subscribe for more.
HOW TO GET HERE
SeaLink operates frequent ferry services from Cape Jervis (the mainland) and Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, 45 minutes one way. Alternatively, REX serves daily 30 minute flights from Adelaide Airport to Kingscote KI Airport.
top 5 travel TIPS
- Hire a suitable car to explore as much as you can. A hatchback will do the job but you’ll need to drive slow on unsealed roads. We hired a sedan from Budget Rent a Car for just roughly $45/day.
- Fill up your petrol tank before you enter the island. Petrol on the island is pricey so it helps if you start with a full tank.
- Stock up on groceries on the mainland. As the island isn’t abundant with dining options, it’s best to prepare your own meals most of the time. Supplies here aren’t cheap so pack as much as you can beforehand – extra bonus if you’ve got a solid esky!
- Explore unsealed roads to destinations further off main roads. You’ll find hidden paradises like Hanson Bay, Flour Cask Bay and Western River Cove.
- Lastly, be prepared for limited WiFi. Connectivity drops in and out while driving around. I think this is a wonderful thing! Get offline and connect with what’s/who’s in front of you.