An Aussie Treasure: Kangaroo Island
G’day, mate! If Australia is on your list of travel destinations like it was for me, I have a recommendation that you will not want to miss. Allow me to introduce you to a hidden gem, Kangaroo Island, the third largest island in Australia. This often-overlooked destination is filled with beautiful and serene beaches, eucalyptus forests and luscious landscapes surrounded by Australian wildlife.
Kangaroo Island (KI) is southwest of the mainland, and can be reached by small plane or ferry. The preferred time to visit is during their summer months between December through February. Once you arrive, I would suggest renting a car to explore the island or arranging a tour with the travel agency, SeaLink, which offers one to four-day tours including meals and accommodation.
The highlight of Kangaroo Island is Flinders Chase National Park. Here you will find The Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, which showcase the awe and stunning natural beauty of Australia.
A new addition to KI is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, which is a picturesque 61km, 5-day hiking trail. Although that might be a bit much for the everyday hiker, there are a variety of other hiking trails throughout the island, which vary in length and fitness level. My favorite is the Platypus Waterholes Walk where you may catch a glimpse of a real platypus in the wild!
Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary has wildlife roaming free so don’t be surprised if you find an echidna crossing the road. There are koala walks during the day, but I would recommend that you wait for the nocturnal tour at night to see the wildlife active in their natural habitat. These nocturnal fur balls are fast asleep during the day so the night tours are more exciting!
If you want to stay on Kangaroo Island, I would recommend a night at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, which is near the national park and still quite affordable. The restaurant on property, Nicolas Boudin, features local ingredients in their delicious dishes such as the Kangaroo Lion with KI muntrie berry and beetroot relish, and the KI Honey Cheesecake with KI Lingurian honey and local labneh cheese.
The restaurant makes use of local KI grown and made ingredients from cheeses to distilled gin and KI wine. During your stay, you might be greeted by wallabies, echidnas and kangaroos passing by. Or if you look around carefully, you may even spot a koala in the nearby eucalyptus forest.
After a day or two on this lovely Kangaroo Island adventure, you will return home knowing that you had the quintessential Aussie experience. So don’t be surprised if you adopt some of the lingo as I have! Cheers, mate!