32. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is located just south of Adelaide. Any man made development rises modestly above the level of landscape. Some of the wildlife bounds, and all of it abounds and  is largely left to itself.

Stopping for supplies on the way to our first night at the Lighthouse at Cape Willougby my friend and I were standing at a lookout point when I turned to her and gesturing out to sea asked….what’s that island out there?  My friend responded, deadpan…Australia. We fell about laughing at my stupidity but I also realised that it was for me a rare glimpse of the Australian mainland from land offshore other than from the air.

The island is a cornucopia of natural delights.  By simply walking about we encountered …kangaroos, the irresistibly cute  Tamar wallabies, New Zealand fur seals and bird life in abundance. In simple natural settings we delighted at the sea lions and peered up into high trees playing spot the koala. It is a place so rich with creatures that you are recommended not to drive after dark because of the inevitable carnage. It also boasts limestone caves, an entertaining and informative bird show and penguins.

The experiences we had staying in the Lighthouse Cottages were wonderful. In a modern world there remains a sense of isolation and apartness. Staying at Cape de Couedic you really did have to stock up on supplies as there was nowhere else to buy much for many kilometres and as we discovered when the power failed it really did mean no light, heat, cooking or pumped water for the night. We carted water from the tank attached to the old horse stables and ate by candle light. Any mild irritation for the inconvenience quickly dissolved into appreciating a unique experience.

This fairly pristine separation also meant that the island has much local produce to be enjoyed. Honey and lavender farms, wineries, cheeses…On the recommendation of our local Lighthouse Keeper we enjoyed a spectacular platter of many delicious Kangaroo Island delights in the warm eclectic setting of Chapman River Wines.

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