With much ballyhoo (hey REX airlines… still scratching my head at your logic of why we had to wait close to 6 hours for our delayed flight), we made it to Kangaroo Island, third largest Australian island with more national parks than California (that’s a lie, but it sounded good – seriously, it has a ton of parks though). I think our second tour guide said it was the size of Maryland, which seems about right. It’s 13km off the coast of South Australia and holds a unique blend of flora and fauna since the ocean rose up and cut off the mainland.
The kangaroos there are smaller, with a snoutier face, and are redder in colour. The wombats, koalas and short beaked echidna pretty much look the same as their land locked cousins.
We arrived at dusk in a small plane, with a buzz over the island, a slow turn and bouncy landing. The first thing we were told that we were to wear our seatbelts at all time since wallabys and ‘roos had a tendency to run out onto the road during this time of day and our hulking bus may need to stop suddenly. And we did. Thankfully though we killed nothing on this trip.
We were driven to Penneshaw to our hotel and headed over to the local pub for dinner. I had shark. SharkBoy frowned when I told him this, but I was assured that shark was as common as Canadian salmon around these parts. It had the consistency of overcooked salmon but tasted like tuna with a firm aftertaste. I guiltily enjoyed it.
The next morning I discovered that our whole group were waking up at 4am due to some bizarre internal clock disorder. I broke off from the group and went for a walk down to the north shore and took about 200 pictures of the sunrise, the water hitting the rocks and the wind farm off the coast of Point Jervis on the mainland. At this point I felt sad. I really wished I could have had SharkBoy at my side to see all this.
After Breakfast we boarded a comfy bus to see the entire island in one day. Which we did. Two animal sanctuaries, one eucalyptus farm, a Koala walk, the Remarkable Rocks and seals frolicking inside The Arch. It was a full day of amazing. In the entire trip there were two places wish I could have stayed longer. This was the first. I kept on thinking of how Canada may have the Moose or Bear or iconic beaver, but this small island had such a diverse animal population, I felt a bit jealous!
The highlight was feeding the kangaroos, of course. When they move slow, they’re mesmerizing: using their stubby T-Rex like front paws to knuckle along while slowly pushing off from their hind legs. When they move fast, it’s even more stunning. Like a ballerina forever falling forward, their feet launching their bodies into the air high enough to tuck those banana boat sized feet under themselves to have another go. All in a fluid arc that is beautiful to watch.
As night fell, we were driven back to the airport and given a long talk about the island, the major brush fire it had back in 2007, the people who live there, the parks. I could bore you with the details but know that it’s a place that if ever the zombie apocalypse happens, I’ll be making my way to Kangaroo Island.