The quieter side of Australia, Kangaroo Island offers a tranquil jaunt through the best of the country’s wildlife and nature, far from urban Adelaide or Sydney. This island’s focus and dedication to wildlife conservation makes it a nature-lover’s paradise of flora and fauna. Down Under Answers is your guide to this gorgeous island and all it has to offer.
Kangaroo Island separated from the mainland of Australia approximately 10,000 years ago, and remained relatively untouched by man until 1802. English navigator Matthew Flinders discovered the island en route from Britain to Australia, and dubbed the island after the banquet of kangaroo meat he and his crew consumed on the island. Further exploration was conducted by the French, who left their mark in the names of many landmarks. Eventually the island evolved into a stand-alone nature preserve, an opportunity to conserve many of the species from the mainland that were endangered and introducing other species, including the koala bear.
Temperatures on the island stay on the milder side, with average temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Rainfall fluctuates between seasons, with the summers dry and winters leaning towards the damp. Winters are an especially exciting time to visit Kangaroo Island, despite the extra rainfall: baby joeys begin to peek out from their mother’s pouches, and all the sweet, furry mammals begin to come out of hiding.
The biggest city on the island, Kingscote still retains the feel of a cozy Australian village. This sleepy settlement sports tours and tastings of local dairies, beehives, and distilleries utilizing local juniper berries for gin, brandy, and other liquors. Besides being the site of the only airport on the island, visitors to Kingscote can browse local bookstores, super markets, and an assortment of quaint cafés.
Home of the harbor for ferry arrivals, Penneshaw is as quiet as they come. One of the biggest draws for this tiny town is the local wineries and vineyards, producing superior Australian wines. Some of the local specialties include sauvignon blanc and shiraz. For a unique wildlife watching experience, head towards the ferry terminal to the Penneshaw Penguin Centre, where you can watch and take a tour of the area where these waddling birds nest and live.
The true draw of Kangaroo Island are all of the natural elements and spectacular animal sightings, and the best place for both is in Flinders Chase National Park. Flinders Chase is not only a wildlife preserve, but also home to many geological phenomena unique to Kangaroo Island, including “remarkable rocks” and forests of sugar-gum trees. The remarkable rocks are boulders smoothed and sanded by the erosion of sea breezes and ocean spray over hundreds of millions of years, shaping these rocks into stunning abstract natural art. The flowers from the sugar gum tree are utilized by local bee farmers to create a one-of-a-kind sugar gum honey. This honey is light and fragrant, perfect for slathering on bread or enjoying in and on desserts.
The true gem of Kangaroo Island, the inspiration for it’s name, are the multiple species of native Australian animals preserved here. Of course, kangaroos traipse the island, along with koalas, wallabies, penguins, echidnas, goannas, and different species of birds. Ever since the park’s founding in 1919, Flinders Chase’s focus was always on preserving and saving endangered native species, many of them flown in from the mainland for protection.
Discover Fantastic Kangaroo Island With Down Under Answers
Discover tranquility and tradition in the splendid wine regions around Adelaide. Taste wines from big name best sellers to boutique wineries and savor local produce while meeting the wine makers and farmers. See the nineteenth century European influences in the churches, shops and homes in towns like Lyndoch, Angaston and Eden Valley.
Adelaide is known for its colonial stone architecture, lively festivals, numerous churches and sprawling parklands. The collection of parks and private gardens surrounding Adelaide provide a lush backdrop for the bustling city life. Dining and nightlife are best found on Rundle Street and Gouger Street, where restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs offer a range of cuisines, inspired by the bountiful, local products available.
Start your Australian journey in Melbourne, the fashion and coffee capital of Australia. Discover the many boutiques and bars that lay hidden behind unmarked doorways in the maze of alleys and lane-ways that this city is famous for. Cruise the streets of Melbourne and watch the city unfold around you as dinner is served to you in a historical tram.
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