If you want camping or glamping plus everything for the seafood and wine lover, the beer and honey bee aficionado, as well as adventures for the lone bush walker or the five-star resort-style enthusiast– Kangaroo Island, off South Australia, has it all.
Media consultant Lina Caneva and her photographer partner Ian McGill took off in their campervan nicknamed ‘The Scrubby’ for their first adventure on Kangaroo Island. For these travellers the highlight was the rugged south west coast and the (truly) Remarkable Rocks.
Arriving on a late ferry from South Australia’s Jervis Bay to Penneshaw on a balmy March evening saw us checking out the local seafood and wine. There’s a seafood restaurant within walking distance of the ferry called Fire and Smoke Charcoal Bar.
On our first morning, while most caravaners and campers headed up towards the northern coastline we headed straight to the closest winery on the eastern Penneshaw Peninsula. Dudley Wines is a fabulous winery and cellar door with great food and a host who not only spruiked a wonderful wine selection but was more than happy to help us plan the rest of our journey around the island with tips on attractions and other venues including a former staffer who had started a cocktail caravan on the beach at Emu Bay.
Eventually we headed off to find the ‘secret beach’ at Stokes Bay. Don’t miss the chance to ‘discover’ this beach through a maze of ancient rocks. The nearby Rockpool café is a welcome eatery and caravaners and campers can pull up for the night behind the café for a very modest fee. The café also sells a must have island speciality – garlic granules and garlic salt.
If you keep an eye out, you will meet the local wildlife.
We drove to the far south western side of the island to see the Remarkable Rocks. And remarkable they are. More determined campers and caravaners can travel the very rutted road (for a small fee) to the more remote campsites and hiking trails via the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre.
The so-called hub of Kangaroo Island is at Kingscote where the locals travel for their main supplies; plus a fresh fish co-op attached to the petrol station, the Kangaroo island brewery as well as the town centre full of interesting shops and cafes.
And if you don’t like camping or hiking there are five-star options with regular helicopter and plane flights in and out of this wonderful nature-based destination.
We spent six days on Kangaroo Island and will definitely return to check out the many other island delights* that we didn’t get to experience this time around.
* Warning: The Kangaroo Island oyster industry closes during the month of March… so if you are a big fan of the molluscs pick another month. However the southern rock lobsters, local whiting, calamari and abalone are still on offer.