We flew from Brisbane on January 26th at 9am and arrived in Adelaide some 2:30 hours later to discover my luggage hasn’t followed us. It was only the 2nd time this happens to me so far (1st time was in Singapore in 2014) however this time I had absolutely nothing else than a tablet with me and the expectation was that we were going to immediately take the road with our friends that were already there waiting. I stopped at Qantas Baggage Service to see what could be done about the missing luggage. The lady was helpful and helped to organise my luggage that was still in Brisbane to be shipped to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island the same day at 6pm then she called the apartment hotel we were going to see if there was a possibility to organise for my luggage to be picked up from the airport as it would have been close by the time we get there. I was glad there was a plan but I was really suspicious that this would work out without hiccups considering the number of connection and different people handling my belongings. Well surprise, the luggage was waiting at the door when we arrived later that day at the hotel!
So, after managing this little inconvenient, we started the trip by driving to Handorf, a small German settlement about 45 minutes east of Adelaide. We walked through the main street and visited the European looking town. We stopped at the old Handorf Inn (established in the 19 century, around 1830) for a massive lunch.
After visiting Handorf we drove through Adelaide Hills and stopped to a Yangarra organic winery for some tasting. The place was very pretty and the owner very friendly but we found most wines too dry for our taste buds except the bottle of Viognier that we bough (all empty by now! – Valentine Day). We then took the road toward Cape Jervis to catch the ferry that was from memory leaving at 6:30pm (all the paper I printed were in my missing luggage…) but unfortunately, the ferry was actually leaving at 6:00pm. We were lucky to be able to reschedule our departure until 7:00pm. The ferry ride was good and short (45 minutes) but it was the most expensive ferry ride I ever took! Some abusing 650$ for 4 passengers and a car both ways (SeaLink). This is one of the reason many locals never went to Kangaroo Island (that’s a flight return to Japan when on sale).
Luckily the sun goes down late in SA and we could catch the sun set on the way to Kingscote, the small (very small) seaside village on Kangaroo Island. We didn’t want to arrive in the darkness because of the danger of wildlife on the road from dusk to dawn. Indeed, we saw a horde of Kangaroo on the way there and these little guys can bounce in front of your car when you don’t expect them causing damage or worst a crash. We arrived at the apartment with still a little day light. We unpacked quickly (my luggage was there yay!) and walked to town in hope to find a restaurant to eat but everything was shutting at 9pm. So we stop at the gas station and bought frozen pizzas…! Yummy…
Several fun things were on schedule for the next day. It started by a tour of Seal Bay to check out a sea lions colony. The tour was really interesting and we got to see front close many of the sea lions and we learnt about the story of the colony that went close to extinction not so many years ago. Now it is a protected area and they are recovering.
This beautiful experience was followed by a 2 hours guided Quad adventure around Vivonne Bay. This was our first experience and we enjoyed it. The Quad tour was then followed by going down sand dunes at Little Sahara using toboggans and sand board. Perfect day!
Back in Kingscote, we ensured we had food for a proper meal and walked near the beach and the main wharf.
The following day plans was to check out Flinder’s Chase National Park at the far end of the Island and the many exceptional landmarks around the area. We started by visiting the amazing Admirals Arch, then the walk near the lighthouse until the little warehouse.
After lunch we visited the truly Remarkable Rocks, which are spectacular rock shapes resulting of ancient molten rocks. The view was fantastic with unreal colours and the view of the South coast.
Then we did the Snake Pools walk in the western part of the national park. The walk was easy and mostly flat, about 45-50min one way. The view at the end was very rewarding and surprisingly the water wasn’t cold.
We drove back to catch the ferry and watch the sun set and stayed at Cape Jervis for the night.
On our last day, we drove back toward Adelaide from Cape Jervis near to the coast line and ensured we visit more wineries and local product maker in MacLaren Vale. We first stopped by a Buddhist temple with a huge status of Lady Buddha (there is a large Asian population in SA) and then we visited Paxton (one of my favorite Organic winery here) and a local cheese maker.
Back in Adelaide in early afternoon, we spent some time at Glenelg beach about 20min from Adelaide city center. The beach is rather nice and the water was warm. It was a really hot day but different heat than Brisbane. Brisbane heat is usually uncomfortable in summer: hot, humid and very sticky while Adelaide was a dry heat. We visited the city center, it was nice but almost like a Ghost town as very few people were around!
Kangaroo Island was amazing. Beautiful scenery and peaceful. Very serene atmosphere and plenty of activities for the nature lover. I would definitely recommend anyone to visit, however I found it quite pricey because of the ferry. So, for the same budget there is probably other places to visit first if you haven’t been in Australia for a long time.
We liked Adelaide, it’s the fifth largest city of Australia with a population of about 1.3 million people. It is rather calm, definitely has its charm and there is still plenty of things to do around.
Check the video I made below with music.