Don’t underestimate how much you can do in four days. Here’s a rundown of my latest trip to Kangaroo Island. I went with my 73-year-old father who loved every minute of it. Highlights included swimming with wild dolphins, watching a giant panda strip down a bamboo shoot, The Remarkables, and spotting wild koalas.
GLENELG, ADELAIDE ZOO, McLAREN VALE WINE REGION, KANGAROO ISLAND
The next morning, we head to Adelaide Zoo to see the giant pandas. My father and I get in for free as we’re both ‘Friends of the Zoo’, (normal cost = $38). We became ‘friend’s at Taronga Zoo in Sydney for $20.
From the map, the zoo looks quite big, but you can easily walk around it in a couple of hours. Out of the two resident pandas, only Wang Wang was out and about. The keepers lay out bamboo shoots at 11am to entice the pandas to sit and chew for an audience. What a delight it is to watch Wang Wang plonk himself down in front of us and casually strip down bamboo shoots. Other highlights are the raucous siamangs, Sumatran orang-u-tans, and African lions.
From the map, the zoo looks quite big, but you can easily walk around it in a couple of hours. Only Wang Wang was out and about but he doesn’t disappoint.
The keepers lay out bamboo shoots at 11am to entice the panda’s near the clear viewing screens. It’s a sheer delight to watch Wang Wang plonk himself down in front of us and casually strip down bamboo shoots. Other highlights are the raucous siamangs, Sumatran orang-u-tans and African lions.
Then it’s time to head south towards Cape Jervis (we’re booked on the 4pm ferry to KI). On the way we stop for a carton of beer, a bottle of red wine, breakfast bars and snacks. We make a small detour through McLaren Vale wine region and stop at Hardy’s Tintara cellar door. It’s Dad’s first time wine tasting! Glug. Glug.
3.35pm – arrive at Cape Jervis, check in and drive onto the ferry – all pretty straightforward. 45 minutes later we drive into Penneshaw; a small peaceful country town by the beach. We eat steak at the Penneshaw Hotel and decide against staying here on our last night – it’s just too quiet. I call and cancel and book an extra night in Kingscote. Penneshaw is great for doing the penguin tour but we saw heaps of wild penguins on Phillip Island in Victoria. Kingscote is the ‘capital city’ of K.I. so we’re hoping for a bit more atmosphere.
We leave Penneshaw at 6.30pm and drive across the island via The Great South Road towards Flinders Chase National Park. I start the ‘road kill count’ (over our few days on the island sadly it totalled 32). At dusk we slow and admire two large live kangaroos waiting on the side of the road. Ten minutes later a large koala bounds awkwardly across the road. We pull over and follow it into the trees. It sits a couple of metres above us clinging to the bark, watching us watching it – amazing.
Ten minutes later after two hours, we arrive at Western KI Caravan Park Cabins with a welcoming party of galas perched on the grass and five kangaroos hopping around our cabin. We love our Halls Luxury Cabin! $150 per night (sleeps four) – small but warm and lovely.
Stay tuned for Kangaroo Island Road Trip Day Two, coming soon….