Kangaroo Island might sound like a location for an Enid Blyton story but it’s real, lives up to its name and is only one and a half hour’s drive south from Adelaide followed by a breezy 45 minute ferry ride. A hop, skip and a jump and you’re there.
Here I am trying some hopping exercise – which certainly puzzles the roos!
I decide it’s better to stick with hiking…
The landscape here is more rugged than Margaret River in Western Australia where I’ve just come from.
A long but hugely enjoyable walk along part of the new 61km Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail in the Flinders Chase National Park with guide Craig Wickham from Exceptional Kangaroo Island includes tramping across some vast beaches – here we stop for a little biology lesson lesson on cuttlefish! As well as being full of knowledge Craig has a rucksack stuffed with goodies including home baked Anzac biscuits; originally created to keep the troops happy in WW1 they’re just as effective on our long march. Long-sleeved shirts and a hat are vital to avoid sunburn along with plenty of sunblock as I discover when I find I have flaming pink calves at the end of the day.
We pass some characterful rocks…
including these sculptural beauties which are known as the Remarkable Rocks as indeed they are – the colours are caused by iron ore if you want be scientific and make a great sunset background to an Alice & Co stripey Remarkable Skirt, an orange scarf and some Tracey Neuls Geek Derby shoes – posh plimsolls made from reflective fabric. It’s so useful to see your feet in the dark!
Click here to download a PDF pattern of the Alice & Co Remarkable Skirt – quick and easy to make this versatile stretch jersey A-line maxi skirt does double-duty as a sundress.
Koalas sleep for 20 hours a day and spend the other four eating – I may well be part-koala!
These mother and baby seals at Seal Bay Conservation Park are partial to a lie down too. This is a fabulous spot to see seals and sea lions resting up and lolling about in between their exhausting four day fishing trips way out at sea.
Meanwhile in the forest the Rosenburg goanna…
…goes about it’s business in a very smart skin which could easily inspire a great weave or print. The stripes and spots combo is very chic and snappy but he looks like he could do with a press.
And just when it couldn’t get any weirder along comes this prickly fellow! He’s an echidna or spiny anteater and is one of the world’s rarest animals so I count myself lucky to see him.
All this great outdoors inevitably makes me ravenous but happily ex-UK chef Sue Pearson has relocated here from London’s famous Ivy restaurant …
Here she is serving up at her chippy named ‘Fish’ in Penneshaw. Most punters opt for the famous local King George Whiting but Sue rates the Garfish and Flatheads so I try both – delicious!
and loose fitting – a necessity when I’ve eaten this lot!
I sleep soundly at the Waves and Wildlife Cottages – cosy accommodation with an expansive cliff top setting above fabulous Stokes Bay beach and our best spot for kangaroo watching.
Then later in an original lighthouse keepers’ cottage at Cap du Couedic LightStation where it’s easy to imagine yourself sitting out the storms in splendid isolation.
And last but most certainly not least architectural wonder Southern Ocean Lodge designed by local boy Max Pritchard. Snaking elegantly down the cliff top it’s where I wine, dine and dream in designer gorgeousness and wear this Alice & Co print trousers and metallic shirt ensemble in honour of the occasion.
After a wonderful week it’s time to pack up and hop off to the bright lights of Australia’s Gold Coast for the next part of my big adventure.
All images © nigeltisdall.com
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