Kangaroo Island’s fascinating fauna

So what have I been doing on Kangaroo Island, just off Adelaide via Cape Jervis? Staying with an old friend/employer from my 23 year spent in Adelaide, Paul and his partner Charmaine, at a beautiful setting Molly’s Run up near Smith Bay on the north coast. About half hour out of Kingscote, a small seaside town that caters for much of the west island, my view was of rolls of hay on the yellow grassed farmland edging the blue (or grey, depending on the time) ocean to the front, to the left (west) bushland trees including native gums, and more fenced farmland whilst to the east the North Coast Road to Kingscote and sheep grazing the farm edged by large paperbark gum trees (not the koala favourite

On day one, 12th Jan, I arrived via Sealink bus and ferry from Adelaide and explored the lovely b & b they own and run.  French or Spanish style villa and farmhouse inner, shady seating and dining areas inside and out, gardens surrounding and two eventually friendly boxers who became my friends for walks and strokes.

Paul took me down to the small enclosed rock edged beach for a dip where we encouraged Taj in to swim, although cautiously and briefly, with Tikka staying out until the end when she paddled with me.  It was clear green water once past the seaweed gathering in the gentle tide.  Much needed after my walk in the field at the back where I found fead trees, green bush and bits of yellow grass and three hand made dams to hold the winter rainfall to carry them through the dry, hot summers as far as possible.  However, evaporation  means a  lot is lost, even since I arrived one is emptier today as I leave six days later! 

Kingscote is small as a town, easily walked in the centre or outer homes based there.   Building shops, a supermarket, a few coffee places and one pizza/ bistro!  A pier off the corner alongside a small  beach, and a single main road in and out.  

Out last night to see the kangaroos come out at dusk, we saw about 80 just round Molly’s Run, the fantastic ‘b & b’ where I am staying with a friend.  Just four guest rooms, I am in the top room overlooking farmland leading to the sea, on the north of the island near Smith Bay.  It is outwardly an Italian style villa, and inside a warm, cosy but fashionable farmhouse look with beamed ceilings, tables and floors, and served breakfast and dinner either in the kitchen/lounge area or the outdoor courtyard with a tinkling fountain and croaking frog I didn’t see! 

I love sitting in the open doors f the balcony looking out to sea, or down in the front seating area under the gazebo, the seats around the garden or walking the property exploring the bushland fields and partly dead forest to the back!!  

Smiths Bay is so named because a young 17 year old convict from England escaped with 3-4 others, seeking whale boating transportation and landing at Kangaroo Island to build a small stone home, the foundations of which are still visible.  Chosen as protection from the open sea winds, next to a freshwater creek, and yet close enough to walk to the beach to fish or swim, he learned to watch for boats with whom he traded.  He learned to get gum leaves and black boy plant gum to sell as gunpowder addition, and other such useful resources, to exchange for skins and drink perhaps. 

My two new friends, boxers Tikka and Taj, I greet them each morning and when we return from trips with Paul.  We took them to the nearby secluded beach for a swim, surrounded by boulder rocks and protected a little, dipping in the cool waters once past the seaweed here it was clear green water yet again!

An amazing place to live, or just stay for a few nights seeing the island attractions and wildlife. 

The opportunity this week to experience a different culture and outlook from successful people on Kangaroo Island off Adelaide!! Rough and ready, lovely and genuine hard working Aussies who are really inspiring me!!!!

Day 2 was a trip to Pardana in the centre, sadly a dying town originally set up for and by returning servicemen and their families who developed the land. We also visited the secret that is Stokes Bay for a paddle in clear cool water, and the bushland of Lathami national park, where we saw a wedge tail eagle soaring over the trees, which disturbed the birds that we’d hoped to see including the now rare glossy black parrot with a bright red tail – only 300 left but increasing from 200 the previous season

We called to do bits and pieces along the way and back, like collecting manure in the trailer.  I walked out, chatted with Bradley who lived on the property, Charmaine’s brother and visited their veg garden – to tomatoes, peppers (capsicums here), pumpkin, herbs etc.   He’s deaf so doesn’t really speak, but he showed me round and we shared comments. 

I walked the dogs around the house, as having saved a wild cat from the dogs earlier in the week I’m wary of taking them too far nut the followed me!! 

An easy day of some work on my ipad and websites, researching travel options to get back to Sydney at month end to move on to New Zealand, and with yummy lunch and dinners cooked for me again so feeling very spoiled!!!

Day 3 Charmaine was back from Adelaide, so we hung around the house, those two never stopping with changes, repairs, watering or cooking and cleaning up. I went in to Kingscote while Paul did some bits, and had a quick wander through. We called to do bits and pieces along the way and back, like collecting manure in the trailer.

I walked out, chatted with Bradley who lived on the property, Charmaine’s brother and visited their veg garden – to tomatoes, peppers (capsicums here), pumpkin, herbs etc

Aussies are rough and ready people, down to earth and simple, straight-forward people. They tell it how it is, work 16 hour days or more, and to match the demanding physical skills and experience of farming or tourism – or both! – they develop their financial, marketing, and cognitive skills too!!  I am amazed hoe resilient they are, resourceful and skill-ful in many areas!!! It’s very impressive as well as inspiring for me as a coach. 

Today on KI …ride to the beautiful surprise that is Stokes Bay beach, more roos – mum and joey only 5 feet away and other group of 7 just about 8 feet off!!! Realised I saw a glossy black parrot (with bright red tail) yesterday at Mollys Run rather than today where they live at Lathami conservation park. Also koala sitting in a gently swaying gum tree by the creek… then Harry Smiths (escaped 17 yo escaped convict in 1800s) old cottage remnants near the beach!  So beautiful here!!  There are no pictures though.

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