KI out with the boss!

Paul used to be my boss, along with my brother in law, John, when they joint owned Adelaide Skin Diving where I worked whilst on a year long visa, with family. Hence the boss reference but also who put me up in their beautiful hotel home with my pick of the rooms – so obviously I chose the best!

It was great fun and really informative.

Paul took me around the island to see the wildlife, told me about the dangers of losing some species like the black and red cockatoo whose food droppings we saw but not the real living bird.

Black cockatoo Kangaroo Island

Twenty-three glossy black cockatoos have hatched on Kangaroo Island following devastating bushfires. There is work underway to protect the chicks from predators such as possums. The hatchings come as the RSPCA winds down its wildlife feeding program.26 May 2020

We also encountered several wild kangaroos nearby us, a group of seven with a huge male protecting the group but we care-fully gave them a wide berth whilst enthralled at the proximity to us!!  We saw others and a small wallaby who watched us and kept their distance, but on the way back to the car I saw a large one and a joey which, by the time we got nearer, had disappeared!  He had jumped in mums pouch and we could see his head popped out and were only about five feet from them!  

We made eye contact so she didn’t feel threatened, but again walked round widely from them and I moved close to Paul so only had to watch us in one place rather than feel uncertain if we were either side of her.  We stood looking at each other for a few minutes and she was big for a female, quite old too, standing on her hind feel almost my height (Im 5′ 2″).   Her joey was quite big too, his head the size of a football, maybe smaller, nose to back of his head.    So cute, he looked relaxed, feeling he was now protected by his mum, and she ready to move quickly if necessary.   It was an awesome moment for me, so close and sort of trusted just to watch…

It was tough working through the forest, hard dusty ground, sharp stark grey branches and twigs intertwining so we had to find easier ways where we could hold back the branches or archway spaces to duck through.  We had a few scatches to show for our efforts!  And it was hot in the brush.

Day 4 was an organised trip to Seal Bay on the south coast where we watched seals about 10-30 feet away, sleeping, playing or coming from the water; a couple of feeding pups there too and strong waves on a lovely beach.  

After that we lunched at Vivonne, then moved to Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, and past the lighthouse, hearing stories of the areas we visited or drove through, and KI as a whole.  They are very community minded, volunteer firemen and medics, helping neighbours with bushfires or groundwork, watching out for each other and helping wherever possible.

No cinema here but sports like netball, football, tennis and cricket, bowls, softball and card clubs for a start.  Little if any crime and people don’t lock their doors anytime in case people need to wander in if they call to see you, to borrow something or even overnight.  I did hear of the only two murders on the islamd ever too last night!!! 

Then we saw koalas in the trees at Koala Walk and an echidna quite happily hunting for ants whilst we followed him, photographing and watching his antics.  A rare treat and something I wanted to see but didn’t expect to, as quite shy animals.

Also saw koalas on our travels, and roos at the dusk trip and possum on the roof at ‘home’.   

Day 5 was chilled for me, busy for them, and then a drive out to Kingscote, not much open but coffee shops and souvenirs but interesting enough, and later to the West river area for dinner with Jim Chapman, a farmer with 2000 acres of land, 1500 sheep and 700 cattle.   It was an insight into a manual lifestyle but creative and entrepreneurial mind with his plans and current development – his own hands and helpers – for a bigger b & b business. Although rough and ready it is what many people want in Australia – a wild, country bush experience …. with beautiful wild scenery!!! 

On the way home from Jim’s along dark red dirt roads a roo ran out in front of the 4WD but I missed it other than a braking and gasp from Charmaine, then possums on the side, a wallaby waited on the road whilst we went by and another hopped across higher up (or a bilboa??).  Then a koala was on the road and Paul stopped, it crossed, its little white rump bobbling in the headlights. He turned in to it, so scared it ran forward in the road then off back to the side it came from, looking at us as we drove by and on.  Not often seen on the ground, it was cute to see it bobble across! 

Whilst sitting talking I saw a brown wren Paul pointed out, saying the blue fairy wren male was colourful, and a few seconds later I saw it over his shoulder too!!! Cute, with a long tail sticking up, and bright blue head and neck. A lovely, and again lucky, sight!

Day 6, today is Sunday and my last day on the island sadly.  There are limited buses off to Adelaide and the last ferry at 7.30 from Penneshaw which Im booked on, so leaving Kingscote at 5.30 from The Gallery (although two galleries, this gas a bus stop nearby!  🕔 Today I soaked up the seaview from my room, stripped thened as Im not a paying guest, walked out with the dogs to the field and sat in various places writing these blogs!   Now Im sat at the sea front in Kingscote finishing off, listening to the lapping gentle waves against the rocks.  It’s a warm day and blue skies with light wispy clouds alone, people laughing against this very quiet town on Kangaroo Island.  What a lovely week I’ve spent here. 😃

I’m finishing my 3 month Aus trip end Jan. Stayed with family, at times I hadn’t planned that, but great as it is expensive (certainly compared to Asia!).  Lots of hostels around for dorms which are affordable, rooms usually for two people sharing so expensive alone.  Cairns was great, lots of hostels in the centre and lots of of jobs for young travellers it seemed!  I hadn’t planned on wet seasons stopping some tours or access to some places like Kimberley’s so research.  Bushfires can hamper but not that much!!! I didn’t really want to fly around but buses limited, trains too and expensive so Jetstar was it, ave cost/flight $90 not bad.  Used airbnb in Noosa and Coolum at the sunshine coast which was great with Lenore and Sharon, especially as a solo traveller! 

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