Daily Archives: January 4, 2015

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Expecting a rush for campsites after Christmas we left Flinders Chase NP and headed for Stokes Bay on the north coast. Having not had much company so far the campsite looked pretty crowded but we were shown a little slot under a tree and squeezed in expecting to stay a couple of days as we were accustomed.

We ended up staying a week due to the warm welcome that the locals extended to us and the stunning beach, accessed through a cave, that has a natural rockpool keeping the kids busy for days.

Our neighbours Thelma and Terry Bennett, KI locals had been coming with the extended family for years, and Terry kindly took me out on his boat a couple of times introducing me to using braided line to catch the huge King George Whiting that frequent the waters down here. He then shared a bag full of the sweetest juiciest grapefruits from his garden – the best way to start the day is a cold grapefruit half! Our experience just improved with other relatives giving us a big piece of tuna steak fileted straight from the morning’s catch – that made several meals from ceviche to plain quick pan seared.

The kids took a couple of days but then made a few good friends around the campsite, more rockpool buddies to explore the caves and swim throughs with their masks, fins and snorkels. I managed to snag a few crayfish that made very pleasant dinners and our days passed very peacefully over the festive season.

 

Dinner

Dinner

New Years Eve saw us on the beach with a roaring fire and midnight fireworks lighting up the calm seas, the latter only possible due to favourable winds. All Fifty Toes even made it to see in the New Year, though the beach party continued on until the wee hours. Once again we had been given a truly local KI welcome, making this one of our favourite spots so far.

Then to top it off our new friends James and Liz delivered us 2 huge pieces of home-made haloumi cheese, from Jersey cows. We tried it deep fried two ways, one with tomato and the other with a squeeze of lemon – both delicious!

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Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island

A very belated Happy New Year to all. Here’s hoping 2015 brings you all good health, happiness, and plenty of adventure!

Flinders Chase National Park occupies a large proportion the western end of Kangaroo Island, and when I visited Rocky River many years ago it was abundant with the stocky Kangaroo Island kangaroos, echidnas, koalas, Tammar wallabies, snakes and much more. In 2007 a bushfire swept through the park devastating two thirds of the bush, so things had changed and I think Rocky River, the centre of the park has been rebuilt.

Wildlife still abounds, though not quite as intrusively as previously. The animals are still there though it seemed in smaller numbers. Birdlife proliferates around the centre at Rocky River and a number of short walks around the centre provides the visitor with opportunities to see the crimson rosellas, cape barren geese, scarlet robins and lots more. The visitors centre kept the kids busy for several hours with their touch tables of local animal skins, information about the megafauna that used inhabit the area tens of thousand years ago. The centre also provides a kit bag of tools for the kids to explore the sandpit. They got to experience the thrills of archaeologists, digging up/exposing megafauna bones in a 5 x 3m pit, a great learning experience.

We had to visit Remarkable Rocks which look like a giant has scattered unusually sculptured rocks on a solid granite base. The forces of erosion together with orange lichen growth make it a imposing site perched above the southern ocean backdrop.

Nearby, Admirals Arch hosts a colony of Long Nosed Fur Seals (previously NZ fur seals) which can be smelt long before you see them (very fishy and stinky), basking in and around the significant rock arch formation it was the season for spotting pups and some very cute ones at that.

For Christmas we headed to the most western point of the island, West Bay. The campsite was barely big enough for the trailer and awning but a lovely quiet spot perched just above a clean sandy surf beach. The kids didn’t hesitate their wildlife search and within a few stone turns we had new pets – Scorpions! Yes, scorpions in all colours and sizes. The kids took great pleasure feeding them ants and showing them off to our neighbours and their kids. Santa did find us there though his reindeer appeared to have a serious scuffle with the local possums judging by the commotion during the night in the campsite.

Categories: @travelaustraliawithkids, Adventure, Animal Action, Australian Outback, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Natural World, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure, Walks | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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