Recent Travels – Kangaroo Island, South Australia

A place so wild, unspoiled and utterly surprising, Kangaroo Island has A&K’s Serena Mitchell thoroughly spellbound.
July 2021

Australia’s third largest island is a revelation. Sitting just south of the Yorke Peninsula and lapped by the waters of the Southern Ocean, it’s a naturalist’s paradise where rare flora, bountiful fauna and a rich array of epicurean delights provide endless fascination.

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Its 500-kilometre-long coastal fringe protects this rare wilderness, its diverse topography a study in contrasts: from the wild, pounding surf of Pennington Bay on the windswept rugged south coast to the calm north-facing waters of Nepean and Emu Bays; soft sandy beaches littered with jewel-like shells to open eucalypt forests, low coastal scrubland and productive agricultural land in the island’s interior.

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I discovered it boasts some of Australia’s best wildlife viewing, teeming with both marine and terrestrial species: from kangaroos, koalas and echidnas to dolphins, Australian sea lions, pelicans and more. And there’s an abundance of nature-based activities to help seek out its natural riches: swimming and snorkelling alongside dolphins and seals; sand boarding or e-biking through the sand dunes of Little Sahara; fishing for King George whiting; kayaking and canoeing in the crystal-clear waters or hiking the many sandy trails. Take your pick.

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And as for its local produce, the list is long and the providores justifiably proud. Honey is harvested from resident Ligurian bees (the purest strain on the planet), oysters from the rocks of American River, gin from locally sourced botanicals, Southern rock lobster from the surrounding waters, loose leaf tea from the lavender farm, wines from the island’s four vineyards and craft beer.

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So with all of these raw ingredients on hand, there’s absolutely no chance of going hungry or thirsty on Kangaroo Island and there are a handful of recommended dining experiences not to be missed: the famous whiting burger from the Vivonne Bay General Store; tasty Thai street food and live music at atmospheric Tru Thai; fresh fusion fare at Cactus in Kingscote or the unique opportunity of dining on innovative island flavours under the gnarled boughs of a 150-year-old fig tree at Snelling Beach’s the Enchanted Fig. Bon appetit!

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