(South Coast Departure)
Five Days: 1st – 5th March 2021
Twin Share: $1995 per person. Sole Use: $2295 per person.
Included in the tour:
- Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
- Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
- All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
- Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.
With more than one third of Kangaroo Island being dedicated to a protected area, it is no surprise that international journalists have called it ‘one of earth’s last unspoilt refuges’. Australia’s third largest island, it is one of natural, rugged beauty, which serves as a sanctuary for our native wildlife. While best known for its pristine wilderness, it also offers an appetising collection of local produce. So join us on this short escape as we explore the magnificent scenery and unique wildlife of Kangaroo Island.
Day One – MONDAY 1 MARCH 2021
(includes light lunch and two course dinner)
We have an early start this morning in order to catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island. After completing home pick-ups (limited areas*) we enjoy a scenic drive along Range Road to Cape Jervis where we board the vessel.
After a relaxing 50 minute crossing we arrive in Penneshaw and enjoy morning tea on the foreshore beside the water.
We begin our adventure on Kangaroo Island by travelling around the harbour, calling into Pennington Bay and Muston Lookouts to admire the spectacular coastal views.
Passing Prospect Hill (formerly Mount Thisby), we head to American River, which is neither American nor does it have a river! The town is named after a group of American sealers who, in 1803 camped here alongside a narrow inlet which they mistook for a river at the time.
Lunch is enjoyed in a local café overlooking the anchorage, where we can watch the birds and may even see a seal or dolphin. We then visit The Rebuild Independence Project where a volunteer group is re-creating the 45ft United States Schooner “Independence”, built by American sealers in 1803. This was the first vessel ever built in South Australia and an interpretive display details the adventures and fate of the boat.
From here we make our way to our accommodation for the next four nights at the Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge (Ph: 08 8553 7053). Designed to blend with its surroundings, the complex sits in the bushland overlooking American River Bay.
Day Two – TUESDAY 2 MARCH 2021
(includes cooked breakfast, picnic lunch and two course dinner)
We enjoy a delicious breakfast before continuing our exploration of Kangaroo Island.
Today we journey west from American River to explore part of the south coast of the island. The Raptor Domain is an environmental and educational rehabilitation centre for injured and orphaned birds that are not able to be released back into the wild. After our morning tea, we will be treated to an exceptional “In-Flight” Birds of Prey Display, the only one of its kind in South Australia. We meet an array of birds including a Wedge-tailed Eagle, the friendly Barn Owl, the laughing Kookaburras and many more. Unlike many birds in captivity, these raptors have plenty of stimulation and freedom.
After this spectacular show we stop for lunch before continuing further into Seal Bay Conservation Park. Home to an Australian sea lion colony for thousands of years, these magnificent creatures come to rest and nurse their young on the large sandy beach and dune area of the bay. Unique to SA and WA, this species of sea lion is endangered and the colony at Seal Bay is the third largest colony in existence.
This is also the only place in the world where you can get so close to these animals as we walk on the beach where pups play and mothers suckle their young. We will be treated to this unforgettable experience, guided by a National Parks Ranger or for those who don’t wish to do the guided walk, there is a gentle boardwalk to the lookout that overlooks the whole bay and these beautiful animals.
At the conclusion of the tour we have time to look around the visitor centre and gift shop before returning to American River for the evening.
Day Three – WEDNESDAY 3 MARCH 2021
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
After breakfast we depart for Emu Bay on the island’s peaceful north coast. A popular area for holiday homes, the beach at Emu Bay is an Island favourite due to its clear waters and long shoreline. We take a short drive to look around before visiting Emu Bay Lavender Farm.
Traditionally a wool and grain farm, the Lavender Farm grew from a dream the owners Tony and Maria had to diversify their property. A small plantation in the garden area in 2001 expanded to today’s plantation of one hectare with 10 different varieties of lavender. Over 8000 bunches are harvested each year. During our visit, we learn about lavender production, see it in various stages and even taste some goodies made with lavender, such as the popular lavender ice cream.
Morning tea is enjoyed in this peaceful setting and those who wish can visit the gift shop to pick up something from the range of products made on site.
Late morning we make our way to Kingscote the largest town on Kangaroo Island. Dating back to 1836, it was South Australia’s first official European settlement. We’ll take a scenic drive around the town and have some free time to explore before lunch in a local cafe.
This afternoon we journey to South Australia’s only commercial Eucalyptus oil distillery, Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery. Here they use traditional methods in the production of Eucalyptus oil, as well as making a wide range of associated products, from confectionary through to body lotion. We enjoy a guided tour and have the opportunity to make a purchase or two!
Kangaroo Island also has the world’s only pure-bred and disease-free population of Ligurian honey bees. Due to its isolation, Clifford’s Honey Farm is a bee sanctuary, as well as a producer of delicious honey. The farm runs over 300 honey-producing hives and is committed to the sustainability of this unique bee population for future generations. Clifford’s produce a variety of quality honey and are well known on the Island for their delicious honey ice-cream, which we will get to taste at the end of our tour.
We return to the Lodge at the conclusion of another special day with time to relax before dinner.
Day Four – THURSDAY 4 MARCH 2021
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
Today we travel to the western end of Kangaroo Island to explore. Much of this part of the Island was heavily effected by the January 2020 bushfires and today we will see how nature has recovered.
The first stop on our drive, is at stunning Vivonne Bay, characterised by its long, sandy beach and the jetty used extensively by cray fishermen for off-loading their catch. The middle portion of the jetty was removed during WWII as a deterrent to enemy ships wishing to disembark on the Island. Vivonne Bay has also been named as one of Australia’s Best Beaches for clarity of water, privacy and cleanliness.
Our journey continues to the iconic Flinders Chase National Park, home to some of the Island’s best known features and geological phenomena. Covering 74,000 hectares, it was the second national park to be declared in South Australia. Flinders Chase consists of three sections; an area of coastal landscapes around Cape du Couedic, the Gosse Lands in the centre and the former Cape Borda Lightstation reserve. The park also adjoins Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area.
Our first visit is to Cape du Couedic, with its lighthouse constructed in 1909. A short board walk takes us to a lookout where we can watch a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals at play. For the more energetic, a further walk takes us to the naturally sculptured Admiral’s Arch. One of Kangaroo Island’s most impressive and unusual natural landmarks, it took thousands of years of erosion to create this distinctive rock bridge.
Our final visit today is at the much photographed Remarkable Rocks, where a cluster of huge, weather-sculptured granite boulders perch on a granite dome that swoops 75 metres to the sea. It is an awesome sight and a highlight of any tour to Kangaroo Island.
By late afternoon it is time to head back to American River for our last evening together on tour.
Day Five – FRIDAY 5 MARCH 2021
(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)
After breakfast, we farewell our hosts and drive east to Cape Willoughby Conservation Park, home to South Australia’s first lighthouse and an area rich in maritime history. The lighthouse on the eastern extremity of the island, lights the Backstairs Passage between Kangaroo Island and the mainland. Although the lighthouse operated to prevent shipwrecks, a number of ships did sink off the coastline. Standing at 27 metres, the lookout tower offers stunning panoramic views across Backstairs Passage and the Kangaroo Island coastline. We enjoy our morning tea before being taken on a guided tour of the precinct.
Late morning we head back to Penneshaw where we will enjoy lunch before boarding the ferry. We take the return cruise across the stretch of water known as Backstairs Passage to the mainland, arriving in Cape Jervis mid-afternoon.
As we take a leisurely afternoon drive back to the Fleurieu Peninsula, we enjoy the magnificent views that surround and reflect on the inspiring beauty and wonderful hospitality of Kangaroo Island.