Wednesday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to get myself down to Kangaroo Island. There’s over one million kangaroos on the island, as well as koalas and other wildlife. One of the things you learn when you come to Australia is that if a kangaroo jumps out at you when you’re driving, the safest thing to do is to just hit it. Part of the reason why I didn’t want to hire a car is because I’d prefer to not deal with a car insurance company for hitting a kangaroo, as well as my navigation skills. I opted to go for a tour again just to make life easier for myself.
When we were introducing ourselves to each other, the usual question came up of “how long have you spent in Australia?” with most people staying a month or two. It really is amusing to watch other people’s expressions when I say that I’ve been year a year and eight months almost.
The island itself is quite cut off from the rest of Australia – they get their electricity from the mainland and it seems as though they don’t really have a plumbing system. The people living there rely on their livestock a lot. The first place we went was to a sheep farm, where the farmer explained to us how they use the sheep to support themselves, and also allowed us to pet his sheepdogs.
The next stop was an eucalyptus distillery, where we shown how the eucalyptus can be used to create products. I’m pretty sure that there was a cider factory around the corner that I would’ve enjoyed more. After lunch we were taken to Seal Bay, where you get to walk along the beach with a guide who knew her shit about sea lions. When you come to Australia you expect to pet kangaroos and koalas, though you don’t expect to share a beach with sea lions. Afterwards, we went to a place called Little Sahara where we climbed up a sand dune and sledded down – as I am a bit of a liability for injuring myself, I did it just the once.
The following day we went to a wildlife sanctuary where wild animals roam and people take a lot of pictures – there were koalas and wallabies – I’ve been in Australia for long enough to be over the novelty of seeing koalas in trees, but the rest of the group were fascinated by them. I have the best selfie with a kangaroo that I’m ever going to get, so didn’t get the camera out.
Next, we visited a place called Remarkable Rocks. There’s an Aboriginal story about how the place was formed, and there are reasons why Aboriginal people don’t acknowledge the island and won’t visit it. We stayed for around half hour, walking and people watching around the place. After, we went to a place called Admirals Arch where the seals live and watched them for a bit. At first it’s a bit like ‘is that a seal or is it a rock?.’ After lunch we then had to make our way back to the ferry terminal, via a couple of beaches and a honey farm.
I’m glad that I’ve visited now as there is a lot of money being invested into a runway at the airport, meaning more tourism. It seems as though the protection that the ecosystem has there is only valid as long as there is no big sums of money involved. More tourism here would mean that there’s going to be land built over, restaurants and places to shop built and really take away what is so good about the island. It’s also predicted that a gas company will eventually build an oil rig and extract the oil from around the island, which is a great shame. Humans need to learn to stop thinking about money, and instead the planet and the wildlife that also lives here.
Overall, it was a great couple of days, it’s definitely one of the more underrated places in this country. I’d gladly go back and spend a bit more time on the island with a bit of research.