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undedd Penneshaw - A travel report by Dave
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Penneshaw,  Australia - flag Australia -  South Australia
1839 readers

undedd's travel reports

Go Wild on Kangaroo Island

  18 votes

Penneshaw travelogue picture
Visiting Kangaroo Island at least once in our life should be compulsory. The opportunity to explore an unspoilt natural environment on this scale is rare. It’s sobering to think the whole country was this wild once.

Australia’s third largest island and only 13 kilometres off the South Australian coast, KI (as it is affectionately known) is linked by year-round air services and ferries. It’s big, and with 4,500 residents spread over 4,500 square kilometres you won’t feel crowded.

No traffic lights, no queues, no annoying signs - and not a Big Mac in sight!

Favourite spots:
Penneshaw travelogue picture
If you like wildlife, wildflowers and wilderness, then this is one of the best places in Australia to visit. That's the biggest highlight, but there are so many others. Here are a few of our favourite things:

1. The beaches - unspoilt gems, you'll be the only one of most of them. Check out Hansons Bay and Vivonne Bay in the south, Emu Bay, Stokes Bay and Island Beach in the north. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

2. Walking and hiking through any of the conservation parks - much of the western area of the island is untouched by white man. Sensational. Flinders Chase and Kelly Hill Conservation Parks are just two of 26 parks on the island.

3. Exploring the cottage industries of the island - from wine to honey.

4. The locals and their attitude - they know what they've got and they're out to protect it.

What's really great:
Penneshaw travelogue picture
Dick Smith, one of Australia’s foremost journeymen, once observed that Kangaroo Island is “…the best place in Australia to view wildlife.”

We saw platypus, kangaroos, wallabies, tiger snakes, sand goannas, echidnas, koalas, penguins, dolphins, seals and many different bird species in a week's stay - all in their natural environment.

Separated from the mainland in 10,000BC and uninhabited since 2,250BC when the aborigines disappeared, its isolation and absence of introduced pests and predators encourages abundant wildlife, much of it uncommon or extinct on the mainland.

Kangaroo Island is unique, and the locals know it. A strong commitment to sustainable tourism has evolved, creating opportunities for residents and visitors by balancing tourism activity, demands and impact. Limited industry keeps the island clean and green, focusing on a small range of quality products that adds diversity, shoring up the traditional pastime of farming.

Sights:
Penneshaw travelogue picture
YOU'LL NEED SOME TIPS ON GETTING AROUND.

Driving is really the only way if you don't take an (overpriced) island tour. There is no public transport on the island. A small car will cost around AU$75 per day and a large family car will cost around AU$100 per day. Both cost less by the week.

Fuel costs around AU$1 per litre; allow around AU$10-15 per day if you're travelling a bit.

Sealed roads link major attractions but all others are dirt – graded ironstone ball bearings that render steering useless at speeds greater than 60km/h.

Allow extra time (and care) when you’re travelling these roads. There's no traffic to speak of so even those of you that will be driving on the wrong side of the road won't have a problem.

Accommodations:
Penneshaw travelogue picture
HERE'S TWO PLACES WE CHECKED OUT - BOTH GREAT, ROMANTIC GETAWAYS:

GEORGINA'S PLACE - Browns Beach, near Penneshaw. A slice of nature''s heaven. This is the archetypal beach house for two. Studio style, with one huge open-plan space, wood floors, spacious undercover decks, all overlooking your own stretch of calm beach. A$85 a night.

HANSON BAY CABINS - Hanson Bay, South Coast. You'll have echidnas in your front yard, penguins nesting under the rocks 100 metres away on the beach, 3-foot sand goannas watching you, wallabies knocking on your door and possums pissing on your shoes (if you leave them outside!)

This is unspoilt paradise. An untouched oasis at the southwestern corner of the island, handy to all the big attractions and hiking activities. It borders two of the island's most significant conservation parks.

You get slate floors, a toasty wood-burning heater, fully equipped kitchen, good bathroom and a living area with views to die for. A$120 a night.

Other recommendations:
Penneshaw travelogue picture
HERE'S A FEW GOOD PLANNING TIPS:

WHEN TO GO: The climate is mild. Cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The island is at its best in spring when the wildflowers are out.

WHERE TO STAY: If you have time, split your visit between two accommodation bases – one in the west and one in the east. It’s a big island and you’ll see it more leisurely by using two bases. Beachside accommodation fills quickly in summer and places are available to suit all budgets.

SIGHTSEEING: KI is a nature-lover’s paradise. Get out and walk. The facilities provided by National Parks and Wildlife throughout the island are excellent, and their supporting publications are indispensable. KI’s beaches are unmissable – you’ll be the only one on most of them.

SERVICES: Provisions, fuel and most other services are available from shops and supermarkets in major towns. Outside these areas the availability and range of services is limited.

Published on Wednesday October 23th, 2002


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Thu, Jul 01 2004 - 07:22 PM rating by traveling_gal

Fabulous travel report. Great insider's tips; all of which I will keep in mind when I make my own trip to Australia in the future. Great photos also.

Sun, Feb 22 2004 - 02:45 PM rating by travelalain

A great report about KI, I wish I could't already been there.

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