A Remarkable Day on Kangaroo Island

Trip Start Jan 15, 2009
Trip End Mar 07, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Friday, February 20, 2009

I slept in so long this morning that I missed my complimentary breakfast at the Wilderness Retreat.  Checkout was at 10:00 am here, but the Sealink Tour Bus did not come to pick us up until 2:30 pm!  I am not sure what they expected us to do for all that time, but I stayed in my room as late as I could, and then I sat in the lobby and worked on my laptop and read a novel while I waited. The bus arrived right on time at 2:30 pm.  We were driven to nearby Flinders-Chase National Park.  We drove through as the driver pointed out some plants and natural features.  Then we stopped at a place called "Remarkable Rocks".  This is a rock formation at the tip of the island that has been eroded into amazing, or shall we say "remarkable" shapes by millions of years of wind and wave action.  The rocks were interesting, but the view from the rocks was very impressive.  The waves hitting the base of this granite rock formation have traveled unfettered from the coast of Antarctica to arrive here.  There is no land south of this rock between these rocks and coldest continent.

Our next stop was nearby, a place called Admiral's Arch.  This is a natural rock arch which is home to a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals.  We walked down a long series of steps to the arch and found lots of Fur Seals lying on the rocks.  We took a few photos and then we left for the Flinders-Chase Visitors Center, which was our last stop before driving back to Penneshaw.  The visitor's center was mostly a snack bar and gift shop, but they did have one interesting little exhibit.  It was series of skins from kangaroo, wallaby, opossum, sea lion, and fur seal.  You could touch the fur of each one to see what they feel like.  The opossum was the softest of all the furs.  They actually make coats out of them in New Zealand.

Our driver made pretty good time on the way back across the island to Penneshaw.  We stopped briefly to look at a small mob of kangaroos grazing along the roadside.  When we arrived at the Sealink Ferry Terminal, we were about 40 minutes early, so many of us went to get something to eat.  I grabbed a small pizza at the pizza joint on main street.  

We caught the ferry at 7:30 pm and headed back across the straight to Cape Jervis.  The sunset over the water was beautiful.  When we arrived, there was a lot of pandemonium and chaos as all these people tried to figure out what tour bus they were supposed to be on.  Eventually, everyone was aboard the correct transportation.  It is a long drive back to Adelaide, but it was actually longer than it would have been because our bus driver had to make several stops to pick up mail at rural post offices (I am not kidding about this).  I arrived at the Hilton at about 10:00 pm.  I retrieved my luggage they had been storing for me and made my way up to my room where I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I must give a parting word or two about this Sealink Kangaroo Island Tour.  If I had it to do over again, I would book this tour with another company or drive myself around the island.  I felt like this was a one or two day tour stretched out to make a 3 day tour.  There is way too much downtime, especially at the Wilderness Retreat, and I hated not having any transportation while I was there.  Also, the pacing of this tour was odd.  Sometimes you spent hours just sitting around, and other times they were rushing you to finish up and move on to something else.  If you are going to Kangaroo Island, I would check into other tours besides the 3 day Sealink Tour.
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