Up and at ‘em early on the 9th. It’s a long drive across the Island to Flinders Chase National Park. Over an hour and a half away one way if you aren’t rushing. Which we weren’t doing. Crossing 1oo odd kilometers across the island from our beach house.
About 20 kms from the park, we encountered our first roo preparing to cross the road. It was standing on the left, looking back and forth for traffic. I couldn’t decide it was waiting to dart out in front of me, or waiting for me to pass. So I slowed wwwaaayyy down and watched. It finally decided to amble across the road, no rush, no worries. Humorous watching them walk. They lean forward and put their front paws down. A quick lift with the tail and the back legs are elevated. They leisurely move their back legs forward to near their front legs. Then lift tail and front legs. Several of these in succession equals a mosey across the road.
Hopping is only for hurrying or scurrying. We’ve all seen that on TV. They can scoot right along and turn on a dime. No wonder they are so hard to avoid with a car at night. We had one dart in front of us later that day. I saw it well in advance, but it shot across the road like a bouncing ball.
While I’m on roadside animals, another frequent road visitor are the local goannas. Looking kind of like a monitor lizard, they can range from a foot or so to maybe three feet. They don’t hurry at all and I’ve seen several plastered on the bitumen. If you get out of your car, they flash into the brush. So cars aren’t a threat to them, in least in their minds. We had a big one on the roadside yesterday. I thought it was a branch on the ground (the winds were fierce 3 days ago), but Praxy got excited as we passed. The “branch” moved and flicked out it’s tongue at us. Pretty cool looking. Nothing like that in the states.
Our 90 minutes passed and we found ourselves at the visitor’s center for the park. A quick entry fee, followed by some souvenir shopping, and we were on our way. One thing I really wanted to try was spotting a wild platypus. So off to the platypus holes walk.
Regrettably, all we saw was their habitat.
A one mile walking loop provided vistas like this. Overlooks on the brackish looking water. The rangers said that this wasn’t the season for them. Might have been too cold and they are a nighttime critter in any case. A little bit of a let down, but animals have their own schedule. Sometimes I get lucky, some times not.
Wait, here’s one!!
Back in Ben, our trusty car, to see some other sites further into the park. The car in front turned right, so we turned left. And found ourselves at the Remarkable Rocks.
From a distance. In a few minutes we’d discover about 50 people from a Princess Lines cruise ship were at the rocks. Looking at this telephoto shot, I now see some of them.
What an odd looking sight!
Wind sculpted granite. Hard as nails. The wind must have been working on these for a hundred thousand years or more. No problem to walk right up to them. Although several people have been killed here. Wander to far to the edge, and you end up falling to the ocean hundreds of feet below. Hopefully to a mercifully quick death as the breakers are rough as hell flying strait into the fallen rocks.
This is for fish and seals only. No humans are welcome.
Looks vaguely like a snapping turtle getting ready to chomp on my wife.
The two of us had a great time posing in the natural sculptures.
The most bizarre looking wind erosion I’ve ever seen. Worth a stop to ponder this oddity.
Next up was the left turn to Admiral’s Arch. First up, though was a stop at the Cape du Couedic lighthouse. Picturesque, but not much else to see. No tours, just a few interpretive signs. Still, it was quite nice to walk around.
All lighthouses on Kangaroo island have been decommissioned. GPS has rendered them obsolete. This lighthouse and another we visited have holiday cabins for rent where the lighthouse keepers used to live. The houses look charming, but the places are totally remote. You’d have nothing but birds and tourists to keep you company. Still, for a peaceful getaway, they’d be worth considering. I haven’t been able to learn prices.
Next up, Admiral’s Arch. This looked like a total let down, although there were a ton of cars in the parking area.
There was a boardwalk leading down and I kept thinking the arch was on this island across the way, North Casuarina. Quite a let down. Yawn. Oh well, follow the boardwalk down to get a closer look.
Oh, there’s SEALS. That must be what everyone is looking at. Out came the telephoto lens. These are New Zealand fur seals, an endangered species. Come to found out this area is a rookery for them. One of only a few in the world.
Farther down looking at seals and…there was the arch. It was impressive. The boardwalk had taken us over it and the stairs brought us down close to arch and closer to seals.
A nice Japanese tourist and I exchanged family photos. There were 6 in his family and they were all taking turns being out of shot. Until I showed up.
Seals, unimpressed by the arch, relax. Fur seals, unlike Sea Lions, don’t like direct sun. They get too warm. I’m guessing this will be crowded in a few weeks when the weather warms up. Notice we are wearing warm cloths. The wind was cool, not many people wearing shorts.
I’ve been told it’s summer down here. I’ve been wondering about that. Everyone assures us that this is the coldest, wettest, year in recent memory. It’s sunny and warm today (11th) but I still have a jacket on me inside our house.
The wind was kicking up some pretty big waves. This little smack right here is probably 40-50 feet into the air! It looked to me like the seals were being careful when they tried to haul out. I watched one spend 5 minutes before it got on to land.
Time for lunch. Oops, we forgot the sandwiches. Back to the Visitor’s Center for a burger. Didn’t really care for it that much. Cooked at much too low a temp and it was soggy. Oh well, better than being hungry. We’d walked a long ways and had another stop yet. Hansen Beach.
Soft silky sand. A little chilly for swimming, although a few hardly souls have been venturing out.
Walking along the cliffside going sound provided some great scenery. The ocean breaks across long sheets of some sort of flat rock. So sometimes those sheets look like sheets of cotton from the surf. Awesome. We found a hoodoo tucked away along the cliff.
Watch your step on this walk. The sharp little rocks grab your shoes and trip you. Both of us went down. We discovered you had to pick your feet up and walk deliberately. Look down when you are moving.
The beginning of a hoodoo, perhaps.
Awesome to watch these huge waves roll in and punish the shoreline. I was mesmerized and had to pull myself away.
Praxy had to take a little dip in the ocean. She said the water wasn’t bad. But it would have been cold swimming as the wind howled. ALL. DAY. LONG.
Praxy clowned around a bit, a set of foot and hand prints. The sand is so fine and dense, it packs easily. Makes for light prints for a petite lady.
Still an hour to drive back, we arrived around 6. Leftovers for dinner, neither of us wanted to cook. We settled in and enjoyed a quiet evening.
Next up, the other side of the island near Penneshaw.