Kangaroo (KI) Island, hopping around, Day 1


Sitting here trying to write after day 2.  Long day today.  Dinner, Guinness, JD, and tired equals…I’ll see how long I can go.

Up at 6:30am, off at 8am.  Hard to get motivated real early on vacation.  But there is a lot to see and little time to see it.

We left our little bungalow

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to find some “touristy” adventure.  We ended up at Stokes Bay Bush Garden.  Two people have spent thirty years gathering plants native to Kangaroo Island and put them on display.  Praxy was in heaven, I was intensely interested.

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The orange cone looking thingies truly have a real purpose.  Called bottle brush, those spines protect the seed from fire.

In goes the SD card from Praxy’s camera.  What did she like?

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The plants here on KI are totally foreign to us.  Mostly small leaved and spiny to conserve moisture and keep herbivores at bay.  All plants were number with a key to the Latin scientific names.  Some had local names, of course. 

It was fun walking through the garden, which probably was about 4 acres.  We really only saw one thing that was familiar.  Praxy spotted a citrus tree, and “by gollies” it turned out to be common limes.  We grabbed one as a tasty souvenir, I hope the owners don’t read this and catch us.  It went on our salads.  We spent almost two hours wandering around looking at plants, bushes, trees, and assorted birds.

Worth a stop if you are into greenery.  Not worth it otherwise.  Both of us loved it.

Just down the road and hill was Stokes Bay.  Since it was close, we took off for a look.

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Beautiful to look at, but too windy and cold that morning.

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A nice little walk to a nearby beach through the rocks and caves ended at crossing with about 6 inches of water in it.  Neither of us wanted to get our feet wet.

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So we moved on.  Back to the car.  And the rain showers commenced.  Nothing to do but hunker down and drive to our next destination, KI Wildlife Park.  And hope the rain would go away.

With admission goes a little bag of “roo” feed for the wallabies and kangaroos.  This was a lot of fun!  Wallabies here

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These are the most unassuming creatures.  Very polite.  They watch you walk into the enclosure and they don’t even move.  When you chose your wallaby and walk up to it, it comes alert and walks over to you for it’s handout.  They carefully nibble the kibble off or your hand and you don’t get bit or bothered.  I shot an extra photo of the albino wallaby as she was the only animal with a visible joey.  Much as I wanted to, I didn’t try to touch the joey.  Didn’t know how mom would react.  Otherwise you could pet them and touch them, no problem.

I’ve been to deer parks and fed white tail deer.  They can get most obnoxious.  Wallabies and kangaroos, at least these, had perfect manners.

Here’s some kangaroos…

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Kangaroos are supposedly bigger, but these weren’t large at all.  Again, perfect ladies and gentlemen.  Those teeth are sharp and strong, but the animals are careful.

A few more highlights…

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Dingos with their handler.  They are friendly enough, but can get standoffish.  They don’t share our pet dog’s desire to please.  So they do what they want.

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A kookaburra.  I haven’t seen one “sitting in the old gum tree”, but I got a nice photo.  Now want to hear one laugh.

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Colorful parrots.  There are parrots everywhere around here.  Thousands of them.  Noisy buggers.

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1pm came around and it was time for the koala encounter.  We were allowed into the cage to pet and meet these inoffensive, charming little creatures.   This one was named Misty. 

But many of my readers know me.  I can’t resist an opportunity.  A chance to hold one.  I plopped down the additional $20AUD for this.

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Like “kissing a dolphin”, this is a one chance in a lifetime experience.  This little female was named Chloe, she was the nicest little thing you can imagine.  Perfectly happy to munch the eucalyptus leaves as we shot picture after picture.

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I guess those leaves taste pretty good!

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Group picture.  Chloe was abandoned by her mother and a young lady named Lee raised her.  Chloe is as tame as a house pet.  Only thing she was concerned about was the chow.  Those leaves were a favorite and I had to make sure she could continue to eat without interruption.  Constantly had to spin that little sprig.  Great fun!

After this, Lee pulled a little wagon around the park feeding the various animals.  It was a blast for me.  They all woke up and paid attention, so we got good looks at them.

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Very strong, it was all Lee could do to keep it in the cage.  The lower shot is it sleeping.  This was hilarious as it’s teeth were chattering as it dreamed about eating (I guess).

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An albino opossum.  This little guy was old and feeble, probably won’t last much longer.  He was carefully hand fed.

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This is another one of those things that seem to interest me and I get to share with my readers.  Visiting a place you may never see.  An echidna display.  I couldn’t take extra pictures as I was busy.  This echidna wouldn’t eat and was very lethargic.  Lee groused about him having a tick and sure enough, she found one just between and above his eyes.  They are quite prone to ticks and helpless to fend them off.  Makes them sickly and weak.  Lee was most concerned and tried to pull it off.  Good luck, with all those spines.  She wished she had pliers and TADA! I pulled out my handy Leatherman from the states.   Fifteen seconds later the echidna was free of it’s tormentor and happily eating it’s bowl of gruel.  They eat ants and termites, normally.  This was hamburger with raw egg and a little wheat.

Lee loved my Leatherman and is going to get one to carry around the park.  The narrow, spring loaded jaws meant that tick didn’t have a ghost of a chance.

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This is a shingle lizard.  I think.  No internet so I can’t check the name.  They are called “sleepies” in Australia as they are docile and slow.  Cool little animal.

Last was the parrot cage.  Lee had a favorite parrot in there that just loves her.  That parrot just burrowed into her arm and didn’t want Lee to go.  It was touching.  Lee says she may just give up and take the parrot home with her.

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Praxy as a baby koala,  Notice her sucking her thumb!

Not quite done with the blog, but my energy is done…

12/9/2016  8:30pm

Kingscote was our next stop.  The largest “town” on the island.  Houses, a few motels, two gas stations, a couple of banks, a liquor store, and a very nice IGA grocery store.

The IGA logo was the same as the USA, so I’m guessing they have the same parent company.   This store was well stocked with a wide variety of foods.  Much, much more than mere basics.  Prices were higher on most items than they were in Mount Barker.  But a few things were cheaper.  We picked up a few extra items, why not? 

I’m going into this little detail to inform any readers of this humble little blog about visiting a holiday house here on the island.  Tips for the traveler.

Most holiday houses, including ours, are not stocked with any food items other than the total basics.  This one has cleaning supplies, spices, dishes, cooking utensils, bedding, appliances, just about every single thing you need.  Except food.  The owners said that they would have no problem supplying it and will even do some shopping for a fee.  But how can the owners know what the tenants might prefer?  There are people from all over the world on this island, most have rented cars and are traveling around.  Stock your house for an Aussie.  OK , what if the next visitor is Chinese?  Or French?  Or American?  What if the house is empty for several days?

There are two larger local grocery stores.  The larger one is in Kingscote, the smaller one in Penneshaw.  A few smaller stores dot the island that carry odds and ends that are not perishable and a few popular perishable staples.  A nice little fish market in American River provides oysters and fish, in season.  A farmer’s market in Kingscote on Sunday mornings.   Visitors can stock up whenever they like with decent groceries, albeit a bit high priced.

Both stores have a large supply of frozen items to be nuked or thawed.  There are also some delis (at the IGAs as well) with salads, cold cuts, and other quick eats.

Another alternative is eating at local restaurants.  Their prices are high, some places prices are totally outrageous.  OK, for a treat, but don’t do it unless you are very well heeled, cooking challenged, or lazy.

I can cook as well or better myself.  For the most part. 

An alternative is to REALLY stock up in Adelaide and bring the goodies over on the ferry.  This is what we did.  We borrowed a cooler from Graeme and stuffed it with food items.  Brought dry goods over as well.  There was lots of room in our Toyota Corolla hatchback.  Beer, booze, food, snacks, cloths, toiletries, gifts, everything.

Back to the house and time for dinner.  I broke out the kangaroo steaks and fired up the barbie.  Roo tenderloin, grilled new potatoes, and salad.  I have to say the the roo was excellent.  It tastes a lot like white tailed deer only milder.  Tender, flavorful, Praxy broke down and had two extra helpings.  It was that good.

After clean up, I was done.  The stress of driving on the wrong side had taken it’s toll.  In bed at 8:30, Praxy was up until midnight.

12/10/2016  5:50pm

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About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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