Fun things to do in Kangaroo Island

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    Admirals Arch
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Kangaroo Island

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    PIONEER'S MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    After looking at the old Cells at Kingscote, it was time to cross the road and wander up the hill to see the Pioneer's Memorial.
    The nice looking Pioneer Memorial, commemorates South Australia`s first settlers who arrived here at Kingscote, in July 1836, aboard the Ship the "Duke of York". The honour of being the first South Australian to set foot on land was given to baby Elizabeth Beare. Tragically she was burnt to death three years later.
    Kingscote was the first free settlement in Australia,but was dogged by the lack of water and suitable building timber, so after four years, it was abandoned in favour of Adelaide becoming the Capital city of South Australia.

    Pioneer's Memorial Pioneer's Memorial

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    HISTORIC KINGSCOTE

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    Kingscote is the largest town and the main town on Kangaroo Island. It is here, where more substansial buildings were built using the local stone. Quite a few, like the old Police cells, have been saved for future generations to see. A drive around the town found a nice small Church and many Cottages also built out of the local limestone and other 1st Settlers cottages built from corrugated iron.

    Historic Police Cells Kingscote Church First Settler's Cottage Early Kingscote Cottage Early Kingscote Cottage
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    STOKES BAY

    by balhannah Updated Dec 13, 2012

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    I thought this was another scenic area.
    Arriving here by car, we found a few holiday homes and the Rockpool Cafe. The Rockpool Cafe is open from October to May and is set in Stokes Bay Caravan/Camping Ground where there are BBQ facilities and picnic area overlooking the ocean. Stokes Bay has rock pools at the eastern end of the beach, fishing spots and bushwalking trails.
    We parked our car in the Car park, then proceeded to the Ocean for a look.
    Mmm, Quite pretty, but there were lots of worn round stones and seaweed, a notice to be careful of dangerour rips, certainly no good for swimming here!
    I couldn't see why this was a "must see."
    See next tiip........

    Stokes Bay Stokes Bay Warning sign @ Stokes Bay Stokes Bay Stokes Bay
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    • Camping

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    SALT LAKES

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    We saw quite a few Lakes on Kangaroo Island, not all of them were fresh water, a lot were Salt Lakes. You can tell which are salt as they are a pink colour.
    When Kangaroo Island was first settled, the salt was used by the sealers to preserve skins. The salt lakes provided the best available salt and an industry sprung up employing hundreds of men, resulting in a settlement being built, a port and the Island’s only railway at Muston on Pelican Lagoon.
    Gypsum from these lakes was exported from Ballast Head until 1992.

    Kangaroo Island salt lake
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    EMU BAY

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    Emu Bay is another small settlement on Kangaroo Island, only this one has a beautiful 5km long white sandy beach, and vehicles are allowed onto the Beach. This is the most popular swimming Beach on Kangaroo Island, but is never crowded. There are only some holiday homes, no shops or anything else, they are at nearby Kingscote, a 15min drive away.

    The Pelicans were on the Jetty and near the Fish cleaning station, obviously, people catch Fish here and clean them at the station! Once again, there was plenty of Bird life, and not much human life around!

    Emu Bay Pelican Emu Bay Emu Bay Emu Bay Emu Bay
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    • Fishing
    • Birdwatching

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    STOKES BAY BEACH

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    The other big surprise at Stokes Bay, was when I emerged from the rock tunnel to find a beautiful, pristine sandy Beach.
    It was wow! So different to the other side which was full of rocks and seaweed. The Beach was so clean, and there was only one couple walking along the Beach, hows that!
    A rock pool was in this area making it very safe for the children to have fun in the water. Even the cliffs were interesting. Most were honeycombed and there were caves I went into for a look. What a very nice area, one that I could have easily missed.

    Stokes Bay beach area See the entrance... Stokes Bay beach area Stokes Bay Cave Cliffs at Stokes Bay
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    THE CLIFF TUNNEL @ STOKES BAY

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    Now, if you come here by yourself like I did, and not on a tour, do not go away disappointed, for there is a surprise here.
    I was looking at the Ocean, then I decided to have a look a the big weather worn boulders. Thank-goodness I did, because hidden away was a notice to the Beach! Following a sandy trail, this led me along a track that passed by caves, and narrow areas where the giant boulders nearly touched. It was a fun, interesting walk. Children would love it!

    Now I know why it was advertised as a PLACE TO VISIT

    Stokes Bay - To the Beach Stokes Bay - To the Beach Stokes Bay - To the Beach Stokes Bay - To the Beach To The Beach
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    AMERICAN RIVER

    by balhannah Updated Dec 12, 2012

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    Kangaroo Island isn't over-run with tourists, but if you want a very peaceful area, I thought American River would be it.
    The smallish settlement nestles on the hillside in native bushland, from where there are good views of Eastern Cove and the mainland. It looked like a large amount of the homes were holiday homes available for renting.
    A narrow tidal channel, known locally as 'The River', separates Pelican Lagoon and Eastern Cove, forming the Island's most protected harbour. Fishing must be good, as at the boat ramp was an information board on the legal sizes of Fish that can be caught in the area......There was a lot.... Pelican Lagoon, the inner bay, is a natural fish nursery and is protected as an Aquatic Reserve. It is a breeding ground for the famous King George Whiting, a beautiful eating Fish.
    Pelican's were hanging around the jetty, a good sign people catch and clean Fish here! Fishing charters operate from here, and Boats can be hired. At Easter, an annual fishing competition is held here

    The nightlife is different to what you would expect, not Nightclubs, just a walk with a torch to find Tammar Wallabies and Brush-tailed Possums. The bushland surrounding the village is habitat to the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo, which are often seen in the area, I wanted to see them in the wild, but didn't have any luck!

    This is also where the Kangaroo Island oyster industry is based, with the wharf being a hive of activity during the season. Oysters are available, seasonally.
    There isn't much in the town, only the general store ( with fuel outlet and bottle shop) and post office.
    Take the Scenic Drive and enjoy the peace and quiet of this community.

    American River Fish Board American River picnic area American River American River American River
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    • Birdwatching
    • Fishing
    • Sailing and Boating

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    AMERICAN RIVER BIRD LIFE

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2012

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    American River was where we saw quite a bit of water Bird life. A narrow tidal channel, known locally as 'The River', separates Pelican Lagoon and Eastern Cove. If you aren't sure what Birds you are viewing, an interpretive board is there for your convenience. The islands within the lagoon are important bird-breeding habitats. Black Swans, Cape Barren Geese, Pelicans, Ibis, Egrets, Spoonbills, Swans, Ducks, Plovers, Stilts and many other Birds are found in the area. It's an excellent bird-watching destination. The foreshore and the Fish Cannery Walking Trail are the best places to go Bird Watching.

    American River American River American River American River American River
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    • Birdwatching

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    PENNESHAW BEACH & AREA

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2012

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    The beach at Penneshaw is known as Hog Bay, and is said to be an excellent sandy swimming beach. It was sandy, but too cold to go swimming. I did notice a Danger sign in one place where there is a deep hole, so be aware of this. Beside the Beach is a very nice grassy picnic reserve complete with BBQ's and Picnic tables.
    It is on this Beach the Fairy Penguins waddle up to their burrows every evening. Walking around the area in the daytime, I could see where their burrows were, and I also found quite a few Tammar Wallabies, and some small Blue Wren Birds.
    In May, this area was deserted.

    Hog Bay Beach @ Penneshaw Picnic area @ Hog Bay Blue Wren
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    HOG BAY BRICKWORKS

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2012

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    Located near the Kangaroo Island ferry terminal at Penneshaw, is a nice walkway along an embankment that overlooks the Beach. It was here, where I came across a monument dedicated to "Hog Bay Brickworks." I read the Brickworks only operated from 1907 to 1910, not for long!
    The material came from a mine on Kangaroo Island, and was transported to the Brickworks by teams of Bullocks. The Mine closed when it became flooded.
    A nice addition is the Kangaroo symbol stamped into each brick.

    Hog Bay Bricks Hog Bay Brick
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    VIEWPOINT OVER PENNESHAW

    by balhannah Updated Dec 12, 2012

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    A good place for a photo over Penneshaw, Backstairs passage and of the mainland, is on the hill heading down into Penneshaw.
    As Penneshaw is the starting point on Kangaroo Island, you will be sure to come up this hill when heading out for a days viewing. Remember on the way back, to stop and take a photo. There isn't a proper pull off, but there is plenty of room and it is well worn where many cars had stopped before us. I even managed to get the Ferry crossing the straight in my photo.

    Penneshaw, Backstairs Passage & mainland of S.A.
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    HARVEYS RETURN CEMETERY

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2012

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    A little further along from the lookout on Playford Highway, was the small Harveys return cemetery.
    We stopped here as I like looking at old cemeteries. This Cemetery is a where the Lighthouse Keepers are buried. There are 16 headstones, including the Lighthouse keeper and his family. There were some terrible deaths. Imagine having your eye pierced in a fall, and not being able to get help, living in agonizing pain until death. As in lots of places in Australia in the olden days, children died of diseases because of no access to medical treatment. One child was found at the bottom of a steep cliff, killed in the fall, another disappeared into the rugged scrubby terrain never to be seen again, another died of Scarlet Fever.

    Rather sad!

    Harveys Return cemetery Harveys Return cemetery Harveys Return cemetery Harveys Return cemetery
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    LOOKOUT ON PLAYFORD HIGHWAY

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2012

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    Leaving Cape Borda and travelling on the Playford Highway, it wasn't long until we came to quite a nice viewpoint. This is on the left hand side of the road, and overlooks the stunning coastline. What I liked here was the bright orange soil, what a nice contrast to the Blue ocean and the cliffs.
    Somebody had knocked over the signpost with the name of the lookout, hopefully it will be erected again before you come.

    Lookout near Cape Borda Lookout near Cape Borda Lookout near Cape Borda
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    WILDLIFE @ CAPE BORDA

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2012

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    When I was at Cape Borda, I saw plenty of Tammar Wallabies and Kangaroo Island Kangaroos in the middle of the day. As I headed towards the Cliff top track, probably a dozen or more of them were lazing around under the shade of some trees, and others were busy feeding.
    It is a good place to see both. The KI Kangaroo is a subspecies of the Western Grey Kangaroo which is smaller, darker and has longer fur than its mainland counterpart. The Tammar Wallaby has smaller and finer features than the Kangaroo and is abundant on the Island. They can only be seen on the Island, with a few still surviving in Western Australia.

    Tammar Wallaby @ Cape Borda KI Kangaroo & Joey Tammar Wallabies @ Cape Borda
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