We were at Penneshaw in May, which is Autumn, and already many of the shops were closed.
It looks like there isn't enough business to make it worth while their opening, so they close their shop, and head off on holiday.....or as the sign on the Fish & Chip shop said..."Gone fishing"
We still managed to find some places to get a meal!
The "Roaring 40's" may not be what you think they are!
This is the name of the strong, wild wind the western end of Kangaroo Island receives. With it comes wet weather and cold temperatures. The winds are at full strength in Spring and slightly weaker in Autumn, although this when there is a lot more wind. This is why you see wild seas around Kangaroo Island, and you need to take a Windbreaker or warm jacket with you at any time of the year.
The good point about the Roaring 40's was in the days when sailing ships plyed the water, it gave them much needed wind power, but also caused many shipwrecks.
There are three different hikes you can choose from at Cape Borda.
The one I chose, was the 1 km clifftop hike.
This would be the worst walk I did on Kangaroo Island. Have a look at my photo's and you will see why! The path was terrible, dangerous to walk along because of all the potholes, so easy to twist an ankle or have a fall. It took longer than the suggested time of 30 mins return because of the disgraceful track. When I eventually made it to the viewpoint, the view wasn't much!
If you want to miss something out, don't do this!
It is unsuitable for anybody with walking difficulties,
Make sure you are wearing good walking shoes/boots
A wooden boardwalk leads all the way to Admiral's Arch. The walk is 1km along a boardwalk which is accessible for wheelchairs most of the way. There are a few steps, so I think this walk would be quite alright for most people to attempt. Be careful when the wood is damp as it tends to become slippery.
The suggested time for the walk is 15 minutes return, I took a lot longer as I enjoyed watching the Seals!
As a considerate person, I find it annoying when other people aren't!
I was lucky at Remarkable rocks as there were only about 8 people there. Wonderful, I thought! Photo's without a busload of tourists surrounding the rocks.
Would you believe with only that small number of people there, I still couldn't take a photo without a person in it.
Why..... Because there was one American man who wouldn't move after he had taken his photo. He stood and clicked through his photos. Surely he could see other people waiting to take a photo of where he was standing! In the end I took the photo with him in it, I couldn't wait any longer, nor be bothered climbing the rock to ask him to move.
Some people have very bad manners!
At Remarkable Rocks, there are many warning signs that state you must not go past them.
The granite in wet weather is extremely dangerous, as is the strong winds. I have seen many rogue waves on my travels, and here they happen too! It would be a sad way to end a holiday, and you really do not need to go near the edge for any reason, so take heed of the signage.
Backstairs Passage is well known for its rough seas. Years ago, many passengers were terribly sea sick and often Ships were sunk.
Luckily, we now have the Sealink Catamaran making the 45minute crossing to the Island. If the sea is too choppy, then the crossing may be cancelled.
Just wanted to let you know incase you suffer from sea sickness, you may want to pop in some tablets.
Best time to travel is earlier in the morning when the sea is calmer.
I think the main wildlife to watch out for is Kangaroos and Wallabies. We saw dozens in daylight, so if travelling early morning or late afternoon and into the night, I would expect to come across some on the road. They get dazzled by the car lights and end up hitting your car and usually make quite a bit of damage. Unfortunately, they have a mind of their own, so even if you think they are moving away from you, do go slow until they have hopped into the bush.
Goanna's are sometimes seen crossing the road in the warmer months, so take care not to run him over. Echidna's shelter during the heat of the day, then come out to forage at night time, as do Possum's and Koala's.
The Cape Barren Geese are on the move in the daylight hours.
Kangaroo Island is known to be in a Temperate weather district.
It is not an Island of high temperatures, even in Summer, it is usually cooler than 30°c.
Winter is colder, and can be very cold when the winds come from Antartica.
Don't be fooled by a sunny day at any time of the year, as the weather here can change very quickly. Throw a jacket in the car or take one in the tour bus with you, just incase!
We left Penneshaw on a lovely sunny day. By the time we reached Vivonne Bay, we could see a storm brewing, and it wasn't long until the sun disappeared behind the clouds. Before the end of the day, we were sightseeing in the rain. It was cold! A cold wind was blowing inland from the ocean and my clothes were wet. I moved fast to reach our car to warm up!
Driving along the main roads on Kangaroo Island will be on bitumen. Roads leading off the main roads, will most of the time be dirt, leading into a dirt carpark and viewing area.
We found most of the roads to be in good condition, but did strike some the far end of Kangaroo Island that had quite a few ripples which required some very slow attentive driving.
You will find if you wish to see a lot of the sights, then you will have to travel on dirt. The Kangaroo Island map shows which are paved and which are dirt.
.. Driving really is the best way to get about Kangaroo island and as the names suggests they are everywhere. To be driving and hit a Kangaroo is the worst if you have a hire car...even in your own car is a drama not only badly damaging your car and the Kangaroo but ..if they come in through your windscreen it could be a really bad situation for the occupants of the car.... Like driving anywhere in Australia Kangaroos and wildlife can just run out on the road. A lot of foreign visitors are not used to the prolific amount of wildlife that is here.
The worst time for wildlife is sunset as that is the time that they come out to forrage for food.
Take notice of safety road signs.
Drive safely and protect local wildlife..
When travelling or maybe camping here on this wonderful Island carry and use a strong mosquito repellant. Summer sees a time for mosquito problems..Evening times are the bad times. Wear loose fitting clothing with long sleeves and long pants. Cover all bare skin with a good repellant to protect yourself to be safe. .Not only are mosquitos a pest but are very dangerous..Australia now has Ross River fever and Dengue fever both bad mosquito borne viruses to be affected with..
Kangaroo Island is a very popular place for visitors and a lot obviously come to enjoy the clean and usually isolated located beaches. The surf can be very good here and sometimes you can have the beach to yourself.That in itself is most appealing to many surfers.
Be very careful when either surfing or swimming here as the great white shark is a common visitor to these waters. The shark obviously is here for the seals on his journey from South Africa to the southern and eastern coast of Australia..A lot of the scenes in Jaws was filmed on this coast.
I came here to photograph the wonderful seal pups...not to swim..
PHOTOS TO COME..
One thing that's not mentioned in any tourist guides (that I had) is the danger of driving at night! I happened to be driving towards Penneshaw after dark and I was on a stretch of bitumen road near Baudin Beach. I had overtaken a couple of cars previously and had just overtaken a huge truck in my small car on the narrow, uneven road. Just as I was settling back in (still having my lowbeams on) a Kangaroo materialised about 15 metres in fromt of my car, and I was travelling about 100km/h. All I had time to do was to steer (swerve) to the opposite side of the road but the Kangaroo started moving and closed the gap, hitting the left side of my car. Fortunately the car was driveable but it will probably cost me a few grand to repair the damage.
If travelling at night, don't go over 90km/h, or stay behind another vehicle. Insurance or driving either an old bomb or a car with a Bull-bar is recommended.
Many of the roads on Kangaroo Island are unsealed or they were when we were there.
You have to be careful with your speed on them and they are very dusty. You car will be covered with red dust.
The rental car companies do not want you to drive their vehicles on these roads. We did....don't tell them