Clifford's Honey Farm
We visited Clifford’s Honey Farm on the ‘Seal Bay Discovery Tour’ run by Sealink. On arrival, we were given a honey-based soft drink to try, whilst a member of the Clifford family gave us an introductory talk about the history of the farm.
Clifford's was originally a family sheep farm. They started keeping bees as a sideline 40 years ago, but the business has grown and now they can produce as much as 20 tonnes of honey in a good year. Last year was a very bad one, and they only got 9 tonnes. They move the beehives every 6 to 8 weeks to follow the flowers. Local farmers let them put hives on their land in exchange for a bucket of honey.
Kangaroo Island had no honeybees until the 1880s. Between 1881 and 1885 a strain of bees was imported from Liguria in Italy. The intention was to breed them and supply the beekeeping industry with a supply of purebred queen bees. In 1885 the Australian Government proclaimed Kangaroo Island to be a sanctuary for these bees, and no more have been imported. As Kangaroo Island is beyond the range of bee flight from the mainland, the bees are believed to be the last remaining purebred strain of Ligurian bees.
There are 6 commercial honey farms on the island, as well as some hobby bee-keepers and some who breed queen bees for export elsewhere in Australia and around the world. We were shown the container in which queen bees are packed for travel: about 3 inches long and with three circular cells for the queen and about 8 other bees. Apparently it is very straightforward to send queen bees by post within Australia. Overseas deliveries can be more difficult!
Then we were taken into the honey shed where we were shown the machine where they extract the honey from the combs. At one end, hot water is used to heat the blade that slices off the wax covering. At the other, the combs are spun to extract the honey. The empty combs are returned to the hives. The wax is used for candles and other products such as lip salve, so is not wasted.
Then we were shown some actual bees in a glass fronted hive. They put a spot of white paint on the queen so that she can easily be identified.
The tour ended in the farm shop where we were able to sample the honey. (I felt a bit like Winnie the Pooh, having honey at mid-morning!) We tried three types of honey: spring honey, mainly made from rape (canola), mallee gum and sugar gum. I preferred the lighter spring honey, perhaps because it was more like the honey I get at home. The shop also sells other products, including mead, honey ice cream and handmade beeswax candles.Related to:
- Food and Dining
John feeds the pelicans at Kinsgscote wharf every day. The birds had got into the habit of being at the wharf when the fishermen brought in their catch, as they threw the waste away. After this practice was stopped, John felt sorry for the birds, and got permission to feed them.
He does it every day at 5.00 pm., at his own expense, though he charges a $5 donation towards expenses. John's commentary is very entertaining as he expresses some forthright opinions. He informed us that whilst there are pelicans elsewhere in the world, the Australian pelican 'is the biggest and best-looking pelican.' He also spoke admiringly of a pelican that had justified its existence on the planet by swallowing a Chihuahua!
According to him, there are no penguins left on the island as the New Zealand fur seals have eaten them all. The audience are warned not to panic if a 'very happy pelican' should wander among them.
The pelicans grew quite impatient whilst John was doing his introductory patter as they wanted him to stop talking and get on with the feeding. When he did start feeding, he tried to ensure that the gulls weren't left out.
Despite the fact that it was very cold and windy for sitting around on a wharf, this was one of the highlights of the day.Related to:
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery
This was the first stop on the Sealink ‘Remarkably Wild’ tour.
Emu Ridge is another sheep farm whose owners decided to diversify, producing oil from the native Kangaroo Island Narrow-Leaf Mallee.
They now have a harvesting machine that can do in 10 minutes what it used to take them 2 1/2 hours to do by hand, but the still remains a traditional and very simple process. The eucalyptus is put in the top with water, a fire is lit underneath and the resulting steam is then condensed to produce oil and water, which are separated. The oil then goes through a second process to refine it before bottling. The eucalyptus leaf residue is used as mulch.
They also produce tea tree oil, and are aiming to diversify into other native plants. They have a 2 minute video which they show about their work, which is available in several different languages.
There is a shop where you can buy their Eucalyptus oil and related products (including sweets and toiletries), which is also a gallery for local craftspeople and artists.Related to:
We visited Raptor Domain as part of the Seal Bay Discovery Tour operated by Sealink Ferries.
Most of the birds at the centre have been injured or orphaned and cannot be released back into the wild. They take part in demonstrations which show their natural behaviours. We arrived just in time for the 2.30 p.m. free flying demonstration in which Don Irwin and one of his helpers introduced some of the residents, and demonstrated their particular abilities. The first bird was 'Shush' the Barn Owl, who was hiding in a hollow tree and came out on cue when we called. A black-breasted buzzard called Slim demonstrated an interesting technique for getting into an emu egg.
Visitors have plenty of opportunities to put on a leather gauntlet and hold one of the birds. I got to hold Omen, the Sooty Owl. Among other birds we saw were Chipps the kestrel; Kylie the hobby falcon, two wedge tail eagles, and Banjo and Clancy, the laughing kookaburras. Kookaburras have the ability to hold their head still while their body is moving, which was very entertaining when demonstrated.
At the end of the show there is an opportunity to have a photo taken with Nellie, a wedge-tail eagle, in return for a donation.
It was quite chilly sitting in the presentation area, but blankets are provided.Related to:
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park
This was known until Parndana Wildlife Park from 1992 to July 2013, when it was taken over by new management and renamed Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. The new owners, Sam and Dana are making changes to improve the layout.
The animals are rescued ones which cannot be released back into the wild and many are tame. We were able to hand feed kangaroos, and to stroke koalas. There are also free-roaming peacocks who seem to enjoy eating the kangaroos’ food.
We also saw a number of parrots, two wedge tail eagle, a short nosed echidna, and a couple of cassowaries.
At the end of the tour Sam showed us a baby kangaroo whose mother had been killed in a road accident, which was being hand-reared.
We visited as part of the ‘Remarkably Wild’ tour run by Sealink, and had about an hour here. If we had been on our own we would probably have stayed a bit longer.
Open 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
There is a café area and small shop.Related to:
- Family Travel
This beautiful bay just calls to the fisherman, the photographer, and the person who likes to sit on a rock and meditate on the beauty found in nature. I can claim two of the three interests. I can imagine visiting here with an 8x10 view camera, but that is not what I have. Digital SLR with a quality zoom lens and no tripod will suffice. I found the wide angle range of the zoom lens to be especially useful here. FYI, the best views are down the road from a parking area at the top of a bluff. A 15-minute walk down will get you there.Related to:
Port of Call and Scenics
Kangaroo Island was a port of call for us while on a cicumnavigating Australia cruise, and it was one of our most enjoyable stops. The photographer will love the access to scenics as well as shots around the port. We noticed that a ferry exists to bring people from the mainland. If traveling, go light. Tripods would be nice but are not truly needed. A zoom lens will suffice.
Note that water is a scarce commodity on the island. There are no streams, wells or desalination plants. Residents save roof runoff in the rainy season and ration it until the rains return.Related to:
Around the Island
There a lot to do in the island, first, need to organize or plan which one you visit. Some of it you need to spent a few hours, and some of the sights you need a whole day tour. Most of the sights are out of the main road and you really need a time to get there. Collect a handy map at the harbor office. Its needed while driving around the island even you're using GPS, it shown on the maps the sightseeing placesAdd to your Trip Planner
Popular entertainment for all ages, John "The Pelican Man" gives a lively informative talk while feeding the birds, funny while watching the birds waiting for him to come, the bench are almost full with audience patiently waited till the show begin. He arrive with a bucket full of fish. First, he introduced himself making jokes and talk again. He start take one out fish from his bucket then start feeding the birds the Pelican gets crazy and wild. While he continued to feeds the bird, several time we taught some of them landed into our head but was never happenAdd to your Trip Planner
Still travelling on the dirt road to Cape Willoughby, we come over a rise on the road, and there before us was the Lighthouse and cottages!
Cape Willoughby was the first lighthouse to be erected in South Australia, and lights the Backstairs Passage between Kangaroo Island and the mainland. Although the lighthouse was meant to prevent Shipwrecks, still a number of ships sank off the coastline, the remnants of which can still be found in the area. I saw a notice that this area is part of the Kangaroo Island Shipwreck trail.
I didn't do a guided tour of the Lightstation, but you can and find out more about the early role of coastal shipping, colonial trading and passenger transport. The tour takes you to the top of the Lighthouse where in season, Whales can be seen.
Cape Willoughby park visitor centre has a museum with a collection of old photo's, as well as equipment that was once used at the site
The heritage-listed lightkeepers' cottages are available to rent.
I don't know if I had seen too much good scenery before coming here or what, but I was a little disappointed.
Cape Willoughby Conservation Park Visitor Centre is open 9am-3.30pm daily (except Christmas Day). 7days a week
Fees apply for the park.Related to:
- Historical Travel
ROAD TO CAPE WILLOUGHBY
The road to Cape Willoughby was a dirt road that was in good condition. The scenery along the way was of rolling green hills and farmland. After coming out from the road to Lashmar National park, we came to another pretty area, right beside the road. This still could have been part of the National Park. Water was here, whether it was part of the Chapman river, I don't know, but I do know it was pretty, especially as the ground surrounding it was covered with bright pink weed.
This was in the month of May.Related to:
- Road Trip
LASHMAR CONSERVATION PARK -THE BEACH
I went walking and came out on a long sandy deserted beach known as Antechamber Bay in the Lashmar Conservation Park.
I had walked from where the Chapman River flowed, so I walked along the Beach until I found the estuary of the River. The River is good for canoeing along, but in the month of May, the water wasn't running into the sea at Antechamber Bay. In this area, was a pretty Lagoon where Black Swans and Pelicans were. I walked alongside the water which was so clear and calm, that I could see Fish swimming around. What a picturesque park, an ideal location for swimming, fishing and bird watching and it's just a short drive from Cape Willoughby lightstation and Penneshaw.Related to:
LASHMAR CONSERVATION PARK
Heading along the road to Cape Willoughby, we saw a brown tourist sign to Lashmar Conservation Park.
Turning into the dirt road, we followed it, finding out that it was a "no through road" We saw a person camping, other than that, it was deserted, we had the area to ourselves. Plenty of parking, picnic shelters, toilets amongst the Trees, and camping amongst the bush.
It was a very pretty area. So quiet and peaceful, with the lovely Chapman river passing by on its way to the Sea. Canoeing and Kayaking can be enjoyed on the river.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
FIREBALL BATES TRAIL
This is another walking trail at Penneshaw of 3km which takes 1 - 2 hours. It is an easy walk which begins at the Information centre at Penneshaw which is in the old town. Along the walk, Interpretive signs tell of the history of the area.
"Fireball" Bates is known so because he had fiery red hair. You can read the story about him on my first photo.
The walk takes you around the pretty Christmas cove Boat harbour, and then past the Hotel and along North Terrace which fronts the Ocean. Along here, is Norfolk Island Pines, lawn and picnic area, Penguin rookery and wonderful seaside views. It then returns on the next parrellel road, Middle Terrace, which leads back to the Information centre. Altogether there are 22 points of interest on the walk.
If you want to remember what you have seen, do like I did, and buy the book "Penneshaw walks" from the Information centre, it cost $4.50.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
ARTWORK IN PENNESHAW
As we made our way around Penneshaw, we noticed the local council had built nice limestone brick walls and added sculptures to the brickwork. It looked great!
The entrance way to the Penneshaw oval had a sculptured Eagle on the wall. The Penneshaw Caravan Park had a group of Penguins and the local community kindergarten centre some Cockatoo's.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Kangaroo Island Hotels
Hanson Bay, Australia
Good for: Business
The Wisteria Lodge hotel is on a small rise at the edge of Kingscote. The rooms are spacious - after...more
The Foreshore, P.O. Box 145, Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, 5223, Australia
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
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