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Travelling Oz - Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and Return - Part 3

Travelling Oz - Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and Return - Part 3

From Adelaide we flew to Darwin to travel on our pre-booked train trip on The Ghan heading back to Adelaide. This is a fantastic experience with two nights on the train, great meals in the restaurant and wonderful scenery. Your meals and drinks are included and so are the two 4-5 hour day tours in Katherine and Alice Springs.

Our next travel to Kangaroo Island was heading south through the Deep Creek Conservation Park boarding the ferry at Cape Jervis. Camping at Deep Creek was excellent with hot showers, toilets but no water to fill the bus This site needs to be booked and campers need to have a park permit as well as pay fees. There are a number of great camping areas around Deep Creek however Stringybark is the only one offering hot showers.

We then continued down to Cape Jervis for our ferry trip to Penneshaw and Kangaroo Island. Sailing time for the ferry is approximately three quarters of an hour. There are two ferries in operation and they travel numerous times to and fro island. We stayed for the first night at the Kangaroo Island Shores Caravan Park. This was an excellent stop after the ferry trip to have a look around, see fairy penguins at night and plan your adventure on Kangaroo Island. Penneshaw has excellent pub called “The Penny” dishing out a delicious arrangement of pub style meals. Next day, prior to leaving Penneshaw we called into the information centre to obtain our Kangaroo Island Pass, which allowed entry into the national and conservation parks. The pass also includes a small number of tours at specific locations but does not include camping fees. These have to be paid at the specific parks you visit.  We recommend if you plan on travelling right around and spending a good deal of time on the island, a pass is the best option.

Our first brief stop was to call into Browns Beach. Browns Beach is only about 20 minutes away. This is a beautiful place with toilets and hot showers available however a camping fee is payable to the Council. Next we called into Baudin Beach for a brief stop. Baudiin Beach has some interesting history attached to it and is worth a look. Prior to our next stop which was camping in the Flinders Chase National Park, we took a detour to the largest town on the island, Kingscote, to stock up on fuel, water and food. Flinders Chase National Park has excellent facilities including hot showers, toilets and cleaning facilities. There is no water to the individual sites however you can get water by the bucket. There are great walking tracks around the area and it is only short drive on an excellent bitumen road to the wonderful Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. These are all excellent places to visit with an array of wildlife and hundreds of NZ fur seals calling the Admirals Arch area home. The view from both areas is amazing and not to be missed.

After four excellent nights at Flinders Chase we were off to explore the rest of the island with our next brief stop being the Cape Borda Light Station where we were told is the only real lighthouse still operating in the south. A bonus to tourists is the firing of the restored signal cannon around 1pm which has been a daily ritual since the lighthouse started operating. There is unfortunately around 32 kms of corrugated dirt road in order reach the lighthouse. There is no camping at this place however there are restored heritage cottages available for hire from National Parks and Wildlife Service for those who want to stay longer. If you do not have a KI pass or other pass, then there will be an entry fee payable for visiting this area and doing the tour.

Following Cape Borda we ventured over to another beautiful area, Stokes Bay, where we spent two nights free camping and then one night at Emu Bay. After Emu Bay we ventured down to Seal Bay for the day tour that was paid as part of the KI Pass. Seal Bay is a must to see and is well worth the visit. With a parks guide you are able to have a close encounter with the seals. A truly magnificent experience! Leaving Seal Bay our next overnight stop was in the Council Camp Ground at American River where we stayed for two nights. There is power, hot showers and toilet facilities available as well as a tap for water. This is a great location with lots of history. There is a jetty within walking distance of campgrounds for those keen fisherpersons to try their luck. Another must is to try the fresh local oysters and marron at The Oyster Farm Shop which is only a short walk from the campground. This café is only open for a few hours over lunch. American River is also renowned for the many black swans that live in the area.

Council owns the campgrounds at Stokes Bay, Emu Bay, American River and Browns Beach and dependent on what facilities are available, there is a camping fee ranging from $10 to $30 payable on site. From American River we headed back towards Penneshaw on our final leg with another two night stay at the beautiful Browns Beach. There are good shower and toilet facilities here but no water. If you are keen, there is great fishing from the rocky point and nice walks along the beachfront. A very enjoyable and relaxing campground to stay. Next we headed back to Penneshaw for our final stay in the KI Shores Caravan Park, This return stay was also included in our ferry cost and allowed us to stock up on water, power and food ready for our next trip as well as be ready for the early morning ferry trip back to the mainland.

Travelling Kangaroo Island can be for as long as you want but if you want to have a really good experience and appreciation of the island, you need to spend at least 1 to 2 weeks. The ferry is not cheap and can be around $400 to $450 return for two people with a motorhome so you need to get the most out of the fare by spending as much time there as possible. We would highly recommend a camping trip on Kangaroo Island.

Part 4 - To Yorke Peninsula, Coober Pedy, Riverland area, Normanville and return to Adelaide, and more…

Tags: Camping Stories, Travel Stories

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