This past May I celebrated my 28th birthday. Pre-Covid I would have celebrated by buggering off to Asia, but as this was no longer an option, I decided to look closer to my new Adelaide home when searching for a little long weekend getaway.
Luckily, I didn’t have to look too long! After a little research, I decided that a trip to Kangaroo Island sounded like just the ticket. I booked accommodation and ferry tickets and eagerly awaited my little day of days.
You can fly directly to Kangaroo Island (or KI as the locals call it) but rental cars can be a little sparse at Kingscote Airport, so we decided instead to drive the 90 minutes to Cape Jervis and catch the 45 minute ferry. It was an easy and straightforward journey, and it meant that we had the luxury of getting to explore in our own car.
When we arrived onto the island we had a few hours to kill before we could check in to our accommodation, so we decided to head to nearby Dudley Wines for some lunch and to do a little tasting. Our pizzas and wines were delicious and to make things even better, the views from the restaurant were absolutely phenomenal.
Since I couldn’t have a nice villa in Bali or Thailand for my birthday, I decided instead that I would be willing to splurge a little bit on our accommodation.
Located on the islands north coast, these two panoramic villas are the most luxurious accommodations on all of Kangaroo Island. We stayed in ‘The Nest’ which boasts a wood fire, fully equipped kitchen, an enormous bath, an outdoor spa and even your own private sauna!
To make things even better, a stay at Stowaway allows you to enjoy unencumbered views of the rolling hill landscapes whilst just being a short drive from one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
We arrived at around 2pm and after settling in and checking out our new digs, we wasted no time in firing up the outdoor spa bath and cracking a bottle of bubbly.
That night, Ella cooked us dinner (it was my birthday after all!) and we had an early night.
The next morning I made us get up at around 5am so that we could make it to Flinders Chase National Park and more specifically – the Remarkable Rocks – before anyone else arrived. Driving in the dark on KI is nothing short of treacherous – we had at least twenty kangaroos jump across the road in front of us during the drive! However, we drove slowly, kept the high beams on and managed to get across the island without incident; and just like I had hoped, we had the Remarkable Rocks all to ourselves!
These incredible granite rocks have been sculpted and shaped by nature over the past 500 million or so years into the unique and inspiring shapes that they are today. It was as windy as could be when we arrived, but I didn’t mind a bit – having them all to ourselves made bearing the wind completely worth our while.
After we had enjoyed our fill of the rocks, we set off to another scenic spot also located in Flinders Chase National Park – Admirals Arch. The arch itself is pretty enough, however the real drawcard for me is the colony of fur seals that call this rocky coastal outcrop home.
I had so much fun watching the cheeky pups clamber around and irritate their parents, if it hadn’t been so bone chillingly cold I could’ve stayed all day long!
We decided to leave the park then to press on and search for some well earned breakfast. On the way out we were treated to absolutely jaw-dropping views of the winding roads and bushland.
We ended up heading back to Stowaway to eat lunch (we had to make our way through our leftovers from dinner) before getting back out on the road to have a few drinks. Our first stop was Kangaroo Island Brewery where we indulged in a tasting paddle.
After that, it was onwards to Kangaroo Island Spirits, where the staff were rude but the gins and liqueurs were delicious. Once again, we indulged in a pair of tasting paddles (and I also had a hot toddy) before purchasing a bottle of the limoncello. By this point I was fairly drunk, so we made our way back to Stowaway for dinner and another early night.
The next morning we were back out on the road to spend a day getting to know the local wildlife. We set off towards Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park but we got stopped by wildlife multiple times before we even got there! We spotted an enormous ‘roo, a koala ambling down the road and an extremely photo-shy echidna.
Once we arrived at the park I quickly made a beeline for the koalas – who were all adorably sleepy.
Our visit was well timed, as about 30 minutes later the park started the daily koala feeding, which would be followed by koala cuddles for visitors.
Seriously, how could you not want to cuddle this adorable furry creature?!
After we had finished out koala encounter, we set off to walk through the rest of the park. There was a whole lot of native Aussie wildlife, but it was feeding the many wallabies and kangaroos that I enjoyed most.
From the wildlife park we made our way to Seal Bay Conservation Park. We initially planned to cheap out and just purchase the basic boardwalk ticket, but were talked into buying the more expensive tickets that would allow us to walk down onto the beach with the sea lions themselves by the ticket attendant- and I am so glad she convinced us to do so!
Buying the more expensive ticket allowed us to use a private walkway down to the beach that isn’t accessible to others, and the sheer number of sea lions that we saw before even stepping foot onto the beach was absolutely ridiculous in the best way possible.
As if the sea lions weren’t enough, the coastline on this side of the island was absolutely gorgeous.
Once onto the beach we got to watch hilarious sea lion antics and interactions – and we even got to watch a few surfing the waves! It was absolutely wonderful and well worth the extra dollars and knotty hair.
Once it was time to leave the beach we began to make our way back towards the carpark, but even that journey had to be special – we saw a bloody ‘roo lounging in the dunes!
Can you spot him?
We also spotted this incredible whale skeleton! Apparently a whale washed up on shore during a big storm in the 1900s and has remained here ever since.
That night would be our last on KI. We spent it back at Stowaway, watching an incredible sunset from the bath, drinking bubbly and cuddling by the fireplace.
My birthday weekend hadn’t been spent abroad, but that didn’t matter, we had an absolutely wonderful time getting away for the weekend.
I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
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Stowaway Kangaroo Island: This lovely retreat is easily the most luxurious self contained accommodation on KI. Rates start at around $900 per night. Click here to learn more
SeaLink Ferry: From Cape Jervis to Penneshaw on KI will cost around $196 return for two adults and a standard size vehicle. Click here to learn more
Seal Bay: This tour was well worth the $38 and easily one of the biggest highlights of the trip! Click here to learn more
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: Drive carefully at all times, but especially at dawn, dusk and at night – the wildlife is abundant here and are often seen on and along roads