Flinders Chase National Park is one of the major attractions on Kangaroo Island. It takes up most of the western half of the island and it takes hours to drive from the top of the park to the bottom. It’s known for wildlife and amazing natural beauty. Upon pulling into the parking lot, we were greeted by a Cape Barron Goose, so it was off to a good start. Inside the visitor’s centre, there were all kinds of pelts; my favourite one was the echidna as it gave me the chance to (safely) feel its spines.
First things first, we took a walk on the Heritage Trail, where we were told we were likely to see koalas in the wild. Lo and behold, there they were! It was so cool to see them high up in their gum trees sleeping away–in the wild! The whole time on the trail, I was walking with my neck craned upward looking for more koalas.
This road (and picture) is well-known from Kangaroo Island. I will say it is a dramatic, remote road. At an intersection, it was always more surprising to see another car than to not see another car.
Admiral’s Arch, on the southwestern tip of the island, is an iconic Kangaroo Island sight. It has been formed by water erosion over thousands of years. It is also unusual in the stalactites that hang from the arch, while the floor is completely smooth.
The two islands just off shore used to be connected to the main island by other arches that finally collapsed. One day, Admiral’s Arch will collapse and a new island will be formed.
The wild Southern Ocean crashes against these rocks incessantly. It is fantastic to watch, especially when it causes some of the seals to clamber over each other to avoid the oncoming waves.
A New Zealand fur seals colony live on the rocks surrounding the arch. At first glance you might see a few (lighter coloured) seals, but upon further inspection, they are everywhere–just really well camouflaged! Seals back legs are turned backward and so they wriggle on land (as opposed to sea lions). We went in early fall, just after the summer breeding season, so there were lots of adorable pups playing.
A few light keeping families lived on the island in the early 20th century. Weir’s Cove was safe and so their supplies would arrive there. They would then winch them up the steep cliffs (the path they used is shown below in the left picture). Their storehouses were located right at the top of cliffs here, which was a couple km from their homes.
The scenery here is also simply gorgeous.
From Admiral’s Arch a beautiful coastal road takes you a bit east to the Remarkable Rocks.
The Remarkable Rocks are another iconic Kangaroo Island landmark. They are situated right on the edge of a steep cliff into the churning water, which makes it even more dramatic. These granite rocks have been formed over the past 500 millions years on top of a granite dome, which extends beneath the ground. Water, wind, and lichen have all continued the erosion process even to this day. Looking at the Remarkable Rocks is like cloud watching… this one looks like a chaise lounge, this one is an egg, this one looks like an eagle….
We also wanted to see platypuses in the wild, so we took a hike on the Platypus Waterholes Walk. Platypuses are nocturnal and we did do this hike in mid-afternoon, but we think we saw them swimming around underwater. Those little black bubbles are (I’m declaring!) platypuses underneath the water. At least we definitely got to see their burrows on the side of the waterhole.