Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island
Ayers Rock

Highlights of Kangaroo Island

March 8,  Our arrival in Adelaide was warm and sunny.  Although we did not see much of the city prior to catching our small plane to Kangaroo Island, Drew Kluska our Australian travel host did give us a short tour of the city. The architecture was very Veiux Carre/New Orleans-like. 

We boarded Emu Airlines for the third largest island in Australia, Kangaroo Island. The isolation and preservation of the island's species makes it a wonderful classroom for Australia indigenous animals, kangaroos, wallabees, sea lions, koalas and echnids. We were met by our host, Graeme Weaton, and driven to his homestead (now a B&B) and 4,000 acre working sheep ranch.  Lyn, his wife, greeted us at the door of the Stranraker Homestead. The house was originally built in the early 1918's by Graeme's family and was constructed of local limestone quarried on the property.  The walls are 16-18 inches thick and the ceilings are 18 feet high capped by a tin roof. It took the Weatons 4-6 years to complete the extensive remodeling and decorating of the house in the late 1990s.

Stranraker HomesteadJon's Arrival At Stranraker

After lunch, Graeme spent the afternoon showing us around the northern part of the island. The beaches are beautiful and unpopulated. The permanent population of the island is around 4,000, mostly sheep farms and tourism support the communities along with the recent introduction of grape growing for wine.  The people are struggling to earn a living. The merino wool industry is not enjoying top international demand and the government partially subsidizes the sheep business. A good one-third of all profits are lost through the cost of shipping goods to markets. 

Jon with our host, GraemeNorthShore Beach

Light House ComplexKangaroo Is Lighthouse

View From the LightHouseKingscote and mainland Australia






Secluded Beach Mid Island

Our second day on the island was spent looking for animals with Andy from Kangaroo Island Adventures. Although he grew up on the island, he just recently returned with his family so that his son could enjoy growing up there.  We spent the morning looking for koalas.  Since the koalas do not like to be socially compacted together, finding one is difficult and finding two is just as hard. We did see several in eculpyptus stands but you have to have good eyes to spot the lumps hanging at the intersections of branches. They eat and sleep then sleep and eat.

Waking Up From Morning NapKoala Resting






We lunched in a grove of eculyptus watching the koalas watching us.  Then we took off for the Sea Lion Center controlled by the island park service.  The sea lions were all over the beach and we sat for an hour and just watched them frolic and perform for us.

Sea Lions Showing Off For UsSea Lions Play






Later in the afternoon we spent some more time roaming around the Weaton ranch.  The sheep were very curious about us.  Across the fields and behind the sheep paddocks is a barren salt lakebed that we investigated. Unfortunately there are several on the island with this being one of the larger examples.  It looked just like the Great Salt Lake Flats. 

Sheepish LookingDucks herding the Sheep or visa versa






A Sheepish Inspection of the FarmSalt Lakebed backing up to Sheep Ranch






Returning from the saltbed we discovered one of Australia's most elusive creatures the echnid.  They remind me of little porcupines playing possum..  We also had multiple occasions to watch the wallabees feeding.  Although we did see kangaroos on the island, our pictures did not do them justice.  Imagine a wallabee 4-6 feet taller.

Echnid Buried Wallabees Noshing

The island is filled with birds. Early morning they are noisy especially the galanas that resemble bluish and pink parrots.  We spent hours amusing ourselves by watching them twirl and play on the wires and trees behind the ranch house.   After our four days on Kangaroo Island, we once again boarded Emu Airlines for a trip to the famous Ayers Rock.

Playful Galanas








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