We have literally been all over Australia filming for Places We Go, and I would have to say that South Australia’s Kangaroo Island is one of our most treasured places for a “family driving holiday” with young children.
A Family Trip to Kangaroo Island
Catching the ferry over from Cape Jervis, it’s just a 13-kilometre dash across the sea. Before we knew it, we’d left behind the hustle and bustle of mainland Australia and were driving our Outback onto an island filled with pristine wilderness.
We set up camp right on the beachfront at Penneshaw on the northeast coast. It was a stunning 25 degrees and we were ready to explore this island that has such a world-class reputation. But what to do first? There’s so much to do on Kangaroo Island, but how can you go past the farmers’ market that’s going on down by the beach just a one-minute walk away!
Filled with passionate locals who come from all over the island, Kangaroo Island produces some of Australia’s finest gourmet foods. From King George whiting to sheep’s cheese, a unique variety of honey and an exciting range of varietal wines, you can find it all right here.
We’ve filled our bellies and even taken a little stroll on the white sandy beach, when it is time to jump in the Outback and explore. Kangaroo Island (or KI to the locals) is 155 kilometres in length, and as you drive it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road. The soaring cliffs, towering white sand dunes and dense forest take your attention at every turn.
More than one-third of the island is declared conservation or national park, and it has five significant wilderness protection areas. We manage to find our way to our three-year-old daughters first pick of the day. Feeding the kangaroos at Parndana Wildlife Park. With a bag full of food, we sit in a meadow filled with bright yellow daisies, and the kangaroos come right up to you for a feed. They have been raised here so none of them have any fear of us. They just want a nibble and a pat… Charli can hardly contain her excitement, especially when she bottle-feeds the baby joeys.
Next, we make our way to the Seal Bay Conservation Park, where the fur seals are coming in out of the ocean to find shelter in the dunes for the night. We end our first day in Flinders Chase National Park, watching the sun go down on the “Remarkable Rocks”. Perched above the sea, the granite boulders have been shaped by the wind and sea spray over some 500 million years, and really are like a piece of art.
We enjoy our night at the local pub that prides itself on its fresh produce. Prawns for me, snapper for Clint and as for little Charli, well, she is treated to holiday fish and chips.
To give you an indication as to how much we loved our time on Kangaroo Island, there has not been a week that’s gone by since, that our daughter does not ask to go back to “that island with the kangaroos and fur seals”.
If you’ve ever been to Kangaroo Island, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!