2019/01/23

Two days of absolute bliss on Kangaroo Island/Australia

Location

Where to stay/eat in style & what to do

Kangaroo Island near Adelaide in the southeast of Australia is known for its abundant wildlife, sea lions, fur seals, koalas and – of course –, kangaroos in their natural environment. Due to its label as “zoo without fences” it is also marketed as Australia’s answer to the Galapagos. This is an exaggeration – as I can confirm at first hand, I visited the Galapagos last year – but nonetheless it is a great place to visit to undertake
diverse nature experiences. There are very good chances for wildlife encounters but also beautiful wild and rugged landscapes for exploration.

General

First a few words about how to access the island, getting-around here and what it feels like to stay here.

Kangaroo Island can be easily reached from Adelaide, be it as an (organized) day trip or as a stop on your way further to the south as my husband and I did on our extended Australia and New Zealand journey (here you find my trip outline). You can either arrive by plane or by car (via ferry). We chose the latter as we had a rental car for the time of our stay in Australia. Be warned, you have to book very much ahead if you want to take your car on the ferry as there is a lot of commercial traffic. We had the pleasure of unusual travel companions on one of our passages.



Once arrived on the island, it is super-easy to drive here but do not underestimate travel distances. It is a rather small place but nevertheless some time is needed to reach certain spots as there are not always sealed roads. And only drive on daytime as the danger of hitting wildlife during night is too big!

We very much liked being here because of Kangaroo Island’s breathtaking scenery, its pleasant Mediterranean climate and the relaxed pace we experienced throughout the island. When we were here end of October it was not busy. We encountered some travelers on certain hot-spots as the Flinders Chase National Park but otherwise it was tranquil. The range of possible activities is broad, there is a variety of natural attractions – as mentioned earlier – but also others just as farm tours, think of wineries, oyster farming, eucalyptus oil distilling, honey farming and more. And locals are amiable, sociable and laidback!

Where to stay/eat

When researching on our Australia trip and stumbled upon Kangaroo Island, I immediately knew that we must go there! Difficulties started when I checked on the accommodation opportunities, which left me either underwhelmed (rather simple lodging options) or in one case stunned at the elevated rates (see also my excursus on ultra-luxurious hotels in my outline).

What to do in such a case? I did what I always do, checking out alternative lodging possibilities such as B&B's or specialty accommodations. My husband and I usually prefer staying in hotels but every now and then we have to make an exception and go to a B&B. And I have to admit that we have found some gems in the course of time, but never before such a heavenly place like here, Molly’s Run on the north coast of Kangaroo Island! Another plus was the fact that the dinner – Expect a culinary highlight here! – was included in the rate, which was very much appreciated because of the lack of quality restaurants in the area.

I cannot think of better hosts than Charmaine and Paul. While she is the chef – an extraordinarily talented one –


he is responsible for beverages, travel tips and other guest relation matters. They made us feel like the most important people in the world and we were pampered throughout our visit. Not only they provided us with the best food and helpful advice, but they entertained us – Charmaine is a great conversationalist – and this without being intrusive at all. We had such a good time here! But one thing after the other …

The homestead where the couple lives and hosts guests is remotely located near the coast and looks like some kind of a Tuscan villa.



They bought it years ago when it was in a not so good condition and while Paul renovated it, Charmaine was predominately in Adelaide having her own catering service. Three and a half years ago, she permanently moved back to Kangaroo Island – her home area – and the success story of this B&B with half-board began

There are three rooms at Molly’s Run – named after Molly, the boxer dog – all comfortable and well-appointed. While my husband and I stayed at the newer courtyard room,




we had also a look at the upstairs room






with a balcony overlooking the sea, and both are really nice.

And the food here is simply amazing, Charmaine is a fantastic cook! We were treated to delicious home-cooked meals second to none, here an account of the sheer endless array of delicacies …

The first night – there was another couple from England – we were served local abalone with mushrooms, vegetables and green tea noodles,
followed by local lamb with mint sauce
and a variety of lip-smacking side dishes: beets, squash, and labneh and – separately – gratinated fennel,
cauliflower with dukkah,
potato gratin and beans with macadamia nuts.
For dessert we got Eton Mess.
The second night, there were only the two of us and the hosts joined us for the main course, being local snapper with olives
accompanied again by several side dishes: roasted potatoes, baked carrots, kale slaw salad,
broccolini Asian style and green salad with peppers.
As a starter we had arancini with leaf-pear salad
and the sweet dish was panna cotta with a strawberry coulis.
And after dark Paul took us on a night drive to see kangaroos, wallabies and possums, what a great experience – you cannot see the same on daytime!
Breakfast was also a feast: home-made granola, yoghurt, sliced fruits, a selection of home-made jams and spreads, toast, freshly baked muffins, banana pancakes,
Charmaine’s take of eggs benedict with salmon and spinach (Eggs Atlanta).

What to do

Two days were much too short for all the things to do here! We had to limit ourselves to a small part of the comprehensive range of activities.

No visit to Kangaroo Island is complete without going to the Finders Chase National Park at the west end, where you might spot echidnas, koalas
and fur seals. The park is also home to two impressive landmarks, Admirals Arch, a magnificent archway sculpted by wind and sea,
and Remarkable Rocks, bizarre granite boulders.
There is also a diverse range of walking trails worthwhile doing. We did the Platypus Waterhole walk. While we did not catch sight of this shy animal, we very much enjoyed the unspoiled natural beauty.
A good spot to lay your beach towel is Stokes Bay,
a secluded beach on the serene north coast of the island not far from our B&B, Molly’s Run. It is a truly idyllic spot, protected from the surf by a giant pool surrounded by rocks. We just walked along the beach to take in the beautiful natural scenery.
Other attractions – which we unfortunately did not have the time to do – include Kelly Hill Caves, an underground maze, Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you find a colony of sea lions, or hiking parts of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, a five-day/four-night bushwalk.
My husband and I were sad that we had to leave this great place after being here just under three days. We were so much in favor of the wilderness, wildlife and the rural pace of life here. And we were thrilled about our accommodation,
the heartfelt hospitality and the amazing food encountered at Molly’s Run! The hosts, Charmaine and Paul, made our stay on Kangaroo Island a stand out part of our tour in Australia and New Zealand!
Date of stay: October 2018


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