“Wandering” South Australia – Adelaide & Kangaroo Island

As a self-proclaimed “wanderer,” I tend to get very antsy when I am not on the road. During the last month of being in Australia, I’ve spent the majority of my time in Sydney working at Peterpans Adventure Travel. As a daily activity I have very much enjoyed creating individualized “trips of a lifetime” for travellers across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. It has been nothing but an absolute blast and I finally have found a job that doesn’t feel like “work.” The only downside I have discovered in my time working at Pans is constantly sending travellers off on their vacations… and not being able to travel alongside them.

To help solve this temporarily, I spontaneously decided to book a trip down to South Australia where I would be meeting up with two of the Best Jobs winners (Allan Dixon & Greg Snell) in Adelaide and then further travel across Kangaroo Island. With booking my flights a couple days before takeoff, finding accommodation at Adelaide’s Shakespeare’s, and securing a spot on Sealink’s Kangaroo Island Adventure Tour – I was ready to go!

ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

An early morning flight from Sydney to Adelaide provided me with a full day of exploring the “city of churches.” After arriving to the Adelaide’s Shakespeare’s hostel, I made my way next door to the Peterpans to introduce myself to some fellow colleagues! They suggested that I rent a bike for the day and spend the day exploring the city. Within only a couple hours, I managed to bike through the various city streets, check out the Botanical Gardens, Central Market and lastly Rundle Street Shopping Mall.

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Adelaide Botanical Gardens

In a city where I thought nobody knew my name, I unexpectedly ran into a girl who I had met while in Sydney on Rundle Street. As I was biking along, I could help but recognize Giselle strolling along checking out the shops. It was definitely one of those freak coincidences you are still baffled over hours after them happening.

Following the bike ride, Greg, Allan (Best Jobs winners), Nellie (lovely German girl) and myself headed to the Haigh’s Chocolate Visitor’s Centre.  Originally started in 1915, Alfred E Haigh opened the doors of the very first Haigh’s Chocolates store at 34 King William Street, Adelaide. As interest started to expand in the chocolate, Haigh’s continued to grow and now Haigh’s is sold currently in 14 different shops across Australia (6 in Adelaide, 6 in Melbourne and 2 in Sydney). Just minutes outside of the Adelaide CBD, you can find the Haigh’s Chocolate Visitor’s Centre where they run FREE guided factory tours daily (except Sundays). As soon as you begin the tour you are offered various types of chocolate to try; you receive a thorough background history of Haigh’s and how it came to be – alongside getting to see first hand how the famous chocolate is made.  If this doesn’t sound amazing already – it’s FREE to do the tour! I can’t think of anything better in the world than free stuff… not to mention free chocolate!

Allan, Greg and Nellie had just spent two weeks road tripping from Darwin all the way through the Northern Territory, entering into Southern Australia and finally finishing in Adelaide. With Allan’s determination to touch the most Southern point/beach off Adelaide, we made our way down to Glenelg Beach for a quick dip. Glenelg Beach was quite spectacular; it has an awesome boardwalk with heaps of shops, restaurants and cafes. It is a great spot to kick back with a few friends, grab some food, or simply just enjoy the sun.

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Glenelg Beach, Adelaide.

After finishing up at the beach, we headed back into the city to grab some dinner and drinks with Marc from Tourism South Australia. It was so nice to have a chance to catch up with the lifelong friends I had made during the ”Best Jobs in the World” competition. It’s going to be an absolute blast when we all reunite in Sydney for this upcoming New Years!

KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The next morning came early as Allan, Nellie and I were headed to Kangaroo Island for a 2-day, 1 night Adventure Tour! We made our way to the Adelaide Bus Terminal where we picked up our bus transfer to the Cape Jervis Ferry Terminal. From Cape Jervis we boarded Sealink and cruised through the Backstairs Passage and ended up at Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. The first stop on our tour was at Rob’s Sheep Shearing. When we arrived, Rob and his three sheepdogs pleasantly greeted us. The sheepdogs proceeded to round up the sheep and bring them into the barn where the sheering took place.

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Sheering a sheep in less than 2 minutes!

Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery was our next stop, where we had lunch. In the backyard of the distillery was a friendly emu who we very much enjoyed sharing our leftovers with.

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Returning to the Seal Bay Conservation Park was the highlight of my return to Kangaroo Island. The Australian Fur Seals make themselves at home along the pathway to the beach, and on the beach itself. The way the fur seals interact with each other is similar to children in a playground. They feed of each other’s energy and find comfort within groups.

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Sunbathing Seals at Seal Bay. 20131120_150002

Little Sahara was the second last stop of the day – it was time for sand boarding! Little Sahara is a system of naturally occurring coastal blow out dunes. The sand dune system at Little Sahara covers approximately two square kilometers on the south coast of Kangaroo Island. After trekking up to the top of the dune, I jumped on my board and zoomed down!

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As the evening came around the last stop of the day was at our evening accommodation – Vivonne Bay Lodge.  Vivonne Bay Lodge offers dorm style and private room accommodation for overnight stays on Kangaroo Island. Free bike and kayak rentals are included in your stay, and there only a short distance away is Vivonne Bay Beach – voted one of the nicest beaches in Australia. When we arrived, we had some time to settle in, take advantage of all the free activities offer by the accommodation, grab a beverage for the bar or just hang out in the lounge area. A barbeque dinner was served shortly after which consisted of chicken, steak and sausages, as well as a variety of different salads. A lazy evening was in store for the group and we all chatted around the dinner table until we headed to bed.

Day two on Kangaroo Island was just as action-packed. Bright and early we grabbed breakfast and headed off to the Hanson Bay Koala Sanctuary. Up in the trees of the sanctuary you can spot koalas in their natural habitat – and if you are lucky (like us!) you can see a joey in one of the mom’s pouches.

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We continued on along the Southern coast of the island and entered the Flinders’ Chase National Park – home of the Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch. The Remarkable Rocks “are naturally sculptured formations precariously balanced atop a granite outcrop.” Some people may see them simply as a cool visual site to look at and photograph – however Allan, Nellie and I saw them as a perfect opportunity to whip out some acrobatic tricks and poses.

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Allan the Outback Adventurer exploring the Remarkable Rocks, KI.20131121_113447_2

Still got it 5 years later! Dancer at heart!

Following the Remarkable Rocks, we headed to Admiral’s Arch, which is home to the New Zealand Fur Seals. The NZ Fur Seals differ from the Australian Fur Seals as they are dark brown and they have a very pungent smell to them. As we made our way along the boardwalk towards the viewing platform we were able to witness what thousands of years of weathering and erosion did to sculpt Admiral’s Arch.

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Through special interest of our guide Jen, we took a short detour and headed to Hanson Bay Beach. She raved about how it was her favourite beach and it didn’t take long to realize why. It came out of nowhere – we arrived to Hanson Bay and were instantly blown away by the view. See for yourself and you’ll know exactly what I am talking about.

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Hanson Bay Beach, Kangaroo Island.

Hanson Bay was the perfect lasting image of Kangaroo Island left with me as we headed back to the Penneshaw Ferry Terminal. It was amazing to have a chance to revisit Kangaroo Island, and re-experience the beauty this island has to offer. Kangaroo Island offers everything from wildlife to beautiful beaches, to vast and spectacular landscapes. Adventure is also something that can be found and created while staying on KI – everything from excellent surf to sand boarding, kayaking and helicopter rides. There is something for everyone on KI and if you ever head to South Australia, it’s something not to be missed.

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