I had never wanted to visit Kangaroo Island.
Perhaps it’s the name? Doesn’t really do the place justice. It should be called “Are You Kidding Me!” Island because it’s so not about kangaroos. It’s about epic scenery, geological wonders, sea lions, ocean scapes like the kind ancient mariners wrote about in poems…and home to one of the most luxurious resorts in the world. But now that I have, I must say…
Kangaroo Island is a Bucket List trip. An unexpected type of paradise that surprises and delivers on every level.
My Trip in Pictures
It all starts on a ferry ride like no other. You can fly onto the island but the boat trip is stunning – all you can see is blue.
Then you get to drive your car straight off the ferry. I love not waiting on transport. Such a luxury. As was my car – black, sexy Audi A5 Coupe.
When we dock we head straight for a large serve of legendary fish and chips. This island doesn’t have fish and chips like you’ve experienced before. This is huge slices of deep ocean fish, lightly battered. Out. Of. Control.
Kangaroo Island is full of wildlife. Yes kangaroos but more spectacularly seals and sea lions. That was our first stop…
And what a stop. These creatures are amazing. You will want to take one home – it takes all the willpower you have not to run over and cuddle them (which you are categorically not allowed to do).
I had to put in this gallery to give you an idea of just how many sea lions there are – you’re standing on the beach right next to them. It’s utterly awesome…
After buying soft toy seals for the kids (sucker for anything plush) we head out on the 30 minute drive to Southern Ocean Lodge. The entrance is so unassuming – a bush track lined with gum trees and an unpretentious sign – it totally belies what’s at the end of the drive way.
Which is this.
And also this.
Southern Ocean Lodge is perched high on top of the cliffs of Hanson Bay overlooking the Antarctic Ocean. It’s massive but set so perfectly into the landscape you almost don’t see it. There are 21 ultra-luxurious guest rooms on the property each with huge sunken lounge rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, day beds, free-standing baths.
Our room was made up of three huge spaces and came complete with a spa bath sunk into the stone balcony. Once inside these suites it’s incredibly difficult to leave them. Did I mention the beds? Massive and made of marshmallows or fairy clouds.
But it’s the little things at Southern Ocean Lodge that make the rooms so special. Home made lamingtons on arrival…
Curated mini bar treats.
Proper coffee and tea. Organic milk…
The fireplace in your coffee table. There’s even backpacks, drink bottles, umbrellas – ready to go for day trips. Robes, masses of towels, heated floors, walk in wardrobes, ducted sound….it’s perfect.
All meals are taken in the Great Room and when I say ‘Great’ I mean a gigantic, enormous room with a view like no other. The food is truly awesome – breakfast, lunch and dinner – with the chef showcasing the best local island produce all complimented with a wine cellar that sent my husband into a frenzy.
Dress up at night. The food, the venue, the vibe deserves a frock.
So does the sunset.
I ate like a King while I was there. Not a queen a very large King. Here’s a couple of my food highlights.
Locally caught mulloway “pancetta”, black pepper, lemon, local olive oil.
Agnolotti of whipped goat’s cheese, almonds, brown butter, caper raisin puree.
Steamed locally farmed marron tail, marron cream, red leaves and vegetables, grapes.
In the morning before breakfast make sure you take a walk around the property – looking back at the SOL shows you just what a feat of architecture and design it truly is.
We visited the Remarkable Rocks which are yep, remarkable. Perched on the edge of the ocean in the Flinders Chase National Park they are Hanging Rock on crack.
These giant granite boulders have been eroded over 500 million years and are a maze of tunnels and nooks.
There are lighthouses.
And the Admiral’s Arch (above) which is full of seals. Hundreds of amazing seriously smelly seals.
There is so, so, so much to do and see on this island I didn’t touch the surface on this trip – there’s a local winery, distillery, the most famous bee maker in all of South Australia. It really is fabulous. I’m committed to going back in October and taking the children.
Southern Ocean Lodge: (02) 9918 435 0r www.southernoceanlodge.com.au
Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue fly daily from Sydney to Adelaide.
Rex flies daily from Adelaide to Kingscote, Kangaroo Island: 13 17 13 or www.rex.com.au
SeaLink runs a car-ferry service to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island from Cape Jervis on the mainland: call 13 13 0r www.sealink.com.au
I visited Kangaroo Island courtesy of Audi Australia and South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC). Thank you so much for showing me a part of Australia that I didn’t even know existed.