Lifestyled by Paula Joye

The Joye Navigation

June 12th, 2012

Great Southern Land.

Great Southern Land.

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).

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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.

Then you need to order this granola. I’m not sure what the secret ingredient is but…Blew.My.Mind.

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.

Epic seas…

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.

How to:

Southern Ocean Lodge: (02) 9918 435 0r

Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue fly daily from Sydney to Adelaide.

Rex flies daily from Adelaide to Kingscote, Kangaroo Island: 13 17 13 or

SeaLink runs a car-ferry service to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island from Cape Jervis on the mainland: call 13 13 0r

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.

  • Real Girl Beauty

    My inlaws own this place on Kangaroo Island: 
    so I have been fortunate enough to experience the island a few times. It is completely amazing. Loved your review and pics!! The ocean there just blows my mind.
    Amelia xx

  • Jane D

    wow – looks gorgeous!

  • Jewel Divas Style

    I have lived in SA for 34 of my 38 years and there is no way in hell I will ever go there! I have no interest in going, no interest in seeing, no interest in in any of it. And don’t know why anyone else does. 

    Oh well, guess that’s the way it is with a state you don’t live in, you want to see things that people that live there are bored with and have no interest in.

  • Stefanie

    Hi Paula, wow ! Do you every pinch yourself ? :)

  • PaulaJoye

    Of course.
    And hard.

  • Ellie

    I want to go!
    I had no idea how beautiful it was.

  • Sammie2

    I thought Kangaroo Island was just about Kangaroo’s.
    This looks like it’s in Northern Oz not South.

  • Lucy

    Gosh! I have also lived in SA most of my life and I LOVE holidays/weekends to KI – it is such a fantastic place to spend the weekend, with so much to do, the scenery and nature is breathtaking! And also such a great holiday destination for families! Your really should go on and give it a go – right on your doorstep! 

  • Bonhal

    You have no idea what you’re missing out on. I’ve lived in Adelaide all my life and have been to KI three times – each time staying in different places and seeing new sites. It may be a small island, but it is simply beautiful. You should definitely take a look at what is in your own backyard before you write it off! 

  • Mike & Anne

    I’ve been to SOL several times and still love it!

  • Jilly

    As parents of a 4 year old and 7 month old, my husband and I are promising ourselves a special 10th wedding anniversary getaway…this is definitely at the top of the list – 3 years to wait :-)

  • (also) Paula

    Hi paula, is the Southern Ocean Lodge child-friendly, or child-free?

  • Laura

    My family have had a place over on KI since I was 3, so I grew up spending every summer and school holidays there! I still love going over for the amazing scenery, local food and serenity – best place to relax! I now take groups of friends who are all AMAZED at the island and how beautiful it is – most of them have never visited before despite living in Adelaide all their lives! To anyone considering going, absolutely do it! There are so many gorgeous beach houses to rent if your budget doesn’t extend to the amazing Lodge! Especially take a look at Island Beach (I’m biased but best beach on the island!)

  • Fee

    You should also look at the stunning retreats at Life-Time Retreats. You can have the full service with beautiful meals cooked for you, or just rent the properties.  Such a unique location!

  • Ex-Adelaide

    Pfft.  Obviously everyone”s entitled to their opinion, but I, for one, can’t understand whats not to like/love and be interested in. This part of South Australia – including Yankalilla, Carickalinga, Pt Willunga, Second Valley  – has some of the most gorgeous coastline and beaches in Australia and remains relatively undiscovered (thankfully) by the mini van and bogan majority. Plus, as an added bonus, it is a short hop skip and jump away from McLaren Vale wineries and two of my favourite restaurants – D’Arrys verandah (at D’arenberg winery – hmm – peppermint paddock sparkling shiraz and loooooong lunches) and Star of Greece at Pt Willunga. One of my best ever holidays (and I’ve travelled Oz and internationally, fairly extensively) was a week long cycling trip around KI.

    Breathtaking scenery, fresh air, incredible food – whats not to love???

  • Jane from SA

    Southern Ocean Lodge isn’t what I’d call kid friendly, and although they have a family suite, they do mention that they welcome all children “6 years and over”, so if you’re kids are under 6 don’t bother.  There is a FABULOUS farm-stay-accom in Antechamber Bay on KI with AMAZING views.  It’s a working farm and kids will LOVE it.  You can also buy the best (and I mean world renowned, restaurant quality) lamb direct from the farm owners, Kate and Andy Gillfillan.  They own Southrock Lamb.  Give Kate a call – she is super friendly – and she can point you to pics on the net of their farm-stay accommodations.  I think there are 2-3 houses on the property (it’s huge) available for guests to stay.  For further info, go to:

  • TMW

    Can a SA local recommend the best time of year to go to KI?

  • Lovecovetdream

    So glad you shared this Paula. Kangaroo Island now on the one day destination list. The clincher was the lamingtons! 

    Love the evening frock – who is the designer – it looks gorgeous on you. 

    Funnily enough I am momentarily taken to Kangaroo Island when I buy our supply of eggs each week. And they are good.

  • Elbie

    Paula, I know you’ve often remarked on how important it is to invest in some decent t-shirts. Can you tell me where these ones are from? 
    I have a Bassike v-neck but they’ve changed the collar and I adore a V-neck.
    So simple… yet so hard to find the right ones!

  • Jewel Divas Style

    I was born in McLaren Vale and for 38 years have never been interested in wine. If that’s all Adelaide has to offer it’s no wonder we lose people at a large rate and no one comes here to live or work. As for the south having some of the most gorgeous coastline and beaches, clearly not everyone is going to agree. In fact, you don’t agree with me, and I clearly don’t agree with you.

  • Betty Boo’s Mummy

    Ohhhhh, a million thank yous for that link!

  • Real Girl Beauty

    If you go YOU WILL LOVE IT! :) xxx

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