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Cruise Diary: Kangaroo Island

Guest Sharon Johnson and her husband were on Volendam for the trans-Pacific voyage to Sydney and the circumnavigation of Australia for 55 days. Enjoy this post and photos from their call at Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

On November 17th the Volendam made a short 100-mile overnight sail from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island. We felt fortune to visit the island as none of the big ships do because of tendering. Al and I took a tour called “Wildlife Encounters 4WD Safari”. We traveled in 20-passenger 4WD vehicles with high clearance designed for Australia. Our first stop was to see a colony of Australian Sea Lions. We could have seen the sea lion colony on the “Seal Bay Discovery” tour but with so much to see on Kangaroo Island we were glad we had taken the all-day excursion. – Sharon and Al Johnson

Poster welcoming us to Kangaroo Island.

Scientists at Seal Bay closely monitor the sea lions which can weigh as much as 660 pounds. This endangered colony of Australian sea lions can be visited only with a ranger. We were warned not to get between the sea lion and the ocean, but otherwise we could get close enough for photos. The colony at Seal Bay is one of the largest and most accessible colonies of Australian Sea Lions in Australia.

After photographing the Australian sea lions at Seal Bay Conservation Park, we headed to Koala Walk. Along the way, we saw some unusual postal boxes. Our guide told us that people from Kangaroo Island never throw away anything. They just try to find a new use, such as using a refrigerator as a postal box.

At Koala Walk, we tried to get a good photo of the Galah Parrots. It took many tries before I finally got one good one since I didn’t have a telephoto lens. We then took a walk among the eucalyptus trees looking for koalas which were probably napping. We finally spotted several in the tall trees. I tried photographing them and did get one that I liked.

This koala was high up in the truck of his favorite eucalyptus tree. Take note the koala’s coloring is the same as the tree. No wonder we had some trouble spotting them.

Our next stop was at the Visitors Center of Flinders Chase National Park. We visited their small Visitor’s Center and used their facilities before having a gourmet lunch using the park’s benches and picnic tables which were sheltered. We had shrimp on skewers, salad and potato salad with Kangaroo Island wine. Then we headed to two very scenic areas in the National Park – Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch.

Marty Franssen and Al enjoying the Kangaroo Island Wine and the shrimps on a skewer.

Gary Franssen and me enjoying our gourmet picnic in Flinders Chase National Park.

At Remarkable Rocks.

Beach with Remarkable Rocks in the distance.

The most popular destinations in Flinders Chase are Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch which are located in the south-west corner of Flinders Chase National Park and as far from Penneshaw tender dock as you could be.

At Cape Couedic Lighthouse.

Boardwalk and stairs to Admiral Arch.

Our last stop was at Admirals Arch before driving 100 km back to Penneshaw so we could get the tender back to the Volendam. All in all we saw a lot during our stay on Kangaroo Island—except Kangaroos. We were told that they eat at dusk and early in the morning. Since it was such a bright sunny day, the kangaroos would be seeking shelter in the bushes and trees.

Admirals Arch.

Admirals Arch.

Overlooking the coastline at Admiral's Arch. To get to the arch you need to keep walking down the stairs as far as you can go otherwise you would miss the arch. We also saw New Zealand Fur Seals on the rocks below.

Volendam seen from road above Penneshaw

Volendam seen from road above Penneshaw.

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