Not literally but somebody did ask on Facebook whether we had to hop on the ferry to get to Kangaroo Island. We didn’t but we have had a long and busy day with plenty of fun despite less than ideal weather.
Organising an overnight trip to Kangaroo Island was one of the more challenging parts of Majella’s planning for this trip. She needed to ensure that our rental agreement for the van covered a ferry ride to and from the island and that we were not prevented from driving on any roads necessary to reach points of interest. Then she needed to negotiate the ferry schedule to book trips that got us close to two full days on the island and cope with the shock of learning that there was a fare for the van and for each passenger. We declined the insurance they offered at about one-third of the fare, implying an unacceptable level of risk if taken seriously as an indicator.
We estimated about 2 hours to drive from North Adelaide to Cape Jervis where the ferry departed at 9:00 am. To allow some buffer we set departure for 6:00 am. I was up at 5:00 am to shower and Majella was close behind. Michael and Maria had showered last night so we were all ready to eat breakfast before 6:30 am. Unknown to us, our companions in the other apartments had risen at 4:00 am and Jim arrived to check on us 10 minutes before we we due at the van. We bustled down and the van was on the road soon after 6:00 am.
It had been raining since about midnight and continued to rain with varying intensity as we made our way south with Warwick driving . There was solid traffic as we drove out of Adelaide but that thinned as we went south and we had a good run down to Cape Jervis, arriving just before 8:00 am which put us close to the head of the queue.
Check-in was not yet open, boarding did not begin until 8:30 am, and the rain had paused. Warwick and I made a dash up the hill to the lookout he had spotted on the way down. The others huddled until they could enter the terminal and Majella could check-in. By the time we returned about 10 minutes later they were checked in and had placed their orders for coffee. We joined them to wait for boarding.
The ferry ran to schedule and we were landed at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island a little before 10:00 am. First stop on Majella’s itinerary was Cape Willoughby, the site of the first lighthouse in South Australia built in 1852. It is still standing and the keepers’ cottages are now an information centre and accommodation. After driving over rough road for about 20 km we were pleased to arrive but the cold rain was persistent and the wind cut through to our bones. That was enough to keep about half the group in the van while the rest of us took a quick look before jumping back in the van and heading back to the bitumen.
We drove back via Penneshaw and on to American River, named because some American sealers had settled there for a time, but there is no river, only a large inlet that looks like an estuary. Our visit there included a quick drive through viewing and a comfort stop while Warwick and Colleen procured some oysters at the Oyster Farm Shop. The rain paused long enough to allow us to do that without getting wet.
Our accommodation for tonight is in two 3 bedroom villas at Bayview Villas in Kingscote. Majella had checked earlier and found that we could access them anytime so we drove there, dropped some bags, and drove on into town to find lunch. The rain was still on pause while we did that.
We ate at the Ozone Hotel with a view across the bay. Most ate seafood of some kind, mainly baked whiting, and rated their meals as very good. We watched the rain showers pass and some patches of blue sky appear in the south as we ate. Luckily there was another break as we finished eating and headed back to the car.
After lunch we headed out of town to Island Pure Sheep Dairy where we bought some cheese, yoghurt, and lamb kransky sausage. On the way back to town we stopped at Island Beehive. Majella bought some beeswax to attempt her own cloth wrappers at home and enjoyed some honey ice cream.
Back in Kingscote a few headed for the supermarket while others relaxed at the apartments which had a view across the bay once the rain had passed. Jim had earlier expressed interest in seeing the local cemetery which would probably have some historical interest. I had noticed on the map that it was just over the hill, less than a kilometre away so we set off to walk. There was a bit of uphill work but it was a pleasant walk. We found a small group of kangaroos enjoying green grass in the lawn section and walked among the historic section before heading back down the hill.
Dinner began with a spread of cheese, crackers, honey yoghurt, and apple for dipping. That was followed by spiral pasta served with the macadamia pesto we had bought from Vasse Virgin yesterday accompanied by the lamb kransky and some beef sausage. It was simple but sufficient and satisfying.
Tomorrow will be spent exploring further west on the island before taking the ferry back to the mainland.