I’ve officially been blown away by how nice and friendly and helpful the inhabitants of Kangaroo Island are.
First, let me tell you about a guy named Peter.
So, there I was on the island, I had booked a tour for my first full day there, and I thought it would be nice to rent a car and go to all the local farms and things on the second day. Well… easier said than done (or so I thought).
There are two car rental companies on the island. Hertz and Budget. I called them both. I explained that I was staying in Kingscote and I wanted to rent a car for the day, and that the closest location that they rent cars from was the airport, about fifteen minutes away.
They all said that was great, but there was absolutely no way for them to get the car to me, and they had no idea how I could get to the airport, so I needed to figure it out.
Well, there is no public transport on the island. Nor is there technically a taxi service.
I was frustrated.
So, I’m waiting for my tour to start at a bus stop just down the street from the hostel and up pulls a bus. I was about to meet possibly the most helpful person on the planet. I get on the bus, introduce myself, and he tells me his name, and informs me that he will be taking me to meet up with the tour group once they come over from the ferry, but we have to make a quick stop at the airport first.
Airport did he say? Yes, he did say. As it turns out, Peter owns a little bus that he uses as KI Transport and it’s a shuttle that runs to and from the airport everyday for the morning and evening flights. I explained to him that he is in fact, exactly what I needed, and asked if I could take the shuttle the next morning in hopes of renting a car.
He then tells me that it would make much more sense if I just picked the car up that night after the tour, since it drops me at the airport, drove it to the hostel, and then dropped it off the following night and return on the shuttle. I said I didn’t even know if that was alright.
So we get to the airport, and Peter walks me into the airport, right up to the Budget rental counter, introduces me to Tom and explains the whole scheme for me. Tom seemed to think it was a great idea, took my name, and said he’d be waiting for me just as I was finishing with my tour. Peter, after getting me all sorted out, said he’d just move my returning shuttle to the next day and I wouldn’t have to pay any additional cost and that he’d see me promptly at 6:00 the next evening.
As it ended up, to meet up with my tour, Tom just gave me a ride in his own vehicle to the starting place so that Peter could wait for the people getting off the plane. So far I had spent the morning talking to two of the most genuine Australians I have ever met.
At the end of my tour, I was dropped of at exactly 6:00 to pick up the car. Tom was there just as he said, had me all signed up in about 5 minutes and sent me on my way. Glorious.