Kangaroo Island Hospitality

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.

Fine.

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.

Kingscote on Kangaroo Island

After the ride over to Kangaroo Island, I hopped on a shuttle and ended up in Kingscote. There, I’m staying at the local backpackers hostel which is large and comfortable. There is a great backyard/patio area and it’s only a couple blocks to the beach. Kingscote

The beach.

Kingscote Beach garbage Kingscote

I spent the day walking along the beach and up to the historic area of the town. Here they have a museum which features the agricultural history of the area, and on the grounds you’ll find the old lighthouse. Kingscote lighthouse

Kingscote museum

I had a great time poking around up there, and the view, as it’s on top of a hill, is stunning.

 

If you head down to the jetty in Kingscote at 5:00pm everyday there is a man who does a pelican feeding. It’s a must see. He is very funny, and extremely knowledgable when it comes to these birds.

Also, it proves to be a great photo opportunity.

Pelican feeding pelican Pelican feeding in kingscote

 

Ferry to Kangaroo Island

I’ve made my way to Kangaroo Island. The service that runs the Ferry https://www.sealink.com.au also runs a shuttle from Adelaide to the terminal, which is about an hour and a half away. When we arrived it was stormy, but while waiting to load ourselves on the boat, it stopped briefly and I took this photo.

Cape Jarvis

Then on the boat we were off ready for the 45 minute ride to the island. On board they have a little coffee stand that also sells meat and veggie pies, something that is extremely common here in Australia. Pretty much every bakery has them, as well as most coffee shops. They are like the equivalent of a Starbucks breakfast sandwich in the USA. Go figure. The cheese and veggie ones are so far my absolute favorite.

Ferry wake kangaroo island

A Day in Glenelg

Due to jet lag I woke up yesterday at 3:30 am. It wasn’t really what I had planned, but it did give me plenty of time to plan out my day.

The Glenelg Beach Hostel provides toast and spreads in the morning for breakfast, and also has a station set up for you to make your own coffee. Your own instant coffee. It’s disgusting. There is powdered milk available. It’s all a shock to the system after living in Seattle, home of the coffee snobs.

Needless to say, my first stop of the day was across the street to the cafe for an espresso. It hit the spot. Afterwards I took myself down to the old city hall, which has been renovated into an information center, local history museum, and art gallery. I spent about two hours wandering in the museum (yes mom, I read all the signs) and playing with the art in the gallery (currently it’s an interactive exhibit).

As it turns out, this part of the coast is where settlers first arrived, and subsequently where the first colonies of South Australia were established.

After leaving the museum I hit the beach. There is a nice jetty in the heart of Glenelg.

Glenelg Jetty

This is a view from under the Jetty where I started my wandering down the beach.

Glenelg Beach

If you walk for a few miles down the beach you end up at the next jetty which marks another town, Brighton.

Brighton beach jetty

That is the impressive Brighton beach jetty.

The Australian government is very health conscious, and all along the beach there are stations for you to fill your water bottle with filtered water, and drinking fountains. Additionally, on the sidewalks there are markers telling your the distance you’ve traveled, and encouraging you to keep going.

It’s like reading the health and fitness Pinterest board right there on the concrete.

“If you feel like quitting, think about why you started”

“Drink water, it’s teeth friendly, good for your skin!”

“Hydrate!”

All of that talk prompted me to enter a bakery in Brighton and eat a pastry. Probably not what the government intended. Oh well.

So then I walked back, found the grocery store, and all around successfully took care of myself (which also involved slathering on nearly a whole bottle of aloe since I managed to burn though multiple applications of sunscreen).

Glenelg Tree

Arduous Australia Arrival

You know what you need after an awful flight experience? The beach. Possibly a sunset on the beach. Well, let me tell you, Glenelg delivered.

Sunset at Glenelg

That, my friends is the view I arrived to. But let met just tell you how I got here.

The trouble all started at Seatac. My beloved home airport, where, if you believe the commercials on the local radio, is a place people would drop by for dinner (which it absolutely is not). I got all of my things and myself successfully through security without a hitch, and then I was patiently waiting at the gate, minding my own business. In fact, I believe I was reading a book.

An unwelcome announcement interrupted me. The flight was delayed. Now, this isn’t a big deal if you are only going to be on one flight, but when your layover is 50 minutes and you’re about to board an international vessel, it can be a little concerning.

The unease set it. Luckily, I was one of 10 people who were supposed to be on that very flight to Melbourne. Eventually we got on the plane, and they said that if we boarded quickly we might make up the lost time in flight.

And then we sat. On the runway. Waiting. There was a bit of a traffic jam with many planes trying to become airborne. Our fate was sealed, there was absolutely no way we were getting on that flight to Melbourne.

We arrived at LAX, disembarked the plane and were met by one of those carts that speeds poor unfortunately people through the airport when they are about to miss flights. We got on and were zipped through and dropped at a gate and loaded onto a plane. To Sydney. Right country, but unfortunately the wrong city. But hey, I’d take what I could get.

Remarkably, I arrived in Sydney as did my luggage. A real miracle. Then it was off to the United Airline counter to figure out the last little leg of my trip to land me in Adelaide.

Now, I know that English isn’t everyone’s first language, but why in the world would you let some poor marginally fluent speaker deal with ten upset Americans/Australians? We were hungry, tired, and now playing the communication game while we all tried to make it to our final destinations.

Eventually it happened. I ended up in Adelaide, spoke to a very helpful individual who stuck me on the appropriate bus, and then was guided by an even more helpful bus driver to the Glenelg Beach Hostel.

A night of heavy sleep ensued.