Feeling Desperate!! Kangaroo Island

Old Feb 1st, 2008, 08:02 AM
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Feeling Desperate!! Kangaroo Island

I have recently posted asking help planning a 2 day/1 night tour of KI on our month long trip to Australia this June. We are traveling with 8 and 6 year olds, and from what I am reading it seems best to do a tour to really "FIND" all the good stuff for the kids.....and not run over a kangaroo. Trouble is, for all 4 of us,the tour groups are telling me that with kids this young, we will have to charter our own tour. We are looking into flights vs ferry, and still seem to be quoted several thousands for this trip. Can anyone help please????????????
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 10:20 AM
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I disagree that you have to go on an organized tour to "FIND" all the good stuff. We've been to KI twice and on our most recent trip we did it with our kids and without a tour guide.
What I would suggest is that you take a look at the KI tourism website: www.tourkangarooisland.com.au
You can view and/or download their visitor's guide and a detailed map of the island. There's info on flights, ferry, accomodations and activities. I think you will find that there is more than enough things to do on KI with your children that don't require the services of a organized tour.
Just to let you know--our kids enjoyed Seal Bay, Kelly Hill Caves, Little Sahara, Koala Walk, the pelicans, the Remarkable Rocks and Flinder's Chase NP (where we even did a bit of hiking).
We enjoyed both of our trips to KI immensely, so I hope you can arrange to go too.
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Don't go to Kangaroo Island. You can find there are places just as good, if not a lot better, to see animals than K.I. There are a lot of Australians who think that the name of K.I. is misleading to the point that it excludes much better animal spotting places in Australia and for a lot less money as well.
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Hi LizzyF,

Not to hijack the thread but I got to ask the obvious question. What areas in Australia have better animal viewing?

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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 04:48 PM
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jersey, its a big country as you no doubt know, different climates, different terrains. For instance you wouldn't see a seal on the Great Barrier Reef, nor a cassowary or tree kangaroo on Kangaroo Island.

Lizzy, I often wonder too, if the popularity of KI is because of its name - if so, explorer Matthew Flinders back in about 1800 did a huge favour for South Australian Tourism when naming it such.

desertchick, where else in Australia will you be visiting? There may be something closer for wildlife experiences at far less cost.
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 06:13 PM
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For a 10 second answer, which is in no way detailed, - Around the Daintree/Cairns/Port Douglas for tree kangaroos, Lemuroid possums, flying squirrels, Cous Cous (sp??) and fantastic and unique bird life.
Around places like Carnarvon Gorge for Kangaroos, wallaby, Emus, different bird life etc. The Blue Mountains for bird life, nocturnal animals etc. Tasmania for wild life such as Tasmanian Devils, possums ( nothing like American possums ) penguins, seals etc and so on and so forth. Finally West Australia for Whale sharks which you can swim with and the NT for tropic bird life and swamp life.
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 10:33 PM
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Please don't feel desperate! You and your children will likely have a wonderful, unforgettable vacation!I loved Kangaroo Island. Lots of koalas, possums, tamar wallabys, kangaroos, NZ fur seals, Australian sea lions, mating penguins, heaps of birds, including the Cape Barren Goose and Oyster Catcher. From Vivonne Bay we also watched a pod of dolphins close in on a school of fish not too far from shore. We were on Kangaroo Island for a little more than 24 hours (it was an overnight tour that we booked through the SeaLink Ferry), so I would say the wildlife sightings were excellent!
I think if you prefer not to book a tour, you could easily just book coach-connecting-to-ferry transportation to the island from Adelaide with SeaLink, rent a car when you get there and have a look around on your own. Maybe leave Adelaide on the afternoon coach to the early evening ferry on the first day, rent a car when you get there (or early the next morning), spend the night in Penneshaw as it is close to the ferry terminal, visit the Penneshaw Penguin Centre for a nocturnal tour, and then the next day get up early and have a drive around on your own. If you drive slowly, I think it highly unlike that you will hit a kangaroo. Avoid night driving, because many animals become more active after nightfall. See Flinders Chase Park (don't miss Admiral's Arch), Seal Bay, Vivonne Bay. We also visited a caravan park that had a large population of wild native animals--koalas in the trees, possums in tree trunks, tamar wallabys hopping about, Cape Barren geese waddling around. The caravan park was open to day visitors. Apparently, the owner used to be a sheep rancher who turned to tourism when the price of wool bottomed. I did not make a note of the caravan park's name, but it might have been: http://www.westernki.com.au/
Here is the SeaLink website, if you don't already have it:
i just looked at their website and the costs for the round trip coach-ferry trip from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island for two adults, two children should be no more than AU$368. Accommodation might be $150 to $200. Car rental for 24 hours might be around AU$150--at the most. If you stay in self contained accommodation (say a cottage with a kitchen) you can also cook your own dinner and breakfast, prepare some sandwiches for lunch and save some money there. It will be a little cheaper and more convenient if you bring groceries from the mainland(though there is a grocery connected to a pretty good pub in Penneshaw).
Have a look at these sites, too:
Wildlife viewings are often a matter of luck, but I would say your chances on Kangaroo island are very good. We also saw a lot on animals on the way from Adelaide to Cape Jervis (where you catch the ferry).
On the other hand, we spent about four days up in the Daintree in North Queensland and never saw a cassowary or tree kangaroo. No luck. We spent about 8 days in Tasmania and the only Tasmanian devils we saw were in an enclosure in the Tasmanian Devil Wildlife Park (an excellent park, by the way). I think, in fact, it will be increasingly difficult to see Tasmanian Devils in the wild as their populations are seriously threatened by a facial cancer.
Overall, I would say the best wildlife viewing I have experienced in Australia has been up in the Kakadu during the dry season (May through October).
If you have time to spare in Adelaide, you might enjoy a side trip to:
Diamantina is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2008, 10:39 PM
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Forgot these links to accommodation.
Besides www.australia.travelmall.com/
and http://www.wotif.com/
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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 03:26 PM
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Desertchick , We were just five minutes ago looking at detailed pictures from different parts of Australia. We are animal lovers as well . We found a photo of a baby seal which coincidently was taken on Kangaroo Island by the pilot from Daintree Air who apparently fly’s down there.
We had not heard about this Island previously although this picture would be enough to persuade us to make the journey to Kangaroo Island if we could be assured of actually getting that close to the wild life. We are pressed for time and Kangaroo Island seems a little out of the way but perhaps well worth the extra effort.
The photo gallery on Daintree air’s site is a marvellous window into the geography and wild life of Australia. If you have not yet seen it you may find it a wealth of information.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 05:40 PM
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curious about what kind of reading is telling you to find a tour for all the kid's stuff?

Sounds like a tourist board suggestion.

Never have ever on any of my travels found a tour that could not be self navigated with some reading. Curious who
is telling you to do a tour. Let me know.
Sarah is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Kangaroo Island was a highlight of our three months in Australia. We had three days, two nights in October. Stayed at "Island Time" a cottage near the beach at Vivonne Bay with two bedrooms and all amenities one could want. Restaurants are few and far between and expensive, so stock up on food on the way to Cape Jervis. Marrons (little lobsters) are great and very fresh from the Farm in the middle of the island.
Paul's Place was fun, and the children can handle wallabies, bottle feed a kangaroo, play with sheep, and feed emus; also have a koala in their arms for a kiss.
Flinders Chase is more for adults, though the children are old enough to climb on the rocks; on a side road near the visitors' center the dirt road leads to a cold and clear stream for paddling and a picnic.We saw more koalas and wallabies at dusk at the beforementioned campground than we did at the Nocturnal Koala walk.
Yes, driving at night can be hazardous, but 20mph is safe and we saw eight kangaroos and many other animals crossing the roads.
BTW you can rent a car with Hertz at Adelaide airport with unlimited mileage, drive it on the ferry and use it for your time on K.I. for less money than renting on the island with limited mileage.
Did you know K.I. has just had devastating fires, but the vegetation should have recovered in six months.
Be sure and check for school holidays in June - you want to avoid that time.
We are Aussies, but live in Florida now.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Don't feel desparate,calm down and think it through. Kangaroo Island has lots of fun stuff for the kids, you just have to find the right tour..
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:02 PM
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KI did have about 10 days of bad bushfires recently. However, a colleague of mine visited recently and said there was already signs of regrowth on trees and vegetation.

June will be winter, so it could be cold and wet on KI, but it depends on what level of cold you are used to.
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Old Feb 8th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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Kangaroo Island is a fantastic place to visit to see the unspoilt rugged landscape of Southern australia and wildlife. It all depends desert chick on where you are travelling to in Australia. It is a huge country to cover and unless you are visiting South Australia there may be other spots to see the native animals.And it depends on which animals! You would have to travel huge distances to see all the different areas.As for speckles comment on cold and rain in June. We are in the midst of the longest drought on record here in SA so I'd say you are pretty safe.
mariebut is offline  
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