Kangaroo Island Adventures Part One

Last week we spent our 25th wedding anniversary and David’s birthday on Kangaroo Island (KI), Australia’s third largest island. KI is south of Adelaide so the plan was to  fly there, pick up a rental car, drive to the island and then spend three days and two nights exploring and celebrating. And while that is what happened, it didn’t turn out quite the way we planned.

First hiccup was renting a car. After landing we discovered that our car rental company was the ONLY one without a pick-up location at the airport; we had to call and get a van to get there. No big deal, right? Well sort of but not really. While in the van on our way to their offsite location, our driver asked us our plans. After we told her we were heading to Kangaroo Island to celebrate our 25th anniversary she informed us that her company does not allow any of their cars to be taken to KI. What?

There was nothing about that in the fine print when I reserved the rental car. She then told us that there are only two car rental companies who allow their cars on the island: Hertz and Budget. Luckily we had not prepaid for the rental car and since it was holiday week for Australia–Easter is a 5 day holiday here–they wouldn’t charge us for the rental car we now needed to cancel. Whew!

But wait, there’s more.

So we head back to the airport to Hertz. And of course this being a holiday, there is only one car left and it is significantly more expensive because it is a BMW. At this point we realize we have a limited time left to get lunch and make our ferry crossing. But as we are signing the papers, the Hertz gal tells us that they don’t insure any of their cars for driving at night on Kangaroo Island. What?

Turns out that most of the roads on the island are not paved but more important there is a lot of wildlife–think wild kangaroos waiting to launch themselves at cars after dark. So we take the BMW without insurance hoping that our CA insurance and credit card will cover any possible damage from kangaroos hurling themselves at our car and resolve not to drive at night on the island.

Luckily things got better for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We drove through the beautiful McClaren Vale, a valley with great wineries–think Australian Napa, stopping for lunch at Ekhidna Winery.

Adelaide stitching shop.

A brief stop at an Adelaide stitching shop.

Goddess Ekhidna

Info on the goddess Ekhidna.

Lunch was good!

Lunch was good!

Parking on the ferry was a bit of an adventure, because drivers are asked to park their cars very close together. Some ‘lucky’ drivers get to pull onto the ferry backwards and park. I was sitting in line praying that they wouldn’t choose me for that honor. I worked out all okay, but because I was driving onto a boat, on the “wrong” side of the car on the “wrong” side of the road, parking so close to the other cars, it left me a bit shaky.

Ferry Kangaroo Island

In line, waiting to get on the ferry.

The ferry boat to KI Kangaroo Island

The ferry boat to KI.

Kangaroo Island Ferry Poster

Poster in the bathroom on the ferry.

After making our way (on one of the few paved roads) to Kingscote and our hotel, we took a lovely walk along the water that night and watched the last half of the lunar eclipse over the ocean before dining on local seafood.

Kangaroo Island Hotel

Our hotel, overlooking the water.

  Seafood platter for two.

Seafood platter for two.

Those are local fresh water marrons on top.

Those are local fresh water marrons on top.


More next time on the rest of our KI adventure and being exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly of island living.

Have you had plans go awry while traveling? Would love to hear how you coped with that.

As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

4 thoughts on “Kangaroo Island Adventures Part One

  1. Andi

    I was on Kangaroo Island 35 years ago on my own. What a great place it was then. Very fond memories ! Thanks for stirring up those very buried memories.

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      It must have been great fun to be there 35 years ago. How did you get there? We took the ferry and that alone was an adventure!


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