So, what else is there besides caves?

KANGAROO ISLAND – 19 October 2022
Clare had slotted in a day for us to see a little of the “sights” on the Island.  There had been full on surveying now for three and a half days, most of it in squeezy little holes, so, off we went with our guide Pam to see the sights!

First up was a visit to a sea lion colony at Seal Bay, roughly in the middle of what’s known as the “South Coast”.

Up until 1945, sea lions in the seas around Kangaroo Island were used as shark bait, until the Royal Society of SA wrote a plea to the SA Museum in 1953 asking them to protect the sea lions that lived on the south coast of the island.  And so, a closed off section on the south coast of the island was set up.  These sea lions are one of the rarest species in the world and their entire population is estimated to be less than 12,000, 85% of which live in South Australia.  Seal Bay is home to the third largest colony of Australian sea lions, with an estimated population of 800.  Sea lions can live between 17 and 25 years,  Males mature between 8 and 9 years, females from 3 years.  When feeding, male sea lions will travel up to 100k and females up to 70k from their breeding colony.  In , these trips last about 3 days and in that time, they will dive 900-1200 times.  Needless to say, when they return to the breeding colony, they’re stuffed and lay about sleeping on the beach or up in the sand dunes.  The females have a breeding cycle of approx 18 months, and it’s not synchronised between colonies.  The female seal comes into season for about 24 hours between 7 and 10 days after she’s given birth to her new pup.  The males roam around looking for a female that’s ready to breed and fight off other males!  Once the pup is born, the female leaves it along in the breeding colony for up to 3 days at a time, while she goes off and feeds.  Not sure how she knows which pup is hers when she get back (lol).

Looking from the 900m boardwalk track which took you down to the beach. From this point, there didn’t seem like much to see.

But when you got to the end, we were able to look out over the beach to some of the seals, and one of the babies making its way down to mum.

A female having a nap in the shade of the boardwalk.

We were then taken on a tour by National Park staff, which would take us right down onto the beach. Here’s a baby looking for Mum up in the warmer sand.

Not sure if one of these is a male or not, but its a cool photo.

Females on the beach after 3 days of feeding, they come back to the reserve and then sleep in the sun.

As we were watching a large male swam to the beach, he’d been out feeding (for 3 days), he wandered around – possibly looking for a female, then flopped down for a nap.

Looking up the beach, the boardwalk was in the part of the beach at the base of the hill in the middle distance.

A mother and pup that had been sleeping up in the sand doon but was not a bit hot in the sun, so off to the water for a bit of swimming practise for the pup.

Idyllic spot to be to watch the sea lions.

Close up of the male when he beached himself.

All too soon our tour was over and it was back to the visitor centre and off to find some lunch.

In the lead up to going to KI, we’d been told that a “must do” is to go to the Vivonne Bay General Store which had the “best whiting burgers on the island”. So, off we went to Vivonne Bay for whiting burgers. This is a bit out of focus, I did take a brilliant photo of four on a tray but have “lost” that. The burgers were fine, but I didn’t feel the need to return (lol)!

Our next stop was Stokes Bay, we drove right up the middle of the island to the North shore, through stunning green farm land (and a few areas of burned out bush).

Stokes Bay beach.  It was so nice to get down to the beach.


Walking around the headland to explore the rocks, beautiful clear water.

A walk along the beach – lovely to see that the cliffs above us weren’t covered in housing, it made you feel like you were on the beach in the wilderness.

A headland at the end of the beach, I was hoping for a hidden beach beyond, but it was not to be.

Back on the road, Pam (and Lucy) took us on an unplanned drive through the middle of the island – good sight-seeing though.  Next stop was Flinders Chase National Park.  in 1802, the British explorer, Matthew Flinders landed on the island (and named it after the kangaroos he saw), but he was followed closely thereafter by the French explorer Nicolas Baudin who was the first European to circumnavigate the island. Consequently, many of the names of places around the island are of French origin, the rest British.

Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, one of three lighthouses on the island.

Looking down onto the coastline from a lookout. Apparently, there are a number of sea caves in the area, I’d definitely go back if there was a chance to visit some of them.

There’s a lovely walkway leading to Admirals Arch. This photo is from the walkway, you can’t see them, but there are many fur seals laying around on these rocks. They really blend in as they are darker in colour than the sea lions.

Pam didn’t tell us much about Admirals Arch, and I have to say when we got down to the bottom of the walkway, the Arch was stunning. Was tempted to jump the fence and wander around the rocks!

A fur seal resting in amongst the rocks just under the tourist walkway.

From above, looking back down on the area where Admirals Arch was.

Off to the Remarkable Rocks now, a couple of kilometres from Admirals Arch.

Along the tourist walkway, looking over the National Park. The white trees are all that are left of Mallee Eucalypt trees after the fires that ravaged the island 3 years ago. They are on the coastline and are only 1 – 1.5m high, I couldn’t see any regrowth.

Remarkable Rocks – right on the edge of the cliff.

These are the iconic rocks, both of these are hollowed out caves in the rocks, probably caused by wind erosion.

There’s an iconic postcard of the rocks, with this woman and her dog, Lucy and Pam tried to recreate it!

Lucy and Janice.

Nice shot of me, thanks whoever took it (maybe Pam, maybe Janice!).

We tried to wait until sunset to watch the sun go down over the water but would have meant we’d be there for another 2 or 3 hours (the sun sets really late down in South Australia).

Thanks so much for the tour Pam, we saw pretty much all that was to be seen on this part of the Island!

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4 Responses to So, what else is there besides caves?

  1. Jutta Annegret Susann Ossig says:

    Absolutely magnificent!!! Makes me want to go there.

  2. Kathy Leslie says:

    Marilyn, Having a snowy day in Minnesota is a good thing. I was clearing out old emails and then checked my JUNK mail and found 4 lovely posts from you. Bonus!
    Really enjoyed this one and have 3 more to binge watch as I watch the snow continue
    To fall!🤗

    • marilyn says:

      haha, funny finding it in the Junk Mail. I’m “sort of” envious of you sitting watching the snow fall, I really did love that, didn’t like shovelling it, but loved to sit inside in the warm and watch it fall.

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