The first time I ever heard about Kangaroo Island was back in March when Yollana interviewed us for the management job. I did a lot of research on the island before we came here. The internet told me it was a cool island with lots of boutique attractions to visit. The attractions all looked cool but the thing I most wanted to see was an area called Flinders Chase. It was on the west side of the island and had several natural attractions that just looked beautiful. I told Matthew that even if we were only on the island for the one month trial period, I would make a point to see Flinders Chase.
How ironic it was then, that Flinders Chase was the last attraction I saw. I almost went with Alex and Yollana once, but they decided Julianne should take my place because she wasn't staying as long as I was. Maggie and Danny went one afternoon but I was working so I couldn't go. I had talked to Matthew about going but we were always watching the cafe or busy doing something. So you can imagine my excitement when Matthew and Maggie walked in the kitchen one day and told me I was going to Flinders Chase. It was Matthew's day off and Maggie had agreed to handle the cafe for the afternoon so we could go explore.
The drive from our property takes about an hour. The island terrain is different on the west side. There are more curves and hills than in our area. The drive was a chatty one. Matthew had been drinking coffee again so he started up his own conversation about being able to pul out people's imaginations by sticking his hand in their brain. This monologue was quite comical and made the drive go by faster.
When we arrived we first stopped at the gift shop so we could purchase our park passes. The gift shop was a beautiful modern building with a reception area and a complete cafe that had outdoor seating. I looked around at the trinkets they had for sale. It was pretty much the usual stuff; postcards, keychains and coloring books. I found stuffed koalas that were so cute I considered buying one, that was, until I looked at the price tag. Matthew and I continued looking around until we bumped into Sarah, the volunteer we had met at Wayne's party a few weeks earlier. She was very friendly and quick to explain that she was now volunteering with a local family who had chickens and a garden.
After chatting with Sarah we made our way to the front desk where we purchased our park passes. The woman who took our money was very friendly. She made the comment that everything on the island was much nicer during the off-season because there were no tourists to compete with. She handed us a paper map and highlighted the suggested route for us to take. We were to head south until we saw the road leading to the Remarkable Rocks. That would be our first stop.
The hype in my mind from months of waiting for this was exceeded by the hype of actually seeing the rocks. They were every bit as cool as I had imagined. In fact, they were twice as cool as the pictures and articles had let on. In front of us lay a huge pile of the weirdest looking boulders I had ever seen. At first we were timid. We approached the attraction slowly, taking lots of pictures and soaking in the beauty of it. After a few minutes, we realized the rocks were climbable and there were only two other people in the whole area. Matthew had brought his GoPro camera and he wanted to use it. Immediately he ran and jumped on a rock and climbed to the top of it. I took several pictures before we switched places. I chose another rock that looked like a recliner. We ran around and under the rocks for a solid hour—taking pictures and making funny poses. We got a kick out of the “No Access” signs around the perimeter of the rocks. The sign said if we went passed the signs we could potentially fall off the side of the mountain. We took that as a challenge for some awesome photos.
Another rock looked like a giant nose. I held on to the center piece and claimed I was a giant septum piercing. Matthew said my green shirt made me look more like a booger. I felt like a little kid on a playground with no grown-ups around to stop the fun. By the end we were sweaty and exhausted from all of our running around. With a camera full of photos, and a group of tourists approaching, we decided to head out for the next attraction. But first, we had to play a trick. Matthew stopped and bent over a small patch of dirt on the ground. Following his lead, I did the same. We both pulled out our cameras and starting making remarks about how cool this “thing” was. The plan worked because within minutes the group of tourists were surrounding us with their cameras, taking pictures of a non-existent attraction. Matthew and I walked off before having a really good laugh at the experiment.
Our next stop was a beautiful lighthouse. We took a few pictures and then drove on down the road. We had seen lighthouses before and this one was locked so you couldn't even go to the top. Traveling further south, we made it to the other big stopping spot, Admiral's Arch. Admiral's Arch was a natural cove full of sea lions and massive waves. The sea lions here were a different bread from the ones we had seen at Seal Bay. First we walked over the arch and then we took a path that led us right up under it. The view was remarkable, and it was close to sunset so it was even prettier. We saw a few baby sea lions up close and watched for a while as they swam and played in the waves. The arch was definitely worth driving too. It was exquisite and unique. After taking lots of pictures and soaking in the sea air, we noted the setting sun and decided we needed to get back to the property.