The West

A free-range adventure
A free-range adventure

The silhouette of South Australia is made out through the grey haze that lingers over the ocean. A gentle winter sea breeze tousles the long grasses across the road from where I sit. The view is captivating. A vast stretch of dark ocean stretches before me framed with white sand. The dock is visible to my right; it was days earlier that I stepped off the ferry and on to the island, in the town of Penneshaw, falling in love with solitary Kangaroo Island.

The experiences of my past few days flood back to me. The fond memory of the unique landscape and free-range animals are the most prominent. The dark ragged rocks that protrude from the white sand on the beaches, the generous sprinkling of flame orange moss that sticks to them. Wild turkeys that roam the vacant block beside the holiday house and nut-brown rock wallabies that wade through the tall grass.

The memory of the Seal Bay Conservation Park is vivid. An eco-friendly boardwalk that twists and turns, snaking its way through the dunes. About 70 sea lions dotted the beach. Large and small, they lay sun-drunk. Too lazy to move but evidently content. One pup lay close to the boardwalk, it suckled from its mother which was drowsy from the warmth. Beside them two smaller sea lions laid in an embrace, flippers overlapping.

Most stayed still apart from the odd rollover or movement of flipper. It provided much entertainment when two playful sea lions frolicked in the jade green ocean. They surfed the waves, riding them until they overturned. They bobbed up occasionally, as if to see if anyone was watching their performance. It was a special experience to see them in their natural habitat without any disturbance.

The recollection of the early morning walk to the local market proves satisfying. I tasted it all: fresh lemon tarts, delectable chocolate truffles, marron, organic honey, fig syrup and goat's cheese. Live music provided extra entertainment and the friendly locals were always up for a chat.

The unforgettable visit to Vivonne Bay, voted Australia's best beach, is the perfect way to wind up the day. The pristine water and pure white sand of the bay is an example of beauty.

When the sun had set I went searching only to end up as one of the very few who are unlucky enough not to see the penguin chicks.

I was disappointed not to see the fairy penguins (also known as little penguins) that famously roam Kangaroo Island at night - I only heard their young squeaks and squeals.

The final memory is of the warm morning when I travelled to Clifford's Honey Farm to cool off with some famous honey ice- cream. The ice-cream is not the only product I discovered; beeswax, mead, body products, candles and, of course, naturally flavoured honey lined the wooden shelves. All with a label stating "organic". The Ligurian bees that produce the honey are believed to be the last remaining pure bees of their type in the world.

Kangaroo Island is a bee sanctuary and the importation of bees is not permitted.

Clifford's farm is a delicious memory and I finished with the sunset viewed from the veranda of my accommodation. The ocean and sky melted into each other, the wind turned cold and the scent of the ocean and untamed flowers blew around the bay.

Memories of organic food, the locals, the alluring scenery, the sweet serenity of the rugged landscape and the free-range adventure I had will follow me like a shadow back to South Australia even after I catch the ferry back to the main land and leave Kangaroo Island.

It was a special experience to see seals in their natural habitat without any disturbance.

The West Australian

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