Australia – Hawaii
September 10 – November 16, 2011
Richard and Anita Dyck left Vernon the afternoon of Saturday, September 10 under sunny skies and 32 C [89 F] to meet Marjorie Buckham at the Kelowna International Airport. The three of us were traveling together on this extended vacation, Marjorie being a friend of the Dycks for some 30 years. This would be our second visit to Australia, our first being in 2008 during February and March. Planning for this trip had been ongoing for some two years with Marjorie and Richard working together, in consultation with Anita, to research and book quality and affordable experiences that would provide long-lasting memories for all of us.
Throughout this journal the metric system will be a constant to record temperature, distance and the like. For those not using our metric system, below is an abbreviated conversion table to the US system of measurement:
15 C = 59 F 100 km = 62.14 miles
20 C = 68 F
25 C = 77 F
30 C = 86 F
35 C = 95 F
40 C = 104 F
45 C = 113 F
The Web Sites I have provided are to enhance the attractions we enjoyed and provide more background for you … enjoy!
Our journey was not without incident, some serious others comical. Each will be described in the order of occurrence. Remember as you read, this could happen to each of you just as easily!
This segment will cover time spent in both Perth and Adelaide and our Natural Wonders of Kangaroo Island Tour with KI Odysseys.
On October 10 our Western Australia tour concluded in Fremantle and the following day we relocated to our hotel, the Criterion, in Perth.
Wednesday – October 12
Finally, a chance to sleep in! No “bags out at 6 a.m., breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. departure” calls … our tour had ended. We met at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast. The day began cloudy but just after lunch the sun broke through and the afternoon was warm and comfortable. We had booked a day tour with Swan Valley Tours to visit no less than 5 wineries, a micro brewery and, for the second time, the Margaret River Chocolate Company, a smaller outlet than the Margaret River location.
While driving to our first stop Richard spotted a store front with the Kal Tire sign on it. He was first astounded to see the word "Tire" from the Australian spelling of "tyre" and even more so to see the sign exactly the same as those back in Vernon, our home town.. That night in the hotel room Richard looked up and found a listing for Kal Tire in the white pages of the Perth phone book and told himself that when he had access to the internet where time will allow for a search he would check into this further. While at our friends place in Melbourne later that month he did just that and found out that Kal Tire is truly international and he just was not imagining what he had seen in Perth. Mr. Tom Foord, a Vernon resident and the founder of Kal Tire, certainly had done well with his company!
We visited and enjoyed tastings at the following establishments – Waters Edge Estate,; Pinelli Cellar Door; Houghton Wines; Jarrah Ridge Wines; Charles Estate Wines; Elmar’s Micro Glass Brewery; and the Chocolate Company. This had been a most enjoyable day!
Our previous brief tours with Evergreen Tours, our Swan Valley Tour plus the free bus ride around Perth that we had taken after our Tuesday arrival in the city – all worked to our advantage to see a great deal of Perth and area and we felt most fortunate for that opportunity. Perth is a gem here in Western Australia!
Thursday – October 13
We left Western Australia that morning for Adelaide flying Qantas. Since our September arrival in Australia, Qantas had been suffering labour strife with rotating strikes. Thankfully our flight was not affected. At the Perth Airport we met up with Heather and Roy from our Darwin > Perth tour group. They had remained in Perth to visit their son and family and were flying out 1 hour after us to their home in Coffs Harbour. The two and one half hour Qantas flight to Adelaide was great – they provided both a hot meal and a snack on this domestic flight. Temperature was 25 C [77 F] in Adelaide at 2 p.m. upon arrival there. Hotel check-in at the Comfort Inn Haven Marina provided us a good room. Marjorie and Richard walked to the pickup point of our upcoming Kangaroo Island Tour the following day and then walked along the restaurants and bars fronting the ocean and at one bar stopped for a cool beer. Dinner at the hotel restaurant was extremely pleasant as we ate outdoors.
Our Adelaide hotel, the Comfort Inn Haven Marina, is in the beachside township of Glenelg, a suburb of Adelaide. During our 2008 visit we had occasion to take the tram to Glenelg and enjoy dinner on the waterfront. We chose to return and enjoy its beach and numerous restaurants.
Friday – October 14
We had booked a 3 day, 2 night tour on Kangaroo Island, Natural Wonders of Kangaroo Island, with Kangaroo Island Odysseys.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia, is Australia’s third-largest island after Tasmania and Melville Island. It is 112 km [70 miles] southwest of Adelaide. The island is 150 km [93 miles] long and from 9 km [0.6 miles] to 57 km [35 miles] wide. Prospect Hill is the highest point on the island.
Pickup time for the commencement of our Kangaroo Island tour was 6:45 a.m. so once more we had an early start. Adelaide was warm when we departed but just prior to arrival at the Cape Jarvis Ferry Terminal it began to rain and our crossing to the Island was in the rain. At noon the rain ceased, the sun came out and the afternoon was a mixture of sun and cloud. We met our Tour Guide and found out that 6 of us made up our tour group – 1 from Adelaide, 2 from Sydney and the 3 of us. Mark, our Tour Guide, was good, did not rush us, gave us ample time for photo ops and was a smooth commentator. We saw and photographed many species of Australian wildlife in their natural habitat on our first day. First, at spectacular Seal Bay the boardwalk took us to the beach to walk among the sea lions basking on the beach and we enjoyed their antics. This was an unforgettable experience, one to treasure for a long time. Moving inland we saw the echidnas and later had a second encounter with them. Mark served us a delicious gourmet picnic lunch with wine on their KI Odysseys private property. Fine restaurant dining in the outdoors! At our lunch location and during our walks looking for koalas we encountered numerous ants and ant hills and had to be careful to step around and not on them. Luck was with us as we saw numerous koalas and their young in the trees. A bonus was to encounter a goanna lizard on the roadside during our search for koalas. We had numerous opportunities to see wallabies taking many photos of all these animals. Along the way numerous bird species were identified for us. Last we had multiple views of kangaroos but were too distant to take photographs. We had a 2 night stay at the All Seasons Kangaroo Island Lodge in American River.
Web Sites of Interest …
Map of Kangaroo Island http://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/lib/docs/mf1652.pdf
Saturday – October 15
The weather was better today, a mixture of sun and cloud, cooler in the morning and warmer by afternoon. We drove to a nearby jetty to view the water and numerous birds, mainly pelicans. A visit to Emu Ridge Eucalyptus & Craft Gallery, farmers and distillers of Australian Eucalyptus Oil, was followed by a visit to a honey farm. We then drove along to a fine river setting for another great outdoors lunch hosted by Mark, our Tour Guide. Arriving at the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, the first lighthouse to be erected in South Australia, we encountered a cool wind. It was set on the eastern extremity of Kangaroo Island. A guided tour provided us with interesting facts on the history of this structure and both Marjorie and Richard climbed the steps to the top of the lighthouse. Leaving the lighthouse we stopped next at a pristine white sandy beach before arriving at Penneshaw to view the ferry terminal and Frenchman’s Rock. The Island has many paved roads while most of those we traveled were gravel. Our vehicle on tour was an Isuzu 4WD that seated 12 and proved more comfortable than the Mercedes Coach we had on our Southern Wonders tour of WA. The surrounding landscapes depicted grain farms, cattle and sheep ranches and some vineyards. Mark then drove us on a rural road hoping to see more kangaroos and we did – dozens of them in groups of various sizes allowing for many great photos. This concluded our day and we returned to our hotel. Our Day 2 on tour was just great!
Web Sites of Interest …
Emu Ridge Eucalyptus & Craft Gallery http://www.emuridge.com.au/
The Cape Willoughby Lighthouse
Penneshaw & Frenchman’s Rock http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penneshaw,_South_Australia
Sunday – October 16
Weather conditions remained good today, much the same as we enjoyed the previous day. A visit to Point Ellen at Vivonne Bay provided spectacular views of the Southern Ocean and white sandy beaches. Travelling to the western section of the island we entered the remarkable Flinders Chase National Park, one of the oldest and most important national parks in South Australia and home to fauna and flora and wildlife unique to Kangaroo Island. While we did see kangaroos from a distance, on a koala walk we were rewarded with numerous sitings of koalas in the trees, one in particular was extremely close to ground level. Time spent in the Park allowed us to visit Admirals Arch, home to the New Zealand fur seal and Remarkable Rocks, naturally sculptured formations precariously balanced atop a granite outcrop. We got to enjoy our third, and last on tour, gourmet picnic lunch with wine in an outdoors setting. A change to the itinerary that all of us agreed upon then saw us drive across the island to Kingscote, the largest town on Kangaroo Island, a place we would not have visited otherwise. Upon our arrival we watched the daily feeding of pelicans at the local dock and obtained more great photos. This concluded our visit to Kangaroo Island and we flew back to Adelaide with Regional express Airlines. All 3 of us were in total agreement that Kangaroo Island was a special place and one not to be missed by tourists!
For the visitor to South Australia, a visit to Kangaroo Island should not be overlooked. Taking into account travel time involved with the ferry crossing from Adelaide and return, a one day visit would not be long enough. A minimum 3 day stay, like we had enjoyed, would allow adequate time for the traveler to enjoy most of the Island’s treasures.
Web Sites of Interest …
Flinders Chase National Park http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flinders_Chase_National_Park