Day 1: Southern Ocean Lodge & Koala Night Safari. Kangaroo Island is a short flight (20 minutes) from Adelaide. Given the limited number of flights to Kangaroo Island, consider a charter from Adelaide Biplanes. It’s less expensive than four tickets on the commuter airline. This is another location where the lodge is a destination in itself. Southern Ocean Lodge is built along a cliff overlooking the Southern Ocean below, with the restaurant-reception on one side and its premier Osprey Suite on the other. If available, the Osprey Suite is worth the premium, as it has a circular layout offering 180-degree views along with a private pool on the balcony. After dinner, take a night safari to search for koalas in the national park. This basically entails walking through eucalyptus groves and shining flashlights in trees. Fortunately, the bears are easy to find because they are extraordinarily loud creatures, emitting frequent territorial grunts to drive off romantic competition. In addition to the koalas, there are hundreds of kangaroos and wallabies hopping about the darkness, as well.
Day 2: Wonders of Finders Chase National Park and Quad Bike Safari. Depart after breakfast for Finders Chase National Park. The tour includes several scenic stops along the coastline, particularly Admiral’s Arch and Remarkable Rocks. Admirals Arch is a pretty hike along sea cliffs to view the arch formation and the waves crashing beneath it. The area also has a seal colony. The second stop at Remarkable Rocks is even better. It’s one of the oddest rock formations in the world. They look like they are melting, a surreal image from a Salvador Dali painting. After lunch, take the Southern Ocean Lodge’s Quad Bike tour. You’ll race over bumpy trails at high speed, enjoying the beautiful scenery and unusual plants.
Day 3: Sea Lion Beach and Cocktails with Kangaroos. In the morning, hike some of the many miles of trails around the Lodge, where you will come across any number of exotic birds and animals, including echidnas. In the afternoon, head to Sea Lion Beach to observe the colony there. Every couple of nights, the Lodge organizes a party called Kangas and Kanapes. This is basically a wine tasting on the edge of a pasture full of kangaroos.
Day 4: Platypus Pools and Cliff Walk. Finder’s Chase park also is home (supposedly) to the elusive platypus. They only are active at dawn and dusk, which requires rising very early. Even then, it’s rare to see a platypus. In the afternoon, hike along the sea cliffs between the Lodge and Finder’s Chase.
Hotel: Southern Ocean Lodge
Photo tip: Remarkable Rocks
Photo tip: With a koala
Photo tip: Kangaroos