Kangaroo Island 2017 Day 13 – Raptor Domain and Seal bay

Woke up at 650am to a sky coloured in bright orange hue. Quickly got out of bed and went to make K a bottle and left it in the warmer before brisk walking quickly to the beach. The orange started to fade back into blue as I approached the quiet Emu bay and disappointingly, it was too cloudy for what could have been a beautiful sunrise. Took the pictures of the bay which was not too windy and had really gentle waves (which had surprisingly warm water, at least warmer than my hand) and of the resting Pelicans before heading back to the nice warm apartment, where I enjoyed a hot cuppa before mommy and K woke.

Sunrise hues seen from the balcony
At the jetty of emu bay
Pelican standing on a rock
Fish measuring board
Pelican chilling
So many of them
Sunrise pano
The sun peeking over the horizon

Then it was all about the same morning routine of getting ready to get out. We were leaving the apartment late today again. After we got K’s meal packed, we left for Raptors Domain, 40mins drive from the apartment.

We arrived at 11am in an open car park after getting through a short dirt side road, which had a big entrance gate in a design of a bird. We headed towards the main registration and bought 2 tickets for birds of prey show for aud20 each adult (K entered for free) and waited for 30mins for the start of the show. K had fun with the available games there till it was time to take a short walk to a small arena with 3 rows of seats.

Raptor Domain entrance
Raptor domain reception
inside the waiting area of Raptor Domain
Show tickets

There was quite a number of people who came for the show. There were 2 trainers who took turns to bring out one bird each time, introducing their stories and their behavior and other useful information. The most interesting thing was the interaction, such as having a barn owl stand on the lap of the audience one by one, holding birds in the leather gloves provided and taking photos. There were about 6 different birds, starting with magpie, to owls and falcons and kookaburra and eagle. K was even stroking the back of the barn owl when it stood on mommy’s lap. The ending of the show was with a huge eagle that we could let stand on the arm and take a photo, but at a cost of aud10 which would contribute to the sustaining of the sanctuary.

Magpie throwing rubbish into bin
Camaflaged bird
Bird, forgotten its species
Barn owl in flight
White barn owl
Kookabuura on the handler
Falcon on a toy snake
Another eagle
Me with the eagle

We left at about 1230pm, after the one hour show and drove a 15mins to the next stop, Seal bay. There wasn’t any lunch stop here so we had to starve but fed K first, after paying aud16 per person (again K was going in for free) for the visit on the broad walk. We didn’t choose the aud50 per head for the guided tour that would allow close up visit to the beach of seals because we had that (free) up close experience when we visited New Zealand a long time back. K was having fun with one of the Aussie lady who was waiting for her tour to start, with all the hi-fives and fist bump while eating his meals.

Diaper changing station
Seal bay visitor center

After his lunch, we walked on the ramp all the way to the beachfront to look at the seals. There were quite a number of them, most of them sleeping. But we could also see some coming from the crashing waves, some moving about and enjoying the waters crashing into them, and some just rolling about in the sand. As we walked back, we noticed some of the seals even made it onto the open grass patch and sleeping within the bushes, that we didn’t notice the first time we walked on the ramp. There were some skeletons on the open space, which I thought might belong to a whale? Interesting walk and a beautiful coastal view of the area.

The broad walk to the beach
View of the beach from the broad walk
Seal bay pano
Sleeping ones
Enjoying the water
Another group
Away from the sun

By this time, K was already very tired and wanted to sleep. He was cranky and as soon as we moved off in the car, he felt asleep. We decided to head back to the apartment first and tried to get him up the room to continue sleeping. But unfortunately, after setting up the room and preparing the milk, he wouldn’t get back to sleep after waking up.

Microwaved lunch

I left them in the apartment to get to Kingscote and get some gas because the car was just down to 2bars left. 15mins away, I got into Caltex which looked small approaching from outside the town but it was actually bigger with more fueling stations, which made me looked stupid as I waited for the cars in front of me to complete their top up. The petrol cost was very expensive (but still cheaper than Singapore) aud1.43/liter and I pumped aud30 worth that should last the trip to Adelaide based on a 10km/liter estimation as I intended to pump the rest on mainland (cash was running low too!).

I went to Foodland to get some groceries that mommy wanted me to get and I spent about aud20 to get some milk, eggs, flake fish fillet, cooked prawns and macaroni. Then I drove back with the setting sun in my eyes, at a time of about 5plus.

Back at the apartment, both mommy and K were in bed, but neither were sleeping. K was punished for not taking any further naps by abstaining him from any videos and DVD for the night. I took him to the playground close to the beach, the only time out of the 3 nights we were here and so late at this time because the sun was already setting, changing the surrounding clouds dusk red. K was warmly dressed and played till the dark took over and stars could be seen but it was merely 645pm.

Emu bay playground
Sunset view of emu bay
Emu bay at 6pm

We returned to the apartment and while I bathed K, to avoid having it colder later in the evening, mommy was cooking dinner with the stuff I purchased. We had Olio Algio, a first for mommy and K had his usual pasta which he couldn’t finish. The rest of the night was spent playing with his toys and packing for us, and while I read a storybook for K and gave him a bottle of milk, we turned off the lights for an early night for K. After he fell asleep, we spent a bit of time in front of the TV, discussing about the past accommodation for reviews update into Agoda and planning the last 2 days of Adelaide. The trip was ending soon and I wasn’t looking forward to the hot and humid Singapore, especially now that I am “used” to the cold.


Kangaroo Island 2017 Day 12 – Flinders Chase National Park and Vivonne Bay

Alarm clock sounded at 7 but we continued to lay unmoved. The cold just made everyone hibernate. Mommy was first to wake and made K a bottle while I laid in bed with the impatient K crying for milk.

After downing down the bottle, K wasn’t sleeping anymore. Then it was my turn to get up and keep an eye on this busy toddler who would be climbing anywhere, especially the staircase. Brushed his teeth and changed his diapers, he spent most of the morning on his DVD while having his cereal breakfast.

Mommy was busy preparing the meals for K and sandwiches for our lunch and also her own breakfast. I made my own ham and cheese croissant but couldn’t achieve the effect of those from cafes, because we didn’t have a toaster. Thereafter was the struggle to get K dressed up.

1030am and we got out of the house for our visit to the Flinders Chase National Park. In this Kangaroo Island that was thrice the size of Singapore, getting from Emu Bay to the NP took an hour plus to do so, taking the main road there. Again mostly the roads were the same thing, more trees as we got closer to the NP, and more roadkill on the road. K fell asleep 15mins before arrival and I parked the car at the visitor’s center and left K and mommy in the car before going to the center across the road to pay for the entrance fees. Luckily I remembered the car plate number, from the time in Victor Harbour as this was required for paying the fees. The information would appear on the receipt and it would served as evidence to be pasted on the windscreen.

Car plate number for Flinders NP tickets
Flinders NP visitor center
Our tickets

Returning to the car, we drove 15km into the first location of Admiral’s arch, bypassing the Cape Borda lightstation that was just a few meters from there. We had already 2 lighthouses visit and it was more than enough. The difference for this was there was the firing of cannon at 1230pm.


Anyhow, we parked the car at the public carpark and I got off to check the place out first. It was long a wooden walkway leading downslope, providing different perspectives of the outer islands nearby and then a close view of the lazing seals on the water-battled rocks below, some of these rocks forming infinity pools with the ocean and seals could be seen swimming in them. A further walk to the bottom exposed the natural formation of the Admiral’s Arch, very close to the wooden walkway. Took a few shots, which was difficult as it was too close. Managed to see some seals at the other side of the Admiral’s arch too.

Path to Admirals Arch
Seals on the rocks
Infinity pool for the seals

Admiral cave pano

As I trekked backwards up the wooden pathway, I saw mommy carrying K near the start of the walk path. K had woken up and wasn’t ready to walk so I took over carrying him while mommy explored and visited the arch. Brought K to see the fur seals and tried to let him see them using the binoculars that we took from the apartment. I was sure he saw the seals with his naked eyes but uncertain that he saw them just as well through the binos.

After staying for a while, we returned to the car and drove towards the second location of interest in the NP, it was the Remarkable Rocks that could also be seen from the Admirals Arch. Just 10mins away, we stopped enroute to shoot a view of the Remarkable Rocks and a nice beach on Boxer Dr before driving into the public carpark of the Remarkable Rocks. We parked there and had our lunch in the car first, chili chicken raisin sandwich and K had his own meal. Afterwards, we used the toilets that were situated at the start of another wooden walk path before embarking on the walk to the rocks.

Closer view of the lighthouse
Remarkable rocks seen from afar

The rocks situated at the end of the walkpath had a surface that was easily scalable even for K who climbed himself, thinking that it was a mountain. The rocks were really works of art by Mother Nature, appearing in various shapes and curves. We had fun sitting on some and taking refuge from the wind in others and taking photos with the beautiful backdrop of the coast.

The Remarkable Rocks during approach
Nature’s wind sculpted work of art
Like the beak of a bird
Shapes and sizes
View of the bay under the shelter of the rocks

After we were done, we walked the same pathway back to the car and headed back to the visitors center. There was a walk that we were interested to bring K to and after driving the 15mins to the visitors’ carpark, the staff at the information center introduced us to take the Heritage walk instead where we could try spotting koalas on the trees. We then took the walk of an estimated 40mins circuit and entered the trail through a gated access behind the center.

Inside the visitor’s center
Walk paths leading to the heritage walk

The first couple of meters was just a footpath flanked by tall trees. Only after reaching the Black Swamp lookout that we saw an open field with geese and also spotted a kangaroo. After that, it was more natural with dirt path and only small signage to guide us on the walk path. Along the way, we managed to see koalas, I spotted 2 of them, looking closely at the Eucalyptus trees. At the open fields we also saw more kangaroos, one feeding and another 2 lazing on the grass. The walk wasn’t difficult and soon we completed the circuit, satisfied with the few animals we saw along the way.

Black Swamp lookout
Animals out grazing
Sleeping koala spotted in the park
Wild goose
Another koala spotted
Kangaroo up close
Lazing kangaroos

Near the center, K was interested in the a sand pit that had toy shovels for kids to dig and expose dinosaur bones. Of course K didn’t know that and was just interested to dig some sand. Mommy did some shopping at the souvenir section in the center and got K some crackers and cheese that he picked up as a favorite snack during this trip.

Sandpit for dino bones digging

As we were leaving for the car, the staff told us that a koala was spotted near the green signage and told us to give it a shot. We overshot and went to the picnic area. Couldn’t find anything there and while I tried again at the green signage that was closer to our car, I found the Koala perched atop, snoozing away. It was indeed a good number of sightings.

Koala on the tree in the carpark

Our next destination was to Vivonne bay. As we got onto the road, I saw a kangaroo crossing the road. Quickly took a step on brakes to slow down but was no where close to it. Mommy also noticed more kangaroos at the side of the road, probably the good time for them to come out in the open and avoid the sun was after 4pm. Asked K to take a nap first while we drove there and he did after 30mins of driving when we almost arrived.

The road leading to Vivonne bay was a dirt road but it was very bumpy. Thankfully K could sleep through it all. I entered a camping site and parked at the public carpark before getting off the car to explore, leaving mommy and sleeping K in the car.

As I followed the sign to the beach and was in awe at the sight before me when I arrived at a very calm water body of the Eleanor River, so calm it was reflecting the blue skies and white clouds above. This water body was separated from the main ocean by a sand bay. The water was very clear too.

Eleanor river near vivonne bay pano
Eleanor river near vivonne bay pano

I walked back up a flight of stairs and ended up at the camp site area where there were quite a number of camper vans and holidaying people preparing BBQ for their dinner. There was a walk path nearby that had a sign that said that it was closed but I took it anyway as there was another group of people in front who also took the same path, likely leading to the beach. As I followed behind, I noticed an empty patch to the left after a few meters and by instinct, just followed tracks there. Where it led me was to a nice viewpoint of the sand bay that separated the ocean and the calm waters. It was a beautiful view!

Sand bank separates the river and the sea

I returned to the car after all this exploration and mommy gave me a viewpoint to drive to. It was a further drive after the turn-in to the carpark that we were at. The road further was the same dirt road, and extremely bumpy. The road led us to the end of the bay but from the location, it was quite far away from the beach, although the whole bay could be seen from there. The setting sun made the view looked even better. But that meant we would be driving in the dark soon.

Vivonne bay from viewpoint

Drove back to the same bumpy road back to South Coast road and again, I saw a kangaroo crossing the road, this time much closer. Luckily I wasn’t speeding and maintained under the speed limit for the 1hrs drive back to Emu bay, with the full moon accompanying us on the journey back.

For multiple stretches of road, I drove with high beams on, so as to look out for any animals waiting to cross the road, we finally arrived at the unlighted street of our accommodation and reverse parked. K also woke up at about the same time.

The annoying thing was that the sun set really early and we couldn’t do anything else at night other than to eat dinner and laze in front of the TV till bedtime. Effective time of exploration was at most 8hrs.

So similar to the night before, mommy cooked dinner, K had his entertainment on YouTube and I was chilling. We ate dinner, bathed and got ready for bed.

Kangaroo Island 2017 Day 11 – From Victor Habour to Kangaroo Island Emu bay – R&R

K was awake rather early, at 5am and as usual, I made him a bottle so that he could continue to sleep. We were gonna take a ferry to Kangaroo Island and it was scheduled for 9am to leave, since we couldn’t get anything later as it was fully booked.

Mommy was also awake before 7 to prepare the meals while I did the packing. At about 650am, I went out to take a photo of the sunrise that was happening at 7 while bringing stuff into the car. The skies were pretty clear but out in horizon where the sun was coming out seemed to be a little cloudy. Snapped a few shots on the beach and returned to the room as it was also a little cold out there.

3 poles
Sunrise at Victor Harbour
Bridge in the morning

Once back, continued with packing and bringing stuff bit by bit to the car, such as for the luggage that we knew K didn’t require any items from. At the same time, I also got some hot water stored into the hot flask for making milk from the hotel bar when they opened at 730am. Finally, changed K’s diapers which made him fidget with displeasure for a bit but not enough to wake him up, I carried him in my arms and transferred him to mommy while in the car so that he could continue to sleep all the way.

It was 8am while we were on the roads and it was a 45mins trip to the Sealink ferry terminal. We had to be there in fact by 830am for check in so I just tried to get there soonest. Along the way there were cars that were just keeping to the speed limit and below and I had to find opportunity to overtake, which was an issue as there were just long stretches of double white lines closer to Cape Jervis (couldn’t help linking it to Ironman).

Sealink Terminal at Cape Jervis

As we approached the terminal, we had to pass through a small township and then right around a corner near the waters was the loading zone. Unlike what we saw previous at Sorrento, this was opened to public and I just went into one of the lanes first. Read the email requesting only the drivers to be inside the car, mommy went to do the check in, whereas K also started to wake up. Since K didn’t have a ticket and it wasn’t required anyway, mommy went to board at the passenger side while K stayed in the car with me. After I received the 2 tickets (1 for me and 1 for the car) from mommy, and not knowing when I should go, I drove out of the lane in the direction of the ferry, but was stopped by the staff. He said he wanted to loaded the heavier vehicles first and asked me to wait. So I waited till he called to see the tickets and give the instructions on where to go.

Ferry tickets for the car

After being assisted by another staff on parking, I brought the bags that I thought required up to the 2nd deck where the passenger lounge was and mommy was waiting for us there. Unfortunately all the window seats, which came with a center table, were taken. We settled for the side chairs and helped K to change out of his pyjamas and started to have breakfast of muffin and pizza. When a table was available, we quickly took over and sat there till it was time to get off. But that didn’t mean K was sitting still. He was moving around and climbing the stairways up and down to the open deck on the 3rd floor, which I only stepped foot on for a while without opportunity to see around, with me closely watching him. Wifi was available onboard and I used it sparingly when my eyes could be off the boy.

Inside the ferry
Front window seats

Nearing the jetty, I brought K and put him in the back seat with accompanied with my handphone as I waited for the tailgate to be lowered. When the vehicle behind me left, I thought it was my turn to reverse out (since I drove in head first) and was immediately called to stop. Then I realized how the vehicles were parked with my side being head first and the other side was reversed parking. We had to drive out in a loop. Waited for most of the cars to exit before it’s my turn and as the car hit land, mommy was already waiting for us by the shore.

Waiting for the cars to move

The turquoise waters were a beautiful sight, and it was totally out of my expectations as I thought that the island was entirely a national park and would be devoid of civilization. I was wrong as I soon found out, driving towards our accommodation at Emu bay. The street was the same and so were huge masses of land that belong to farms along side it. We did spot a kangaroo or two but mostly it was just like mainland, only the waters were more beautiful.

View of Penneshaw turquoise waters

Arrived at about 10 plus, after a 40mins drive, at a double storeys Bayview House and entered the place after retrieving the keys from a number locked storage. The place was unlike the one in Port Fairy which was a traditional cottage, this one was modernly designed and had a large balcony and kitchen. The view was impressive and K took to liking it immediately for its carpeted staircase, climbing up and down of it immediately.

Basement living room
1st guestroom
Basement shower
Basement toilet
Laundry room
2nd Guestroom
3rd guestroom
Master bedroom
Master Shower
Kitchen and dining
Living room and balcony
3rd Toilet

We hadn’t any plans for today as we were chilling a bit at the accommodation by first letting K watch his “Blaze and the monster machines” DVD that we bought from Woolworths the day before and at the same time, he was snacking on the cracker and cheese. We left only at 1230pm to get some lunch at Kingscote town, a 20mins drive away.

Initially we were looking for fresh seafood but the address that was on TripAdvisor didn’t seemed to point me to a restaurant and eventually, we ended up in town at a Lighthouse Cafe where we ordered a lamb shank and calamari and 2 bottled fruit juice for aud 38. The food was pretty good and K also finished quite a huge portion of his meal in the toddler chair.

Kingscote jetty
Kingscote town
Calamari and chips
Lighthouse Cafe

We walked back to the Foodland supermarket to get the groceries that we required for the meal tonight and for the food tomorrow since we were going to the national park. K had fun running up and down the ramp outside the supermarket and even became a gatekeeper for some time, opening and closing the gate for customers going into the supermarket. By the time mommy was done, it was about 3pm that we headed back to the apartment.


Once back at the apartment, K took a bottle and went to sleep and so did the parents. By the time we woke up, it was before 6pm and the bright full moon was already up at one side together with the orange hues of the sunset at the other. The owner came to collect charges for the 3 nights and informed us (so late) that there would be power outage due to maintenance the next day. This meant that those items that require the fridge will have a problem or there would not be any heating in the morning. This was such an inconvenience for us, especially when we had a toddler with us.

Sunset pano from the balcony

Mommy then prepared dinner for us while K watched DVD again and I just chilling (pun intended) on the sofa. Had our meals on the big dining table that even had a toddler seat that K was familiar with. Ate our meals of rice and marinated chicken from the supermarket and nice warm vegetables soup. Then the clean up was done in the big dishwasher after which I prepared K for a warm bath in his blow up tub.

The room  did not have an aircon unit and was getting a little cold. The aircon unit was in the kitchen and living room in an awkward location but at least it was warming up the area. When K came out into the room to dress up he was shivering a little.

Mommy and I then took turns to bath and the rest of the night was spent on TV and YouTube. Time flew past and it was already 11 when we quickly got to bed, switching off the aircon in the kitchen. An easy day, a holiday within a holiday.