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.