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November 2, 2010
From journal The Awesomeness of Kangaroo Island
February 3, 2003
The first day is of central KI and includes the amazing wildlife park where you pet and feed roos and koalas. We also saw two beaches, Prospect Hill (where the Europeans first staked out KI), a jaunt through Kingscote (a nothing touristy town where you can buy kibble for your family at home), and the night tour of the fairy penguins.
Day two includes a trip to the Seal Bay Conservation Park, a trip to the Little Sahara sand dunes, lunch in the bush with koalas in the trees, Admiral's Arch to see the sea lions, and Remarkable Rocks - an awesome constellation of huge rocks perched overlooking the ocean. The views are amazing and you see and do a lot. But the pace is quite hectic - you never get more than an hour at any location and I was left with a feeling that I wanted to see more of every site.
There isn't too much I would cut out. Sometimes the number of people we traveled with did get unruly. Still, this is cheaper than renting a car and doing it yourself. Our guide was reasonably knowledgable, but he did have a tendency to mention things to those sitting nearby without using the mic, so sit near the front of the can. The van itself is comfy and air-conditioned.
If you want more of a personal tour, you may want to check out David's Tours - max of 10 people with a focus on seeing wildlife in the wild. You stay at his home and it's cheap. I was told by travelers who went on it that he is an eccentric, fun man who loves the animals. He has a wife and two small kids as well. His tours fill fast though, so call ASAP. It was full when we tried to book a week in advance.
From journal 2 wks in Adelaide, South Australia
There are a few major cities, and we stayed in Penneshaw, the biggest and where the ferry lands. From Penneshaw, every night you can go on a tour to watch the fairy penguins (one foot tall) come up from the sea and go to their sleeping hovels. The times vary based on when the sun sets. You can't bring flash cameras or flashlights UNLESS you have an orange filter on your flashlight ("torches" as the locals say). It is great fun.
There are several places to see the wildlife, most of which charge an entrance fee. I recommend one of the wildlife parks - we went to the Parndana Wildlife Park, where injured animals are kept. You can pet the koalas and feed the kangaroos. There are also wallabies, a wombat, and a huge bird avary. It is a lot like a zoo, but still very fun, especially for kids. The big national park is Flinders Chase, where there are also many animals, but not quite as close up. Still, it's worth seeing them in their natural habitat.
Also, be sure to check out Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase - there is a seal colony there that you can watch from the trail. There is also a Seal Bay Park where reaserach on the animals is done. You can walk, with a guide, on the beach with the sea lions. It is amazing. We went in February when the bull males were getting ready to breed, so we saw several flights.
You could easily "hire a car" (aka rent a car) in Adelaide - the ferry takes cars so you can drive yourselves around if you do not like the organized tour thing. I would leave three to five days (two at the bare minimum) to see the sites.
Magical place wonderful for kids and adults! Very Australia!