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All Things Remarkable!

Monday 17th August 2015

semi-overcast 18 °C


I woke up at about 7am having had a good nights sleep. There was some anticipation about the Kangaroos and whether they would also be up bright and early and near our cottage. Slightly disappointingly there were none to be seen. Over the course of the next couple of hours a few emerged but it seemed that they grazed the land between the cottages and the cliff top more in the afternoon. There was evidence of animal activity on our veranda because of animal poo deposited there, which explained the noises the previous evening. Later research suggested we might have had a possum and a kangaroo visiting us, although our animal dung analysis skills are still pretty rudimentary so we couldn't be sure! We had a leisurely start to the morning. Nigel 'offered' to try the shower out first, and that was at least warm even if the water flow wasn't that amazing. We had a cooked breakfast and did some washing as well as the washing up and then set off to explore the island a little more.

We drove up to to the main road and then travelled west along the centre of the island turning to the left to get to the south east coast passing into the Flinders Chase National Park. There were lots of gum trees and other vegetation we didn't recognise.


Many of the roads on the island remain pretty straight even when that means going up and down some very steep hills. Once we entered the park and went past the Visitor Centre we were a bit confused as to whether we should have stopped and bought a visitor pass but decided to risk it and press on rather than turning back. We eventually reached the lighthouse and the car park for Admirals Arch. As soon as we got out of the car and started walking we could tell that the scenery was going to be spectacular. The sea was an amazing rich deepest blue and the waves dramatic and menacing.


A boardwalk had been built along the top of the cliff and a couple of view points gave an indication of what was to come. From one we could see pools below us with a number of seals swimming about and every now and again being tossed about by the waves.


The walk took us down a number of steps and nearer to the seals as we went. A sign told us that this was a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals. As we got lower we were able to appreciate just how many seals there were. It was fascinating watching them swimming in the pools or in the sea, and then coming onto the rocks or the sand to rest and bask in the sun.


Eventually we turned a corner and were able to see the arch in the rock that gives the place the name the Admiral's Arch.


The view of the cobalt sea through the archway was pretty amazing but for me it was watching the seals that made the place really special.


Once we had finished exploring the place we returned to our car and drove the short distance along the coast to a place known as the Remarkable Rocks.


They are made of granite and have been eroded into these 'remarkable' shapes by the sea, wind and rain over the last 200 million years. The rocks are amazing colours including a vivid iron oxide red and yellowy green from lichen. We spent a while exploring them, whilst being careful not to go to next the steep edge on the seaward side, from where there have been a number of fatal accidents in the past.


By this time we were both feeling pretty hungry and so we drove back through the Flinders Chase National Park to the visitor centre. We bought some chicken baguettes and drinks from the cafe. By this time we were also pretty certain that we should have bought a permit, so being honest before leaving we bought one and proudly displayed it on our windscreen and promptly drove in the opposite direction straight out of the National Park.

We were a little unsure as to how much time we had to explore further as we had already decided to follow advice and not to drive after dark because of the risk of hitting wildlife such as kangaroos. We continued along the south coast but the weather had deteriorated and it was pretty blustery and was threatening rain. We drove off the main road a short distance on one of the dirt tracks to get to Vivonne Bay but part of the area was closed off for regeneration and so we'd gave up in the end. We had also thought about going to Seal Bay where there is a colony of sea lions, but in the end we didn't have time so decided to postpone until tomorrow. Instead we made our way back to Stokes Bay arriving in plenty of time before dark. We both ended up having a bit of a nap before cooking some pasta and heating up the sauce that Cheryl had given us when we were at Lush Pastures. It was a great meal and we were left feeling pretty full. We watched a bit of television and I did some more blogging before we both went to bed.

Posted by Gill's Travels 04:56 Archived in Australia Tagged sea seals kangaroo_island flinders_chase

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