Private tour. Over 10 percent of Kangaroo Islanders are involved in visual arts and in addition to excellent galleries there is a chance to meet with the artists in private home studios. Many are inspired by the environment which surrounds them so this private touring experience naturally complements culture with wildlife encounters.
Start the day joining local assemblage artist Janine Mackintosh for morning tea in her private home studio. Janine is a great example of Island artists – she started out as a casual visitor and the Island slowly drew her in and she moved to the Island and developed what is now an internationally recognised style.
Her works focus on the marine environment and local flora with a strong underlying message blending history conservation. From here drive to Seal Bay and take a private guided tour of the Australian Sea-lion colony, stopping to look at the showcase of the natural history of the sea-lions which has a definite creative edge.
Break for a barbeque lunch at a private lunch site on a local farm before continuing to Stokes Bay. Explore the North Coast in the afternoon where we will take in a variety of landscape and wildlife encounters and finish up with a beach-walk at a secluded cove.
Today focuses to Flinders Chase National Park – a wilderness of over one hundred thousand hectares which covers the entire west end of the Island. Break the long drive for morning tea en-route at Roo Lagoon, a local wood turning studio where Johnny Gloyne creates beautiful items out of rich, red Eucalyptus timber.
Explore the massive natural shapes of Remarkable Rocks – looking like some dramatic natural sculpture perched impossibly on top of a dome of granite emerging from the ocean.
Evidence of the power of the Southern Ocean swell continues at Admirals Arch – a coastal grotto which provides a haul out for a large colony of long-nosed fur-seals who swim effortlessly through the crashing waves.
Lunch today is a picnic enjoyed on the cliff tops or sheltered in the bush depending on weather and consists of poached chicken, local cheeses, fresh fruit, a salad prepared on the spot and a choice of fine Kangaroo Island wines.
After lunch, explore the Interpretive Centre at Rocky River which features the works of Nick Pike and Jacob Stengle. Finish “Grassdale” to experience some pioneer heritage or seek out kangaroos amongst endemic Tate’s grass trees which appear to be inspired by Dr Seuss.
The third day explores the agricultural and residential areas of the east end of the Island starting out in Kingscote with a visit to Fine Art Kangaroo Island or Murray Street Art Gallery, subject to the day of the week we are travelling. Explore some of the early architecture of Kingscote which has some excellent examples of early limestone construction. A walk through the main street also provides a chance to see public art by Deb Sleeman and a beautiful sea-lion pup by bronze sculptor, Silvio Aponyi.
More public art can be explored at Reeves Point Heritage Park which showcases the settlement history of South Australia before travelling on to American River where art interprets the strong maritime heritage of this coastal village.
Continue east where we can, depending on availability, visit the workshop of Indiana James, the millinery studio of Linda Jenkins and world-renown glass artist Bernard Stonor at Pelican Lagoon.
Break for lunch at a secluded spot before travelling to Penneshaw where opportunities include visiting Frenchman’s Rock, the site of some historical graffiti from French Captain Nicholas Baudin, the contemplation seat and the newly created sculpture trail complete with swing bridge.
If time permits, end the day with a tasting of hand-made liqueurs at Kangaroo Island Spirits or wine tasting at Islander Estate Vineyard cellar door.
What is included?
- home-baked morning tea served with traditional Australian treats
- alfresco lunches with a choice of local wines, beer, soft drinks and spring water
- access to field guides, binoculars and maps
- all necessary National Parks fees.
What is not included?
Since 1986 Exceptional Kangaroo Island has been recognised as Australian leaders for immersive wildlife experiences. They specialise in Kangaroo Island wildlife tours. Biologists consider Kangaroo Island a representative of temperate Australia at the time of European contact just over 200 years ago. Nearly 50% of the original vegetation cover has been retained in a mix of: National and Conservation Parks; roadside and heritage reserves; and private property.
Kangaroo Island is larger than most people think. At its longest point the island is 150 kilometres or just under 100 miles long. Its widest point is 55km or 34 miles across. This makes it as large as Bali, Puerto Rico or Long Island New York.