Kangaroo Island – South Australia, Australia

A Microcosm of All Things Australian

Australia’s third-largest island is uncrowded and uncomplicated and boasts a treasure trove of unique animal life amid a variety of unspoiled scenery. Sheep outnumber residents 300 to 1, but it’s the armies of wild kangaroos, koalas, Tamar wallabies (nearly extinct on the mainland), and fairy penguins that astound.

They live among some of the whitest sand dunes on the planet, surf-sculpted boulders resembling abstract art (aptly called the Remarkable Rocks), sparkling seas, and a natural bridge carved from lime­stone called Admirals Arch. Seal Ray is home to one of the world’s rarest species of sea lions; they can be seen lounging on the white beach by the hundreds. They seem unper­turbed by Homo sapiens, who take advantage of an up-close-and-personal experience rarely possible in the wild. The sea lions’ cousins, the New Zealand fur seal, frequent pretty coves at the island’s southwestern tip.

Visitors who sign up only for Adventure Charters of Kangaroo Island’s whirlwind one-day excursions usually underesti­mate the island’s size (90 by 40 miles) and invariably long to stay on at one of the charming local B&Bs – farms and home­steads that welcome guests with true Australian hospitality. Hope for availability at the Stranraer Homestead, a 3,500-acre working farm run by the Wheaton family since 1911.

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