Kangaroo Island in South Australia was named for the large number of kangaroos, which were a source of fresh meat for the crew of the British ship HMS Investigator in 1802. The ship was captained by Matthew Flinders, who was tasked to chart the southern Australian coastline. Desperate without fresh supplies for months, Flinders named the island in gratitude for the abundance of roo meat.
Then again, the indigenous name for the island is “Karta” or “Island of the Dead.” That’s a little sinister, as something must have happened; either the aborigine population left the island or they died out.
But life bounces back, and there’s plenty of it on this island.
There are plenty of sheep where on grassy meadows, seals at Kingscote Jetty, young and adult seals relaxing and sleeping in the sun at Admirals Arch, free-climbing koala bears and free-roaming kangaroos at the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Ligurian honey bees at Clifford’s Honey Farm, and a lone echidna by the side of a dirt road in the middle of the island.
In making these photos, I used my long-zoom lens; no animals were harmed, poked, prodded, or ridiculed in the process.
How to reach Kangaroo Island:
From Adelaide by car, you’ll need at least 90 minutes to drive along the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis. From here, you’ll hop on Sealink‘s passenger- and vehicular-ferry for the 45-minute voyage across Backstairs Passage to Penneshaw.