KANGAROO ISLAND: AUSTRALIA GARDEN OF EDEN
Captured by azure waters of the Great Australian Bight, Kangaroo Island is famous for magnificent landscapes of pristine forests and coastal cliffs rugged by succulents. Thousands of years ago the Indian Ocean separated this land from the mainland, and destined it to be the third-largest island of sunny Australia. Most of the area is divided between nature reserves and national parks, there are places where no human has ever set a foot.
The first European whose ship anchored near local sandy beaches, was a British explorer Matthew Flinders, who not only gave the island the name of "Kangaroo", but previously offered to call the mainland Australia. Located at the distance a little more than ten kilometres away from the "big land", the area soon was chosen by settlers who built Kingscote fort. The first settlement, named after the castle, soon grew to a large industrial city with a population of about 1800 inhabitants, which now is one third of the inhabitants of Kangaroo. The island has the latest on the southern coast eucalyptus oil factory and a cheese factory, where they cook salty halloumi cheese, mixing sheep's and goat's milk, and roast the resulting product on grill. For those who seek for the truth in wine, or for a drink to pair cheese, certainly have to go to the wine cellars of Cape Willoughby. The island is also recognized as the only abode of pure-bred Ligurian bees that were brought here over a hundred years ago. Ecologically clean honey is produced by local apiaries, tourists take it with them as an exotic Australian delicacy.
In addition to the food industry, treasury of the island is actively replenished by developing tourism. The local land is accessible from the mainland by ferry or plane, which in half an hour reaches Kingscote from the capital of South Australia, Adelaide.
Unity with nature under leafy cover of eucalyptus groves, which elicit fragrant under hot rays of the evening sun drifting into sleep – this experience seem to be undeniable. Every year over hundreds of thousands of tourists rush to capes of Kangaroo Island, and although the local shores have reputation of a sanctuary for wild life, the part of the island was equipped for a comfortable stay, and established infrastructure caters guided tours for every taste.
Travelling through natural, rugged beauty and watching exotic fauna in their natural habitat, you feel like a pioneer of this amazing land of promise. In addition to a huge number of tamed kangaroos, wildlife abounds on Kangaroo Island: possums, wallabies, goanna, echidna, brown bandicoots, sea lions, New Zealand fur seals. While dunnart marsupial mice are natives of the island, platypus, possums and koalas were brought here from the mainland. Strolling among tall trees, be ready that fortune will bring you to the impressing rare black cockatoo, known for its raspy voice and ill-temper.
For most travellers encounter with koalas on Kangaroo Island is a unique attraction. The fact is that the marsupial bears are known to be very lazy, so it is almost impossible to see them frolicking on the eucalyptus branches in the daytime. To see how plush sleepyheads crawl out of their hiding places, you have to wait for nightfall. In the daytime koalas are resting in the eucalyptus branches, which, in fact, they eat giving preference only to certain varieties. Fortunately, the island grows enough plant for imported herbivores to feel comfortable. Over time, the animals got so accustomed to new places, that have even grown in number so much that created a threat to the eucalyptus trees. The authorities of the island had to regulate the number of animals, they used sterilization to solve the problem.
Seekers of mysteries and adventures have definitely go exploring wrecks of sunken vessels, scuba diving near Cape Borda. Those who think that hunting for underwater relics is a little reckless, if not dangerous, have a chance to angler historical facts on land. Records kept by keepers of ancient lighthouse, guarding the local water, are full of mysterious stories about terrible shipwrecks that took lives of about eighty people.
Boundless blue heaven immersed in the curls of waves, will bring genuine peace to seeker of solitude. One can spend an hour or two with a fishing rod and to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on the rocks of town American River, which is located in the western part of the island. Exploring the northern shore, come to the Seal Bay where an experienced guide can show the famous beach, where chaotic series of amusing pinnipeds are relaxing safely paying no particular attention to the people.
Absolutely futuristic landscapes await travellers at sunset in the Flinders Chase National Park. In the western part of the reserve there is a natural anomaly called Remarkable Rocks, which is in the rays of the setting sun turns into truly mysterious world. Stone sculptures of whimsical shapes, created of granite by nature, reminiscent of the surreal Dali paintings. In addition to the landscape which came down from canvas of the extravagant artist, the reserve is interesting for its endemics. More than twenty species of animals were brought there as their existence was on the verge of extinction. The park is also a habitat of the island old-timer the marsupial mouse.
Another fantastic "handiwork" of nature is a rock arch known as Admiral's Arch, it offers a wonderful view of the ocean. Ancient cave was sculpted by many years of weathering and mighty waves, which turned it in an elegant panoramic grotto with huge stone icicles of stalactites. The road to it begins from Cape du Couedic and bypassing several viewing platform and boardwalk around a cliff face leads visitors to this spectacular natural arch. If the weather is good, you may see a bustling colony of New Zealand fur-seals on the rocky platforms.
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