Day 1 - Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
After an early morning pick up from your accommodation (selected hotels/hostels), travel along the picture-perfect Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis for the 45-minute SeaLink ferry ride to Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. While crossing, it's not uncommon to have an escort of local dolphins that can be viewed from the dolphin deck on the boat. Once you disembark, stop in at Rob's Shearing and Sheepdogs to check out how sheep are shorn, then continue to Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery – the only commercial eucalyptus distillery in South Australia. Next up is a visit to the Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you'll have the opportunity to see rare Australian sea lions up close in a wild breeding colony. Travel on to the white sand dunes of the Little Sahara, where you’ll get the chance to give sand boarding a shot, then arrive at your exclusive accommodation in Vivonne Bay Lodge. Enjoy some free time to kayak on the Harriet River, go for a self-guided walk along the property’s tracks, head out trail bike riding or swimming, or simply kick back along Vivonne Bay Beach. Accommodation tonight is in eight-person dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms (bed linen provided).
Note: The coach transfer from Adelaide to the ferry is approximately 1.5 hours, with a sailing time of 45 minutes. On the island, you will spend approximately 2 hours in the vehicle with frequent sightseeing. Walking and active time will depend on which optional activities you choose in the afternoon.
Day 2 - Kangaroo Island to Adelaide
After breakfast, pop into the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary for a walk among eucalyptus trees in search of lazing koalas. Next, continue on to Flinders Chase National Park, arriving at the iconic Remarkable Rocks ahead of the crowds. Ramble across the craggy coastline, marvel at the dramatic seascapes, and then stop in at Admirals Arch on Cape Du Couedic to see the resident fur seals frolicking in the ocean or basking on the rocks. If time and weather permits, there might be several stops made en route to Penneshaw, where you can purchase dinner (own expense) before you arrive back in Adelaide.
Note: Driving time whilst on the Island will be the majority of the day, with constant stops for sightseeing. The ferry Journey is approximately 45 minutes back to the mainland with a journey of 1.5 hours back to central Adelaide. Arrival time will be approximately 10:40pm. Walking distances are several hundred metres at each location.
Day 3 - Adelaide to Port Lincoln
Kick off early from Adelaide this morning (around 5am) and head north around Spencer Gulf, with your destination the Eyre Peninsula, via Port Augusta and Whyalla. The Eyre Peninsula is one of those great Australian secrets that many people haven’t yet discovered, thanks to the lack of a major airport and too long a drive for most domestic travellers. It’s teeming with some of country’s most amazing and outstanding real wildlife experiences. It’s the kind of place that will give only those that have been a knowing smile, the smile that you've discovered a very special place indeed. After you arrive in Port Lincoln and check into your accommodation, head out to Mikkira Station. The property of this historic homestead is littered with Giant Yakkas and Manna Gum trees. The gums leaves are the favourite food of koalas, so crane your neck on a walk around the property and see if you can spot these furry little guys up in the branches.
Day 4 - Whalers Way Conservation Park/Port Lincoln National Park (Optional Shark diving day tour)
For some, today is an extreme adrenalin day! For those that dare, there’s the optional experience ($395 per person) of coming face-to-face with a Great White Shark. If you choose this day trip, you will get up at 5:30am and board a boat at 6:30am. Climb aboard at the Marina Hotel Pontoon and grab a coffee, freshly made on-board, to wake you up. After an introduction and safety briefing from the skipper, throw off the ropes and set sail for the Neptune Islands – in season the boat will often be accompanied by pods of dolphins and even the odd whale. You’ll cruise out for 2.5 hours (with breakfast served shortly after disembarking), so sit back, relax and enjoy the journey, with the crew providing info on the fishing industries, the local area and marine life. Take in the spectacular coastal scenery of lower Spencer Gulf and the islands of Thorny Passage. In season, you can even try your luck at catching a Southern Bluefin Tuna. On arrival at the Islands the skipper will get the boat as close to land as possible, giving you the best views and photos of the New Zealand Fur Seal colony. Where you drop anchor and the dive location will depend on the day. The ocean surrounding the Neptune Islands is crystal clear, which makes for ideal Great White Shark viewing. Groups enter a new, spacious cage 6 at a time. This way you get some (welcome) human company, while still enjoying plenty of room for prime shark viewing. Once the sharks arrive, each group will have the opportunity to spend about 45 minutes in the cage, face-to-face with the amazing Great White Shark. Please note that time in the cage can vary and will depend on shark activity and weather on the day. Even when you’re not in the water, you don’t miss out – keep the camera handy for once-in-a-lifetime shots from the spacious upper and lower decks. There are also cameras mounted on the shark cage so you can also sit in the comfort of the saloon and watch a live-stream of the underwater action.
Those not wishing to be quite so extreme have a choice of free activities to choose from. Walk 10 kilometres of the Investigator trail from North Shields back to Port Lincoln, visit the Railway Museum (open from 2-4pm), browse the Art Gallery at the Nautilus Theatre, or try the Parnkalla trail, which winds its way around the beautiful Port Lincoln harbour from Billy lights back to Makybe Diva statue on the fore shore (5 kilometres).
Day 5 - Hopkins Island (Swimming with Sea Lions)/Adelaide
After breakfast this morning, head over to the marina, where you can choose to cruise out to Hopkins Island for one of Australia's most unique wildlife experiences – swimming with Australian sea lions. This memorable activity involves a half-day boat cruise out to Seal Cove at Hopkins Island, where you’ll don a snorkel and dive into the water after a short guideline and safety introduction. Wild but not shy, these new flippered friends will often bound into the water, keen to show you their tricks – they duck, dive, roll, race, somersault and swirl in their efforts to show off. There is nothing that can parallel the feeling of swimming among these inquisitive, gentle creates, communing with the ‘puppy dogs of the sea’. Those preferring to stay on dry land can spend the day in Port Lincoln, perhaps strolling the foreshore or indulging in a seafood lunch. In the afternoon, return to Adelaide where your wildlife adventure wraps up.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
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