The Spirit of the Island

We’re back! From Kangaroo Island at least. We spent the last few days there with a group of people we met in Adelaide: Nick, Tom and Vivian.

After taking the (quite overpriced) ferry to the island we drove to one of the lighthouses and got out of the car. The first thing we noticed there was neither the beautiful landscape nor the great weather. It was the flies. This island welcomed us with more flies than we ever encountered. And we already saw lots of them before!

But the island more than made up for this little inconvenience. Since the tour had already started anyways we skipped that part and hurried to the next stop.

At Kensington Bay we found a beautiful spot to have lunch: On top of a big rock, almost surrounded by the sea.

Lunch at Kennington Bay

Later we discovered a place called Little Sahara and the name fits very well indeed. After walking for some minutes in the sand we felt like we were in the middle of a desert. And the best thing was that we had a sandboard with us which we had borrowed before. Sandboarding is a bit like snowboarding, just without the snow. And even more complicated. But it was loads of fun and a great day.

Sandboard stunts

We finally had an opportunity to try the four wheel drive capacity of our rental car in Emu Bay. Driving on the beach! We even did some advertising pictures for Mitsubishi. Can we keep the car for that, pleeeease?

The new advertising for the Mitsubishi Outlander

The Remarkable Rocks were huge and impressive. The perfect opportunity for some posing!

Rocks, quite remarkable

On our way back we stopped at KIS – Kangaroo Island Spirits. We tested some of the award winning spirits and liquors and they were so good that we even bought some, though not beeing in our usual price range. They also had a good espresso and Afrogato, a combination of ice cream, liquor and coffee.

Testing the spirits from Kangaroo Island

After some trouble with the ferry we headed back to the mainland towards Nick’s place who invited us to stay there for the night. Sleeping on a real mattress again felt so good!

Back to the mainland!

Mixed feelings

We arrived in Adelaide on Thursday. Everything is different, but still similar. Are we still in the same country? The weather is colder (we have to wear sweaters during the day and jackets at night) and there are a lot more people – both on and off the highway.

The food court inside the Central Market

The place we got via airbnb was not good at all. They had two ferrets (we knew that) and the whole house was smelling like that (we didn’t know). But most of all it was super dirty and not at all like the place we got in Perth. On top of all it was more expensive. We’re glad that we booked only two nights.

One of the ferrets at our airbnb place

Besides from visiting the central market and the “Mall’s Balls”, we also had a look at Tanundya. It’s an aboriginal institution, which has an art gallery and some performance every day. It was quite interesting, but I wonder why we got to learn about the culture and the dances of the Torres Strait natives (from the islands in the north of Australia) instead of getting to know more about the local Aborigines.

Malls Balls in downtown Adelaide

We got a new car as well. They didn’t have the size that we booked, so we got an upgrade. So far so good. The new car is quite spacious and has a four wheel drive. However it uses much more gas, especially in the cities.

Test sleeping our new and spacious car

That’s why we were looking for someone to join us on our travels. First we found a Canadian girl, who obviously had the Canada bonus. But her plans changed. Then there were two German girls. It didn’t work out, but that is ok, because it wasn’t the best match. Nick, Tom and Vivian are coming with us instead. Next destination: Kangaroo Island!

Kalbarri and the Pinnacles

There is more to see between Perth and Exmouth. We drove by on the way up, but now we had some more time to have a closer look at them.


For one, there is Kalbarri National Park, which consists of the Murchison River gorge and the Zuytdorp Cliffs at the coast. We hiked a bit in each part and discovered Natures Window and the Natural Bridge.


Further south we encountered a pink lake, which looks quite like it. Unfortunately it doesn’t show very well in the pictures. The color is due to some algae in the water.


Our next stop was the Hutt River Principality, where we had an audience with his royal Highness Prince Leonard. He is the ruler of this independent sovereign state of the size of Hong Kong. He gained independence in 1970 and therefore does not pay any income taxes to Australia.


In the evening we set out to explore the Nambung National Park. It is home to the Pinnacles, thousands of pointed rocks in the middle of a desert. The limestone pillars were surrounded by soil, which eroded over the years.


Discovering Shark Bay

We spent the last two days discovering the area around Shark Bay.

On our way there, the first stop was at Hamelin Pool, a place where some of the last remaining Stromatolites can be found. They are microorganisms that look like your average stone. But they are much more than that.

The Stromatolites

Their species evolved more than 3 billion years ago and they were the first organisms to produce oxygen, thus being the enablers for many other life forms.

Our next visit in Shark Bay was an aquarium where we saw some of the local fish in big tanks. The tour guide explained everything really well and we got to see some interesting creatures. But the best part was the shark feeding.

Sharks: Feeding time

The guide put a large fish at the end of a rope and then let it down into the water. The sharks instantly came there and tried to get it, but he pulled it away every time, explaining that this bait has to last the whole day. But eventually one shark jumped at the bait and got it, still hanging on the rope. After some time he managed to disappear with the bait.

The next day we went to Monkey Mia. People had been giving us so many dates when the feeding of the dolphins was said to occur, that we got confused and decided to be there at the first possibility, 7.45am. This was quite a good decision, as we quickly discovered that there are in fact no set feeding times. They will just wait for the first group of dolphins to appear and then start the feeding.

Dolphin feeding

After waiting for a long long time, finally four dolphins showed up and some people from the crowd (over 150 were watching) were chosen to give fish to the dolphins.

The feeding finished right on time for our boat tour, a cruise on the Aristocat 2. We were almost alone when the ship departed. The only other people were two french girls (who were busy taking photographs of each other during the whole trip) and a french family.


After we helped to set sail we visited a pearls farm, fed some fish, saw lots of dolphins, dugongs and even a big turtle. On our way back, we tried the advertised attraction, “boom netting”. We climbed onto a net behind the ship, hanging slightly in the water. Then the ship started to move. Starting quite slow, it moved faster until the french girls had enough and climbed back on deck.

Then it started again and we encourage the captain to go “Faster! Faster!”. He does. After a while we were almost flying above the water and the waves began to hurt as they hit us. But we had a lot of fun.

Boom netting

After quite a long while even we had enough of it and went back onto the deck as well. Shortly after that we saw the first sharks (the bigger one is 3 metres long!) and were quite happy to be not too close to them any more.

Reef adventures

After driving for more than a thousand kilometers we’re up north at the Ningalo Reef. I finally get to use my underwater camera that I bought in Perth for only AUD 40 (28€).

Snorkeling at Ningalo Reef

First we went to have a look at Cape Range National Park. It has several superb spots for snorkeling. After we got some flippers, snorkel and goggles for Eiko, we went to Turquoise Bay. It is really cool, because you can walk on the beach for 100-200m and then you get into the water. The tidal current brings you back to where you started. You just have to exit before the current pulls you out into the sea.

Blue corals

While floating, you get to see lots of corals and fish in many different colors. We also saw a turtle and a reef shark (usually not dangerous) up close.

Swimming with turtles

Today at Coral Bay, the southern end of the Ningalo Reef (in total 300km long), I went snorkeling again and I got to see a Manta Ray. Very beautiful creatures!

Following a Manta Ray

The part of the reef close to the shore is bigger but not as colorful. It’s still amazing and feels like being in a giant aquarium or a zoo tank.

Corals and fish at the Ningalo Reef