Travel

Kangaroo Island is a delight to the senses

KANGAROO Island - a brisk ferry ride or a short plane hop from Adelaide - is a place of nature's gifts.

It is a wildlife sanctuary without fences, an atoll of sea-pounded cliffs and artistic rock formations, an adventure park of towering sand dunes, shimmering lagoons and dense forest.

But we were there to eat.

When you have celebrity chef George Calombaris preparing abalone for 150 people in a pop-up marquee at Kingscote Wharf on a balmy moonlit night and Maggie Beer setting up to present a Roman Feast, nature's gifts can wait awhile.

It was the weekend of the Kangaroo Island Feastival and a bounty of island produce and wines had to be addressed. Locally distilled gin too. More about that in a minute.

Kangaroo Island Feastival is a celebration of the island's fast-growing reputation as a food and wine destination.

It kicked off with a grand dinner. Visitors packed the marquee to meet local producers and winemakers and to eat roast goose and marron and yabbies from a menu prepared by George Calombaris. Indulgent. But there was learning, too.

The next day at Clifford's Honey Farm the Ligurian bees, brought to Kangaroo Island from Italy, were going about their high-yield work to help owners expand their range of honey products. Kangaroo Island, or KI as it is called by the 4600 locals, is the only place in the world with a wild population of bees.

SPOILT FOR CHOICE: Between the food and the scenery, Kangaroo Island will win you over.
SPOILT FOR CHOICE: Between the food and the scenery, Kangaroo Island will win you over. Contributed

Licking cones of honey ice-cream kept us quiet for a while. So too did the tasting of premium wines at Islander Estate Vineyard, part owned by Frenchman Jacques Lurton.

After the wine, sheep called for our attention. You might think (as we shamefully did) that watching sheep being milked at the Island Pure Sheep Dairy and Cheese factory is a bit too country.

But these KI sheep are groomed and pampered, happy to follow each other into a milking room fully on display to visitors, where they eat while their prized milk is drawn.

The quality of the cheeses and yogurts produced from their milk leaves you in no doubt why these sheep are so mollycoddled.

Gin came after the sheep. This is an island of pleasing diversity.

That night over a gin-inspired dinner at Kangaroo Island Spirits, South Australia's first boutique distillery, we learnt the history of gin (you might be surprised to know distilling goes back to the first century AD) from Jon and Sarah Lark who hand-make high-quality liqueurs and spirits on their property.

A blind gin tasting proved we were no gin experts but willing pupils and a gin-inspired five-course dinner showed us anything is possible with a little imagination and a good drop.

Food and wine might be king and queen on KI during Feastival time, but the wildlife rules throughout the year. Fat sea lions pose for the camera between diving and dozing at Seal Bay - the same goes for the koalas, and a kangaroo seems to be waiting for you around every corner.

Then there is the jaw-dropping splendour of the KI coastline with surf-pounded cliffs, tranquil coves and vast stretches of sand. Accommodation options are as many as they are varied. We loved the space and comfort of the Aurora Ozone Hotel at Kingscote.

KI will have its way with you whether you are there for the food, the wine, the scenery or the wildlife.

The writer was a guest of South Australia Tourism Commission.

 

KANGAROO ISLAND FEASTIVAL

The Islander estate Vineyard

Visit iev.com.au

Island Pure Sheep Dairy and Cheese Factory

Visit: islandpure.com.au

Kangaroo Island Spirits

Visit: kispirits.com.au

Aurora Ozone Hotel

Visit: auroraresorts.com.au

Aurora Ozone Hotel

Visit: auroraresorts.com.au

.

Topics:  south australia



'I didn't even know what a mum was': Celeb on Byron cult

Former The Bachelor Australia contestant Keira Maguire.

Keira Maguire reveals her past to I'm A Celebrity camp mate

Pacific Hwy fully reopens after truck inferno

Emergency services cleaning up the remains of a truck fire that erupted on the Pacific Hwy northbound near Watsons Ln. February 20, 2017.

Pacific Highway fully reopen after truck fire

Special strike force captures alleged ice dealer

90 grams of crystal methamphetamine was found in a car on the Coffs Coast. Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said the drug is cloudy and of poor quality and posed a significant risk to meth users.

22 JULY 2015

Photo Gemima Harvey/Coffs Coast Advocate

Accused Wardell man, 42, to face Lismore Court today

Local Partners

Paul Murray listens to regions

The man who can talk underwater is ready to listen and broadcast it back to the pollies.

'I didn't even know what a mum was': Celeb on Byron cult

Former The Bachelor Australia contestant Keira Maguire.

Keira Maguire reveals her past to I'm A Celebrity camp mate

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

Jolie may have the kids, but Pitt has custody of Hollywood

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Proposed $21 million airpark in holding pattern

A front view of the proposed new aviation museum at Evans Head.

Late businessman's dream on hold ... for now

Clarence River island paradise selling for $5M

Former Ballina councillor Margaret Howes is selling her island getaway.

GALLERY: Tropical getaway with beaches and airstrip put on market.

Bidding could start at $1.4M for sought after property

Farrell McCrohon's Jojo Newby rides on a property recently listed at Buccarumbi

One of largest rural properties on market to go under hammer today

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!