KI is Australia's third largest island at 96 miles long by 34 miles wide, and over 330 miles of coastline and if you want to see the island for all it's worth, then it's worth it to take a tour.
On the ferry ride over we were treated to a Humpback whale lying on its side waving, as if to say, "Hey, have a great time!" We sat with a wonderful couple, Phil and Di, who were from Tasmania. Di is a special education teacher and it was so much fun talking shop with her. Though they had a different bus tour, it was fun sharing stories for our 25 minute trek across to the island.
There were so many interesting facts about the island that it was hard to remember all of them, but here are some fun tidbits of information...
- Kangaroo Island ranks at the top for having the cleanest air in the world. In fact, because the air is so pure and clean, so is their rain...
- Which leads to the 2nd coolest fact; much of the water consumed on the Island is rain water, which is collected in huge tanks during their rainy season. They also rely on desalination plants.
- Only 3000 people live on the island.
- There is no need to for fossil fuels. All the energy is transported through a cable that lies beneath the ocean from the mainland to the island. That energy comes from Windmill Power.
- Kangaroo Island is a true wildlife sanctuary. Unlike the mainland, the Island has suffered less from the impact of European settlement. Animal and bird populations thrive! Today, more than one-third of the Island is declared Conservation or National Park and it has five significant Wilderness Protection Areas.
- You cannot bring any bees, bee handling equipment and honey products (yes that means no jars of honey!) to the island. Kangaroo Island is a sanctuary to the only Ligurian bee population in the world.
- The Ligurian bees on KI are the world’s last pure population. KI was the world’s first bee sanctuary, established in 1885.
- NO POTATOES allowed! This includes potatoes for consumption or planting. Unwashed or dirty potatoes may carry disease, which could devastate the island’s seed potato industry. Potatoes in new packaging (chips) are permitted for consumption only.
- Kangaroo Island is well known for its kangaroos, tammar wallabies, koalas, Australian sea-lions, New Zealand fur seals, Rosenberg's goannas and echidnas which all roam free.
Our only disappointment was not to seeing the little Penneshaw penguin that resides on the island, but caught sight of a baby penguin on the mainland - (at least that's what I think I saw and I'm sticking to it!). They are nocturnal and hard to spot during the day. Their numbers have declined over the past years and it's due mainly to the New Zealand Fur seal. While standing on the shores of the Southern Ocean, we were told that we were a mere 2,000 miles from the South Pole. When put into perspective, that's close! It was kind of neat knowing that we were that close! Of course, this also meant that the water is cold year around.