(This is part 2 of a 5 part series on Kangaroo Island. Click here to read the rest of the posts)
The east side of the island is where you will find most of the inhabitants, but also a lot of different activities to fill your time. The Oyster Farm Shop should definitely be part of your plans, with this tiny little shack serving fresh Kangaroo Island oysters – delicious! Walk across the street along the water to see dozens of large pelicans. There is even a man on the island who feeds the pelicans everyday at 5pm.
Kangaroo Island is famous for its Ligurian honey. In 1884 the South Australian Chamber of Manufacturers imported a hive of honeybees from Liguria, Italy, as there were none on the island (it’s just a bit too far from mainland Australia for bees to fly) No further bees have been imported since then to the island, so only this type of bee can be found here. Meanwhile, disease killed off Ligurian bee colonies all around the world except here making this the last place in the world to have pure strain Ligurian honeybees. And the honey is delicious. There are two spots where you can taste the honey. We choose Cliffords Honey Farm. While they do offer tours of their facilities, we found they only seem to be available if you arrive on a large tour bus. For the rest of us, there was a high school science fair style display with information about how honey is made. They have a great gift shop that sells everything you can imagine that has to do with bees, including the three different types of honey they produce (all very good). I totally recommend picking up a small pot of home made honey icecream while you’re there, and they have a great playground for kids.
The Island Pure Sheep Farm was one of the spots I wanted to visit, but to be honest it was a bit of a disappointment. Yes there is a field full of very cute lambs, and you can buy their very good cheeses that are made on site, so they delivered on these. For a fee, you will be shown to two rooms where they play a DVD which shows you about how they create their cheeses.If you time your visit right, you have a chance to see the sheep being milked and the cheese makers creating the cheese. The problem was, neither was happening while we were there, so we paid money to watch felt more like promotional videos than educational ones. You also have to pay to sample the cheese, and the samples were the size of crumbs. We really wanted to buy a large cheese platter to share for lunch, but they don’t sell that. Rather than falling in love with their brand, our visit had the opposite effect …. A missed opportunity for them, especially considering how good the cheese is.
After this, we took the short drive up to Emu Bay. Not only is the bay beautiful but you will pass the Lavendar farm. Keep you eyes open because on the left hand side of the road there are many interesting bits of art hidden amongst the trees.
With South Australia being known internationally for its wines, it should be no surprise that there are also several vineyards on the island, some open to the public and others open only if you call ahead. All bottles are available from the local stores, and we really enjoyed the reds we bought from Islander Estate. Dudley Cellar Door has a gorgeous terrace with stunning views over the Backstairs Passage, and they even give you the chance to hit golf balls into the valley (strange but true). If you have time before taking your ferry back to the mainland, spend a bit of time here to relax and unwind.
If you are looking for some great fish and chips, visit the Kangaroo Island Fresh Seafood sold at the gas station in Kingscote (yes, at the gas station). It is the best.
This is only a small selection of the options on the island. Make sure you also save some time to walk down the main street in Kingscote and if you need a break, stop off at Chocol’Art & Coffee. Despite its name, I’d say this little shop is more about coffee than chocolate although they do sell a wide variety of chocolate products. Co-owner Pete Nash is passionate about his coffee and roasts it there. He spent a long time speaking with my husband about coffee and Rich said it was quite good. While they chatted I enjoyed a little mug of deliciously thick, Italian style chocolate.
Verdict: A great little stop if you are walking around the Kingscote high street with fantastic and passionate owners. Apparently they also make chocolate pasta to take home. Chocol’Art & Coffee, 51 Dauncey St, Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, Australia