Queensland travel destinations – Kangaroo Island

By Sabine Von Graz

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Tags: Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Kangaroo Island

THE LONG WAY ROUND TO BRIBIE!

Being March we hoped the summer would finally bring some warmth, however going to Kangaroo Island made us pull out our thermals once again, and I ended up scavenging in the shops for an electric blanket! I already knew what we were in for when I saw passengers boarding the ferry in padded jackets, gloves and hoodies and this in the height of summer! However, the first hurdle was, of course, to get the rig onto the ferry. Richard was his usual quiet self and not showing his emotions, while I started to get a bit nervous, being the only huge rig in sight between all the small cars and compact caravans.

A trip on the ferry with your car is usually easy and a bit of fun, as you drive on at one end, and after a couple of glasses of vino, drive off happily at the other end. This time, however, we were faced with something totally unexpected, as we stared in horror and disbelief at the sight of cars ‘reversing’ onto the ferry. Meanwhile, a big crowd of onlookers and passengers stared back at us in anticipation, while Richard was contemplating his plan of action, with centimeters to spare in between cars, walls and beams, not to mention the 3.8-meter height of the van! Richard made a vital decision and sent Ginger and I ahead on board, so we could direct him from the bridge via mobile.

As soon as we checked in and waved to him from the bridge, he turned off the phone!!!! I thought ‘Oh no the mobile is not working!’ and started to point, gesture and call out, but he just wound up the window and drove off! Here we were on board with just my handbag and Ginger screaming ‘Daddy come back!’ Then finally the rig stopped and slowly reversed back towards us. Still holding my breath, I witnessed how Richard followed the ground personnel to manoeuvre the rig perfectly on board.

After all that commotion I was not sure if I should be mad or overjoyed, but looking back at the stress, the enormous cost of $1000 for the ferry trip, and Ginger throwing up, it was all worth it in the end. We stayed on the coast at Penneshaw in a caravan park with the worst amenities, but with the most gorgeous direct views over the water. As we did not come to Kangaroo Island for the toilets, we soon discovered that there were some great parks and tours for nature lovers.

One can watch seals and sea lions from cliff tops and sandy beaches, or take part in tours to see kangaroos, koalas, penguins, dolphins, feed pelicans or take an owl for a walk! We did not get around to do the Koala and Kangaroo part, however on our drive home from the ‘miracle’ rock formations, which is a must see when you visit Kangaroo Island, we had to do some emergency braking to let a Koala meander across the road and a roo hop into the bushes. As cute as they are, you can’t just take wildlife off the island, but with the weather showing its cold side some special species of ‘Kangaroo Island mouse’ decided that our van was a rather cosy alternative.

Behaving nice and quietly for most of the time, with just a view occasional pitter patters, they hitched a ride back with us across to the mainland! But if you have a slightly larger appetite than a mouse, Kangaroo Island is the place for foodies, with pubs overlooking the sunset and wineries set on misty hills, but none of them beat my favourite ‘Thai food van’ experience. This van usually docks itself on one end or another of the island, to dish out their yummy cuisine.

On a Thursday however, the van is parked at home within a huge shed, still leaving room for large tables, chairs, heaters and a fully stocked bar! To give this space some ambience they have some great lighting, outdoor fire pits and a singer entertaining, while you eat and mingle with locals and tourists, watching the sun go down. Although it is not easy or cheap to live on the island, the locals have developed a healthy barter system, and seem to be very happy working with tourism, employing each other’s family members to make ends meet.

And as a fellow tourist pointed out, when you come to Kangaroo Island, you feel you step back in time, for most of the island seems untouched and there are no rabbits or foxes either. But time did not stop for Richard, who had to return to Brisbane for work. We girls decided to wait for him at Windsor Gardens in Adelaide, where Gingers friends all gathered again for a weekend full of fun and games, turning the play tent into a pig pen, where food and lollies rested in peace, next to stinky socks and old salami wrappers. But that was not the only stink that haunted me, as the smell of death emerged from all different nooks and crannies in the van… I decided to start by investigating the lower kitchen cupboard and voila! There was an empty rat sack packet….followed by nibbled on food packs….

My suspicion of pitter patters at Kangaroo Island was confirmed, and the only thing I could do to limit the stench was to tape up any smelly holes I could find. Needless to say when my dear hubby arrived back from work a week later the smell had gone, and he could not understand what all the fancy taping was all about. Yay! Finally leaving behind anything that smells, we were off like a cheese in the sun, to our next destination – Coober Pedy! I hope you can join me for this outback experience in the next Bribie Islander on the ‘Long Way Round to Bribie’! [email protected] ‘The Long Way Round to Bribie’!

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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.