Day two on Kangaroo Island dawned as breezy as the first. Breakfast at the local bakery was delicious, even if Drew spent half of it trolling the local seagulls (they seemed to think what was our was theirs). After breakfast we set off for Seal Bay. The park at Seal Bay covers a fairly large area but people only have access to a small part of it. Seal Bay is a misnomer; there are no seals. Instead there are sea lions. And more importantly, baby sea lions.
The mothers go out to sea and hunt for 3 days, then return to shore so the pups can spend most of the next three days feeding once they return. Then, the cycle repeats. Other than that, the animals tend to lounge around the beach recuperating from the their long time at sea. The bay is home to about a 1000 sea lions with about half out at sea at any given time.
We opted to take a tour out on the beach (guided, so you don’t get too close to the sea lions and disturb them). They all seemed very relaxed to have people on the beach. We stayed up near the dunes, although a few adventurous young’uns did come up our way to play and nap. The babies were calling to their moms, ever hopeful each time a new sea lion made her way out of the water.
After that, we drove up the road a bit to Raptor Domain. We saw the bird show, and it did not disappoint. We were also pleased that one of the bottles of liqueur that we picked up at KI Spirits helps fund care of sick and injured birds here.
Ashley held a kestrel and Drew made friends with a kookaburra. Both had a barn owl sit on their knee. The nice thing about this bird show was how up-close-and-personal it was. Almost everyone there had the opportunity to hold some kind of bird, and the host was very knowledgeable about the different birds on the island.
A quick lunch later, and we were ready to try one of the island’s more interesting sports – sandboarding. Drew grabbed a sandboard and Ashley took a toboggan, and they were off to Little Sahara to try them out. The sand dunes are part of a heritage area on the island. Apparently, you can go up and down the main dunes all day, as long as you say out of the plants. So we did. Ashley mastered the toboggan on the short dune, and then let Drew convince her to try it out on the huge one.
Other than the steep hike up to the top, it was tons of fun! Drew also had fun, but he managed to wipe out on both the sandboard and the toboggan in epic fashion. He was completely covered in sand, but still had a blast.
We decided to take a quick detour to Vivonne Bay after dropping off the sandboard and toboggan. While driving down the dirt (“unsealed”) road, Ashley saw an echidna and practically jumped out of the car before Drew could stop. Echidnas are one of Australia’s unique animals – they are one of the only mammals to lay eggs and are featured on the 5 cent coin.
Vivonne Bay itself did not disappoint. After living in the desert for half a year, that much big blue ocean is impressive. Particularly how clear parts of the bay were.
More pictures are here.