Lost in the Wild – South Australia

4 02 2007

 

 

Apologies to those who cared to visit and didn’t find this updated =). After a holiday in the wilderness that was Kangaroo Island, I got stuck in the wilderness we IT people like to term oncall support. That and the fact that my muse took her own sweet time in clearing out my writer’s block.

So yes, I spent the recent long weekend by going on a holiday to South Australia with several friends I met here in Melbourne and here’s my take on it.

Adelaide

We flew to Adelaide at 630am Friday. As usual, I got minimal sleep because I normally pack at the 11th hour before a flight and I also had to be out the door by 5am because I had to redeem myself from being unjustly labeled as someone who loves grand entrances (read: always late!).

Adelaide is a nice city and the best part about it is its close proximity to the beaches. Nothing about the city itself stood out to be quite honest but the beach suburbs are definitely worth a visit and maybe even worth relocating for. We stayed mostly in the beach suburb of Glenelg. It reads like Manly of Sydney in a lot of ways and the pub/restaurant called Dublin Hotel was a pleasurable surprise, especially since we were just targeting a nice casual dining place as we had just come from the beach. Well it turned out to be a cool nightspot with good food, great music and relaxing vibe. We didn’t feel the least bit out of place even though everyone there were garbed in night-out finery while we were in our bathing suits, cover-ups and using beach towels to ward off the cold ;P.

The German town of Hahndorf in Adelaide Hills was pretty and worth a visit, if only to tick off an item in your must-see places of South Australia. But if you’re keen on experiencing the real Adelaide Hills then maybe you’re better off somewhere less tourist-driven and hmm… staged.

Kangaroo Island

On our second day, we took a two-hour drive south to Cape Jervis and boarded a ferry to Penneshaw in Kangaroo Island. I have to tell you, I have never felt so detached from mainstream living as when I was there. Well that’s until I saw the hair dryer in the holiday house we rented, oh the things we can’t live without. No cellphone, no TV, no internet, but there was a hair dryer! Why of course, we wouldn’t want the kangaroos, koalas and echidnas to see us with our frizzy hair do we? Too bad I wasn’t able to fix my hair before a kangaroo paid us a visit and parked at the back of the rented house during breakfast.

Anyway, as I was saying, this island has the power to make you feel as if you’re in a totally different reality, where life is simple and crude, and nature has the upperhand. Majority of this massive island is protected to preserve the untouched wildlife. For our trip, we explored mainly the western end and went to the Flinders Chase National Park and were awestruck with the majestic Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. Whilst (uy Aussie speak! hehehe) there, I never once felt catered to, I never experienced the usual tourist-local dynamics, where the stranger commands the interaction because she’s the one bringing the money into the community. It was the other way around, it was I who had to adjust, I who was required to respect the surroundings and make sure I do not disturb the status quo. This was nature in its unadulterated, most powerful form.

It is truly wilderness at its best. It is a place that doesn’t pretend to be a comfortable, beautiful paradise to rejuvenate the burned-out listless city employee. It presents itself in its raw, breathtaking form. I personally don’t recommend this place for the high-maintenance tourist who would just disrespect it by endlessly whining about its lack of modern, mind-numbing convenience. Definitely not. This place is for the genuine adventure seeker who will be at the mercy and beauty of nature and who will connect with the genuine locals of the island, not people who have smiles permanently plastered on their faces, but the wildlife who were the original inhabitants of the place. So choose your travel companion well before you head off here and allot more than just a weekend to explore it. It’s a huge island and you need not just a day to linger and marvel at what it has to offer.

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