Getting to Adelaide
As part of my road trip to Kangaroo Island, I drove through the Fleurieu Peninsula. There are quite a few places worth a visit before reaching Cape Jervis and take the ferry to the island. In the event you are on a tight schedule and won’t have time to discover the peninsula, I wrote two other articles, one about the wild south coast of Kangaroo Island and the other on the northern shore of the island.
Our flight from Sydney landed at 10:30am in Adelaide. Once in the car we decided to first stop at a supermarket to get some groceries before starting the road trip. That’s something you might want to consider knowing that on Kangaroo Island you will have few options to get your own food. It’s best to be fully prepared!
It was already lunch time when we parked the car near Glenelg Pier, our first stop. One (or maybe two) sandwiches later, we were walking on the jetty. Despite a windy and cloudy weather, we had a nice view of the beach front when reaching the end of the pier. On the way back, I tried to make some exercise on a heart like sculpture but I wasn’t really convincing…
Sugar Loaf and Noarlunga
About an hour later we were on the car driving towards our next destination, Hallett Cove. I am feeling much better, we are now out of the city! The interpretative coastal walking trail makes you discover the park’s geological and archaeological heritage. You will be filled with wonder at each corner of the walk, either by a fantastic ocean view or an incredible geological formation.
The Sugar Loaf is probably the most iconic element of the place. This impressive rock formation made of different layers of red and white boulders actually got its name for its resemblance to a mass of hard refined sugar.
A few hundred meters later we were at the top of the cliffs looking at old glacial pavements. Stunning. We made our way back on the shore after walking down the cliffs and along those stunning rock formations, some of them dating back 280 million years ago.
We didn’t drive that far before reaching Noarlunga. There is not much to explore around but you will be amazed by the view when looking at the Onkaparinga River estuary. While this can’t be compared to the Whitsunday Islands, the view made me think of it a little. As we were walking down the stairs to the beach, I saw people kayaking up the stream. That’s probably a great idea if you have a couple of hours to kill as the area looks pretty nice to explore.
As we were supposed to drive straight towards the ferry, a friend told us to check out Second Valley and Rapid Bay before reaching Cape Jervis. If I would have to choose between the two, I would recommend the first one without hesitation.
Second Valley jetty is pretty small but has something different to what we saw today. The place has actually a quite interesting story to tell: back in 1855 a causeway was built across the creek to reach the very small island few meters away. A tramway was then carrying out goods from the shore to the newly erected wharf on the island. You can still see some of the old railway tracks near the jetty and also walk to the island which gives you a pretty nice panoramic view of the coastline.
The beach at Rapid Bay is much bigger. On the northern part there is a huge cave that you can’t explore as it’s not deep enough. However I’ve seen many pictures of other caves around that you might be able to access during low tide. On the southern part of the beach there is a long jetty, mostly used by fisherman or people staying at the campsite nearby to watch the sunset.
Even if we still had time, we didn’t stay that long in those last two places as we didn’t want to miss our ferry – especially because it was the last one to Kangaroo Island today!
We were at Cape Jervis about half an hour earlier than the departure time which is fine if you already booked your ticket. Talking about this, the ferry to Kangaroo Island is the most expensive short ferry trip in Australia, the rate for an adult with a car being $130 one way! Even though I still think this is way too expensive, I was amazed by Kangaroo Island and definitely want to make the trip back one day.