Instead of taking our food and wine tour with Lisa from Blue Ray Lodge, my boyfriend and I go for a leisurely 150km drive to Flinders Chase National Park to visit the Remarkable Rocks. As mentioned previously, we had done basically no research before coming to Kangaroo Island so we were both completely unaware of the existence of the Remarkable Rocks, however, after testimonials from both Lisa and another couple staying at the Lodge, we were convinced. Lisa mapped out a route for us, with our first stop the beautiful Pennington Bay.
Next up was Vivonne Bay, another spectacular location.
About an hour later, we eventually made it to the Flinders Chase National Park where we paid $10 entry (be sure to remember your car licence plate number, as you’ll need it for your entry permit) before heading another 15km in to Admirals Arch. We chose the slightly more strenuous 1km trail walk from the lighthouse, but you can also drive down and park closer to the Arch. An easy boardwalk down the rocky coastline provided us with some breathtaking views of Cape du Couedic.
Down a few wooden staircases, pausing to spy on the New Zealand fur seals sunning themselves on the craggy rocks or frolicking in the pounding waves, before we eventually come to the incredible Admirals Arch, a natural rock arch created by weathering and erosion from the sea over thousands of years.
After spending a good amount of time marvelling over the amazing formation from the viewing platform, we make our way back to our car to begin our drive to the Remarkable Rocks. Not having much of an idea of what to expect, we were hugely awed by the enormous rock sculptures which seemed out of this world.
Up close, the granite boulders are even more remarkable; the erosive forces of wind, sea spray and rain over some 500 million years carving out overhangs, holes and crevices into the orange-tinged surfaces.
It creates a bizarre playground for adults and children alike, with towering craggy rock-faces, large and small caves and other numerous nooks and crannies available for the ultimate game of hide and seek. Indeed, as we were wandering through the rocky landscape, we were often surprised by cheeky children darting in and out of shadows cast by the boulders or popping out from stone hidey holes.
After all that driving and exploring, we were both starving, so we decided to take the easy option and have lunch at the Chase Café located at the Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre. After the amazing haloumi salad we had at dinner the night before, I thought I might as well ride my luck and try another salad featuring Kangaroo Island haloumi. It proved to be a good decision; the squeaky grilled haloumi went perfectly with the tender chicken fillets and the tangy mustard vinaigrette, with a dollop of cranberry (I think?) jam on top adding just the right amount of sweetness.
While we were disappointed to not go on Lisa’s farmgate tour, we were so glad that we took her advice and ventured out to the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. It was an incredible experience to see these colossal rock structures sculpted by nature over millions of years. And we didn’t entirely miss out on sampling some Kangaroo Island produce – on our drive home, we stopped at Clifford’s Honey Farm, which is the world’s oldest bee sanctuary and is home to the only pure strain of Ligurian Bee in the world. I was keen to try Jenny’s famous honey ice cream and it lived up to its reputation – creamy and smooth, with a lovely, sweet honey flavour. In addition to this amazing ice cream, the shop offers free honey tastings and sells different flavours of honey, honey mead and beeswax candles and cosmetics. There is also a display area featuring a glass beehive (with bees), a video explaining the honey extraction process and all sorts of fun facts relating to bees and honey.
Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks
Flinders Chase National Park
South Coast Road
Flinders Chase SA 5223
T: (08) 8553 4450
W: Flinders Chase National Park
Clifford’s Honey Farm
1157 Elsegood Road
Kingscote SA 5223
T: (08) 8553 8295
W: Clifford’s Honey