Kangaroo Island: paradise regained after bushfires, Covid

Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Islander Estate Vineyards, Kangaroo Island Spirits, Oceanview Eco Villas

Kangaroo Island has come back from disaster and is thriving again, writes Jessica Wynne Lockhart

Tim and Tamsin Wendt spent five years meticulously planning and building the Oceanview Eco Villas, environmentally friendly luxury accommodation perched on the edge of their 500-acre property.

Every element of the two-bedroom villas — from the handcrafted wooden furniture to the carpets made of recycled fishnets — was painstakingly sourced for sustainability. When the villas finally opened at the end of 2019, it was their dream brought to life.

“We want people to walk away feeling a connection to the place,” says Tamsin.

Unfortunately, 2020 had other plans in store.

It’s a story heard from countless tour operators and accommodation providers over the past 16 months. But for the Wendts, Covid-19 was actually their second hit.

Oceanview Eco Villas is located on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island. Known as the “Galapagos of Australia” — both for its unique species and the ease with which visitors can spot wildlife, including wallabies, kangaroos, sea lions, echidnas and koalas — it was swept by catastrophic bushfires in early 2020. Nearly half of the island was destroyed, including the habitats of rare and endemic species, such as the glossy black cockatoo.

Today though, Kangaroo Island is no longer a scene of devastation — it’s a place of new life. When my tour guide from Exceptional Kangaroo Island pulls over at Bunker Hill, a lookout with sweeping views of Flinders Chase National Park, all I can see is brilliant green for miles.

Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Islander Estate Vineyards, Kangaroo Island Spirits, Oceanview Eco Villas

Wildlife experiences with Exceptional Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Photo / Elliot Grafton

Kangaroo Island’s native bush is regenerating at a rapid pace, providing an important lesson in bushfire ecology. A critical component of the Australian landscape, fire can devastate, but it’s also needed to stimulate new growth and improve biodiversity. In the past year, botanists have found plant species that haven’t been seen on the island for half a century, such as the endangered showy copper-wire daisy. That’s not the only surprising finding. Though ecologists feared the Kangaroo Island dunnart — one of the country’s most threatened species — had been wiped out by the fires, with 95 per cent habitat loss, it’s since been seen in the national park.

“It’s almost a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Kangaroo Island in this state; where you can see how life can come out of total devastation,” says Yale Norris, general manager of the Islander Estate Vineyards. “Nature is super-resilient. It finds a way.”

He should know. During the bushfires, the Islander Estate lost 55,000 of its vines, along with its offices, lab buildings and irrigation systems. Only its off-site tasting room — nicknamed “the departure lounge” by locals for its proximity to the airport — was spared. Yet, based on the amount of regrowth they’ve already seen, Norris anticipates that within three years, 90 per cent of the vines will be producing fruit again.

On my final night on Kangaroo Island, Tim takes me for a night-time tour of the Oceanview Eco Villas’ property. Shining a torch from the window of his ute, we spot dozens of tammar wallabies and kangaroos in the dark, feeding and even boxing.

In the immediate aftermath of Kangaroo Island’s bushfires, social media and news reports made it seem like the island was entirely gone. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that reports of Kangaroo Island’s demise were greatly exaggerated. The island is alive and well worth visiting.

Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Islander Estate Vineyards, Kangaroo Island Spirits, Oceanview Eco Villas

Wildlife experiences with Exceptional Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Photo / Jonathan van der Knaap

Do: Exceptional Kangaroo Island's citizen science programmes

For over 30 years, the family-owned Exceptional Kangaroo Island has been showcasing the island’s best food and wildlife experiences with its immersive itineraries. Now, it’s offering guests a chance to learn more about bushfire ecology and to give back with private citizen science experiences. Visitors can monitor bird populations with ornithologist Dr David Paton, visit the field with echidna expert Dr Peggy Rismiller, or learn more about glossy black cockatoo habitat restoration on a new e-bike tour.

Drink: Kangaroo Island Spirits & The Islander

The Islander Estate Vineyards lost nearly everything in the 2020 bushfires. But a visit to its tasting room shouldn’t be made out of compassion; it should be made because it’s a good drop. A producer of cool climate wines, it’s worth paying the $30 tasting fee to try its premium flagship label. Afterwards, if you’re in the spirit to get some spirits, head down the road to Kangaroo Island Spirits. The distillery has won more than 100 global awards, including best contemporary gin in the world in 2019.

Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Islander Estate Vineyards, Kangaroo Island Spirits, Oceanview Eco Villas

Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Photo / Ben Goode

Stay: Oceanview Eco Villas

In the incredibly unlikely event that you don’t spot kangaroos in the wild, you’ll be sure to see them on Tim and Tamsin Wendt’s 500-acre property, home to the new Oceanview Eco Villas. It’s marketed as fully hosted, environmentally friendly luxury accommodation, all of which is true. What you won’t see advertised is that the couple are also carers for rescue kangaroos, which guests may have the opportunity to bottle-feed during their stay. The highlight though is the inclusive food, which focuses heavily on local ingredients, such as Ligurian bee honey and Kangaroo Island sea salt.

How to get to Kangaroo Island

Air New Zealand flies non-stop from Auckland to Adelaide three to four times per week. From there, Kangaroo Island’s airport in Kingscote is a 30-minute Qantas or Rex flight. The island can also be accessed via the SeaLink ferry, which takes about 90 minutes, leaving from Cape Jervis and landing at Penneshaw.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Rute ke La' Ranch Glamping Adventure Pekalongan, Tempat Glamping Bernuansa Indian

© Disediakan oleh Kompas.com La’ Ranch Glamping Adventure, Kabupaten Pekalongan, Jawa Tengah DOK. Instagram.com/laranchglamping KOMPAS.com – La’ Ranch Glamping Adventure merupakan area perkemahan mewah atau glamping (glamour camping) yang terletak di ... Read more »

Quarantine-free travel to resume from New Zealand's South Island to Australia

Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand’s South Island will resume from next week, the federal government revealed. The surprise announcement comes months after the travel bubble was temporarily paused in response ... Read more »

Diverted planes, delays at Reagan National Airport after American Airlines plane blows tires

Several flights were diverted from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Saturday afternoon after an American Airlines plane blew its tires upon landing at the Arlington, Virginia, airport. According to flight ... Read more »

Gold coins, a village museum, and a fortune underfoot

Gold coins from the Gupta period dating back to around 1,700 years ago, as well as ancient jars, seals and statues, sit in retired postal employee Chitta Ranjan Biswas’s home. ... Read more »

Claudia's catsuit a hit with Strictly fans while Tess' 'curtain' dress fails to impress

Claudia Winkleman, shown here at the 2021 BAFTAs, won over viewers with her catsuit-style outfit. (Getty) Claudia Winkleman, 49, did it again on week four of Strictly Come Dancing. The ... Read more »

Dogs show off their best Halloween costumes to raise money for New Jersey community library

Best in show fundraiser and Halloween dog parade to benefit the Northvale Library. Brodie, dressed as a taco, sits in Hogan’s Park in Northvale, NJ on Saturday October 16, 2021. ... Read more »

Why Your Holiday Travels Might Cost More This Year

© Provided by The Motley Fool Why Your Holiday Travels Might Cost More This Year © Getty Images Two people wearing backpacks and warm hats while walking through a town ... Read more »

Botanica Sanctuary, Hotel Terbaru di Puncak Bogor yang Cocok untuk Keluarga

© Disediakan oleh Kompas.com The Botanica Sanctuary di Puncak, Bogor, Jawa Barat. KOMPAS.com – Kawasan Puncak di Bogor, Jawa Barat, merupakan salah satu kawasan yang diminati wisatawan karena aksesnya yang mudah ... Read more »

Sandiaga Uno Siap Fasilitasi Anak di Bawah 12 Tahun Boleh Wisata

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Temui Pelaku Usaha, Sandiaga Uno Minta Perbanyak Inovasi    Malang, IDN Times – Kabar gembira untuk para pengelola pariwisata. Kementerian Pariwisata dan Ekonomi Kreatif (Menparekraf) ... Read more »

7 Destinasi Wisata Alam di Berau yang Keindahannya Diakui Dunia

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Keindahan laut di Berau, Kalimantan Timur, memang gak pernah salah. Bahkan, banyak wisatawan menyebut Berau sebagai surga wisata bahari. Keindahannya bisa diadu dengan Maldives sekali ... Read more »

7 Tempat Wisata Alam di Denpasar, Gak Kalah Indah dengan Bali Lainnya

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Sebagai ibu kota provinsi Pulau Bali, Denpasar tak pernah sepi pengunjung. Denpasar juga menjadi pintu masuk bagi wisatawan yang datang lewat jalur laut maupun darat.  ... Read more »

Mulai 8 November, Warga Asing yang Sudah Vaksin Penuh Bisa Masuk Amerika Serikat

© Copyright (c) 2016 TEMPO.CO foto TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Amerika Serikat siap untuk menerima kembali pelancong yang divaksinasi penuh mulai 8 November. Hal tersebut diumumkan oleh Kevin Munoz, Asisten Sekretaris ... Read more »

10 Tempat Wisata Terbaik di Kabupaten Lima Puluh Kota Sumatra Barat

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Sumatra Barat memang terkenal dengan tempat wisatanya yang beragam. Kalau kamu pengin liburan ke provinsi ini, ada beberapa daerah yang bisa kamu jadikan pilihan. Salah ... Read more »

[QUIZ] Pilih Destinasi Impianmu dan Tentukan Member Aespa Sebagai Partner Travelingmu

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Malang, IDN Times – Kabar gembira untuk para pengelola pariwisata. Kementerian Pariwisata dan Ekonomi Kreatif (Menparekraf) membuka wacana untuk membolehkan anak d ibawah 12 tahun ... Read more »

5 Gua dan Cenote Terindah di Meksiko, Saksi Peradaban Bangsa Maya

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Cenote dan gua merupakan alam yang dianggap penting oleh Suku Maya. Cenote adalah kolam alami yang dipercaya sebagai pintu masuk ke Xibalba, dunia bawah Maya. ... Read more »

Do something different with Forgotten World Adventures this summer

They laughed in the face of the lightbulb, mocked the first man to use an umbrella, and side-eyed New Zealander Ian Balme’s aspirations to ride disused rail lines in a ... Read more »

4 Seasonal Side Hustles to Get During the Holidays

© Provided by The Motley Fool 4 Seasonal Side Hustles to Get During the Holidays © Getty Images A woman baking cookies in her kitchen with a Christmas tree in ... Read more »

Rute ke Nawang Jagad Kaliurang dari Stasiun Yogyakarta

© Disediakan oleh Kompas.com Nawang Jagad, Sleman, Yogyakarta DOK. Instagram.com/nawangjagad KOMPAS.com – Kemah bersama keluarga di akhir pekan menjadi salah satu kegiatan wisata yang bisa dicoba. Salah satu area perkemahan ... Read more »

Once again, global bodies prove that South African cuisine and wines are world class

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) It has been a dire 18 months for the South African restaurant industry. Iconic restaurants had to shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic ... Read more »

My Hair Is Thin and Flat, But No One Knows Because of This Shampoo

A lot of us have our own hair gripes, right? Personally, I like my hair for the most part—it's stick-straight and easy to manage, which is great because I'm 100% ... Read more »

Road trip, Portugal edition: 5 ways to make the most of a drive between Lisbon and Porto

© Provided by The Points Guy MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from ... Read more »

Britain at its best: Discovering why ravishing Bradford on Avon is much more than a miniature replica of Bath

The Daily Mail's Kate Wickers took a tour of Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire with a local historian  For six centuries, the town was known for its cloth industry and the great mills of the 18th centuryThe Lock Up is a medieval chapel that was used as an overnight cooling-off station for the town’s drunkards Read more »

The Inspector calls at the Graduate Cambridge hotel, but it gets a low grade despite a 'terrific' location (and not just because of 'undrinkable' coffee)

The Inspector pays close to £300 for B&B, despite the restaurant being closedIt's for a private party - 'but there is nothing private about it', he says He says the bar menu is over-priced, his room 'small' and the bathroom 'tiny'Remember... The Inspector pays his way - and tells it like it is...  Read more »

You don't need to spend a fortune skiing in Europe. Here's how to make... prices go downhill

The Post Office ski report on costs in the Alps shows that the cheapest deals can be found in BulgariaBorovets is the cheapest resort in Europe based on ski essentials with a total one week cost of £427.17Italian resorts stand out, too, with four of the top ten best-value resorts in the Italian AlpsHere, we also round up some tempting deals and offer a flavour of what to expect in each destination Read more »

Countries are opening up for international tourism. Here are where Indians can travel

Nearly two years after the world clamped down on international travel following the coronavirus pandemic, many countries — including the United States and United Kingdom — are cautiously opening up ... Read more »

Covid-19 Cancelled This Photographer's Vacation. So He Took Photos in-Game Instead

© Provided by News18 Covid-19 Cancelled This Photographer’s Vacation. So He Took Photos in-Game Instead Pascal Greco was planning for his third trip to Iceland when the pandemic had struck ... Read more »

The week in classical: Fidelio; Gabriela Montero – review

Poor Beethoven. A brief history of recent productions of his only opera, Fidelio, originally set in an 18th-century prison, has to include the following: a spaceship hurtling towards doom (director ... Read more »

Road review – community spirit turns sour in Thatcher's Britain

Angela Rayner would probably approve of the “Tory scum” slogan scrawled in orange spraypaint on the corrugated iron at the back of Amelia Jane Hankin’s two-storey set. It is a ... Read more »

Prediction: These 12 Coat Trends Will Be the First to Sell Out

Seeing as autumn seemed to kick into gear the moment October started, it's handy that our favourite brands are brimming with beautiful coats right on cue. And just like buying ... Read more »

9 Pesona Ontario di Kanada Saat Musim Gugur, Sukses Bikin Terpukau!

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Ontario adalah salah satu kota di Kanada yang menarik untuk dikunjungi. Kota ini tak hanya terkenal di Kanada, namun juga menjadi kota yang cukup populer ... Read more »

5 Wisata di Albuquerque-New Mexico yang Seru untuk Dijelajahi

© Disediakan oleh IDN Times Jika kamu pergi berlibur ke Amerika Serikat dan ingin mencari kota dengan suasana baru, mungkin Albuquerque cocok untukmu. Kota terpadat di negara bagian New Mexico ... Read more »

7 Oleh-oleh Khas Bandar Lampung, Kopi Duren hingga Abon Jamur

© Disediakan oleh Kompas.com Pulau Pahawang, Lampung KOMPAS.com – Saat berkunjung ke berbagai daerah, membeli oleh-oleh untuk keluarga di rumah tentu tidak boleh ketinggalan. Terlebuh, setiap daerah memiliki macam kuliner ... Read more »

Wisatawan ke Surakarta Bisa Naik Mobil Listrik Khusus Wisata

© Copyright (c) 2016 TEMPO.CO foto TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Pemerintah Kota Surakarta mendapatkan hibah sebanyak 8 unit mobil berbahan bakar listrik dari Yayasan Tahir. Mobil itu akan digunakan untuk melayani ... Read more »

Bill for family days out at some UK attractions ‘almost doubles'

Photograph: Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy The cost of visiting some of Britain’s best-known visitor attractions has almost doubled over the last five years, according to researchers who named English Heritage sites ... Read more »

UK Further Relaxes Travel Guidelines, Allows Cheaper COVID Tests For Fully Vaccinated Tourists Including From India

© Nivedita R | Travel Staff The UK govt said that the Lateral Flow Tests will be available later this month for those returning from half term holidays. International Travel ... Read more »

We can't stop looking at Kendall Jenner's overlined lips in her latest selfie

Photo credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/MG18 – Getty Images While Kendall Jenner is most probably the most low-key out of the Kardashian/Jenner clan and often opts for more natural-looking makeup, she’ll sometimes ... Read more »

16 winter sun holidays in the Red Sea

the best ways to explore the region, from sun-bathing in Eilat to scuba-diving in Marsa Alam There is a solid argument that the Red Sea is a sea like no ... Read more »

Pengelola Tempat Wisata di Mamuju Tengah Antusias Sambut Pembukaan Pariwisata

© Disediakan oleh Kumparan Objek wisata Wae Tumbur di Desa Salubiro, Kabupaten Mamuju Tengah, Sulawesi Barat. Foto: Awal Dion/SulbarKini Pembukaan kembali objek wisata di sejumlah daerah disambut antusias para pengelola ... Read more »