Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bonding with Nature and Wildlife at Kangaroo Island - Part 4

Rocky playground of Stokes Bay, with our accommodation in the background
Days 2 and 3 - North Coast Region, Parndana and Districts Region
     From American River, it took me approximately 1 hour 33 mins (79.9 km) to drive to Stokes Bay via the Playford Highway. I managed to locate the Wingara Beach House and was delighted to find that it was located just by the beach, and even had a mini bay of its own. We were welcomed by a group of pelicans basking in the warm sun. The owners, Alan and Christine, were not there to meet us but had left instructions on how to retrieve the house key. The self-contained beach house had three bedrooms, a bathroom, an open-planned kitchen and lounge and even a well-stocked larder.
     Without further delay, we proceeded to explore Stokes Bay. As described in TripAdvisor, we had to squeeze through some rocks to emerge on the gorgeous white beach and the much talked-about rockpools.
Come, follow me!

Think thin, and you shall be able to squeeze through
Just a few more steps to the beach
Derrick and I strayed from the many sunbathers and swimmers to stroll along the long expanse of the beach.
On the rocks of Stokes Bay
We found some rather unique rock formations, which resembled crumbling rows of wall. Mr. Photographer immediately knew these would form the leading lines of his sunset shots.
Allure of Stokes Bay at sunset

God's work of art

Crumbling walls of rocks at Stokes Bay

Silent majesty

Last light of the day at Stokes Bay

     We returned to the beach house for tea and rest. As I was in the midst of making tea, we had a visitor. Alan and Christine had their hands full at their farm nearby so they had sent a friend, Katy, to drop by and collect the payment from us. It turned out that Katy lived just two doors away, so we had a friendly neighbour for the night.
     Whilst Derrick set out for his sunset shoot of Stokes Bay, I was most contented to watch the view from my bedroom window, with a Mills and Boon novel that I had found in the mini library of the beach house. There were also a couple of kangaroos playing nearby so I had "neighbours" around. What bliss it was!
     Dinner for the night was frozen pizza and canned mushroom soup. It was a simple fare, which meant I did not have to labour over the stove and could just lounge around, letting all worries drift away.
Serving breakfast at Wingara Beach House
Christine paid us a visit the following morning (Day 3) and reiterated what Katy had said the day before; we need not adhere to the check out time but could stay as long as we wished to.
Wingara Beach House with its own bay
So we left around noon, decided against having lunch at the nearby Rockpool Cafe and instead drove to Parndana, 40 mins away. 
     Despite being KI’s most central township and one of the bigger towns on the island, Parndana is just a sleepy hollow, reminiscent of an old cowboy town in the heartlands. The Parndana IGA is, however, fairly well-stocked and serves as a fuel station, supermarket, bakery and cafe all rolled in one. We managed to get some of the groceries we wanted, charged up with great coffee and shared a delicious seafood platter.
     En route to Emu Bay, 48.4 km away, I clamoured for a stop at Island Pure Sheep Dairy as I was keen to try its Ligurian Bee Honey Yoghurt. It was really smooth but not as tasty as I had envisioned it to be. Nevertheless, the stop enabled me to pick up some really adorable baa-baa souvenirs and get up close with the farm “girls” that produce the highly nutritious milk.
     As we were almost approaching Emu Bay, we caught sight of a huge salt lake. The sparkling white salt lagoon really had us spell-bound. We had never seen anything like it before. I trod gingerly  for fear of sinking in. It was a short stop but the experience will be firmly etched in my mind.
First glimpse of Emu Bay
Emu Bay, a magnificent four-kilometre long beach, is touted as the “Long White Beach”. It is also the only beach on KI that you can drive right onto the sand. Our accommodation for the night, the Emu Bay Holiday Homes, was 500m from the jetty and beach, and provided “million dollar views” overlooking the bay. It really took my breath away when I turned around and caught sight of the curve of shimmering turquoise waters framed by the alluring white sand. Memories of  breath-taking Wineglass Bay in Tasmania came to mind. Our budget cabin was extremely clean and did not lack of anything. There was a comfortable seat on the verandah for you to curl up on as you drink in the glorious views of the bay. And that was exactly what I did in the evening…Derrick was out for sunset shots and I savoured the sunset in the comfort of the cabin verandah, with smells of “bak kut teh” wafting out from the bubbling pot of soup in the cabin kitchen.
Mesmerising beauty of Emu Bay, as seen from Emu Bay Holiday Homes
With Ann at her lovely garden overlooking Emu Bay

Togetherness at Emu Bay Holiday Homes

Cozy and well-furnished budget cabin at Emu Bay Holiday Homes
When we went to check out the following morning (Day 4), Ann, one of the owners of the property, came out to chat with us. She was a mine of information, animatedly demonstrating how an echidna curls up when it senses danger and replicating the grunts of a male koala perfectly. I was really sorry to leave enchanting Emu Bay but we had an itinerary to stick to.
     First plan of the day (also the one of paramount importance to me) was to head to Emu Bay Lavender,
A small lavender farm at Emu Bay

Rows of wondrous scents
a mere 5 mins away. When I had first sampled lavender scones and lavender milkshake three years ago in Tasmania, I could not shake off the wondrous taste. So I had been looking forward to getting re-acquainted with lavender this trip; in fact I had revised our travel itinerary for this purpose (Emu Bay Lavender is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). Wandering among the rows of lavender enabled me to inhale the soothing scent. In addition to the heavenly lavender scones, yummylicious lavender milkshake, we also tried their highly-recommended lavender shortbread and slurpylicious lavender ice cream. 
Delectable lavender scone
Seeing that I loved the lavender shortbread so much, Derrick packed some to take away and fed me with them as I drove, exactly what he did with the delectable Scottie shortbread whilst I drove in the Scottish Highlands a year ago.

     We then made a brief stop in Kingscote to refuel, buy more groceries and pick up some pastries from
Rabbits spotted!
Rabbit Warren Bakery. And then, we were all set for the long drive (102.7 km, 2 hours 12 mins) across the island via Playford Highway to our next destination —- Cape Borda at Flinders Chase National Park.


  1. I totally agree with you that Stokes Bay is God's work of art. How I wish I was there too to enjoy the magnificent sunset.

  2. I totally agree with you that Stokes Bay is God's work of art. How I wish I was there too to enjoy the magnificent sunset.

  3. We enjoyed fantastic sunsets n sunrises at many other spots around KI. Truly a spectacular place to slow down n immerse yourself in nature!