Friday, 24 August 2012

A Free Range Adventure

The silhouette of South Australia is made out through the grey haze that lingers over the ocean. A gentle winter sea breeze tousles the long grasses across the road from where I sit. The view is captivating. A vast stretch of dark ocean stretches before me framed with white sand. The dock is visible to my right; it was days earlier that I stepped off the ferry and onto the island, in the town of Penneshaw, falling in love with solitary Kangaroo Island. 

The memories of my past few days flood back to me. The fond memory of the unique landscape and free range animals are the most prominent. The dark ragged rocks that protrude from the white sand on the beaches, the generous sprinkling of flame orange moss that sticks to them. Wild turkeys that roam the vacant block beside the holiday house and nut-brown rock wallabies that wade through the tall grass.

Seal Bay Conservation Park is vivid in my mind. An eco-friendly board walk that twists and turns, snaking its way through the dunes. Approximately seventy sea lions dotted the beach. Large and small, they lay sun-drunk. Too lazy to move but evidently content. One pup la close to the board walk, it suckled from it’s mother who was drowsy from the warmth. Beside them two smaller sea lions laid in an embrace, flippers overlapping. Most stayed still apart from the odd roll over or movement of flipper. It provided much entertainment when two playful sea lions frolicked in the jade green ocean. They surfed the waves, riding them until they overturned. They bobbed up occasionally, as if to see if anyone was watching their performance.  It was a special experience to see seals in their natural habitat without any disturbance, what we would today label as free range.