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Think of an Australian animal icon.  Got one?

Now think about the last time (if ever!) you saw that animal in its natural habitat: happy, healthy, free.

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If you can, you’re one of the lucky ones.  If you can’t, how special must a place be where you can see not just one, but many famous furred Aussies roaming at will?

Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, is just such a place.

Although sounding like something straight from Muriel’s Wedding, KI (as the locals call it) is one of Australia’s special places.  What makes it special isn’t just the stunning Southern Ocean coastline, the 500 year old grass trees, the local food scene, the last remaining bastion of pure Ligurian bees, the surprisingly good wine or even the sumptuous splurge that is the Southern Ocean Lodge.

For me, KI’s special-ness lies in its furry residents.  Whether it’s the unique fuzzy, chocolatey kangaroos, seeing an echidna bumble its way along the roadside, watching up to 20 Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring the thermals or seeing my first koala not in a zoo, KI now holds a special place in my heart.

Here’s why…

Tip: Seal Bay in the south of Kangaroo Island is home to rare Australian sea lions.  Pay extra to go down to the beach with a guide and you’ll be able to watch on as sea lions amble past you to the ocean!

Go in the morning for light to come from behind you for best photography.

Bird shots were taken at Raptor Domain, so not really in the wild, but we did see loads flying free.

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