Kangaroo Island (or KI as it is called by Australians) is a small-ish island located 2 hours south of Adelaide that is famous for its wildlife: wallabies, seals, sea lions, penguins, and of course kangaroos.
Mrs. Selfish and I ended up spending 2 nights in Kangaroo Island, and surprisingly only saw one wild kangaroo (crossing the street, oddly enough). We did, however, see loads of crazy Australian Pelicans.
Unlike their North American cousins, Australian pelicans have some peculiar properties – for instance, apparently they can’t dive underwater, they just float. They can also contort their bills into all sorts of shapes.
Getting To Kangaroo Island
Getting to Kangaroo Island is pretty simple (though somewhat expensive) endeavor. From Adelaide you can either take the plane at roughly $250 pp round trip, or take the ferry for $260 for 2 people and car.
Mrs. Selfish and I managed to find a coupon for the Sealink ferry, which saved us the price of the second person and brought the total cost down closer to $180. Good thing we did too, since the drive down to Adelaide is beautiful.
Rolling hills, lush green trees, and scenic ocean views. It also passes through the McLaren Vale wine region, so there are loads of small wineries to visit along the way.
The ferry itself is a smooth, professional experience lasting a little over an hour.
With less than 5000 residents, Kangaroo Island is a small island that takes about 3 hours to drive from East to West. It is spectacularly beautiful, though you’re warned not to drive after dusk since KI is filled with nocturnal animals.
We ended up purchasing additional car insurance, since Mrs. Selfish and I had concerns of hitting animals, but we hardly saw any wildlife near the roads. If you’re thinking of getting insurance, I’d reconsider since the ~$30 AUD is likely not worth it.
Pelican Feeding at Kingscote
What WAS worth it, however, was the Pelican feeding show at Kingscote, taking place at roughly 5pm every night at the docks. As far as I can tell, some guy basically started showing up with fish every night to feed the pelicans. He charges $5 AUD per person, and teaches you all about the local pelicans.
It sounds stupid, but is in fact AWESOME. Pelicans must be the most deranged looking birds I’ve ever seen.
We showed up around 4:30, and the pelicans were already waiting.
At 5pm, the pelican guy showed up with a bucket and directed everyone closer to the water. Dressed in his fisherman getup, his lecture and posture was similar to a college professor (though with better jokes). The pelicans, in the meantime, mull about restlessly – it’s all very surreal.
After a while some of the more brazen birds made an attempt at the fish, but things really got interesting when he started throwing fish into the pelican crowd.
All and all a rather bizarre experience, and probably one of the more entertaining things you can see for $5. If you ever find yourself in Kangaroo Island, stop by Kingscote for the Pelican Feeding show – I highly recommend it!