( This past weekend was the “Long Weekend” . A Saturday-Sunday-Monday carefree package . The best way to get the most out of it : joining the Kangaroo Island Tour organised by the International Students Office here at Flinders University . 15 international students plus the guide/bus driver and a member of the International Students Unit . A fun and wonderful experience . )
Karta . That’s how the Aboriginal people call Kangaroo Island , a 150 by 50 km island off the SA coast , separated from the mainland more or less 10,000 years ago . It means : Gateway to the Underworld or Island of the Dead . The guide had the good taste of telling us as soon as we set foot on it . Yes , you can say it out loud : CHEERFUL !! Today the island has around 50,000 living souls . The transparent , aerial ones apparently are not census-included . However , you must agree the name Karta is definitely more mysterious than the classic ‘Kangaroo Island’. Matthew Flinders* and his crew had clearly run out of imagination when they mapped it . In fact , they just followed their growling stomachs (by the time they reached the island shores they were near starvation) and did the equation : lots of “kangfood” hopping around = Kangaroo Island .
This little island is truly a paradise . It has practically all the Australian flora and fauna on it . By driving around with the bus and visiting parks , reserves and farms we saw : kangaroos , wallabies , hopping mice , parrots , echidnas , koalas , emus , seals , etc. and I won’t even start with the plants’ list . We did lots of hiking every day and most of the time the views were so spellbinding that you forgot to look on the ground . So , the at first perfect single line of green explorers would stumble , mumble and struggle to get the lost rhythm back . Laughter has been a constant presence on this trip .
So a big thank you to all my new friends for the amazing three days we spent together . You are one of the friendliest and funniest bunch I’ve had the opportunity to meet and spend time with .
*British Commander of the HMS Investigator ; he explored the Australian coastline in the 19th century
And now some views of the island :
Check out the website for more info http://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/