Exploring Kangaroo Island by car
For a stunning change of pace, take Kangaroo Island's road less travelled.
There are moments on any trip that just make you glad you made the effort to get where you are. Arriving above Snelling Beach on the north coast of Kangaroo Island is one of them.
We’d followed the North Coast Road eastwards for much of the day, wending on gravel roads across rolling hills, spiralling into beautiful bays and then winding up again to be greeted by the vastness of ocean shimmering under the autumn sun.
But nothing could match the view down on to Snelling. We’d rounded a corner to be confronted by crystal-clear perfection.
Pale hills tumbled through fenced paddocks to a scattering of houses sheltering in the lee of bush-covered dunes. Just steps away a crescent-shaped white-sand beach arced, a small swell wrapping around the headland at the far end.
Down below us on green grass in front of a farmhouse, a boy was throwing a ball for his dog, which raced enthusiastically back and forth. Joy personified. At the far end of the beach a couple of vehicles were parked and surfers in the water paddled furiously to catch the small waves.
Within minutes we were on the beach ourselves. Maybe five other people were scattered along Snelling’s pristine length. We’d found the other Kangaroo Island.
No, don’t go rushing to an atlas to see if there are two Kangaroo Islands located in the Spencer Gulf south-west of Adelaide. There is only the one, famed for Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and the Flinders Chase National Park.
All those places are located on the rugged south coast, its character hewn by gales that have carved out a unique geography and habitat. It is a place of spectacular beauty, which is why you’ll see a regular fleet of tourist coaches disgorging from the SeaLink ferry and heading that way.
So no surprise the South Coast Road is sealed, as is the Playford Highway that bisects the island from Kingscote, in the east, most of the way to the west side of the island. But up north, the road literally and figuratively less travelled is unsealed. And that puts people off.