Binkley's 2013 Australia/New Zealand trip travel blog

Tammar Wallaby

KI Western Grey Kangaroo with joey....both have weed seeds on their coats

Male Australian Sea Lion

Coastline with Remarkable Rocks in the distance

Remarkable Rocks crawling with kids from a school fieldtrip

At Remarkable Rocks - under "eagles beak"

Darth Vader....this one's for you, Vanessa

"Pig face"....actually a very large fossil on the right eyebrow area

Remarkable Marilyn on her Remarkable Rock

Southern Ocean from Admirals Arch

Admirals Arch....Fur Seals below

New Zealand Fur Seals

A superb Superb Fairy-wren

Koala and her very active joey

Right after breakfast we did some birding in the broken down mini golf course next to the hotel and found some new birds. Shortly thereafter we set off with Robyn, our guide for a very intense day of wildlife viewing interspersed with some periods of riding from location to location at a very high rate of speed. The first mission was to find kangaroos....more specifically KI kangaroos. Because it was a cloudy day, we had great success as we rode down a dead-end dirt road spotting many females with half grown joeys and a few very large males. On hot sunny days, the 'roos tend to spend the day laying down in the shade. We also saw a new wallaby for the trip, the Tammar Wallaby, the smallest wallaby. Quite a dainty little animal.

We sped off to see Seal Bay via another small isolated bay to see the Australian Sea Lions. We were able to walk along the beach area past many of the sea lions resting in the sand. We had to make sure they were between us and the water. Several sub-adult males (SAMs) were trying to show their prowess, but quickly backed off if an adult male came their way. One adult male made us uneasy as he kept approaching young pups with their mothers. Apparently the adult males will kill pups. Males reach adulthood at about age nine and will exhibit a "blond" pate.

Along the way to the next stop we looked for Koalas (at 110 kph), finding none. Lunch was at the Flinders Chase NP Cafe and again no Koalas. The south end of the National Park is an area of interesting geology. Remarkable Rocks were created by molten rock being touched by ice during the Ice Age, leaving enormous split boulders and other odd formations. Admirals Arch is another area in the NP with interesting geology, but is the breeding ground for a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals. We watched numerous fur seals attempt to get out onto the rocks with the waves crashing around them.

Off to search for koalas, again....looking for snakes and echidna along the way. Fortunately the only snakes were dead poisonous tiger snakes in the road, and no echidnas. We finally hit pay-dirt with koalas at a former sheep station that has been converted to a private wildlife refuge. The driveway of the original ranch had been planted many years ago with the koala's favorite eucalyptus trees. Robyn was terrific at spotting koalas resting in the trees, finding a total of 10....two were mothers with joeys. One of the joeys was about 4 months old and keeping his mom awake in the tree. He/she kept climbing up and down the tree, all over mom and finally settling on mom's back. We were delightfully entertained watching the antics of the two. What a terrific way to end the day of watching KI wildlife!

A short flight back to Adelaide where we picked up another car rental, and drove safely back to the hotel in downtown Adelaide. Adelaide is a city of one million people.

Off tomorrow to begin our four-day drive along the scenic Great Ocean Road toward Melbourne via Phillip Island.

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