They say absence makes the heart grows fonder, so when young Aussie, Chris Richardson wrote into the STA Travel Blog with a tale to tell of his native Australia, we were bowled over by his glowing passion for the country he once left far, far behind.
Coming up, Chris will share his experiences in South Australia with you, in his own inspiring words.
If you’d like to know more about South Australia, fire a question in the comments below, you’ll be amazed how many people have a tale to tell about the Festival State.
But first, let’s introduce you to ‘Aussie Nomad’, Chris.
How did you come to be in South Australia?
I’d recently returned to Australia after spending two and a half years living in the UK and travelling throughout Europe. As I’d returned with my girlfriend, and with a better appreciated for the country I call home, I was eager to show her around and explore some of it for myself.
What were you doing in life before your trip and what are you doing now
Before returning to Australia I’d been living in London on a two year Youth Mobility Visa, as well as writing about my travels on my travel blog, The Aussie Nomad.
The current travel agenda has me set to return to Europe and continue my travels and travel writing. While my family would much prefer me to stay put in Australia there’s more I’d like to see first.
Kangaroo Island, Australia Like You’ve Never Seen
I’ve always been told by my overseas friends that, because I grew up in Australia, I was lucky. Lucky I live in a beautiful country with sun and sand and wildlife, and Home and Away… well, you get my drift.
To actually see what they were talking about I had to travel and see the world through their eyes because to me the rest of the world is the exciting part, Australia is just home.
Having returned home now, I’ve brought with me those ‘foreign eyes’, that all my friends could see with. I look around and see that my country really is one of the most beautiful places in the world, I’d just never seen it like that before. Case in point was a recent trip to Kangaroo Island in South Australia where animals really do walk the streets and the landscape takes your breath away.
The most exciting experience for me was touring the island and seeing all the various wildlife that call it home. Most notably are the endangered Australian sea lion population at Seal Bay and the New Zealand fur seals found at Cape du Couedic. I don’t know why, but I always think of Australia as the land of kangaroos and koalas but really, I should consider the vast array of marine life that lives in the surrounding waters.
Cape du Couedic, where you will find the New Zealand fur seals, is located at the western end of the island inside the Flinders Chase National Park (well worth exploring).
Cape du Couedic offers amazing photo opportunities in its own right, but a word of caution: bring a jacket. The winds are cold and strong enough to have you walking sideways as it whips up from the Antarctic. I felt like a skydiver as my face moulded to the wind as I tried desperately to snap photos of the coastline.
Once you make it to the end of the path to the fur seals that shelter along the cliffs you can really take in the ferocity of the wind above. How these seals jump from their rocky perches into the water and back again is beyond me.
Seal Bay on the other hand is located about 45 minutes from Kingscote, the main town on the island. Guided tours run regularly to the beach where you can get up close and personal with the Australian sea lions.
You can watch them play, swim and bask in the sun as you stand just metres away. Alternatively there is a boardwalk that circles the area if you want to watch them from above and admire the beach view.
If you’re lucky, like I was, then you may even catch a glimpse of some sea lion pups, which you’ll have to agree are pretty darn adorable.
Perhaps the most amazing experience of all is that I’ve discovered a part of my country that I’d never really known about. It goes to show just how much Australia has going on, and what else is waiting to be found.