Watch a cat, bunny and kangaroo

Kangaroo in Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park in South Australia.

I’ve been cat- and bunny-sitting for Melissa, a friend of Jared’s, for the last four days. This has been the view from her front door:

Hart Road Wetlands in Aldinga, South Australia. (photo: ulrike.ca)
The Hart Road Wetlands in Aldinga, South Australia.

I’ve also been watching kangaroos. Every day at dusk, I could see them hop in the grasses in the Hart Road Wetland.

Today I took a walk through the adjacent Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park and took a few photos.

I found myself following kangaroo trails instead of park trails (which were grown-over and unmarked anyways). I could quietly stand and watch a kangaroo mum massage her pouch where a young joey might hide.

According to the Friends of Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park page,

“The Aldinga Scrub is one of the few remaining patches of native vegetation characterising the pre-settlement coastal scrubland in the vicinity of what is now greater Adelaide. It is of rare significance and is noted for its unusual association of plants including species characteristic of sclerophyll forest, mallee scrub and coastal sands.”

Stump at Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park in South Australia.
Gum tree stump at Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park in South Australia.
Lichen Coral trail in Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park in South Australia.
Lichen Coral trail in Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park in South Australia.

For me as a visitor, it was a nice contrast to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden which I’d visited with Jared and his family the previous day.

Picture frame in Mount Lofty Botanic Garden near Adelaide, Australia.
Picture frame in Mount Lofty Botanic Garden near Adelaide, Australia.
Advertisements

Walk the Heysen Trail

Boardwalk on Heysen Trail near Newland Head Conservation Park in South Australia.

“Let’s go for a walk,” announced Jared on Boxing Day morning. “I want to show you one of the most beautiful coastlines in South Australia.”

I’ve been in Australia for six weeks and in that time my host has shown me plenty of gorgeous coastlines. I had no doubt this would be another.

We stopped for a savoury pie and ice coffee in Victor Harbour and then followed the twists and turns of Highway B37 into Newland Head Conservation Park. Jared steered the Toyota hatchback onto Waitpinga Road and then into a campground.

The Heysen walking trail

At 1,200 kilometres, the Heysen Trail is Australia’s longest walking trail. It starts in Cape Jervis (the ferry pier for Kangaroo Island) and stretches east and then north towards the Flinders Ranges, ending in the Parachilna Gorge east of Lake Torrens. It’s named after Hans Heysen, a German-born Australian artist.

(Here’s a map of the Heysen Trail on Google Maps.)

Jared led me onto a boardwalk trail over sand dunes. We walked and talked about how plants and traditions were both different and similar in Canada’s and Australia’s indigenous cultures.

At the crest of a hill, we paused and looked out. The sea sparkled and the rounded slopes of the land seemed to melt into the blue. The edge of the Great Australian Bight began just west of where we stood.

According to The Wilderness Society, the Bight is threatened by BP (British Petroleum). The multi-national wants to drill for oil and gas in these waters as they did in the Gulf of Mexico. That installation in the southern USA caused a devastating oil spill disaster in 2010.

“C’mon,” Jared beckoned. “I want to you show you another section of the trail in Deep Creek, a bit further to the west.”

Later that day, the Toyota wagon would lead us to more of an adventure than we anticipated.

Heysen Trail near Deep Creek Conservation Park in South Australia.
Heysen Trail in Deep Creek Conservation Park in South Australia.