Kangaroo Island is like Australia’s Galapagos Islands, but it’s for the abundant produce that KI sits at number 2 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet’. Nominated by: David Koch, Seven Network’s Sunrise host.
Kangaroo Island isn’t just stunningly beautiful (see our cover if you need confirmation of that) – it’s also managed to remain free from pests such as foxes and rabbits, resulting in some of Australia’s most diverse native bushland and wildlife.
“It really is our version of the Galapagos Islands,” agrees David Koch. But that’s not what’s ‘secret’ about this place, he says – it’s only once you’ve tired of spotting wildlife every 30 seconds that KI’s real marvels start to shine.
“There is so much interesting produce here!”
There certainly is. Most of us have yet to uncover the local delights of KI: you can stop by Clifford’s Honey Farm to gorge on the spectacularly divine golden nectar, a result of the world’s last remaining pure strain of Ligurian bees mixed with the pollen of local mallee gums (cliffordshoney.com.au), pick up a bottle of the alluringly flavoured ‘Wild Gin’ (made with Kangaroo Island native juniper berries; kispirits.com.au) or local wine (we like Dudley Wines for the fabulous cliff-top cellar door and bar) or fill your picnic basket with freshly baked buns, pastries and bread from… well, almost anywhere.
Kangaroo Island Bakery supplies most of the island – including the three local supermarkets – and they’ve been baking on the same spot since 1908, so we reckon they know a thing or two about a good loaf.
But it’s the stunningly good cheese and yoghurt from Island Pure Sheep Dairy that gets Koch’s goat. Creamy cygnet manchego, tangy du couedic and the farm’s signature, a sublimely complex sheeps’ haloumi, are all small-batch-made on this pretty, rustic sheep farm.
Before you gorge yourself, take the milking tour, says Koch. That way, “you can see exactly where the cheese comes from,” he says.
Of course, you can’t claim true local status until you’ve enjoyed fish from chips from Kangaroo Island Fresh Seafoods (08 8553 0177). Somewhat obscurely placed within a Caltex Service Station, you’d be forgiven for not giving it a second look, however you’d be missing out on some of the most popular (and freshest) battered whiting in the region.
Finally, local haunt, The Rockpool Café (08 8559 2277) might be hidden down a dirt road (from Emu Bay to Stokes Bay), but it’s worth the trip just for a taste of the KI life.
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