Tag: Nature

Kangaroo Island: Nature and Wildlife

Kangaroo Island: Nature and Wildlife

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Mama! 🙂

Our third destination was Kangaroo Island and we both really loved it there. While it’s not on the typical tourist circuit in Australia I think it’s really worth visiting.

The island is a 45 min ferry ride from the mainland, 150km long and 90km wide and there are only 5000 people living on it. Our focus was on nature and the wildlife so we didn’t really explore the towns.

In our 3 days we spent time at the following places:

Baudin Beach

We arrived in the evening just in time to catch the sunset at Baudin Beach. A pelican was nice enough to pose for us, Thorben’s favorite picture of the trip.

Island Pure Sheep Dairy

We bought some yummy sheep yogurt from Island Pure at Adelaide Central Market, so while in the area we decided to go there in person. The food is good, so we had lunch there twice and there is a little store where we got more yogurt and cheese – Thorben must have consumed at least 2kg of their yogurt during our trip 🙂 For a little sheep dairy education you can watch a video of the inner workings and see the sheep getting milked. They even had little lambs you could pet.

Raptor Domain

Raptor Domain is a rehabilitation and education center, so you can only see their animals during the presentations they do. We caught the second half of the reptile presentation, where we got to hold 3 different snakes and touch a little crocodile. Next up was the birds of prey show including Shush, a cute owl you could pet. It was really cool and informative, a great tip by our B&B host!

Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

The sanctuary is a huge fenced in area to keep predators out but all the animals that live there are wild. We did a guided sunset/night walk and saw koalas (one with a joey!), wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas and a possum – the big 5 of the sanctuary! At the end we heard something that sounded like a wild pig – turns out that’s the mating call of male koalas 😀

Flinders Chase National Park

The national park is beautiful and we did the main highlights: We saw the Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, Admiral’s Arch and Remarkable Rock which were all fantastic and watched seals and adorable seal pups. In the parking lot of the visitor center we got lucky and saw another wild koala in a tree which even came down pretty low for optimal picture taking 🙂

Stokes Bay

Stokes Bay was were we had our favorite meal on KI, great tapas at Table 88 with a fantastic view. Afterwards we also checked out the beautiful beach.

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

Because holding a koala is addictive, I wanted to do it again so we went to the KI wildlife park. It’s a really nice little park with lots of Australian animals and wasn’t crowded at all which made the experience even better than at Gorge. We got there really soon after it opened so the kangaroos were still pretty active and hungry. They almost climbed on Thorben because he was not feeding them fast enough 🙂

At the park they have a koala talk, where you can go into the enclosure and are allowed to pet them. Holding a koala cost 30 AUD extra but that meant there were a lot less people. There was only one family ahead of us so we got a lot of time with cute Alfie, a 12 kilo boy.

After that we watched the little penguin feeding, fed some wallabies, which were again pretty insistent on being fed, and saw the rest of the animals there.

Golden Week Travels Part 2: Taipei

Golden Week Travels Part 2: Taipei

After a few days in Hong Kong we flew to Taipei on Wednesday. Even though it was only a 2 hour flight they had a huge plane (we sat in row 71) with a full entertainment system, drinks and a meal. You could even check 2 pieces of luggage for free. I finally managed to watch “A dog’s purpose”, so sad yet so adorable 🙂

I also didn’t have to plan anything for Taipei because we were spent our entire time there with Jana, one of my high school BFFs 🙂 She picked us up from the airport and we had hot pot together the first night. The spicy compartment of the soup came with free tofu and duck blood – we skipped the second one.

Day 1 in Taipei – Sights, the “Modern Toilet”and Maokong

The first point on our agenda in Thursday was the Liberty Square and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. The square is really pretty and we got super lucky with the weather even though the forecast kept saying rain. Next, we went to the city center and walked around in the Ximen Red House. They had a lot of art stores and cool things to look at and we ended up in a little store selling tea. The vendor was really nice and we tried a bunch of different teas he prepared for us. Jana had seen something on TV about crazy restaurants around the world and one of them, the “Modern Toilet”, was right around the corner so of course we checked it out. Though the food wasn’t something I’d go back for it was definitely an experience dining on a toilet with lots of toilet themed plates and drinks ;).

In the afternoon we took a cable car from the Taipei Zoo station to Maokong, a small village outside of the city. It’s a nice, maybe 20 minute ride overlooking Taipei and lots of green hills. In Maokong we walked around a bit and then hung out in a tea house and watched the sky turn dark. There are lots of night markets in Taipei, so we got some food at a small one close to our hotel.

Day 2 in Taipei – More Sights, Tea Time, Elephant Mountain and lots of Socks

We started the next day with some sightseeing as well and visited the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. The next stop was the Songshan Culture & Creative Park where we spent most of the time drinking tea in a cozy bookstore/cafe. After walking around some we headed over to Taipei 101 and had a late lunch at Din Tai Fung. It’s a super popluar place to get Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) and is from Taiwan, so we thought we should try it at the source – tastes the same as in Shanghai 🙂 Jana and I also got chocolate xiaolongbao for the first time, whoever came up with those is a genius.

To get the famous view of Taipei 101 we hiked up Elephant mountain, or at least a part of it. It’s only around 20 minutes but all stairs plus heat, humidity and mosquitos so it was a short but brutal hike. We left a little late and I’m not the fastest hiker so I didn’t quite catch the sunset but the view was still great and the storm clowds rolling in looked pretty cool. As a reward Jana and I went to another night market for some greasy snacks and I bought lots of awesome socks. I’m not ashamed to admit it: 16 pairs to be exact 🙂

Day 3 in Taipei: Expo Park, Art, Dogs and Cats and Tamsui

On Saturday we headed to the Expo park and walked around the farmers market they had. We saw lots of people with dogs, most of them in little strollers. According to Jana that’s totally normal in Taiwan. I was too busy staring to take a picture though. Right next to the expo park is the Museum of Fine Arts and it’s free to go so we went to see the exhibit and had some fun with it.

After so much culture we decided to visit a cat and dog cafe. One dog wasn’t really interested in snuggles and the other one had a collar that said “Don’t too close to me I will attack your face.” Well then … He however seemed to like belly rubs. Our last stop was Tamsui, the end of one of the metro lines, where you can walk along the water and there are tons of little stands and shops. Here, I had to finally try the famous pineapple cake.

During our travel back home we could tell a bit that it was Golden Week. It seemed like everyone at the airport was trying to get back to China so we spend almost 2 hours in various lines. Back in Shanghai on Saturday afternoon it was fine to get home on the metro. So overall I’m definitely booking more travel during holidays.