Exploring American River, Kangaroo Island

kangaroo island map  

There's lots to see on Kangaroo Island (KI), but without a rental car, it's hard to get around. The island is bigger than you'd think ... 93 miles long (150km) and 56 mi (90km) at its widest and though we love walking, this was bit too long a hike for our time here. We opted to explore a bit in the American River area and discover its unique offerings, rather than grouse about what we couldn't see.

With no let up in wind or rain, we spent our first day at anchor on the boat. Just as well, we wanted a feel for the holding power of the new anchor. Launching the dinghy was like flying a kite in 25 knot winds. Getting a wet dinghy butt didn't seem all that attractive, so we were happy to stay put until the sun returned … and it did.


american river sunrise


We skirted across the bay and entered the narrow channel in the dinghy which seemed much wider than if we'd been in Cups. We could see the shoaling at the fore markers from all the tidal action.


american river channel markers


The first thing that struck us about the area was the number of birds. Black swans swam gracefully, ducking their heads under the surface for breakfast. Long-legged white ibis searched the shallows for their morning meal. Huge Australian pelicans were everywhere … flying, floating, occupying tops of light poles and pilings. We found a place to tie up the dinghy near a boat launch and headed onto shore.


american river pelican


It's evident that this is a small fishing town. Small, moored fishing boats dotted the small harbor. Men fished off the pier. There was a fish measuring station to make sure each catch was within legal limits. Unused fish traps and buoys were piled beside the dock.


american river fish measuring station


As soon as we reached the main road, a flock of yellow-tailed black cockatoos flew by. Though we looked in the listed locations, no rare glossy black cockatoos showed up, nor did the Tammar wallabies that were supposedly in such numbers. Come to think of it, we didn't see many people either. Sunday morning on Kangaroo Island and KI Cup Day and sunshine … evidently folks (and critters) had other places to go.


american river flock of cockatoos


After two days on the boat, it was a pleasure to walk along the scenic coast road.


anchorage view


We stopped in the General Store to look around. The friendly proprietor answered David's questions about local crabs and fishing. We've been lax about putting out a fish line or our crab net. Like all general stores, it carried a little bit of everything and nothing we particularly needed.


american river general store


We thought we'd stop somewhere for coffee or lunch, but found no place open. The Oyster Shop offered all sorts of delightful local treats, but it was closed on weekends.


american river oyster farm offerings


Having walked several miles by now and having found no sustenance at all, other than the granola bars Marcie packed which were long gone, we headed back to the dinghy and the boat.


american river local scene


A pleasant walk on a sunny day in a lovely place. Tomorrow we head to KI's big smoke … Kingscote.