Share an island with kangaroos, wallabies and koalas
Kangaroo Island is home to a wealth of Australia's most iconic wildlife, with kangaroos, koalas and wallabies wildly outnumbering the human population. For people interested in immersing themselves in one of the best natural retreats Australia has to offer, the island may be the destination to visit - and Southern Ocean Lodge, the place to stay.
Frommer's has called Kangaroo Island one of Australia's best-kept secrets, offering up beautiful scenery brimming with flora and fauna just waiting to be explored. This backdrop provides the stage for some indulgent luxury travel as well, as the island boasts plenty of locally grown foods and wines. The combination of these two elements - adventure and luxury - is part of what makes the Southern Ocean Lodge an alluring retreat.
A modern escape
Claiming to be Australia's "first true luxury lodge," Southern Ocean features a low-lying stretch of rooms overlooking a grand cliff that spills into Hanson Bay. This retreat is located on the southwestern coast of the island, situated between Flinders Chase and Cape Bouguer National Parks, making it a good place to call home after a day's exploration of the nearby reserves.
Chic and clean are two words that may be easily associated with the lodge's design principles, with architecture and furnishings that keep rooms and the lobby light and breezy. In addition to a spa and lavish suites, the hotel also capitalizes on the region's reputation as a foodie destination. Dinner menus change daily and may feature everything from queen snapper to house-made gnocchi, as the restaurant aims to provide seasonal fare and local produce whenever possible.
Gateway to adventure
The Southern Ocean Lodge's location on the South Coast makes it a prime spot for coastal explorations and seal-spotting, but the lodge is just a small slice of life that the island has to offer. Penneshaw on the East Coast is home to a colony of penguins, while the American River region boasts bush? land coupled with raucous nightlife, according to the island's official tourism board. Kingscote, the island's capital, is a great place to watch the boats go by. Food and wine trails are also abound, providing special insight into the island's local goods.
Of course, one of the main draws for tourists is the astounding population of Australia's most distinguished animals, including 15,000 kangaroos, 5,000 koalas, 600 Australian sea lions and anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million tammar wallabies, according to Frommer's.