Kangaroo highway: A journey through Australia’s Christmas landscape

Let me recount a 10-day road trip through the heart of Australia’s landscapes to Kangaroo Island over Christmas.

Day 1: Melbourne to Bimbi Park Campground in the Otway’s

We fled Melbourne on the 23rd of December, steering our shiny new rental towards the Bimbi Park Campground in the Otway’s. This place, a cacophony of avian life, was a natural amphitheatre where the birds’ raucous symphony was a wake-up call!

Day 2: Blanket Bay to Kingston SE

The following day, we rolled out to Kingston SE, a town that seemed to have been conjured up from a dystopian dream, boasting a colossal crustacean monument. Our lodging was a 1970s motel, a shrine to the bleak charm of utilitarianism, where comfort goes to die.

Big Lobster

Day 3: Kingston SE to Adelaide

On Christmas Day, we went on a drive through Coorong National Park. The park seemed endless and dull as a rain-soaked eulogy, tiring the journey. However, we finally arrived in Adelaide and checked into an ”art hotel”. Our room was incredibly tiny, a design inspired by sardines. Adelaide appeared to be in perpetual slumber, but we enjoyed spending time with our friends over sausages and South Australian wine. The focus was more on spending time together rather than the culinary finesse of the meal.

Day 4: Adelaide to Victor Harbour

Boxing Day had us migrating to Victor Harbour, where the chill made the town seem desolate. Our abode was an antiquated hotel, its windows offering a voyeuristic view of a bakery, the scent of fresh bread battling the aroma of beer from the bar below.

Walking across the bridge to Granite Island from Victor Harbour

Day 5: Victor Harbour

We ambled to Granite Island and around the town, which exuded a vibe of a party that had outstayed its welcome, the last guests clinging on as the lights dimmed.

Day 6: Victor Harbour to Kangaroo Island

On the 28th, we bid farewell to Victor Harbour. Boarding the ferry with a car was a trial, with a price tag that mocked the value of my first few cars. We camped at Harvey’s Return Campsite, a bush sanctuary near a secluded beach, a slice of pelican paradise.

Beach near our campsite

Day 7: Kangaroo Island

We communed with a seal colony, getting up close and personal with the blubbery locals. We also paid homage to the peculiar rocks tourists flock to see because that’s what tourists do. Our camp at Brown’s Beach was a testament to Australia’s road trip infrastructure – barbecues, showers, and well-maintained sites.

Chilled-out seal

Day 8: Kangaroo Island to Dimboola

The drive to Dimboola was a test of endurance, but the destination was a pleasant surprise. The Victoria Hotel provided fabulous accommodation, a beacon of comfort in the vastness of the Australian nothingness.

Day 9: Dimboola to Freshwater Lake Campgrounds in the Grampians (NYE)

New Year’s Eve saw us in the Grampians at the Freshwater Lake Campgrounds. We indulged in too much South Australian wine and took a drunken midnight stagger around the lake, a fitting end to the year.

Bush camp on NYE.

Day 10: Grampians to Melbourne

On the first day of the new year, we returned to Melbourne, having traversed roughly 3000 kilometres. It was a journey that underscored the transformative power of the road, a chance to reflect and immerse ourselves in Australia’s vast, raw beauty. This road trip was not just a journey through space but also through the cluttered modern mind, an adventure where the destination was not a place but a state of being.



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