Kangaroo Island is Australia‘s third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island. It lies in the State of South Australia 112 km (70 mi) southwest of Adelaide. The island is 150 km (93 mi) long and between 90 km (56 mi) and 57 km (35 mi) wide, its area covering 4,405 km2 (1,701 sq. mi).
Kangaroo Island has a Mediterranean climate: typically warm to hot dry summers (Dec/Jan/Feb) with very low humidity; and cool, mild winters (Jun/Jul/Aug). Spring (Sep/Oct/Nov) and autumn (Mar/Apr/May) are true shoulder seasons where days can be more like winter or summer or something in between! During our week-long visit in October we experienced all four seasons, without the heat of mid- summer.
Kangaroo Island is one of South Australia’s most popular tourist attractions, attracting over 140,000 visitors each year, with international visitors, primarily from Europe, accounting for more than 25% of these visits.
Stokes Bay is a coastal community situated adjacent to Lathami Conservation Park in the middle of the north Coast of Kangaroo Island. The island’s most populous town, Kingscote, is about an hour’s drive southeast of Stokes Bay along the Playford Highway. This is where we recently visited the amazing KANGAROO ISLAND BUSH GARDEN.
Plants native to Kangaroo Island grow alongside many rare, endangered and spectacular plant species at the Stokes Bay Bush Garden. It is a three hectare property owned by Carol and John (born on the island) Stanton who, after a visit to Western Australia in the eighties, commenced the never-ending work of building a unique garden where a huge range of plants can be seen in one spot. The garden includes over 1,100 named plants including 150 species indigenous to southern Australia, 16 species found only on Kangaroo Island, 75 varieties of banksias, 45 dryandras over 145 varieties of grevilleas and many seasonal native orchids. According to John the rainfall average is about 500 millimetres so once the plants are established they really have to look after themselves.
This is a serene setting with beautiful plants and birds – a plant lover’s paradise. It is almost like strolling through the bush in search of something special and actually finding it at every turn. The plants are numbered and named in the brochure provided. The owners have invested years of hard work for the enjoyment of many visitors. We certainly enjoyed every moment we were there, with cameras working overtime.