Thursday 19th September 2013
Wow, another amazing workshop to add to the list. This was our inaugural Kangaroo Island workshop and I'm pleased to say, an outstanding success.
Michael carried out a recce back in January to set up the workshop and was astounded at the difference in colour on the island. The recent rains gave us a wonderland of green and our timing, arriving in early spring, saw wildflower in abundance.
Our first day saw an easy start with our superb guide and driver, Ron (from Exceptional Kangaroo Island) doing the run around to collect the group from various accommodation. Once Annette, Esther, Marg, Peter and Alan were safely on board we were off.
Our transport for the week was an Isuzu 4x4 fitted with a custom built 12 seater coach body. High seating gave us all a terrific view as we drove from place to place. After a pleasant drive through Flinders Chase National Park we arrived at Wallaby Heights for a BBQ lunch.
While Ron starting cooking the King George Whiting the group wandered around the picturesque setting taking in their new surrounds.
Then the hail arrived! Luckily we were under cover and enjoyed a delicious lunch straight after which the storm passed.
We then proceeded onto Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat to check into our home for the next five days. The retreat is located in the south west corner of the island and truly is surrounded by wilderness. It was the perfect staging point to visit the many wonders that the island had in store for us, the first of which was Admirals Arch and the resident colony of New Zealand Fur Seals.
Along the way we spotted dozens of Cape Barren Geese so a deviation from plan was called for and we held an impromptu bird photography session. Pretty hard to resist when chicks were spotted.
When we arrived at Admirals Arch the weather wasn't doing us any favours as the wind was extreme and the odd shower passed over but the fur seals more than made up for any discomfit. We watched as the young ones frolicked in the ocean leaping out of the waves practicing for when they would need those skills to escape predators. It was simply enthralling. As we proceeded down the boardwalk we found a number of juveniles very close. Ron commented hat he rarely saw them up this close so we were really given a special treat.
Back at the resort we cooked up a super welcome BBQ and hit the sack. It had been a big day and we would be up early for a sunrise shoot.
Friday 20th of September 2013
The weather had a sombre mood to it for our first sunrise shoot at Remarkable Rocks. We were treated to the odd sprinkle and a rather cool breeze but the scenery was spectacular.
After breakfast back at the retreat we headed for Little Sahara. This area of sand dunes offered some spectacular landscape opportunities with ripple patterns and dune grasses offering excellent foreground detail.
After another superb lunch of chicken and pesto with salad we headed to the Rocky River precinct. More Cape Barren Geese, kangaroos and Tamar Wallabies had the group captivated.
Vivonne Bay was our next destination with stunning coastal scenes followed by sunset at Point Ellen.
it was a very long day finishing with my Post-processing session to help everyone get the most from their images.
Saturday 21st of September 2013
After a small sleep in we headed to Seal Bay and the Australian Sealion Experience. Our EKI guide is also a trained National Parks guide and we were indeed in for a treat under his guidance. The sealions were in fine form with the teenagers having a few squabbles and the huge old bulls showing everyone who was the boss.
Then we headed off to the Raptor Domain free flight show for an avian treat. Kestrels, owls and other raptors were on hand and we were all able to get up close and personal.
Some free time for everyone to catch their breath and then we were off to Grassdale for twilight and sunset photography. Kangaroos and incredible grass trees abound. The grass trees were huge with many being hundreds of years old.
Another sensational meal at KIWR and then the group were treated to a Wildlife audio visual from Michael.
Saturday 21st of September 2013
Up early again for another sunrise shoot at Remarkable Rocks. Totally different conditions and light rewarded the group with another stunning landscape shoot.
Back to the retreat for brekkie followed by an Image Critique session followed by a macro shoot.
Off to Western River and another superb EKI picnic lunch. Grass trees and fields of colorful dandelions and then we visited Snellings Beach for panoramic landscapes and a gorgeous sunset.
Monday 23nd of September 2013
All too soon we are checking out from KIWR and heading for Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a large wild koala population in residence easily spotted and bird life abounds.
Duck Lagoon for lunch and finally we nail one of the shots we had been pursuing all week. The tiny Scarlet Robin put on a show posing for us momentarily before flitting off to another tree with a hoard of photographers in hot pursuit.
Finally we visit the very picturesque Pennington Bay and Pelican Lagoon before saying our farewells.
What an amazing week with so many, many photographic opportunities. A fantastic group, fantastic island, fantastic guide, fantastic food, fantastic accommodation. Yep it was all pretty fantastic.
Bring on KI 2014!!!