My recent stay at Southern Ocean Lodge

We all flew from Sydney and easily made the connection to REX Airlines for the short hop to Kangaroo Island, home to Southern Ocean Lodge. Once we landed, there stood Craig Wickham of Exceptional Kangaroo Island, the best tour operator in Australia and a great friend. I have known Craig for over 25 years and consider him a real mate!

Craig took us straight on tour, and off to the Remarkables Rocks, a huge formation of granite right on the southern end of the island. We all enjoyed seeing the kids (of course they are all in their 20’s) attempt to climb the rocks to the top, some making it, and some not. I remember the first time I went there, I did the same, but I didn’t try that this time. I doubted that my agility kept up with my age.

The Remarkables

Walking up to the Remarkables

The Remarkables

A family shot at The Remarkables

The Remarkables

Ian and Linda Swain with Craig and Janet Wickham from Exceptional Kangaroo Island

We then hopped onto our private bus and headed to Admiral’s Arch and watched the hundreds of fur seals frolicking in the waves and resting along the base of this once, standing cave. It was truly incredible watching the waves crash along ancient rocks. Most of the seals were napping, but a few were playfully hopping around and splashing in the wave breaks.

Admirals Arch

Some beautiful rock formations surrounding Admiral’s Arch

Seals at Admiral's Arch

Some seals lounging at Admirals Arch

Admirals Arch Seals

More seals lounging at Admirals Arch

After filling our memory cards with photos, we drove to Southern Ocean Lodge. This was Linda’s and the kids’ first time there – so I was excited to see their reactions. I was not disappointed. Immediately they stared in awe looking out through the Great Room’s glass walls to the Kangaroo Island coastline ahead and below. Imagine walking through a luxurious entrance way only to be greeted by a view of crashing waves over a dramatic cliff line. The next few minutes were spent looking out through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Great Room staring in disbelief as to our view for the next few days. After a glass of champagne, some light snacks and a quick chat with Alison and John (the lodge managers), we were escorted to our suites.

SOL Exterior

The front of Southern Ocean Lodge on the cliffside

Southern Ocean Lodge

Rooms facing the cliff at Southern Ocean Lodge

The Great Room-SOL

The Great Room, Southern Ocean Lodge
Photo Credit: Southern Ocean Lodge


The suites are all superb, with some of us in Flinders Suites (their lead-in, but hardly a lead-in room, they are beautiful), some in Ocean Retreat and Linda and I in their top suite, the Osprey Suite, at the end of the hallway. We all met in our suite for a family photo and sunset cocktails before heading to a delightful dinner in the dining room to end a great day.


The view from the Jacuzzi in our Osprey Suite

Views from the Heli

Views from the Heli as the morning sun peaks in

After the heli-flight, we headed back to the Lodge and had the afternoon to enjoy the property. The kids took off on the cliff walk tour and I walked down to the beach at Hansen Bay, and was the only one there – delightful. The beach was majestic. I truly felt as if I was on an untouched part of the world. The bright blue water crashing over the reef and rock provided a stunning backdrop to what was one of the more perfect beach walks of my life.

Peering out over the cliffs

Peering out over the cliffs

Linda and Ian

Cliffside champagne with Linda

The meals throughout our stay at the Lodge were a gourmet delight with appropriate Australian wines to complement each course. The family all agreed after our three days there, that Southern Ocean Lodge is well deserved of its Travel & Leisure Reader’s Choice awards as the top hotel in Australia and the third best in the world.



For more information on Southern Ocean Lodge, give us a call or check out our Kangaroo Island blog post and SWAIN Preferred page.

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