‘Middle River’ is not a name that inspires much but the Middle River area on Kangaroo Island is truly inspirational. It’s an area of rolling hills, distant ocean views, tall eucalypts and shining yaccas.
Like many of the other prosaic names visited on the island’s geographic features, this river name possibly reflects a lack of appreciation of our own gorgeous natural resources. Or is it just that Kangaroo Islanders are naturally reticent about blowing their own trumpet? That surely can’t be it.
Nevertheless, don’t be fooled by the lack of ingenuity in the names such as East West Road AND East West Highway (One and Two!). Mother nature has donated all the ecological and geological imagination necessary to make Kangaroo Island an environmental wonderland.
The dominant vegetation is impressive at any time of year but with spring just a few weeks away the flowers are beginning to display their beauty. Here are a few from the Middle River area. There’ll be more!
Where I live on the north coast of the Dudley Peninsula (the eastern head of the island) the dominant vegetation is drooping she-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata – whose seeds are the sole food item of the endangered glossy black-cockatoo) and narrow-leaved mallee (Eucalyptus cneorifolia – a plant community listed as nationally threatened). The listings reflect the high level of clearance for agriculture on the northern Dudley, to an extent more in line with the nearby mainland than the rest of Kangaroo Island.
However, I still have a view treasure from my window, and it’s pretty cool to have the grand landscapes of north-western Kangaroo Island to visit nearby. Here’s a last peek.