Kangaroo Island was separated from mainland Australia by a sea level rise around 9000 years ago. Stone tools found there suggest Aboriginal people occupied the land at least 11,000 years ago. It is Australia's third largest island, coming in after Tasmania and Melville Island.
Around 4500 people live on the island, mostly in Kingscote, the largest town. The economy is driven mostly by agriculture. Sheep grazing has been a key element, but cattle farming is growing. Wine, honey, grains, potatoes and canola are grown with success, and some of the best southern rock lobster is found on the rugged south coast. Tourism and fishing are important, and around 200,000 visitors enjoy the island each year.
Kangaroo Island honey is sublime and the 600 hectare Clifford family farm imported their bees from the Italian province of Liguria in 1881. Kangaroo produces the only pure strain of the Ligurian honey in the world. It all came about because of a dramatic drop in wool prices in the early 1990s.
They had always kept a few hives of the relatively gentle Ligurian bees, but production has stepped up with the development of the honey farm. They now run over 400 hives and produce more than 10,000 kilograms of honey each year.
They open every day offering free tastings of at least three varieties of their produce, and no one seems to be able to resist Jenny Clifford's famous honey ice cream.
Tours go through the new honey extracting plant, and the "Honey Room" where bee communication and social organisation and the extraction of the honey by bee-keepers is explained.
Visitors can watch a film of the honey collecting and extracting, as well as view a large area of posters, information and a static display of beekeeping equipment