Kangaroo Island is home to a wide range of wildlife and a fascinating dose of cultural heritage. At the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery and retail shop, you can get to grips with the island’s important history of eucalyptus growing. At the distillery, they produce 100% pure Australian Eucalyptus Oil which you can buy in the accompanying shop.
Eucalyptus is, essentially, Australia’s national aroma, characterised by the earthy, refreshing scent it holds (and its association with the local koalas, of course). At the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery, you can learn all about why eucalyptus is so important in the country and how it is distilled into numerous different products.
Eucalyptus holds a fascinating history in Australia. It was considered the country’s very first export and, at one point in time, formed the largest industry on Kangaroo Island. Today, the industry is struggling to compete with the cheaper, diluted versions of the product, and Emu Ridge is the only remaining commercial eucalyptus distillery in the South of Australia. The distillery dedicates itself to created pure oil that’s made from the narrow-leaf mallee, a type of eucalyptus tree that can only be found on Kangaroo Island.
The History of Eucalyptus in Australia
The healing powers of eucalyptus were first recognised by the Australian Aboriginals who originally used it to treat pain, illness, and infection. Even today, eucalyptus oil is used for these purposes, but it is also thought to contain anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties as well as acting as a natural insect repellent.
What You Can Do at the Distillery
There are plenty of things for you to do while at the distillery. In the shop, you can browse a selection of eucalyptus-based goods as well as Kangaroo Island souvenirs, rustic relics, and artefacts from around the island that highlight the rich heritage of the surroundings.
Larry, the man behind the shop and distillery, will be on hand to answer any questions you have and give an insight into the importance of the eucalyptus industry on Kangaroo Island.
You can then move through to a screening room that boasts a beautiful vintage carriage. The film shows the history of the distillery and the eucalyptus industry on the island, giving you an insight into how the place is run and what you can expect. Afterwards, you can choose to take a tour of the distillery to learn even more about the production process. The practice has barely changed at all at Emu Ridge, so you can glean an insight into the traditional technique that has embraced the island for many years.