The Island Pure Sheep Dairy on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island combines ancient tradition with modern practices to produce some of the Australia’s best sheep’s milk cheeses and yoghurts.

Story + Photos Mark Muller

It’s a bustling Saturday afternoon at the Island Pure Sheep Dairy. The sheep are coming in for milking, the cafe is full of people ordering lunch and sampling cheeses, the grill is hot in the kitchen, and owners Geoff and Cathy Rischbieth and manager Tiff Turner are happily in the thick of it. While sheep have been milked for the making of cheese and yoghurts for more than 2000 years, the Island Pure operation has been up and running on Kangaroo Island (KI) for 22 years, and in the hands of the Rischbieths for the past decade. 

While the couple is theoretically based in Adelaide, where Geoff worked as a pharmacist and Cathy a teacher, the lure of Kangaroo Island has long drawn them. “Geoff’s family has been involved with the island for 85 years,” Cathy says. “His mother lives here and he spends a lot of his time here now. This business was on the market and not selling, and Geoff hated the thought of an iconic KI business disappearing, so we dug in and bought it.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #117

Outback Magazine: February/March 2018