Kangaroo Island Australia is 140km long making it the third largest of the >Australian Islands.
The only way to describe it is a “natural zoo” You can see Australian animals in their natural habitat as you leisurely drive the islands quiet unsealed red roads, taking in all the beautiful scenery and pristine beaches.
Pick the right time and you can feel as if you have the island all to yourself
How long to go for
Kangaroo Island Australia is best explored over at least 3 days. You could probably enjoy 5 days here if you want a more leisurely approach to the island.
When to go
The hottest months of December, January and February are the busiest. If you can, I'd come outside of these months.
Shoulder season would be best (late October, November and March)
If you can only come in the winter, check the ferry and flight timetables as well as accommodation times as some places close during the winter, particularly June, July and August.
Kangaroo Island Australia is just over 2 hour drive from Adelaide. I'd recommend a trip to Adelaide and then heading over to the McClaren Vale wineries.
Just carry further down the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis where you can catch a ferry over to Penneshaw on the Island. Driving time from MClaren Vale is 1 hour 10.
Driving from Melbourne to Adelaide to Kangaroo Island Australia is also a popular route.
Vehicular and Passenger ferries, run by Sealink from Cape Jervis, depart on the hour almost every hour between 9am and 7pm but check times as most only operate in peak season. Prices are $170 return for standard size vehicle and 2 passengers. Foot Passengers pay $90 return. The ferry takes 45 minutes to reach the island
You can also fly from Adelaide airport to Kingscote on the Island. Rex airways (3 flights a day $89 one way) and Airsouth (4 times a day).
Once on the island, hire a car. The ferry ports, airports and towns of Kingscote and Pennshawe all have outlets.
You don’t need a 4WD to enjoy the island and if you are bringing your vehicle over on a ferry, check that your hire company allows you onto Kangaroo Island Australia – some don’t like you travelling on unsealed roads.
Avoid driving after dusk as this when the Kangaroos and wildlife start to come out. They can do some serious damage to your car and yourself if you are not careful.
Tours are popular to Kangaroo Island and pick up can be from Adelaide or Cape Jervis. For more information go to
Australia travel tours
What to see and do
Here are my suggestions as to what to do whilst you are on the Island but watch the video first to get an overview:
GET TO KNOW THE WILDLIFE
Take the South Coast Road and explore Seal Bay Visitor Centre and take a guided tour to see the sea lions on the beach
In January for Australian school holidays, there is a special sunset tour for $38 but you would need to pre-book this)
Next stop is the Koala Walk at Hanson Bay Sanctuary. The walk is self guided with an honest box at a cost of $2 per person. Perched up in the trees are loads of Koalas (usually sleeping) You can also take a longer walk (90 mins) around a fenced feral free area which allows some of the more vulnerable species to thrive. Here you will encounter Koalas, Goannas, Wallabies, Kangaroos and maybe an Echidna.
Next it is the Platypus Waterholes Walk. It is a lovely walk through the Flinders Chase National Park. They are very shy though so don't be too disappointed if you don't see one. This is a lovely area full of Kangaroos and a great example of Australia National Parks
Stop off at American River and check out the pelicans on the river
Make sure you get to Penneshaw in time for the Penguin tour that leaves every night at dusk from the Penguin Interpretative Centre which is right next to the Ferry terminal.
SEE THE STUNNING COASTLINE
Head up to the North Cost to view some stunning pristine beaches. Snelling and King George are worth a look but Emu Bay is probably the most stunning. It is also home to a colony of fairy penguins so a walk along the shore at dusk is good.
You can't go without a trip to Vivonne Bay to see what it takes to win best Australian beach as determined by Sydney university. The long curved sandy beach and perfect turquoise water is to die for. Take a picnic or go for a swim.
Remarkable Rocks are also worth a visit. They are really quite remarkable weather beaten granite rocks. There is a short walk down to the rocks for a closer inspection.
EAT THE LOCAL PRODUCE
Visit Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery (open daily 9-2pm in peak season with tours every half an hour and/or Cliffords Honey farm (The Ligurian bee is unique to Kangaroo Island. Try the ice-cream – it’s awesome)
There are also some great local restaurants. See the section below on where to eat.
GO SAND BOARDING DOWN THE DUNES
Little Sahara is an area of spectacular white sand dunes and is the prefect place for some sand boarding. You can hire boards etc from Kangaroo Island Australia Outdoor Action or the Bay Store both in Vivonne Bay. Ask the locals how to find it as it is not that well signposted.
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Where to stay
I'd recommend spending a night or two at the west end of
Kangaroo Island Australia
and then another night over to the East of the island.
In the West:-
Stay at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat – rooms from $150 and the restaurant is good (prices are $30 for a main course and Kangaroo is on the menu. Breakfast is extra at $27 per person) The wildlife (Wallabies and Kangaroos) come right up to your door!
The famous Southern Ocean Lodge is also near here with prices starting at $900 per night – a total luxury experience, and views which are out of this world given it is perched on the edge of a cliff. I should think so at that price!