Situated 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) from the coast of South Australia is Kangaroo Island, and although you’ll find development here, Kangaroo Island remains an unspoilt oasis full of wildlife and woodlands with a very welcoming feel!
The first thing you’ll need to know about Kangaroo Island (or KI as it’s often known!) is how to get here. Being separated from the mainland means you have two options – by boat or by air. Coming to Kangaroo Island by air is very convenient from Adelaide and there are a couple of airlines who offer this route flying to the largest city on Kangaroo Island, called Kingscote. The journey by ferry takes a little longer but the advantage is that you can bring your own vehicle over on the ferry. We definitely found that having our own car to explore Kangaroo Island was a big bonus as it’s difficult to get around otherwise.
If you don’t have your own transport it’s worth considering joining a Kangaroo Island organized tour. Sealink, who operate the ferries between the mainland and Kangaroo Island, offer 3 different day tours as well as coach packages, or there are several companies offering three day tours which you can book either before you leave Adelaide or once you get to Kangaroo Island.
So you’ve figured out how to get here, now you need to know what to do once you’re here!
Kangaroo Island is a great place to see Australian wildlife, and you may notice a few differences here. For one, you can often get closer to the wildlife because they’ve become accustomed to humans (but don’t try to touch them!), and secondly some of the animals may seem a little different to what you’re used to. The Kangaroo Island kangaroos for example have evolved slightly differently! As well as the kangaroos, you’re likely to see wallabies, seals, penguins, koalas and exotic bird species.
Although there’s a high chance of seeing wildlife by the roadside, the following attractions represent some of the best places for you to see more of Kangaroo Island’s wildlife…
Seal Bay Conservation Park – here you can join a guided tour to see the wild Australian seals on the beach in the south of the island.
KI Marine Centre – this is KI’s aquarium, located in Kingscote, where you can see some of the coasts marine life including giant cuttlefish and seahorses plus there’s also guided penguin tours which take place from here in the evenings.
Pelican Feeding – just behind the KI Marine Centre is the place where the Pelican feeding happens at 5pm each day.
Parndana Wildlife Park – here you really can get close to the wildlife. Feeding the kangaroos whilst they crowd around you is particularly popular!
It’s hard to believe that on a relatively small island there are no less than 28 vineyards which produce a wide variety of wines between them. Some offer wine tastings and cellar door sales for those visitors who want to try them out.
Kangaroo Island is a relatively quiet place to visit. There are only four large settlements here where you’ll find restaurants, shops and some accommodation on Kangaroo Island. Camping on Kangaroo Island is also popular, though wherever you decide to stay we recommend you reserve your bed early as places are limited.
‘Boing Over to Kangaroo Island’ by Claire Bolgil