Where is Kangaroo Island?
Known as Australia’s great southern island, with a mix of attractive small townships and fascinating wilderness; Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island and is located 110 km south-west of Adelaide, South Australia.
How to get there?
Self-driving around Kangaroo Island (in a campervan or towing a caravan) is a great way to see the island, and a ferry service from the mainland makes it possible to bring your own car.
Kangaroo Island Sealink operates a daily ferry service from mainland South Australia to Penneshaw, a major town on Kangaroo Island. The ferry departs from the town of Cape Jervis, which is a 90-minute drive south of Adelaide (or take Sealink’s shuttle bus service). Daily flights also transfer passengers from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island with the airline Regional Express.
Driving from (to Cape Jervis)
Adelaide: 1.5 hours
Melbourne: 9 hours
Places to stay
The relatively small Kangaroo Island contains a large range of places for visitors to stay during their holidays, from high-end luxury resorts to caravan and camping sites.
The island is divided into seven regions, with four major towns: Kingscote (the island’s relaxed capital), Penneshaw (where daily ferries disembark), American River, and Parndana. Most major areas are connected by sealed tarmac roads, and there are gravel roads elsewhere.
Kangaroo Island Council
With 6 camping grounds spread around the island each campsite has its own unique features. There are no bookings for these sites, just a first come first serve basis. All sites are pet friendly. For a detailed view of each sites features click here.
Locations: American River, Brown Beach, Duck Lagoon, Emu Bay, Vivonne Bay and Western River.
Powered site $27 per night for up to 2 people
Unpowered site $17 per night for up to 2 people
Additional persons $6 per night
Discovery Lagoon Camping Grounds
Located at Emu Bay and set on 4 acres, whether you have a small tent or a large motorhome Discovery Lagoon can provide you with a spacious campsite in a natural setting.
From $23.00 to $28.00
$8.00 extra person
Children under 3 years are free
Kingscote Tourist Park
Nestled amongst an attractive bushland setting, on a safe children’s beach at the beautiful and tranquil Nepean Bay.
Powered sites from $31.00 per night
Unpowered sites from $28.00 per night
What to do and see
First things first! You should stop in at the visitor information centre in Penneshaw to gather brochures and to purchase a Kangaroo Island Pass, which can save you money on entry fees and tours if you plan to visit Flinders Chase, Seal Bay, Kelly Hill Caves, and the Cape Borda and Cape Willoughby light stations.
Meet The Wildlife
Be prepared to stop for wildlife watching regularly. From Kangaroos, Kingscote penguins, brushtail possums, sea lions, fur seals, Tammar wallabies, birds, to short-beaked echidnas, and goannas – you will see them all.
Make sure to visit the Hanson Bay Sanctuary for a chance of seeing wild Koalas in their natural habitat, hanging and sleeping in eucalyptus trees.
Check Out The National Parks And Conversations Parks
Kangaroo Island hosts seven parks, of which Flinders Chase National park is the most popular.
The other parks and conservation areas are Cape Borda Lightstation, Lashmar Conservation Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park, Seal Bay Conservation Park, Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park, and Cape Willoughby Conservation Park.
With such a long coastline, you are bound to find an activity to get your feet wet.
A sailing trip can take you fishing or dolphin-watching. Surfers will enjoy the waves of Vivonne Bay.
Kayakers will explore many of the sheltered areas along the coast.
Hiking On Kangaroo Island
With so many parks to explore, hikers can choose from leisurely walks to the Remarkable Rocks (0.5 miles / 1 km) or around the Platypus Waterholes (3 miles / 4.5 km), or plan longer and more challenging hikes like the Hanson Bay Hike (11 miles / 18 km).
A multi-day trek is also possible along the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, a 45-mile 5-day trek that traverses the Flinders Chase National Park.
Go ATV or horseback riding, try sandboarding, or explore the caves in Kelly Hills. There really is a lot of amazing adventures to do in Kangaroo Island, if you’re feeling up for it.
Enjoy The Sightseeing
Both the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery and the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse are appealing attractions, and offer a glimpse into Kangaroo Island’s history.
Food & Wine Tasting
Seafood and local products are readily available for gourmet experiences, accompanied with wine tasting from the local productions. A great way to explore Kangaroo Island with your taste buds.
As a first-time visitor to the island, remember that to travel from one end to the other takes around 2 hours and getting to some more remote areas, will require travel on unsealed roads (some of them are very corrugated and need you to drive slowly). We recommend that you get to your destinations in daylight and leave plenty of time to do so.
Night time driving is more hazardous due to the wildlife on the roads, so extreme caution and care should be used.
Petrol on the Island is very expensive! Fill up before you leave the mainland. Once on the Island, petrol can only be found at a select few localities, so ensure you have plenty in the tank!
Groceries can be bought in Kingscote and Penneshaw, but apart from those two places, you will find smaller shops with a very limited amount of goods, at inflated prices. Try to bring as much food as you think you will need for the trip from the mainland (if possible).
Water is limited. In some areas, they are not on mains water and rely on rainwater, so it’s not easy to just fill up your water cans etc for drinking and washing up.
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