Australia`s third-largest island is a destination one of its kind. Spectacular landscapes, secluded beaches, untouched wilderness, underground caverns, historic sites; all that concentrated in an area of 4,405 square kilometres.

The name of the island reveals what is hiding in its mainland – abundant native fauna and flora are the Kangaroo Island`s highlights. Although clearly, kangaroo is the star of the show, the isle`s bountiful marine life and countless nature-based attractions are good reasons to pay a visit, regardless of a season.

Kangaroo Island is well-known for the endemic subspecies of the western grey kangaroo

There are only three tiny towns on the island – Kingscote, Penneshaw, and Parndana – the rest is the world of Mother Nature and her creations. Kangaroo Island is split into seven regions, and each of them has its distinct character.


Having landed on Kangaroo Island, it is easy to understand why the isle became the favourite holiday destination for many Australians. Dudely Peninsula is ‘all-in-one-place,’ and you will find abundant wildlife, stunning beaches, impressive cliffs but also art galleries, cafes and cellar doors.

The second largest town Penneshaw was established right here, and it has become the most popular seaside resort on the island.

"Breathtaking sunset at Penneshaw Beach on Kangaroo Island, reflecting the island's serene beauty."
Sunset at Penneshaw Beach


  • Penneshaw – a lovely little town with restaurants, cafes, shops, art galleries, market, tours, walking (e,g, the Penneshaw Historic Walk)
  • Visitor Information Centre – useful tips and advice, tour bookings
  • Island Beach, Baudin Beach, Brown Beach – the best swimming beaches
  • Cape Willoughby – rugged cliffs with a lighthouse (4 km long Ironstone Hill Hike)
  • Antechamber Bay – camping, swimming, picnic, wildlife
"Historic Cape Willoughby lighthouse standing tall against the rugged coastal backdrop of Kangaroo Island."
Cape Willoughby lighthouse


This tiny fishing village, nestled on a hillside within native bushland, is a place beloved by kangaroos and wallabies. Literally, they are everywhere around. Bird spotting chance here is excellent, and camping is probably the best you can do. Fresh seafood can be tasted at the Oyster Farm Shop or the Shed and The Oval. American River is a good place to unwind.

"Tranquil view of American River in Kangaroo Island, surrounded by lush greenery and wildlife."
A typical scenery at American River, Kangaroo Island


  • Pelican Lagoon – wildlife and birdlife watching
  • Pennington Bay – ideal for swimming and fishing
  • Walking tracks – Beyeria Walk, Independence Trail, Fish Cannery Walk
Pennington Bay


The capital of Kangaroo Island is the largest town and its commercial hub. There is everything you might need, such as brilliant restaurants, fresh seafood eateries, cafes, wine-cellars, luxurious accommodation, a good range of outlets and souvenir shops, art galleries and plentiful tours to choose from. This is the location for those who are not afraid of spending a few more dollars for their comfort.

"Vibrant view of Kingscote, the largest town in Kangaroo Island, showcasing its lively atmosphere and scenic charm."
Kingscote is the island`s the largest town and its commercial hub


  • Brownlow Beach – swimming & picnic
  • Kingscote Beach  – walking, Kingscote to Brownlow Coastal Walk
  • Nepean Bay – luxurious yachts, sails ships and jetty, local yacht club
  • Bay of Shoals – scenic views, wine-cellars, vineyards, food & wine tours
Bay of Shoals enjoys picturesque vineyards, gourmet food and fine wines


The heartland of Kangaroo Island is also its ‘soul.’ Although the inland region is not home to beaches there are some stunning displays of wildflowers in spring, and the native fauna and flora are best to be seen right here.

Parndana is the heartland of Kangaroo Island and its soul

A network of walking tracks through the bushland offers fantastic opportunities to observe the wildlife and birdlife in their natural environment, and there is also a private wildlife park for the visitors to learn more about the native species.


  • Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park – kangaroo and koala hand feeding for children
  • Islander Estate Vineyards – French winery, cellar-doors, wine and food tasting
’The Islander’ offers some awesome reds, wine tasting is the best way to explore their selection


Visiting the North Coast will take you back to the old days, and the region introduces the life of farmers. Probably the most picturesque scenery and stunning views of the rolling farmland and endless empty beaches might make one feel somewhat romantic and sentimental.

This region is a place for sheer peace and solitude, and many come here to meditate, do yoga or re-connect with nature as there truly is something magical on the North Coast. There are lots of isolated retreats with breathtaking views to rent for those who look for relaxing. But there are also many activities to do for families, couples, and mature travellers. 

Snelling Beach


  • Emu Bay – Lavender Farm with an adorable shop selling esoteric products
  • Smith Bay – ideal for beach walking, running
  • King Gorge Bay – a splendid hidden cove
  • Cape Cassini – beautiful walks, rugged cliffs, and gorgeous retreats
  • Stokes Bay – bush garden with a good collection of native flora and gorgeous beaches
  • Snelling Beach – swimming, fishing and surfing
Stokes Bay


The West End is just another example of the fact that “the west is always wildered.” Many would say that this is the most distinctive region of Kangaroo Island. Similarly to the North Coast, this is the location for peacetime seekers, and there will be abundant fauna and flora to provide company.

Koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, and colourful parrots rule this remote area, and it is not easy to come across tourists. But those who decide to pay a visit will be rewarded with some extraordinary natural appeals.

Cape Couedic Boardwalk, Flinders Chase National Park


  • Flinders Chase National Park – ‘the pearl of the islandis home to the very landmarks of Kangaroo Island (Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Kelly Hill Caves, Hanson Bay)
  • Visitor Information Centre – useful tips and information, tour bookings
  • Cape Borda & Cape Couedic – shipwrecks, seals, penguins, rough seas
  • Hanson Bay – famous Koala Walk, Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kelly Conservation Park – underground sinkholes, caverns, spectacular caves
  • Hiking – Weirs Cove, Rocky River, Sandy Creek, Platypus Waterhole, Snake Lagoon
 "Majestic Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island, a testament to natural wonders."
Admirals Arch, Flinders Chase National Park


The rugged southern coastline is home to most of the tourist highlights on the island, including the famed Vivonne Bay that was rated as Australia`s Best Beach in 2003. For teeming with wildlife and marvellous beaches, the region presents plenty of adventure activities.

Sea Lions basking on the sand, surfers conquering the rough Southern Ocean, rivers filled with kayakers and thrill-seekers having fun in the dunes – this is the famous Kangaroo Island`s South Coast.

Vivonne Bay – 2003 Australia`s Best Beach


  • D`Estrees Bay – camping, fishing, swimming
  • Murray Lagoon – birdlife and wildlife spotting
  • Seal Bay – the largest colony of seals and sea lions, wooden boarded walkways
  • Vivonne Bay – Australia`s Best Beach (it has got a campground, a burger shop and a liquor store)
  • Flour Cask Bay – great walking, lovely retreats
  • Harriet River – kayaking
  • Kangaroo Island Bush Gateway – paintballing
  • Little Sahara – sand boarding, sand tobogganing or quad biking
  • Seal Bay Conservation Park – guided  educational tours
  • Raptor Domain – a bird park great for children and families
"Exhilarating scene of sand-boarding at Little Sahara on Kangaroo Island, a hub of adventure and fun."
Little Sahara sand-boarding is the place to be if you are after loads of fun and adrenaline


There are campgrounds throughout the island and camping it is the cheapest and the most authentic way to discover the island`s natural beauty. However, there also luxurious lodges, self-contained family cabins, motels, historic cottages, private villas and even hostels available.  To avoid inconveniences, try to book accommodation in advance.


Kangaroo Island can be self-driven relatively quickly. Otherwise, there is an option to book a day tour in Adelaide.

However, considering the ferry cost (approximately $180AUD/per vehicle plus $90AUD/per person for a return trip) and the large number of things to see, you might want to stay longer than one day.

We recommend spending 3-5 days on Kangaroo Island to explore the highlights.

Kangaroo Island is best to be self-driven (allow 3-7 days for the road trip)


Kangaroo Island is a destination for all seasons as the major attraction here is nature – and that is enjoyable any time.

NOTE, Generally speaking, the summer months get busier and accommodation often fully booked, especially during the summer school holidays (Dec-Feb). Hence try to avoid travelling at this time.

Kangaroo Island is home to abundant fauna that can be seen all year round


Fly to Adelaide. Hire a vehicle and drive to Cape Jervis (1 hr drive from Adelaide). Catch a ferry to Kangaroo Island

Ferry: there are several boat operators in Cape Jervis, and the ferry ride to Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) takes around 45 min

Plane: domestic flights are available from Adelaide to Kingscote (Kangaroo Island) – about 30 min

If you made it this far, why not checking out the states of Western Australia and Victoria?

For all flights go to or

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Eva Bodova

Friday 13 March 2020

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