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.
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.
WHAT TO DO IN DUDLEY PENINSULA
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.
WHAT TO DO IN AMERICAN RIVER
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.
WHAT TO DO IN KINGSCOTE
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.
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.
WHAT TO DO IN PARNDANA
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.
WHAT TO DO IN NORTH COAST
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.
WHAT TO DO IN WEST END
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.
WHAT TO DO IN SOUTH COAST
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.
HOW LONG TO STAY
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.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
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.
HOW TO GET THERE
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
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