Kangaroo Island is located at the end of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, a three and a half hour drive south from Adelaide. Over 30 percent of Kangaroo Island is protected as national parks and conservation parks. You can expect a visit to be full of wildlife surprises and stunning natural beauty. Allow yourself a three day visit or even stay for a week and enjoy what Kangaroo Island has to offer.
Getting to Kangaroo Island is a 50 minute trip on the car ferry Cape Jervis. Or you can fly in and let the locals do all the driving! Kangaroo Island has four main centres, Penneshaw, American River, Parndana and Kingscote. Kangaroo Islanders are committed to the preservation of their home. You’ll find award winning produce including the prized marron, pure honey of the Ligurian bees, locally made sheep’s milk cheese and yoghurt, brie or camembert, and local meats.
Kangaroo Island is a natural paradise. It offers a coastline that includes gentle sandy beaches, sheer cliffs and wild waves. Flinders Chase National Park is ideal to spend a day in. Kangaroos, wallabies and fur seals can been seen. Or go koala and platypus spotting along the walking trails. Visit the Remarkable Rocks, a cluster of huge, wind and sea sculpted granite boulders perched 75m above the sea.
At Seal Bay Conservation Park on the south coast, you will find Australian sea lions. Further on is Little Sahara, an eerie vista of brilliant white sand dunes or you can visit the site of the old whaling station at D’Estrees Bay.
Kangaroo Island offers a variety of different fishing styles. You can fish from a jetty, go beach fishing off one of the many beaches that are along Kangaroo Island. Or charter a deep-sea boat and go off shore. Fishing tackle and bait are available from Kingscote, American River, Penneshaw, Parndana and Vivonne Bay. Fishing tours are conducted from American River, Penneshaw, Kingscote and Emu Bay.
Clear water, sandy beaches, isolated coves and impressive scenery can all be enjoyed while sailing the waters of Kangaroo Island. Nepean Bay offers all year-round sheltered cruising for day sailing, and the north coast provides numerous spectacular anchorages.
The waters off Kangaroo Island provide some of the best temperate-water diving in Australia. By descending between 20 and 24 metres you will see walls of Gorgonia corals, a variety of sponges, and fish species including blue devil, harlequin, truncate coralfish and boarfish. Keep alert for the elusive Leafy Sea Dragon that populates the Kangaroo Island waters. There are over 50 recorded shipwrecks off the Island’s coastline, ranging from a 5,000 tonne freighter wrecked in 1935 to an 1860 500 tonne barque. Not all wrecks are accessible but there are opportunities to view some of these maritime disasters offered by local dive operators. Air fills are available from locations at Penneshaw, Western River and Kingscote.
Perhaps one of the best kept secrets of Kangaroo Island are the quality and uncrowded surf breaks that are on offer around the island. Stokes Bay, Vivonne Bay and Pennington Bay are suitable for beginners but the beach breaks can often produce quality waves for more advanced surfers. There are more serious surfing spots around the island for experienced surfers and most are accessible by car. For swimmers, the north coast provides safe areas for all ages whilst the south coast is more rugged with areas requiring particular care. If you are unsure always ask a local.
The climate and terrain of Kangaroo Island are excellent for serious cyclists. With sealed roads linking the major attractions and a little planning, the Island provides a rewarding challenge.
With more than half the Island never cleared of vegetation, and about one third conserved in National and Conservation Parks there is little wonder why Kangaroo Island has become well known as a place to see wildlife in its natural habitat. In addition, the absence of foxes and rabbits ensures the integrity of this uncleared bushland.
You may see the Kangaroo Island Kangaroo, Tammar Wallaby, Brushtail Possum, Short Beaked Echidna, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Western and Little Pygmy Possum, endemic Sooty Dunnart, Bush and Swamp Rat, six bat species, six frog species, Rosenberg’s Sand Goanna, Black Tiger Snake, Pygmy Copperhead, Australian Sea-lion, New Zealand Fur Seal and Australian Fur Seal. All of these animals are native to Kangaroo Island.
Kangaroo Island is a paradise for bird-watchers. The wild coastline of cliffs, beaches and estuaries, coastal heath and mallee, river and creek systems, wetlands and lagoons all offer a diverse range of habitats for the Islands 265 recorded bird species.
Images above used with permission under CC Creative Commons.
Kangaroos: ©Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble @ Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauljill/
Australian Fur Seals: ©NH32 @ Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/nh53/
Koala: ©bluedeviation @ Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/27117322@N03/
Admirals Arch: ©Henry_Wang @ Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/henry_wang/
Heath Goanna: ©Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble @ Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauljill/