Inhabited by Aborigines nearly 2,000 years ago, Kangaroo Island is today a popular destination for travelers. Separated by 126km from the city of Adelaide, Kangaroo Island was named in 1802 by Matthew Flinders.
Furthermore, this Australian island is known worldwide for its ecotourism and its natural wonders. There you will find a splendid bush, spectacular coastline as well as hilly and desert landscapes.
Additionally, this tourist site is also the third-largest Australian island and a zoological sanctuary for numerous species. Furthermore, there are so many activities to do on Kangaroo Island that you won’t have any time to rest.
From Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
Before talking about the activities and experiences to do on Kangaroo Island, you first need to know how to reach the tourist site. If you are coming from a remote area in Australia, you will first need to get to the closest airport to the island which is Adelaide.
You can reach Kangaroo island by plane from the main terminal at Adelaide Airport and Kangaroo Island Airport. Additionally, the flight between the two Australian destinations takes only 30 minutes. However, I urge you to check out the flight schedules as they vary according to the season.
How can you visit Kangaroo Island?
1) By Car
The car seems to be the ideal choice for visiting Kangaroo Island. A simple car is enough, but if you want to discover the main trails, I advise you to rent a 4WD. However, be aware that the roads of the island are not always paved. Additionally, some more remote locations are only accessible by 4WD.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some rental companies in Adelaide do not allow car transport to Kangaroo Island. I advise you to check this before you hit the road. So you can leave with peace of mind and legality.
Additionally, Kangaroo Island is populated by wild animals. I strongly recommend that you drive carefully and avoid driving at dawn and sunset.
2) Book a Tour
As good as the car option is, I decided to opt for a tour with Sealink to visit Kangaroo Island. The tour cost $49 for one way and $98 for both ways. Furthermore, the journey starts from Cape Jervis which is a 2-hour drive away from Adelaide.
On the way, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the magnificent Fleurieu Peninsula and get a glimpse at numerous species such as sea lions, koalas, seals, kangaroos, black cockatoos, emus, sea eagles, etc. After a short stop in Cape Jervis, you’ll continue your way until you reach Penneshaw.
However, keep in mind that there are only two ferries every day. So be sure to check out the ferry schedule before taking the road.
What to do and see on Kangaroo Island?
1. Have a look at the Black-Faced Cormorants by the port
Kangaroo Island is truly a magical nature land. Not only does it house Brown kangaroos but also the black-faced cormorants. You can spot them on the ferry upon your arrival to Penneshaw. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to see the little ones.
However, with some luck, you’ll be able to see the adult black-faced Cormorants feed their little ones and jump to their nest, installed in an unlikely place.
2. Seal Bay
Located 70 km from Pennington Bay, Seal Bay is home to a large colony of Australian sea lions. It is also considered the region’s premier tourist attraction and one of the best experiences to do on Kangaroo Island.
On an 800 meter wheelchair-accessible boardwalk you’ll have the opportunity to experience an unforgettable wildlife adventure.
For 16 AUD, it is possible to take a tour with an audio guide along the beach and observe sea lions. Additionally, for 35 AUD, it is also possible to go down to the beach with a guide and observe closer sea lions.
3. Walk Little Sahara
Little Sahara is a region made up of impressive white dunes bordered by bush vegetation. It is a splendid experience for sand boarding on the dunes, the highest of which is 70 meters high.
Additionally, I recommend you take a walk in Little Sahara to fully admire its beauty especially since access is free. You’ll just have to register yourself at the entrance
4. Vivonne Bay
Another unique location on Kangaroo Island is Vivonne Bay. It is a long beach of turquoise water and white sand which is about 25 km from Seal Bay.
It’s perfect for a whole host of activities to do on Kangaroo Island, from picnicking to fishing and surfing. In fact, surfers have a blast on this Australian beach even in winter.
Additionally, Vivonne Bay is best known for being voted Australia’s most beautiful beach a few years ago. Furthermore, it is possible to have lunch in Vivonne Bay in a small cafe lined with a grocery store that makes shark burgers.
5. Remarkable Rocks
Remarkable Rocks is one of the top tourist spots on Kangaroo Island. Located at the western end of Flinders Chase National Park, the Remarkable Rocks are incredible granite boulders shaped by wind and sea for over 500 million years.
Additionally, Remarkable Rocks are also attractive for their strategic location. This tourist spot offers breathtaking views of the surrounding beaches.
However, be careful of the black tiger snakes in the bushes, I nearly got too close to one… they are one of the deadliest snakes in the world.
Furthermore, to access the Remarkable Rocks you will need a pass which costs $ 11 per day. However, the prize is well deserved because the Remarkable Rocks is one of the most photogenic spots on the island.
6. Admirals Arch
Just 5 km from the Remarkable Rocks, you can discover the splendid Admirals Arch. As its name suggests, it is an impressive arch carved by the waves and sculpted by the wind and the sea.
It is also here that a colony of New Zealand fur seals lives, making it one of the best things to do on Kangaroo Island. Once there, you will be charmed by the spectacle, especially at sunset time.
Additionally, unlike penguins, New Zealand fur seals are present all year-round. In fact, more than a hundred of them live their lives at Admirals Arch.
7. Cape du Couedic
Another place not to be missed on Kangaroo Island is Cape du Couedic. In this tourist spot, the lighthouses have a romantic look and the flashing light on the cliffs of the Cape du Couedic is as romantic as the lighthouses.
Located in the Flinders Chase National Park, the cape is just a short drive away from Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks.
Additionally, hanging on the southwestern cape of Kangaroo Island, this famous lighthouse was commissioned after two passing ships met their ultimate fate on the rocks.
Furthermore, when you visit the windswept Cape du Couedic, you will likely share the place with squirming colonies of sea lions. So I invite you to take a stroll, relax and try to count how many sea lions lie on the rock.
8. Walk down to a beach of the Flinders Chase National Park
Flinders Chase National Park is the largest national park on Kangaroo Island. The tourist site is home to Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks, two lighthouses, and numerous hiking trails.
However, in my opinion, what creates an aspect of hidden beauty in Flinders Chase National Park is its numerous beaches.
With its rocky shores, visiting Flinders Chase National Park beach is a mandatory activity to do on Kangaroo Island. Additionally, Flinders’ beaches have low wooded forested hills as backdrops, making it an ideal place for a walk and admiring the landscape
9. Pennington Bay
Located on the southern coastline of Kangaroo Island, 27 km from Penneshaw, Pennington Bay is a very pretty bay where you can surf and fish and admire the waves. It is also a very popular spot with surfers because of the powerful swells that roll in.
Additionally, The landscape of Pennington Bay is stunning, with awesome bushland and wildlife. In short, you shouldn’t miss Pennington Bay under any circumstances.
10. Tasting wine at Dudley Wines Cellar Door
Impossible to visit Kangaroo Island without trying the local wine, especially Dudley Wines Cellar Door. Known as the most authentic wine in Kangaroo Island, Dudley Wines Cellar Door dates back to 1997. Dudley Wines are high-quality Australian liquor due to the owner’s expertise in the wine-making process.
It’s no secret that Brodie Howard, owner of the company, makes sure that everything is perfect, from grape to barrel to bottle. Additionally, the Dudley Wines experience isn’t only about the taste but also about the panoramic view.
Located 12km from the ferry terminal in Penneshaw, Dudley Wines offers a mesmerizing view across Backstairs Passage to mainland Australia. In short, tasting wine at Dudley Wines Cellar Door is an amazing experience to do on Kangaroo Island.
11. Play hide and seek with Koalas
Kangaroo Island has an incredibly diverse fauna as it houses numerous animals. Among them, you’ll find Koalas. Furthermore, almost everywhere you go to Kangaroo Island you’ll be able to admire Koalas.
However, if you want to play hide and seek with them, there is only one place that comes to mind and that is Hanson Bay Sanctuary. It is the only place where you can see Koalas living freely.
Furthermore, contrary to common belief, this sanctuary is not a zoo. It’s just that in Hanson Bay Sanctuary there is a big alley with the eucalyptus species that koalas eat, so these adorable little marsupials stick around.
Moreover, they are forced to plant more and more eucalyptus as the population increases. Additionally, for the record, the koala was introduced to Kangaroo Island because it is an endangered species.
12. Spot the kangaroos
Kangaroo Island earned its name thanks to the huge colony of Kangaroos living there. It is estimated that more than 65,000 kangaroos live in this Australian territory. Additionally, the kangaroos on the island are very unique. They are smaller than the other Kangaroos in Australia.
Furthermore, they are distinguished by their thick brown fur and slow movements. They are also the calmest of the species in Australia.
Additionally, there are plenty of places to spot kangaroos on the island, however, if you want to have a good look I suggest you visit Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.
13. Go to a hidden beach on the island
The list of what to do in Kangaroo Island wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the site’s hidden beaches. Along its 500 kilometers of coastline, Kangaroo Island houses numerous beautiful beaches. One good example of a hidden beach on the Australian island is Stokes Bay.
Located on the north coast of Kangaroo Island, Stokes Bay is a natural gem. However, it is hidden by a natural rock tunnel. Numerous tourists, when they pass nearby Stokes Bay, think it is just a rocky area.
However, beyond the natural rock tunnel, you’ll find a calm, beautiful beach with white sand and clear water.
Kangaroo Island is one of the most beautiful and diversified places in Australia. The island serves as a sanctuary for endangered species and houses unique and mesmerizing landscapes. I hope you enjoyed the what to do Kangaroo Island guide as much as I did while writing it.
Do not hesitate to share your experiences and expectations concerning the place with me. I look forward to reading your comments!