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Kangaroo Island is, without a shadow of a doubt, Australia’s best-kept secret! Located in South Australia, KI, as it’s affectionately nicknamed, is a diamond in the rough!
It is everything you expect Australia to be! Red dirt roads, koalas, kangaroos, beautiful white sanded beaches… it has it!
It’s a mix of all Australian states but concentrated on one island. In this Kangaroo Island travel guide, you will discover everything you need to know about this stunning hidden gem!
I lived on KI for a few months and got to explore the island extensively. You will find plenty of recommendations and things to do on Kangaroo Island!
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Things to do in Kangaroo Island
KI is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Australia. Visitors love it! If you are wondering what to do on Kangaroo Island, you won’t be disappointed!
Whether you love beaches, national parks, wineries or animals, you will be spoilt with choice! This mini version of Australia is ideal for a road trip! The roads are beautiful and there are many hidden gems.
The island is full of wild animals such as wallabies, koalas, seals and birds. You have to be a bit careful when you are driving as you will encounter some of these beautiful creatures.
Here are some ideas of things to do in Kangaroo Island.
Exploring Flinders Chase National Park
There is only one national park on Kangaroo Island.
Located on the west end of the island, Flinders Chase is one of the most national parks in Australia. It’s the perfect place to experience the wilderness and do some outdoor activities.
There are so many things to do in Flinders Chase NP and you should make sure to have a whole day ahead of you to truly explore.
You can easily get there by car. It takes 1h10 from Kingscote. Your first stop should be the visitor centre where you can pay the entry fee.
Alternatively, you can also buy it online on the official website.
The staff is incredibly helpful and they will be more than happy to make some recommendations.
Flinders Chase NP is home to some of the most famous attractions on Kangaroo Island including the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch (but we will get back to that).
As you enter the park, you will see many wallabies and kangaroos jumping around (be careful when you drive).
The road is extremely scenic, especially the Cape du Couedic Road. It’s even considered as one of the most Instagrammable spots in South Australia.
If you love hiking, you will be in for a treat! There are many trails you can take.
Here are some examples of hikes in Flinders Chase that are worth your time (and effort):
- Rocky River Section, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (12.4km, 4h)
- Grassdale Section, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (13.3km, 6.5h)
- Platypus Waterholes Walk (4.7km, 2h)
- Rocky River Hike (13km, 3h)
- Ravine des Casoars (7.4km, 3h)
Please note that a lot of these paths were destroyed during the bushfires of 2020 so you should always make sure they are open to the public before venturing somewhere.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that there are no facilities in the park so make sure to take water and a picnic as you won’t be able to buy food there.
Seeing the Remarkable Rocks
The remarkable rocks are the most famous landmark on Kangaroo Island.
This unique geological formation is definitely a sight to see and if you love photography, you will be in for a treat!
From the Flinders Chase National Park visitor centre, follow the signs to Remarkable rocks.
You will be driving straight for 20 minutes before finding the carpark.
From there, take the short walk to the rocks. It’s an easy 1km walk. It only takes 15 minutes. The views from the path are beautiful and a great photo spot.
Once you’re there, you will be amazed by the wonderful views over the cliffs and of course the rocks themselves!
The rocks were shaped over the past 500 million years and are the result of various geological events. They are such a unique sight to see!
This is one of the reasons why Flinders Chase was one of the first national parks in South Australia.
Some of them have very funny shapes and you can even hide in them.
You can climb ons some of the rocks but be careful when you do so, they can be quite slippery! No matter what, always follow the instructions on the signs.
This is the best photo spot on Kangaroo Island so make sure to take your camera.
It’s particularly pretty when it’s sunny as the orange part of the rocks is even brighter but it’s also worth visiting on a rainy day. It looks completely different.
Visiting Admirals Arch
Admirals Arch is another fascinating rock formation in Flinders Chase National Park
It’s a stunning natural arch, one of the most unusual natural landmarks in Australia!
Admirals Arch is located at the southern end of the national park (tip of Cape Couedic).
It’s an easy 20 minutes drive from the visitor centre and 10 minutes from Remarkable Rocks.
You will find a car park where you can leave your vehicle.
From there, take the boardwalk down to the arch. It’s an easy 15 minutes walk return (800m).
Although it is short, this is definitely one of the best walks on Kangaroo Island.
There is so much to see! Firstly, you’ll be able to admire the wonderful views of the cape and the tall waves hitting the cliffs.
Once you get all the way down, you will reach the viewing platform. That’s where the magic happens!
Admirals Arch truly is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the country.
There are even stalactites coming down from the ceiling as well as seals on the rocks.
You can visit the Arch during the day or before sunset. They are both great options.
During the day, you can enjoy the views better and see perfectly the seals but there also is something pretty unique about coming at dusk.
Seeing the seals at the Fur Seal Lookout
Kangaroo Island is known for its seals. When it comes to seeing them, a lot of people head to Seal Bay and although it’s a great option, it’s important to know that you can see them in Flinders Chase National Park as well.
The Fur Seal Lookout is located right next to Admirals Arch so you can easily hit two birds with one stone.
You will also get to stop at the Fur Seal lookout and observe the seals on the cliffs! Quite a thing to see as well!
When you are on the Admiral Arch boardwalk, you have the option to go down to the arch but you will see that there it also continues on the side towards the cliffs. This is where you can see the seals.
There are so many of them, it’s incredible! If you are travelling with kids, they will love it!
The best time to go is during the day when the sun is out but I must say it’s quite an interesting place to be at dusk as well.
You won’t catch the sunset as you would in other places on the island but it has some kind of unexplainable charm!
Seeing the Cape du Couedic Lighthouse
Located next to Admirals Arch, the Cape du Couedic lighthouse is an excellent place to visit if you want to hit two birds with one stone.
There is a lot to learn about the history of Kangaroo Island here and it boasts fantastic views of the coastline.
Scenery and history, all at once! What else can we ask for!
From the lighthouse shelter, you can go on the easy Lighthouse Heritage Walk. It’s only 600 meters and takes 10 minutes to complete.
Once you get to the lighthouse, you will see how cute it is! Definitely one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Australia.
You can walk up to the door and take fantastic photos here. Make sure to also go around so you can truly admire the scenery.
You will find several panels along the walk that explains the history of the lighthouse and why it is an important landmark.
It opened in 1909 and was the 15th lighthouse in SA. It was named after a member of the crew of the French exploration of Nicholas Baudin (Chevalier du Couedic).
Kangaroo Island was the first place where European settled in South Australia.
The expedition lead by Baudin (under the French Emperor Napoleon) was one of the most important and that’s why a lot of places on the island have a French name.
If you want to learn more about the maritime history, you may also want to head down to Cape du Couedic Lighthouse Heritage station where you’ll find a museum and cottages.
Watching the sunset from Stokes Bay
Stokes Bay is located on the north coast of the island. It is a beautiful beach with thin and white sand.
The beach itself is not that wide so you need to make sure the tide is not too high when you are going.
This is one of the locals best-kept secrets!
If you are looking for hidden gems on Kangaroo Island, it’s the perfect place for you! It’s always very quiet and such a good place to stay away from the crowds.
But that’s not all! It’s also one of the best places to watch the sunset on the island!
Ideally, pack yourself a picnic and some drinks and head there 1 hour before sunset.
You will have the entire beach for yourself and get to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever seen!
It’s a pretty long beach so you can walk in the water (or sand, up to you) while there is still some daylight and enjoy a nice dinner on the sand while watching the beautiful sky and the reflections on the water.
Driving a 4WD on Emu Bay Beach
Emu Bay is a famous beach on Kangaroo Island. It’s located on the north coast, only 20 minutes from Kingscote.
It is a rather large beach as it’s 4km long, making it the perfect place for people who like driving on the beach.
As a matter of fact, it’s one of rare beaches on the island where you are allowed to drive. If you have a 4WD, that will be perfect, you can go all the way along the beach.
That said, you are also allowed to access the beach with a 2WD but it will be at your own risk. Make sure to stay on the hard sand if that’s what you choose to do.
If you wish to visit Emu Bay but don’t want to drive on the beach, that’s fine too! You can go there and relax on the sand. You are also allowed to swim however, it is unpatrolled.
Another thing you can do is going horse riding! Just picture it, on the back of a horse, walking in these crystal blue waters, bordered by white sand! It’s beautiful!
Finally, you can also opt to charter a fishing boat from the local provider. Many locals come to Emu Bay with their boats as it’s one of the best fishing spots on the island.
Surfing at Pennington Bay
Pennington Bay is located on the southern coast of the island, in between the 2 parts of the island. It is an underrated beach and most visitors skip it. This is a mistake you shouldn’t be making!
Not only is it beautiful but you can also easily stop there on your way from Penneshaw to Kingscote.
If you driving from Penneshaw, you will be taking Hog Bay Road. After 15 minutes you will find a smaller road, named Pennington Bay Road, on the left. Take it and drive down to the car park.
As you step out of your car, you will discover beautiful views over the beach and the cliffs.
You will find a small path going down to the beach.
The waves here are perfect for surfing so if you like this, make sure to take your board with you. It is unpatrolled and not a great place for swimming but definitely a good one to hit the waves.
There are also some rocky parts that are worth exploring. If you are visiting during low tide, you can explore the small caves under the cliffs.
Soaking up the breath-taking views from Prospect Hill Lookout
Situated a couple of minutes drive from Pennington Bay, Prospect Hill Lookout is the highest point on the island.
As you are driving on Hog Bay Road, you will see a sign with a small car park (20 minutes from Penneshaw). You can leave your car here and start the walk up to the lookout.
It’s only 500m walk return but is quite steep. The walk falls under the Moderate category as there are 500 steps to climb.
That said, it’s well worth it and will only take 30 minutes!
Once you reach the top, you will uncover jaw-dropping views of the island. You can perfectly see the two peninsulas, the coast, beaches and even some of the vineyards!
Relaxing at Hanson Bay
If you are looking for a beach straight out of a Caribbean island, Hanson Bay will be the one! This beach is truly stunning!
It’s not the most famous beach on the island. Some people may also say it’s a hidden gem but the locals absolutely love it! And that for a good reason, it is in reality the best beach on KI!
It’s located in the southern part of the island, between Kelly Hill and Flinders Chase NP. You can easily get there by car.
Just turn on Hanson Road from the South Coast Road. It is a dirt road so make sure to drive slowly and be careful with the potholes.
It is accessible with a 2WD and can easily be done but it will be a bit of a bumpy ride. The road is indicated with a small sign called Hanson Bay. Keep an eye out as it’s not that visible. If you use Google Maps as a GPS, it will bring you there.
Once you reach the end of the road, you can park and take the path down to the beach.
The sand is so white and the water so blue! You will feel like you’ve been transported to the Whitsundays for a minute.
Watching the sunset at Hanson Bay
It’s a great place to go in the afternoon to relax. It never gets too busy and the scenery truly is exceptional. Just take a book and your camera and enjoy!
There are no facilities at Hanson Bay so make to take enough water and food.
I highly recommend to stay there until the evening because this is the ultimate sunset spot on Kangaroo Island!
There are both rocks and sand in the water which creates wondering shadows when the sun sets.
Although you will appreciate watching the sunset from the beach, you should head to the cliffs because that’s a better spot.
On the righthand side of the beach, you’ll see some rocks (small cliffs). You can easily climb there. It is safe but of course, it’s recommended to wear closed toe shoes and be careful.
You can sit on the rocks and enjoy the sunset from there. You’ll be higher up which means you can see the different colours in the sky but also in the sea. It’s absolutely breath-taking!
Going for the ultimate beach day at Vivonne Bay
Vivonne Bay is the most famous beach on Kangaroo Island. It was even voted one of the best beaches in Australia!
It’s quiet and absolutely stunning! The sand is very white and the water crystal blue. If you are lucky you will even catch a glimpse of dolphins!
The beach is 6km long and stretches on the entire bay. There are 2 parts that are worth visiting, the main beach and the smaller beach by the jetty.
You can easily get there by car but depending on which part you want to visit, you’ll have two options. From the South Coast Road, turn right at the convenience store if you want to reach the main beach.
If you want to head to the jetty, turn right on Jetty Road. You’ll find a sign indicating Ellen Point here.
Even though it is a popular attraction, Vivonne Bay never gets that busy. Even if there are a lot of people, it’s large enough for everyone to spread out.
The smaller beach is even quieter.
If you like snorkelling, make sure to take your mask and tuba. The water is very clear so it’s a good spot for this kind of water activities.
Finally, make sure to take with you everything you may need (water, food, sunscreen) as there aren’t any facilities in the area.
Discovering the sand dunes of Little Sahara
This may surprise quite a few first timers but Kangaroo Island is home to its very own Little Sahara.
This incredible dune system is located in the southern part of the island, in Vivonne Bay. Not only is it one of the best attractions on Kangaroo Island but it’s also a very unique thing to discover.
The dunes cover two square kilometres!
You can walk around Little Sahara on your own but opting for one of the fun and local activities is the best way to go here.
Here are some examples of things you can do at Little Sahara:
- Sandboarding. If you want to try a fun activity on Kangaroo Island, this doesn’t get any better than that. You can rent a sandboard and slide down the dunes of Little Sahara. Who said we needed snow for this kind of things?! Click here to see the prices.
- Bike tour. This is quite a fun and unique thing to do. You will be going on a bike tour through the dunes and along the riverbanks which means you get to see diverse places. In order to do that, the bikes have low-pressure flat tyres. Click here to see the prices.
- Renting a toboggan. If you find sandboarding a bit daunting, you may want to opt for a toboggan instead. This is in effect a slide that you can rent and use to go down the dunes. It’s exhilarating and perfect for children as well. Click here to see the prices.
- Buggy tour. This is a great option for people who are not too sporty and prefer driving in the sand! You can go on a buggy tour and explore the dunes. See prices here.
Seeing the seals at Seal Bay
Seal Bay is also one of the main attractions on Kangaroo Island. As the name might suggest, there are many seals! Hundreds of them actually!
It’s the perfect opportunity to get to see seals in their natural environment. It’s pretty impressive to see so many everywhere!
You can easily get to Seal Bay conservation park by car. It takes 45 minutes from Kingscote. There is a free car park where you can leave your vehicle and then walk down to the bay.
The entry to the park is free however, they also offer tours and you’ll need to pay for those. There are 2 tours that you can join, the Seal Bay tour and the Research tour.
The park is open daily from 9AM to 5PM but the last entry is at 4PM so don’t get there too late.
It’s also worth mentioning that Seal Bay is home to one of the most beautiful beaches on Kangaroo Island, Bales Beach.
Exploring Kangaroo Island on a quad bike
Kangaroo Island is a very well preserved island and there are a lot of dirt road. Apart from the main roads (south coast rd, north coast rd and Hog Bay Rd), all the others are unsealed.
This makes it the ideal place to explore with a quad bike!
Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action offers a couple of quad tours. You will be driving an ATV and discover breath-taking landscapes! Kangaroo Island is known for its natural beauty and going off-the-beaten-path is one of the best things to do!
Visiting Kangaroo Island wildlife park
Located near Pardana, in the centre of the island, Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is perfect if you want to discover the native-Australian wildlife.
As you’re driving around, you will definitely get to see a lot of wild animals but the wildlife park is worth stopping by.
They take really good care of the animals, help to preserve the wildlife on the island and have been so devoted during the fires in 2020!
You can easily get there by car. There is a lot car park at the front where you can leave your vehicle.
You will need a ticket to walk in. You can either by it at the reception desk or in advance, on their website. A standard ticket costs $28.
They also offer private tours and encounters.
For an extra $2, you can buy a bag of snacks for the wallabies! I highly recommend doing this as it’s very good fun to feed the wallabies, especially if you are travelling with kids. They are very friendly!
As you walk around the park, you will also get to see kangaroos, platypus, echidnas, kookaburras and many other species.
For the koalas, make sure to go during the the Koala encounter so you can see them from up close.
To make the best of your time, check out their activity schedule. They have several animal encounters per day and you wouldn’t want to miss your favourite!
Wine Tasting on Kangaroo Island
You will find many wineries on Kangaroo Island and most of them are open to the public for wine tastings.
Kangaroo Island is a wine region, part of the Fleurieu Zone. It’s mainly known for two types of wines: Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The wineries on the island are all family businesses. They are run with love and respectfully. They use traditional methods and some of them are even organic!
Best of all, most of them don’t require bookings for wine tastings. You can just swing by and you’ll get to try some delicious wines!
Here are some recommendations:
- Dudley Wines. Located near Penneshaw, they were the first winery on KI. They offer 14 wines and their sparkling rosé is amazing!
- Bay of Shoals Wines. Another popular winery in the area, located in Kingscote this time. The views from their cellars are breath-taking!
- The Islander Estate Vineyard. This one was founded by a Frenchman who brought to KI the best techniques from the famous region of Bordeaux! They are open for wine tastings 6 days a week from 12PM to 5PM.
Gin Tasting at KI Spirits
Although Kangaroo Island is best known for its wine, it’s also home to the a fantastic gin distillery: KI Spirits.
Located in Cygnet River, KI Spirits is a traditional distillery that is well worth a visit.
It opened in 2002 and was Australia’s first dedicated gin distillery at the time. The owners, Jon and Sarah founded the distillery after a trip to London. They chose Kangaroo Island as a location because of everything it has to offer.
As you may have gathered, since you started reading this article, KI is a beautiful place and all the farmers on the island are producing exceptional products.
By choosing to visit KI Spirit, you won’t only discover traditional methods and try delicious drinks, you will also support local businesses.
They offer various experiences. You can book a table (for free) in their gin garden and try one of their cocktails.
If you want to learn how to make your own cocktails, you can also opt for one of their masterclasses.
Ki Spirits are open from Monday to Sunday. For more information about their products and tours, consult their website.
A visit of the site is also included in the SeaLink day tour from Adelaide. Click here to see the prices.
Swimming with seals (and dolphins!)
Kangaroo Island is known for its marine wildlife. You can find a lot of seals on the island but if you want to discover a bit more, consider going on an ocean safari.
It’s a 2-hour boat tour leaving from Christmas Cove Marina in Penneshaw.
You will get to admire the stunning coastline of Kangaroo Island and swim with dolphins and/or seals. Although you can swim with dolphins in a few places around Australia, this is the only place in SA where you can do with seals.
You will also get to see birds such as eagles and cormorants.
The tour is eco-certified and you will be provided with snorkelling equipment as well.
Eating delicious seafood at the Oyster Farm Shop
One of the perks of being on an island is being able to eat delicious seafood. Tasmania may be known for its seafood but Kangaroo Island has just as much to offer!
If you want to taste delicious and local produce, make sure to stop at the Oyster Farm Shop in American River.
The owners specialise in sustainable seafood aquaculture and offer tour experiences. They are passionate about their activity and truly care!
Also, it’s a great way to support a local and family run business. You can easily pop by for a free tasting, book a table or a tour. You can find more info on their website.
Beer Tasting at Kangaroo Island Brewery
If you’d rather tasting some delicious and local beer, that’s also possible!
Situated in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island Brewery is a local brewery ran a local, Mike. He is passionate about the local produce and wanted to give the island something to compliment the already extensive range of drinks.
After the distillery and the wineries, visiting a brewery is the ultimate step!
They offer different types of beers including pale ale, ale, IPA and Stout.
You can also join one of their food events. They have some pizza nights on and also make Ploughman’s boards at the weekend. You can see their full calendar on their website.
Visiting Emu Bay Lavender Farm
This is another activity for the foodies out there. You will find all sorts of farms on Kangaroo Island but they are not all open to the public.
Emu Bay Lavender Farm welcomes visitors and is a fun place to visit.
Firstly, you can walk around the lavender fields. It’s beautiful and you will love taking photos here.
Secondly, you can also try their local products. They have a menu with various recipes. If you want to try the local speciality, make sure to take the Lavender scones for brunch. It’s delicious!
Visiting the Penneshaw Penguin Centre
Located in Penneshaw (where the ferry terminal is), the Penguin Centre offers evening walking tours during which you get to see the little colony of Penguins.
While Kangaroo Island may not be as famous as Phillip Island when it comes to penguins, you can still see it and going on one of their guided tours is a great thing to do on KI.
The tour lasts 1 hour and takes place in the evening. Of course, since penguins are wild animals, there is no actual guarantee that you will see them but the chances are very high.
The guides are truly passionate and will tell you everything you need to know about these beautiful creatures.
The tours take place between 6PM and 9PM depending on the season and can be booked on their website.
Visiting the small towns on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is not famous for its towns. As a matter of fact, you will only find a few of them however they are cute places to discover.
People are friendly and it’s a good way to discover the Aussie culture.
Here are 4 small towns on Kangaroo Island that are worth visiting:
- Kingscote. Kingscote is the main town on Kangaroo Island. That’s where you will find the only supermarket on the island but also pubs and restaurants. You can walk around the town and head to the port to walk along the jetty.
- Penneshaw. This is where you’ll find the best restaurants as well as several activities for kids including the Sculpture trail and the Maritime and Folk Museum.
- American River. Located between Penneshaw and Kingscote, American River is one of the island’s best-kept secrets. This cute town is perfect for all the foodies out there. You will find a lot of producers of oysters, cheese and wine… perfect to taste high-quality products. As you drive by, you will have several occasions to stop on the side and admire the beautiful views on the bay.
- Parndana. Make sure to stop at the Parndana hotel for a meal or a drink.
Going on a Nocturnal Animal 4WD Tour
As you may have gathered by now, wildlife is big on Kangaroo Island. If you love seeing animals (especially native-australian ones), you will be spoilt for choice here!
Most of the animals come out at night (which is why you should be extremely careful if you are driving at night on the island).
If you want to see some possums, echidnas, owls, wallabies and plenty more, you may want to consider going on a nocturnal tour. You will be with a local guide who will show you the best of the nightlife on Kangaroo Island.
Spoiler alert, this is not your usual nightlife!
This is a great way to discover a new side of Kangaroo Island.
Map of the attractions on Kangaroo Island
To make your travels a bit easier, here is a map of Kangaroo Island with all the best sights!
Where to stay on Kangaroo Island
In terms of accommodation on Kangaroo Island, you will get plenty of options to choose from. There are all sorts of hotels, campsites and rentals on Kangaroo Island.
The thing you have to be careful with though is the location. Kangaroo Island is quite a big island.
You will need to make your way around if you want to get the best of the experience.
This means that in order to choose the best place to stay on Kangaroo Island, you need to consider two things: will you be driving (your own car or a rental) or will you want to go on a tour.
If you will be driving, you will have access to everything.
I would particularly recommend the northern part of the island as it’s a good starting point to explore everything. If you can, avoid Penneshaw area.
There is nothing particularly wrong with it but you won’t be staying there during the day so there is no point in staying there.
If you are not driving, you definitely will want to stay in either Penneshaw or Kingscote.
There are plenty of tours from these two towns every day. It will be the best place to stay on Kangaroo Island as you will get access to everything very easily.
If you are looking for the best accommodation on Kangaroo Island, here you go!
Luxury accommodation on Kangaroo Island
When it comes to accommodation type, the best place to stay on Kangaroo Island is a holiday home. There are a lot of gorgeous villas on KI and they are perfect for family holidays! Here are some recommendations per areas:
- Near Emu Bay: The Emu Bay Holiday Homes is an adorable cottage located right by the beach. You can check the latest prices here.
- In Penneshaw: Millpond is a beautiful house with garden and BBQ. It’s also well located. Information and prices are available here.
- In the centre of the island: Ecopia Retreat is a great option if you are looking for a central location. Even though this house is not located near anything specific, it is at the centre of everything. Perfect for people driving! Most of all, it’s absolutely gorgeous! For more information and prices, click here.
- If you prefer staying in a hotel on Kangaroo Island, here is a good option: Aurora Ozone Hotel
Mid-range accommodation on Kangaroo Island
There a few studios and cottages on the island which gives you plenty of options! It’s perfect to get something nice without breaking the bank!
- If you want to stay near Emu Bay, you can opt for a studio by the beach. Perfect to enjoy a relaxing holiday. If you want to check the prices, click here.
- If you’d rather your base to be in Penneshaw, the motel Penneshaw Beach Stay will be the best! Information and prices are available here.
- Finally, you can opt for a private cottage at Western KI Caravan Park & Wildlife Reserve. Perfect for people who like nature and comfort! Prices are available here.
Budget / cheap accommodation on Kangaroo Island
There is only one hostel on Kangaroo Island so you won’t have much of choice. That having been said, it’s a very good one!
The location, in Penneshaw, is also very convenient as it’s one of the best places to start off your day or go on a tour. If you want to check the latest prices and availability for Backpackers of Kangaroo Island, click here.
Another option would be to opt for free camping on Kangaroo Island. You can find the list here.
Finally, you can opt for a holiday house. This is particularly handy if you are a large group.
How to get to Kangaroo Island?
Kangaroo Island is not the most accessible place. It does require a bit of organisation however as previously mentioned, it’s well worth it. The best way to get there is with the Kangaroo Island ferry but you can also fly from Adelaide.
Ferry to Kangaroo Island
The ferry to Kangaroo Island is operated by Sealink. It goes from Cape Jervis on mainland Australia to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. You can take it as a passenger but I would recommend taking your car as well so you can easily get around on the island. A return ticket with a car cost $196. It’s not cheap but if your car is full, it works out the same or even cheaper than passenger tickets. You can check all prices and info on Sealink Ferries Website.
Flights to Kangaroo Island
The airline REX operates 3 flights per week from Adelaide to Kingscote. The flight is only 35 minutes long which is great! The airport is very small in Kingscote so you will only find flights to Adelaide. This is a good option if you don’t have too much time ahead of you.
Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
It’s quite easy to get to KI from Adelaide. Here your options:
- by car and ferry: 1h30 drive from Adelaide to Cape Jervis and 45 mins on the boat
- by air: REX flights from Adelaide airport to Kingscote are 35mins long
Melbourne to Kangaroo Island
- by car and ferry: 9 h drive from Melbourne to Cape Jervis and 45 mins on the ferry
- by air: fly from Melbourne to Adelaide (1h25) and then Adelaide to Kingscote (35mins)
Sydney to Kangaroo Island
- by car and ferry: 15 h drive from Sydney to Cape Jervis and 45 mins on the ferry
- by air: fly from Sydney to Adelaide (2h10) and then Adelaide to Kingscote (35mins)
FAQs about Kangaroo Island
Where is Kangaroo Island?
Kangaroo Island is in South Australia. Located south of Adelaide, it’s the perfect destination for a holiday! Visitors always wonder how big Kangaroo Island actually is and don’t get fooled, it is pretty big!
It’s the third biggest island in Australia and is 160 km long. It’s very rural and preserved but it’s not considered as a small island. If you’ve been to Magnetic Island or Fraser Island, don’t compare them!
What should you not miss on Kangaroo Island?
There are a lot of Kangaroo Island activities that are worth doing but the absolute must-do in my opinion are:
- Going to Flinders Chase National Park and see the Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch
- Spending a day at Vivonne Bay
- Watching the sunset at Hanson Bay
- Seeing the seals at Seals Bay
Is Kangaroo Island worth going to?
Yes, absolutely! Kangaroo Island is one of the most beautiful places in Australia. A lot of travellers don’t visit it because it’s a bit out of the way but that’s such a mistake. It truly is a magical place. It’s like Australia in miniature. It has everything from the beaches to the wildlife.
How many days is enough for Kangaroo Island?
5 or 6 days is the ideal amount of time to spend on Kangaroo Island. If you are short in time, you can see all the main attractions in 3 days but staying a few days more will allow you to discover more local spots and the true beauty of the island.
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