Just a quick ferry ride away from the South Australia mainland is Kangaroo Island. Adelaide  is the closest main city to Kangaroo Island. There is a Kangaroo Island Ferry that operates daily and takes passengers from Cape Jervis on the mainland across the 13.5 km trip to the east end of the island where it docks in a town called Penneshaw. You can also get to KI, as it is known by the locals, via plane. Once you arrive on Kangaroo Island, you can hire a car to get around, there are car rental locations  in Penneshaw, Kingscote, and at the Kangaroo Island Airport. Although tours are available, if you hire your own car, you are free to explore the island at your leisure.

How Big is Kangaroo Island?

It is the 3rd largest Australian Island and there are plenty of fun things to do their on holiday.

  • 509 km (318.2 miles) coastline
  • 155 km (96 miles) from east to west
  • 55 km (34.5 miles) at its widest point
  • 1 km (.6 miles) at its narrowest point

Things to Do on Kangaroo Island

Don’t think that a small island limits the things you have to do. There are activities for everyone and a great variety to mix it up. Kangaroo Island can be a perfect day long getaway or make a holiday out of it. There are things to explore both on land and in the surrounding waters, visit with the wildlife, and learn about the history and culture of the island.

  • Kangaroo Island not only has kangaroos, but you can also see koalas, wallabies, possums, pelicans, penguins, many birds, seals, sea lions, platypus, and a host of other marine life in and along the coastlines.

Budget Blog - Kangaroos

Photo Credit: http://wikitravel.org/en/Kangaroo_Island

  • Experience local food and wine at its freshest and best. Fine dining and fine wines make great pairings with the wine from one of the wineries located right on the island.

Budget Bl0g - Food and Wine

Photo Credit: http://www.australia.com/explore/icons/kangaroo-island.aspx

  • Kangaroo Island is home to beautiful beaches, bays and waterways where you can swim, snorkel, SCUBA dive, and surf the waves.

Budget Blog - Beach View

Photo Credit: http://wikitravel.org/en/Kangaroo_Island

  • The land adventures on Kangaroo Island might surprise you with their diversity and scenic beauty. All-terrain vehicles can get you across bushlands and sand dunes. You can bike ride or tour through towns, quiet country sides, farmland, and parks. There are also caves to explore.

Budget Blog - Remarkable Rocks Flinders

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

Places to Go and Special Events on Kangaroo Island

The wide varieties of things to do on Kangaroo Island are not specific to any time of the year. There is always something to do and great things to see no matter the season.  The summer is December to February and the colourful flowers can be seen growing along with native trees. Most animals retreat to bushland habitats seeking shelter from the summer heat. Look for the kangaroos and wallabies at dawn or dusk. Autumn is March through May and you can witness the changing of pastures and increased fresh growth from the rainfall. Winter is June until August and on Kangaroo Island, it means prime wildlife watching season and the joeys start to emerge from their mothers’ pouches. Spring is September through November and the season of renewal and rebirth is quite spectacular on the island with flowers blooming and the birds are laying their eggs. Depending on when you visit, you can try to coordinate your trip with the Kangaroo Island Farmer’s Market, held the first Sunday of each month, or attend the Kangaroo Island Feastival, or the Gourmet Gallop Food and Wine Festival. Here are some of the best places to go and events on Kangaroo Island:

  • Flinders Chase National Park: This national park is one of the places on the island where you can get a taste of many different experiences. The park should definitely be on your list of things to do on Kangaroo Island and covers an expanse of almost 200,000 acres. The park is home to a lot of wildlife including the kangaroos and koalas; it is known for its amazing wildlife experiences. It is located on the coast, so you can also see marine life such as seals.  There are dramatic landscape changes within the park, so you can experience the sand dunes on one end, and stay in a lighthouse cottage on the coast on the other end.
  • Kelly Hill Caves and Conservation Park: This park is home to wildlife and spectacular caves. You can also go hiking to witness other spectacular views. There are several different hiking trails and you can take a guided tour or venture out on your own.

Budget Blog - Spectacular Caves

Photo Credit: SouthAustralia.com/info.aspx?id=9001050

  • Island Intrigue: If you decide to hire a car and explore Kangaroo Island on your own, but are unfamiliar with where to go and what to do, you can purchase this guided tour on CD so that you can still learn all of the details that Kangaroo Island has to offer, but still have the intimate privacy you desire. You can purchase the CD from the Kangaroo Island Gateway Information Centre at Penneshaw, or download the guide from the Island Intrigue website and put onto your iPod, iPhone, Walkman or chosen player.
  • Seal Bay Conservation Park: This is a special place where you can book a guided tour to see the endangered Australian Se Lions in their natural environment, right there on the beach.

Budget Blog - Sea Lions

Photo Credit: SouthAustralia.com/info.aspx?id=9001050

  • Cape Willoughby: Have an amazing holiday experience staying in the restored lighthouse keeper’s cottage right along the coast line. Learn about the many shipwrecks around the island.

Budget Blog- Cape Willoughby

Photo Credit: http://www.australia.com/explore/icons/kangaroo-island.aspx

 

5 Interesting Facts About Kangaroo Island

  1. Kangaroo Island is not all about the beaches, sand, and surf, it is actually considered a wilderness destination.
  2. Australian Aborigines were the native population on the island up until a few thousand years ago when rising waters separated the island from the mainland.
  3. Colonists settled the island as part of the Colony of South Australia in 1836.
  4. The island economy was first sealers and whalers, but eventually turned to agriculture and fishing. Tourism now makes up a large part of the island’s economy as well.
  5. The koalas on the island are actually feral and were transplanted there in the 1920’s, possibly to try to preserve the species. However, the koalas actually have caused ecological damage to the island and are slowly being caught and relocated back to the mainland.