15 Things To Do On Kangaroo Island

15 Things To Do On Kangaroo Island

5

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail Day 2 Mouth of Rocky River Southern Ocean
Flinders Chase National Park - the Rocky River and the magnificent Southern Ocean is one of the sights on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.. Photos by Irene Isaacson.

Lying off Cape Jervis on the southern tip of the mainland of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is a natural sanctuary for nature and wildlife. From wildlife experiences to outdoor bush adventures and trail walks, there are plenty of things to do on Kangaroo Island for everyone.  

With its unique biodiversity and pristine environment, there’s a good reason Kangaroo Island is known as Australia’s Galapagos and one of the top places to visit in South Australia for your bucket list. 

White sandy beaches, turquoise seas, unusual natural geological formations and interesting maritime history help make Kangaroo Island unique. 

In recent times, Kangaroo Island has become a wining and dining paradise for foodies with fine local wines, beer, cider and spirits to wash down delicious organic island produce. 

Kangaroo Island is a gourmet’s delight.

You might also like to read this post to find out the best Australian landmarks to visit.

Contents

15 Things To Do On Kangaroo Island

1- Walk the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Things to do Kangaroo Island Wilderness Walk KIWT Maupertuis Bay
Looking out to Maupertuis Bay and beach – Day 2 KIWT, which is one of our top things to do in Kangaroo Island.

A fairly new but popular thing to do on Kangaroo Island is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Walk (KIWT).

The five-day 61km hike showcases a rugged, remote landscape with spectacular coastline views and is quite an adventure.

The trail starts at the Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre and is a self-guided but well sign-posted walk through the southwestern part of Kangaroo Island.

Each day covers a different section, passing through the famous Platypus Waterholes, eucalypt woodland, riverbank and mallee habitat to the Southern Ocean.

The walk takes you along clifftops and the long sandy beach of Maupertuis Bay, passing through dense mallee, tea tree and sugar gum woodlands to head past freshwater lagoons.

Then the end is in sight at Kelly Hill Caves.

Optional side trails include short hikes to Weir’s Cove, Admirals Arch, Remarkable Rocks, and secluded Hanson Bay: all iconic and spectacular Kangaroo Island attractions. 

2- Take A Guided Tour At Seal Bay

Things to do at Kangaroo Island Seal Bay Guided Tour
Walking alongside sleeping seals on a Ranger guided tour at Seal Bay is one of the remarkable things to do on Kangaroo Island.

Nestled on the southern coastline of Kangaroo Island is Seal Bay Conservation Park, home to a breeding colony of about 800 wild Australian sea lions. 

The only place in Australia where you can get a close look at the seals and sea lions is at Seal Bay.

It is a unique, world-class, award-winning Kangaroo Island experience and a must-do on anyone’s bucket list.

85% of the 12,000 sea lions in Australia are in South Australia.

Sadly their numbers are diminishing slowly due to entanglement with marine debris, competition for food due to overfishing and human disturbance. 

At Seal Bay, you can choose to walk along the extensive elevated boardwalk around the Bay where there are good vantage points to watch seals on the beach and in the dunes resting. 

Or take a Ranger-guided tour that includes a walk along the beach, where you get within 10 m of the colony. 

It’s great for photography too, as seals come out of the water to bask in the sun along the water’s edge.

The Rangers share details about this local colony with up-to-date knowledge of the latest sea lion research.

Tours run all year round from 9 to 5 pm each day.

Before you leave, check out the Seal Bay Shop for fabulous, locally made, eco-friendly souvenirs to take home for family and friends.

3- Hold A Wedge-Tailed Eagle At Raptor Domain

Kangaroo Island Raptor Domain Wedge tailed Eagle Jedda
One of the amazing things to do on Kangaroo Island is to hold a wedge-tailed eagle, which can weigh 7 kg and is the largest bird of prey in Australia with a huge wingspan of 2.3 m.

Raptor Domain is another award-winning Kangaroo Island attraction where you can experience the most amazing, one-on-one interaction with raptors and reptiles.

Leeza and Dave Irwin (yes, they are distantly related to THE Irwins of Australia Zoo) have more than 30 years of wildlife experience. 

They brought their bird-whispering skills to Kangaroo Island 10 years ago and created a  60 ha (150 acres) Australian bush sanctuary for birds and reptiles.

Travellers from all over the world have been thrilled to visit, including the rich and famous (Bill Gates and Dick Smith, to name a few).

These fun, educational and highly interactive shows feature birds and raptors that have been specially trained to act as ambassadors for their kind.

Most have been previously orphaned, injured or rescued. 

Leeza and Dave’s feathered family comprise approximately 30 birds, including Maggie, an eco-friendly magpie who regularly picks up litter for a living, and Kylie, a hobby falcon.

There are numerous very attractive owls and Slim, a handsome strutting black-breasted buzzard. 

The highlight of visiting Raptor Domain is a chance to hold one of the largest raptors in Australia.

Both Jedda and Nelly, majestic wedge-tailed eagles, have been trained to sit on a glove.

You just have to be strong enough to support their weight on your arm.

That’s about 5 to 7 kg of feathers with an almost 3m wingspan, not to mention being eye to eye with a very impressive beak and huge talons.

It’s quite a challenge! 

Raptor Domain is situated on South Coast Rd to Seal Bay, about an hour’s drive from Penneshaw. Twice daily, one-hour daily bird shows run at 11.30am and 2.30pm.

4- Stay Cool At Kelly Hill Caves

Kangaroo Island Kelly Hills Caves
One one of the cool things to do on Kangaroo Island is exploring Kelly Hills Caves. Here’s one of the 4 amazing dry limestone caverns at Kelly Hills Caves.

In the heat of the day, why not cool off at Kelly Hill Caves at a beautiful steady 16 degrees C below the earth.

What better thing to do but be cool and wowed by stunning illuminated limestone geological formations?

As relatively ‘young’ caves, these stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstone decorations are over half a million years old.

These dry limestone caves were accidentally discovered in 1880 and became a famous Kangaroo Island tourist attraction in the 1920s.

The main caverns are accessed by descending a set of steep but well-supported stairs.

There are four major caverns to explore.

The regular guided Show Cave tours take about 40 minutes.

Learn all about their development and the ancient fossils found within them.

Listen to the silence when the lights go out and imagine what it must have been like in the old days of just candlelight.

Quite scary!

For the more adventurous (and not claustrophobic) is a two-hour guided Adventure Tour crawl.

This actually explores the original smaller 1920’s tourist section through a small slit chamber, with its own collection of fossils and bones. 

5- Celebrate Sunset At Remarkable Rocks

Things to do Kangaroo Island Remarkable Rocks With Kangaroo
Remarkable Rocks is one of the top Kangaroo Island attractions. Dusk is a great time to visit after the crowds have gone. Watch out for the local wildlife come out to feed.

Remarkable Rocks is exactly that, remarkable geologic formations which are over 500 million years old that are slowly changing with time. 

The best time to visit is sunrise or sunset. 

The rocks themselves are truly stunning any time of the day but when seen in the warm light of golden hour they come alive. 

They are a photographer’s dream as you just can’t take a bad photo, whatever angle you shoot them from.

One of the biggest drawcards in Flinders Chase National Park, they are naturally occurring rock formations. 

Lying on top of a relatively flat granite outcrop they are covered in orange lichen. 

They are safe to walk on although can be a little slippery in the wet.

From the car park, the Remarkable Rocks are accessed by a short boardwalk with surrounding windswept vegetation that harbours local kangaroos and wallabies. 

So keep your eyes alert especially at dusk.

6- Watch Seals And Fur Seals Face Off At Admirals Arch

Things to do Kangaroo Island Admirals Arch At Sunset
As the sun sets behind Admirals Arch…what a beautiful time of day. As you can see from the photo, visiting Admirals Arch is one of the things to do on Kangaroo Island not to be missed.

Another famous Kangaroo Island attraction in Flinders Chase National Park is Admirals Arch. 

This is another rather impressive natural geological formation with rocky inlets adorned with wildlife.

Yes, at times there are hundreds of Australian seals and smaller New Zealand fur seals. 

They lie around the rocks, diving into the waves, posturing for the best spot in the sun.

Give yourself quite a bit of time when you go as it’s easy to be enthralled. 

They are funny to watch and very vocal!

Admirals Arch is accessed from the lower car park at Cape Couedic Lighthouse. 

The return walk is only 0.8 km long and takes about 15 minutes.

Note that there are steps closest to the Arch, so wheelchairs can only access the end of the boardwalk. 

But the coastal views from there are still worth it as seals and sea lions inhabit all those coastal rocks.

Be warned though, it can get quite cold and windy as the Cape is exposed to harsh southwesterly winds from the Southern Ocean.

7- Learn Maritime History At Cape De Couedic Lighthouse

Things to do at Kangaroo Island Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse At Sunset
Photographing the lighthouse at dawn or dusk is one of the top things to do for photographers. The Lighthouse at Cape Du Coeudic lights up at night, in more ways than one!

I simply adore visiting lighthouses, as they are full of intrigue and fascinating maritime history. 

Built in a bygone era, Kangaroo Island has three magnificent lighthouses. 

One of my favourites is at Cape du Couedic which is conveniently situated near Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks.

The Cape was named by French explorer Baudin after an old sea captain friend. 

Built in 1909, this iconic Kangaroo Island attraction was constructed with 2000 local stones. 

It stands 25 m high. 

With a light casting range of 31 km, it was first operated by kerosene. 

The original rather cute kerosene store is still there on the path leading to the lighthouse. 

There are also three fully restored four-room keepers cottages where you can stay and experience a unique South Australian holiday.

Weirs Cove is only a few mins walk away. 

There are interesting ruins of another storeroom, water tank and rusted jetty used to haul provisions by flying fox. 

Signs of the tough times the lighthouse keepers ‘enjoyed’ in those early pioneering years.

Not to be outdone by Remarkable Rocks, Cape du Couedic Lighthouse also makes for a particularly stunning iconic photo at sunset.

8- Soak Up The Sun At Hanson Bay

Things to do Kangaroo Island Hanson Bay
Beautiful Hanson Bay – Kangaroo Island, just irresistible. Visiting Hanson Bay is one of the amazing things to do on Kangaroo Island. Photos by Irene Isaacson.

They say the harder it is to get somewhere, the more beautiful it is. 

Well, that saying is certainly true for Hanson Bay, which is a sun-bakers delight with very few crowds to worry about. 

Secluded Hanson Bay is an off-the-beaten dream of a place to visit.

While it’s not that hard to get there, you do have to drive for about 3.5 km along the unsealed Hanson Bay Road.

Head west along South Coast Rd, past Kelly Hill Caves and turn left onto Hanson Bay Road.

At the road’s end are public toilets at the small car park. 

From there you will see the short trail down to the beach. Be prepared for a stunning sight. 

Hanson Bay is an unspoiled natural beauty, with shallow crystal clear and aqua coloured water.

The Southwest River leads to Hanson Bay, the estuary forming an ICOLL. 

This is an intermittently open and closed lagoon which is more protected from any wave action. 

The area is great for small children or elderly to relax in and cool off in hot summer months.

Fancy spending more time here, and why wouldn’t you? 

Check out these places to stay in Hanson Bay:

9- Feed An Albino Wallaby At Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

Kangaroo Island KI Wildlife Park Albino Wallaby
‘Ghostly’ but cute, a red-eyed albino wallaby having a snack. Feeding the wallabies is one of the cool things to do on Kangaroo Island.

Visiting the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is an excellent Kangaroo Island activity for all the family.

The brainchild of Sam and Dana Mitchell was born in 2013 and has over 600 animals. 

Watch the hilarious feeding of Little penguins or, the movie famous, three young pelicans featured in the 2019 re-make of the classic 1976 film, Storm Boy.

Quite curious and funny to watch, these pelicans interact with each other to misbehave like little children.

You can hold a koala, wombat or snake if you are that way inclined. 

My all-time fave activity is feeding the wallabies, which are smaller than the Western kangaroos.

Wallabies are more polite, gentle and definitely less boisterous when it comes to hand feeding. 

Coming up close and personal with a red-eyed albino wallaby. 

Quite rare in the wild due to the recessive albinism gene, they are often disadvantaged. 

Their unfortunate colouring makes them susceptible to skin cancers and the like. And so they end up being the underdog in a mixed mob.

However, as they are my favourites, I spent over an hour in their open enclosure.

And boy, was it fun! 

Trying to spread the love with the paper bag of special feed for these little guys was hilarious. 

As they try to grab the bag, they hang on to your fingers ever so tightly.

It’s hard to balance while you try to inhale food from inside a bag as fast as you can.

We got some excellent video footage feeding a wallaby and its baby while both were having a go at the same time. 

While mum tried to dive into the bag, her baby was catching what she dropped. 

As food fell past its face, it lazily hung out of her pouch to catch it. 

Priceless! 

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is open daily from 9 to 5 pm including Christmas Day. 

Check out a range of Kangaroo Island Wildlife tours

10- Tuck In To A Predator Burger At The TuckerBox

Things to do Kangaroo Island - eat at the KI Tuckerbox Kangaroo Island
One of the classic things to do on Kangaroo Island for a meal is to try the Predator Burger at KI Tuckerbox. Or perhaps one of Dave’s Dogs?

Located at Raptor Domain is KI Tuckerbox food van run by Joy and Dave, dishing up authentic Aussie tucker in a natural bush setting. 

The fresh, hearty food is made daily from local Kangaroo Island suppliers.

Their notorious huge Predator Burger is made from an Angus beef patty. 

Smother it in the secret recipe, spicy Predator sauce for extra bite or try a sensational Dave’s Dog. 

Choose from a selection of ‘cattle, bird, pig or sheepdog’ (beef, chicken, pork or lamb). 

It’s otherwise known as an over-sized sausage on a long bun and it’s quite a challenge.

The Tuckerbox even has vegetarian and vegan burgers, as well as gluten-free options too.  

So no-one need miss out as there’s something for all the family.

11- Taste The Freshest Seafood At The Oyster Farm Shop

Kangaroo Island Oyster Farm Shop Produce
Come on down to American River for the freshest oysters on Kangaroo Island! Fresh seafood is one of the Kangaroo Island attractions.

If seafood is your soft spot there’s nowhere better to taste THE freshest and best seafood than at The Oyster Farm Shop of course!

Ken and Amanda grow their very own sustainable seafood aquaculture, Kangaroo Island Shellfish. 

The farm is at Ballast Head at the mouth of American River.

Located in the American River near the jetty, the Oyster Farm Shop showcases their produce. 

It prides itself on being a real ‘farm-gate’ experience, not just a fish and chip shop.

Pacific Oysters And Native Kangaroo Island Angasi Oysters

They grow Pacific oyster spat all year round. Daily extraction and shucking go from April to January. 

Also, they have developed two farming techniques resulting in very different oysters, Deep Water Premiums and Coastal Creams. 

Slide ’em down au natural, or have them sheoak-smoked for a unique taste sensation. 

They also farm their very own native Kangaroo Island oysters, the Angasi oysters. 

These can only be bought from the Oyster Farm Shop.

Belonging to the Authentic Kangaroo Island brand, you can try their oysters, marron, abalone, mussels, and King George whiting. 

Along with other local produce including KI Beers, wines and ciders, what a great way to laze away a lunchtime!

12- Taste Local Wines At The Islander Winery 

Kangaroo Island Islander Estate Winery Tasting Venue
Wine tasting at its best at a quiet off the beaten track bushland setting. Now that’s my idea of a hard day at the office…

Kangaroo Island has over a dozen wineries and 200 hectares under vine. 

The island has developed into quite a viticultural region, albeit a small one, in the last 20 years. 

One relatively new multi-award winning winery is The Islander Estate Vineyards.  

It is the brainchild of French winemaker Jacques Lurton.

With excellent Bordeaux experience, he first came to Kangaroo Island in 1997. 

Three years later he had close-planted 11 acres of vines (5000 vines per hectare) that yield 1 kg of grapes per vine.

Kangaroo Island’s temperate climate with hot summers but cooling winds are very similar to his home in France. 

Matured in the bottle for a few years, his wines are delicate and refined with more of a fine European than heavy fruity Australian flavour.

The Islander Winery Tasting Venue

Situated in Cassini near the island’s centre, the Islander Estate Vineyard (IEV) is somewhat remote.  

So rather than offering a cellar door experience, IEV has its unique Islander Winery Tasting Venue.

In Cygnet River just 10 minutes from Kingscote, it is open six days a week from 12 to 5 pm. 

You can sample some of the best Islander wines in a relaxed bushland setting. 

Try a Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Grenache, or Semillon, to name a few. 

With the emphasis on wine tasting, local food is available at the venue in the form of longboards, with, olives, dips, or perhaps a local cheese plate to complement the wine.

Or you can bring your own picnic or pizza. 

As well as the wine, there are gifts and souvenirs; my favourite is the Naughty Wine Bottle Stopper. 

Now that’s a conversation starter!

13- Taste Organic Ligurian Honey At The Island Beehive

things to do Kangaroo Island
Looking for things to do on Kangaroo Island? 100% raw and organic Ligurian honey products at the Island Beehive.

Another thing to do while on Kangaroo Island is to taste the iconic organic Ligurian bee honey. 

From the purest strain of Ligurian bees in the world, their honey is unfiltered and raw, ‘as God meant it to be’!

Ligurian bees were introduced to Kangaroo Island in 1884. 

Peter Davis and Island Beehive began commercially producing Ligurian honey in 2006. 

Island Beehive now extracts over 100 tonnes of honey each year and is one of the biggest honey producers in Australia.

With hives scattered all over Kangaroo Island, these Italian bees have access to seasonal flowers. 

Their different flavoured pollen gives rise to five classic flavours. 

Stringybark, sugar gum, cup gum, spring flora, and coastal flora honey are their mainstay honey produce. 

Kangaroo Island Honey-Flavoured Coffee Or Ice Cream Anyone?

At Island Beehive, you can taste all these varieties of 100% raw organic honey and don’t forget their other honey products.

Head to the Beehive Cafe and try a signature coffee such as the Ligurian or honeycomb latte? 

For those with a sweet tooth, the honeycomb ice cream and honeycomb is to die for.

Kangaroo Island Honey Mead 

Kangaroo Island Ligurian Honey Mead can only be purchased at Island Beehive.

It’s beautiful on its own and even better poured over honey ice cream.

This aphrodisiac is just perfect for honeymoon (or ‘honey-month’) couples. 

Newlyweds drank honey mead for a whole month to aid conception. 

So be forewarned and be careful if adding to your family numbers is not on your holiday plans!

14- Get Up Close To Pelicans At Kingscote Jetty

things to do in kangaroo island
What do you call a group of pelicans? A hungry pod, of course!

For more than 20 years, pelicans congregated around Kingscote Jetty for a 5 pm feeding show each day. 

This top-rated Kangaroo Island attraction ended in April 2017, but someone forgot to tell the pelicans. 

So, head along to the pelican feeding platform around that time of the day to enjoy the company of over 20 or more of these fantastic large, quirky birds that are relaxed around humans. 

It’s fabulous just to sit and observe them. 

You can even take a small picnic, and a camera, as it’s a fantastic sight to see.

The sight is a photographer’s delight for anyone with a keen wildlife interest. 

15- Snorkel With Dolphins And Seals

things to do in Kangaroo Island
Cruising the waters around Penneshaw to spot a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins and seals. Snorkelling with dolphins and seals is a top thing to do around Kangaroo Island.

And last but not least, another excellent wildlife experience on Kangaroo Island is to snorkel with bottlenose dolphins and New Zealand fur seals. 

This is a fantastic Kangaroo Island wildlife adventure and one rarely available anywhere else in the world.

Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari

Weather permitting, Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari offers a two-hour wildlife experience including wetsuits and snorkel gear.

The safari leaves from Christmas Cove Marina near Penneshaw at noon daily. 

Since 2015, Sandy and Tony Coppins have won South Australian Tourism Awards for this experience and other water-based adventures. 

Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures

Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures has also operated a three-hour dolphin swim wildlife experience for over ten years.

This similarly multi-award winning wildlife adventure heads out from Emu Bay near Kingscote.

KI Marine Adventures have close ties to Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch.

Andrew Neighbour and his marine staff help research teams monitor the Kangaroo Island dolphin population.

And if you don’t want to get in the water, you can still experience a coastal marine tour with both teams.

There are sea eagles, osprey, and other birdlife to see as well as some of Kangaroo Island’s best, secluded white sandy beaches.

Best time to visit Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island’s weather is usually a little cooler than Adelaide temperatures.

Summers are dry and temperate, with temperatures from 20 to 25 degrees Celcius.

The most popular times to travel to Kangaroo Island are school holidays in spring, summer (December-February) and autumn.

Christmas school holidays are usually the busiest. 

Seasonal Kangaroo Island Attractions

Summer

Summer offers dry golden yellow pastures with beautiful wildflowers. The island’s wildlife will often hide during the day, only to emerge in the cool of the evening and night.

Autumn

In autumn (March-May), you may be lucky to see the Little penguins coming in to breed. Their burrows can be seen around the shores of Penneshaw and Emu Bay. Although sadly their numbers have been severely depleted in recent years.

Winter

Winters on Kangaroo Island (June to August) can be quite cold, wet, and windy. But lush green countryside and abundant wildlife make up for it.

Southern right whales also frequent the shores of Kangaroo Island in winter. 

They can often be seen off the many cliff tops around the island.

You may be lucky enough to witness an echidna ‘mating train’ where up to ten horny males can chase one female at any one time. 

Typical!

Kangaroo Island Wildlife All Year Round

However much of Kangaroo Island’s wildlife can be seen all year round.

  • Western red kangaroos, cute Tammar wallabies and waddling echidnas are commonplace.
  • Also watch out for bottle-nosed dolphins, cheeky NZ fur seals and large Australian sea-lions.
  • There are over 260 types of birds on the island to try to spot and photograph.

Getting to Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Sealink ferry and KI Connect
The Sealink ferry coming in to join KI Connect already at her Penneshaw berth.

Flights To Kangaroo Island

Flights to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide

  • Rex or Regional Express operates three to four flights daily from Adelaide Airport to Kingscote Airport (14km out from Kingscote). The flight time is only 30 minutes.
  • QantasLink flies from Adelaide (QF2142/QF2143) five days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday).

Flights to Kangaroo Island from Melbourne

Flights from Melbourne (QF2140/QF2141) are three days a week (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday).

Kangaroo Island flights start around $150 one way but these can vary quite a bit so check with your local travel agent or online travel website.

Kangaroo Island Ferry

SeaLink Ferry

  • SeaLink operates a Kangaroo Island ferry link, Sealion 2000 for passengers and vehicles.
  • The Spirit of Kangaroo Island is a similar Sealink ferry that also carries freight.

Travel time is approximately 45 minutes. 

Kangaroo Island ferry prices are around $49 for a one-way passenger ticket and taking your car costs an additional $98.

Kangaroo Island Ferry Times
  • Kangaroo Island ferry times from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw are from 6 am to 9.45 pm.  
  • Kangaroo Island ferry times from Penneshaw to Cape Jervis are from 5.30am to 10.15 pm. 

Services operate according to seasonal requirements, with up to 12 ferry services in summer and six in winter. Check the latest timetables here

Kangaroo Island Connect 

Also known as KI Connect, this is a relatively new Kangaroo Island ferry service which began mid-2018.

This Kangaroo Island ferry runs from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw to American River return. 

It’s only a passenger ferry, with a one-way cost of $27.50 to Penneshaw and $38.50 to American River.

A coach connection from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island is also available from Adelaide Central Bus Station. A one-way ticket per adult is $30.

If you want to leave your vehicle at Cape Jervis, there’s long-term car parking for $5 a day. 

Coach To Kangaroo Island

SeaLink Coach Services

Sealink operates an Adelaide to Kangaroo Island twice-daily coach from Adelaide Central Bus Station (85 Franklin St).

It leaves at 6.45 am for Cape Jervis to meet the 9 am Sealink ferry.

The journey takes around two hours and costs $28 one way per adult.

They also run a service from Goolwa and Victor Harbour tri-weekly leaving at 6.50am/7.25am to meet the same Sealink ferry. This is slightly more expensive at $39 for a one-way adult ticket.

The return Penneshaw Sealink ferry leaves at 8.30 am and 7.30 pm, connecting with coaches leaving for Adelaide one hour later.

Public Coach Service

The public coach service is operated by SeaLink and cannot be booked online.

There are approximately nine to 10 stops along the return journey from Adelaide to Cape Jervis.

These services can change seasonally due to demand, so check SeaLink’s timetables when planning your trip.

How to get around Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Hertz Rental Car At Sunset
A car is very handy to get around Kangaroo Island, especially if you want to witness sunsets like this one.

The small island has a population of around 4000.

Sealed main roads from Penneshaw to American River, Kingscote, Parndana, Stokes Bay and Flinders Chase are in good condition, however, all the other roads are not and may be corrugated and in poor condition.

Public Transport

Check out the Rockhopper Service which offers an Eastern Route (Wednesday) and a Western Route (Tuesday and Friday). 

Taxi or Uber

There is no service.

Car

Bring your own car

Bring your own on the SeaLink Ferry from Cape Jervis and experience the thrill of reversing on board and packing in tight with only inches between you and your surrounding vehicles!

Drive with caution especially on the unsealed roads.

Be particularly wary of driving at dawn, dusk or night to avoid the abundant wildlife on the roadside or crossing the roads.

Don’t forget to drive on the left-hand side on Kangaroo Island.

Similarly, do not use your mobile phone while driving and, above all, be aware of the 0.05% limit for blood alcohol while driving.

Plan ahead for your fuel top-ups. Bowsers are available at Penneshaw, Kingscote, Parndana, Vivonne Bay and the Wilderness Retreat in Flinders Chase.

Rent a car

A 2WD is fine for most roads in Kangaroo Island but do check the individual company regulations regarding insurance while driving on unsealed roads, as restrictions may apply.

Rental Companies in Penneshaw
  • Budget is at the SeaLink Ferry Terminal as well as in Kingscote
  • Hertz has an office next to the Backpacker Hostel on North Terrace in Penneshaw
  • KI Connect is at 1 Bay Terrace, Penneshaw, a few minutes walk from the ferry terminal

Compare the latest prices for rental cars here

Bicycle

Cycling on Kangaroo Island

Cycling around Kangaroo Island is possible and would give you an amazing first-hand island experience. 

You need to bring your own bike and repair kit as there are no bike hire facilities available.

Distances, however, can be quite long between towns and while there are many flat stretches, some hills need to be taken into account when planning your route. 

There are no dedicated bike lanes and the single-lane roads have non-existent verges.

Shuttle

SeaLink Shuttle Bus

There is a SeaLink shuttle bus service between Penneshaw, American River and Kingscote. A one-way fare costs $20 in conjunction with their tours. The 60km trip takes about one hour and connects with the ferry times. 

Kangaroo Island Transfers

Kangaroo Island Transfers provides door-to-door transfers between the airport, SeaLink Kangaroo Island ferry and all accommodation on Kangaroo Island, including private and holiday homes. 

Kangaroo Island Tours

Several tour operators run round-the-island day trips and multi-day Kangaroo Island tours. Booking a tour that shows you a bit of everything is a stress-free way to explore the island. 

Check out a range of Kangaroo Island tours here 

Kangaroo Island Accommodation

From budget-friendly to luxury Kangaroo Island accommodation, there are choices to suit every wallet and taste. 

Check out a range of Kangaroo Island accommodation here

Budget Accommodation on Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Backpackers Hostel

If you’re travelling on a shoe-string budget, check out the Kangaroo Island Backpackers Hostel at Penneshaw.

It’s only five minutes from the SeaLink ferry terminal with local shops all within walking distance.

Visit the Fat Beagle Coffee Shop, Fire & Smoke KI (they serve THE best ribs) and the Penneshaw Hotel (where you can ‘sit and have lunch while looking at Australia’).

Beachside self-catering is also very popular, with Browns Beach one of our favourite spots.

Western KI Caravan Park

For camping and caravaners at heart, try the Western KI Caravan Park near Flinders Chase National Park.

Prices are reasonable and there are optional fully self-contained cabins,. 

They also come with free Australian wildlife experiences such as eating your supper with grazing roos and wallabies, as an echidna waddles past! 

Kangaroo Island Cabins

Similarly, check out Kangaroo Island Cabins if you want to stay in the Kingscote area of the island. 

Kangaroo Island also has well-priced motels and hotels around the island. If you want a more personal experience, try one of the island’s B&B’s or private homesteads.

Eco-friendly Kangaroo Island Accommodation 

Self-sustainable eco-accommodation is also very popular on Kangaroo Island.

Often set in secluded, off-the-beaten-track bushland, they offer the experience of being at one with nature and occasionally overlook the sea. 

Also, there are fully self-contained and classically restored heritage-listed Kangaroo Island accommodation with a unique maritime flavour.

Check out the Lightstations of Cape du Couedic, Cape Borda and Cape Willoughby.

Now that would be something to write home about!

Luxury Kangaroo Island Accommodation

For a first class, luxury experience, book yourself into the multi-award winning Southern Ocean Lodge for a thorough pampering.

A magnificent luxury Kangaroo Island seafront resort, this is the place to enjoy the best South Australian cuisine in a private, wild landscape setting as the sun sets over the ocean.

Check out a range of Kangaroo Island accommodation options here.

If you are planning a trip to South Australia, you just must visit Kangaroo Island. 

I guarantee you there are Kangaroo Island’s attractions and activities suitable for everyone. 

things to do on kangaroo island

kangarroo island things to do

15 Things To Do On Kangaroo Island

5 COMMENTS

  1. The island must be huge. That’s a lot of things to do in an island. I would surely enjoy walking the trail. Taking a guided tour at the seal bay or snorkeling with dolphins and seals would be great too. I love exploring caves too. This island seems to be a great vacation spot for me.

  2. Have heard a lot about Kangaroo island but unfortunately haven’t been there. Didn’t know one can do so much there!
    Walking the trail, tasting organic honey & other food items if available, and the caves excite me no end. Probably I’ll also go to seal bay. Thanks, the list is great.

  3. Awesome place. Just came back from Kangaroo island after a 3 week stay on a farm. Still after 4 trips in 7 years and yet can still find places I haven’t seen.
    Highly recommend to actually get off the main roads and travel the unsealed roads to see the best of the island. Traveling at night you get to see alot of wildlife on the roads.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

comments