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About Kangaroo Island

Sea-lions basking on white beaches, koalas dozing in lofty eucalypts, pelicans soaring over shimmering lagoons...


Kangaroo Island is a pristine wilderness - a place that has offered protection to substantial populations of native Australian animals, a place of beauty and a place of escape. Kangaroo Island (or ‘KI' as the locals call it) is also big and surprisingly diverse.
If you traverse its 155km length you'll find soaring cliffs, dense bushland, towering sand dunes,
wetlands and massive arcs of bone white beach.

  more about Kangaroo island
 











But just because it's wild, don't underestimate the welcome... 

Some 4,600 folk live here, most of them primary producers, many of them descended from Islanders who have farmed the land and fished the seas for generations. 

Naturally enough, being surrounded by fertile lands and rich waters, Kangaroo Island produces some of Australia's finest gourmet foods. Gastronomic adventurers should get ready to be amazed by the likes of freshly caught King George Whiting, Sheep's Cheese, Marron, a unique variety of Honey and an exciting range of varietal Wines. 

As if this isn't enough on your plate, you'll also find rich histories, a thriving Arts community, and a range of Accommodation options ranging from outdoor Swags to Heritage Cottages to super-chic Retreats. 

So we'd like to extend a wild and very warm welcome to Kangaroo Island - Australia's premier wildlife destination. Experience and enjoy...

A Destination For All Seasons 

While some things never change - friendly people, cool breezes,
un-crowded beaches and geological wonders - each season brings
new life and spectacular changes in landscape colours. 

Summer: December - February 

As the summer approaches, wildlife retreat to bushland habitat to shelter during the heat of the day. The land is a contrast of golden pastures against summer wild flowers and the new growth of native trees. 

Kangaroos and Tammar Wallabies are seen predominantly at dawn and dusk. 

Little Penguins moult all their feathers at the end of the breeding season and can lose up to half their body weight. 

New Zealand Fur Seals give birth to chocolate-brown pups. 

The Australian Sea-lion breeding season begins with pups born from January to June. 

Heath Goannas lay 10-17 eggs in the warm, stable, humid atmosphere of termite mounds, the perfect incubator. 

Koalas, Wallabies and Kangaroos give birth to tiny young, which are naked and blind. 

Autumn: March - May 

Pastures begin to green and waterways and catchments begin to flow. Autumn is a time of transition, with some rainfall gradually providing the wildlife with fresh growth to feed on. 

Glossy Black Cockatoos and Little Penguins begin nesting. 

Black Swans begin their courtship behaviour of wing-raising, neck-stretching and loud trumpeting. 

Fungi start to appear on damp ground and rotting wood. 

Winter: June - August 

Winter is spectacular with lush green countryside, flowing rivers and abundant wildlife: it's Kangaroo Island at its most appealing. Land Mammals, predominantly night, dawn and dusk feeders for most of the year, frequently come out by day. 

Koalas emerge from the mother's pouch and begin to ride on her back. 

Kangaroo and Wallaby Joeys start to emerge from the mother's pouch and feed by her side. 

Echidnas form 'mating trains' where up to eight males will follow a female for around four weeks. 

Waders, on their migration from Siberia, begin to arrive. 

Ospreys show off to their mates in spectacular courtship fights. 

Southern Right Whales pass the shores on their migration from Antarctic waters to the Great Australian Bight to calve. 

Spring: September - November 

Spring is the season of rebirth. It is a wonderful time to see the spectacular array of wild flowers, birds and mammals. 

Wild Flowers are in abundance. There are approximately 40 endemic floral species found on Kangaroo Island. 

Eucalyptus oil is in peak production. One tonne of leaf can produce up to 30 litres of oil. 

Cape Barren Geese nest on top of the native iris grasses to incubate their eggs. 

Platypuses lay two eggs in a burrow up to 20 metres long.

KANGAROO ISLAND SEASONS (Download PDF)

KANGAROO ISLAND QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE (Download PDF)

Getting to Kangaroo Island

By Ferry...

Kangaroo Island SeaLink operates two large, luxurious vehicle and passenger ferries, between Cape Jervis (approx. 2 hour drive from Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula) and Penneshaw KI. There are four departures daily, with additional services during peak times. Bookings are necessary. Travelling time is a comfortable 45 minutes. Mainland coach connections are available to/from Adelaide and Goolwa to Cape Jervis. Island connections are available to/from Penneshaw to American River and Kingscote.
For more information or to book, please contact:
Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre
Email: tourki@kin.net.au
Phone: +61 8 8553 1185
Free Call: 1800 811 080

By Air...

Kangaroo Island is also serviced daily by air. The 30 minute flight operates between the main terminal at the Adelaide Airport and Kingscote KI Airport (which is located 14 kilometres from Kingscote; the main township on KI).

Plan your trip

 










Plan your Arrival

It is strongly recommended that accommodation and transport is booked prior to arriving on Kangaroo Island. We also suggest organised tours to be pre-booked however the majority of main attractions can be arranged when you arrive. The Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Penneshaw can assist you for bookings when you arrive on KI.

Quarantine - Help Protect Our Industries & Environment

Kangaroo Island’s remoteness has created an environment that is very special. Many of Australia’s pests and diseases are not found here. Please help us to keep it that way.

We depend on primary industries and nature-based tourism as a major part of our economy. The introduction of just one new pest or disease could have devastating consequences Kangaroo Island has an opportunity to maintain quarantine status in some established and developing primary industries.

Your attention is drawn to legislation forbidding or restricting the importation of some items to Kangaroo Island. Significant penalties apply for infringements.

Rabbits can have devastating impacts on farming production and the environment. Like foxes, the movement and/or release of rabbits onto Kangaroo Island are prohibited under state legislation.

Bee Industry: Kangaroo Island has been declared a sanctuary for Ligurian Bees and the introduction of bees to the Island is not permitted. Honey products and bee-handling equipment can harbour bee-diseases that do not occur on Kangaroo Island and may not be brought onto the Island.

Seed Potato Industry: Kangaroo Island is a protected zone for the production of seed potatoes. To maintain its disease free status any potatoes brought to the Island must be in new packaging. Peels and unused potatoes must be disposed of to ensure that regermination is not possible.

Wine Industry: Grape phylloxera is an insect that feeds on the roots of grapevines. To keep Kangaroo Island phylloxera-free, vine cuttings and soil in which grapevines have grown are not to be brought onto the Island without prior inspection and approval oval.

Grazing & Cropping Industries: Kangaroo Island is free of many of the weeds found on mainland South Australia. Weeds impact on pasture and crop production and the costs of control can be very high. Aquatic weeds can have significant impacts on our waterways and land-based aquaculture. The risk of invasive weed introduction can be reduced by ensuring that vehicles, caravans, trailers, camping gear, hiking boots etc are free of mud and weed seeds prior to travelling.

Poultry Industries: Foxes could have a devastating effect on our free-range poultry industries and the Island’s wildlife. The movement and/or release of foxes onto Kangaroo Island are prohibited under state legislation.

Fishing & Aquaculture Industries: Aquatic pests are a major threat to the environment and our fishing & aquaculture industries. You can help protect KI waters by cleaning your boats and gear prior to coming to the Island. Particular attention should be paid to boat surfaces (hull, propeller, rudder, anchor etc) and gear (including nets, wetsuits, life jackets, fishing tackle etc.).

For further information, contact the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board, Phone (08) 8553 4444 Severe penalties apply.

KANGAROO ISLAND PROHIBITED ITEMS FACT SHEET (Download PDF)

Getting Around Kangaroo Island

 A Big Island - As the third largest island off the coast of mainland Australia, Kangaroo Island is more than a day-trip destination. 

At 155 kilometres long and up to 55 kilometres wide, it covers an area of 4,416 square kilometres. 'We didn't realise the Island was so large' is frequently stated by visitors soon after their arrival. You can bring your vehicle from the mainland by ferry or you can hire a vehicle from Kingscote, Penneshaw or the airport.


 how to get around Kangaroo Island 
 

Bring Your Vehicle or Hire 

You can bring your vehicle from the mainland by ferry or you can hire a vehicle from Kingscote, Penneshaw or the airport. 

Four-wheel drive vehicles are not necessary. With care, you can enjoy all the Island has to offer in a conventional vehicle.

Why not invite a 5th generation Islander into the car with you?
Island Intrigue is a self-drive audio guide written and narrated by a 5th generation Islander. It is a must have for the self-drive tourists that combines the knowledge of a local with the flexibility of being able to do your own thing. This CD can be purchase from the Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Penneshaw on arrival.

Please note that some mainland car hire companies have restrictions on bringing vehicles over to Kangaroo Island and do not cover for insurance for driving on unsealed roads. Please check with your car hire company. 

Hire Cars on KI

Budget: (08) 8553 3133 or www.budgetki.com 

All vehicles covered by insurance to drive on the unsealed roads.
Not covered for driving after dark. 

Driving

There are nearly 1,600 km of roads on the Island. The major roads between Penneshaw, American River, Kingscote, Parndana and Flinders Chase are sealed. The remainder are unsealed and require reduced speed and caution - particularly on corners and when approaching other traffic.

Kangaroo Island has a small permanent population so it is impossible to keep the whole road network constantly maintained. From time to time some of the unsealed roads will be corrugated and in poor condition. Always carry a spare tyre in your vehicle.

Fuel
Fuel is available from Kingscote, American River, Island Beach, Penneshaw, Parndana, Vivonne Bay and KI Wilderness Retreat near Flinders Chase National Park. LPG is available at Kingscote and Penneshaw. A full tank is recommended before heading out on a full day of touring. Fuel stations have limited hours, some closing at 6pm.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGE POINTS PDF

Road Courtesy 
People drive at different speeds, based on their ability, safety comfort zone or desire to see the Island at a relaxed pace. Please give consideration to other road users. Keep left and allow faster moving traffic through. If stopping to sightsee or take photos, please ensure that your vehicle is completely parked off the road.

Agricultural Vehicles 
Please be aware of agricultural vehicles, particularly when approaching blind corners or on undulating, narrow and unsealed roads. These vehicles are often longer and wider than anticipated and require care when approaching and overtaking. Approach vehicles displaying 'oversize' signs with caution - you may not be able to overtake immediately. Keep a safe distance behind trucks so that the driver can see you. Remember that if you can't see the mirrors, the driver can't see you. 

Wildlife 
Kangaroo Island wildlife is precious and protected - and active at night!
Native animals are blinded by bright light. Slow down, dip your lights and take time to observe the wildlife.
During the day, be especially careful not to hit animals basking on the warm roads.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THE KANGAROO ISLAND MAP PDF

Biking or Hiking

For those with determination and energy, biking or hiking can be considered, but this decision should not be taken lightly. The Island is large (155km long) and careful assessment of your fitness level and equipment should be made. 

Shuttle Services

Sealink: 13 13 01 or www.sealink.com.au 
Provide a morning & evening daily connection from Penneshaw,
American River & Kingscote return. 

Kangaroo Island Transfers: 0427 887 575 or www.kitransfers.com.au
Provides door to door passenger transfer service from Ferry, Airport and all Accommodation. 

Organised Tours 

There is a wide range of organised tours on the Island. These tours enable you to sit back and allow someone else to do the driving, and your guide can provide great Kangaroo Island knowledge. 

Coach tours are available or, alternatively, more personalised four-wheel drive tours. Most tours will pick-up from your accommodation, ferry terminal or the airport.

Click down to see the Organised Tours section for more information.

Organised Tours

 There is a huge range of tours available on the Island. 

Tours enable you to sit back and allow someone else to do the driving, and your guide can provide great Kangaroo Island knowledge. Coach tours are available or, alternatively, more personalised four-wheel drive tours. Most tours will pick-up from your accommodation, ferry terminal or the airport. Alternatively fully escorted touring from Adelaide is available.


 details about tours 
 

Coach Tours 

Larger tour groups can enjoy island highlights by coach, not only getting all the background information on KI, but enjoying the company of others. A wide variety of touring options are available, taking in the many highlights of Kangaroo Island.

Small Group & 4WD Tours 

For a really intimate look at the Island, try a private tour for small groups (usually two to ten). Private tours can be easily tailored around specific interests to make every moment count. 

You might be interested in wildlife (even particular types of wildlife), cultural history, food and wine, bird life or scenic highlights. But other specialisations and interests can be catered to.

Private tour operators often gain access to exclusive areas so wildlife can be viewed undisturbed. They also make a point of serving gourmet lunches and teas at special bushland or coastal settings - real highlights of everybody's tour.

Youth & Adventure 

Explore the highlights of Kangaroo Island with like-minded travellers on a range of youth and adventure orientated tours. Tours are usually fully escorted from Adelaide, but pick up and drop off can be arranged on the Island. 

Enjoy two or three fun packed days, staying in clean, comfortable accommodation often in a bush or farm setting. Energetic guides will ensure you get the most out of your visit to the Island. 

Food Tours

Join local, fully qualified Chefs on an exciting culinary experience. They will introduce you to the locals and their labours of love, producing, growing & catching KI's bountiful harvest.

Photographic Tours 

Capture natures wonderland through your camera lens! Learn tips and visit secret locations with local and iconic photographers. They'll set the scene for a fun & memorable adventure, up close and personal experiences with nature.


Regions of Kangaroo Island


Dudley Peninsula and Penneshaw:  Incorporating Antechamber Bay, Brown Beach, Baudin Beach, Island Beach, American Beach.

American River:  Incorporating Pelican Lagoon, Muston, Red Banks. 

Kingscote:  Incorporating Cygnet River, Brownlow, Kingscote, Nepean Bay, Western Cove, Wisanger.

North Coast:  Incorporating Emu Bay, Cape Cassini, Stokes Bay, Snelling Beach, Middle River, Western River Cove, King George Beach.

Pardana and Heartland:  Parndana is the hub for the heartland of Kangaroo Island. 

South Coast:  Incorporating D'Estrees Bay, Murray Lagoon, Seal Bay, Vivonne Bay, Hanson Bay, Flinders Chase, Macgillivray, Karatta.


VIEW KANGAROO ISLAND BY REGION

Wildlife & Environment

Kangaroo Island is the place where you can quietly ‘go bush' and see native Australian animals and birds as they were meant to be seen. In the wild.

Kangaroo Island is a true wildlife sanctuary. Owing to its isolation from the mainland, the Island has suffered less from the impact of European settlement and retains more than half of its native ‘old-growth' vegetation - a vast area of some 2,250 square kilometres. Similarly, the Island has been spared the damage done by foxes and rabbits, ensuring the integrity of native bushland. Result? Animal and bird populations have thrived. Today, more than one-third of the Island is declared Conservation or National Park and it has five significant Wilderness Protection Areas. So Kangaroo Island continues to be a special and protected place. Enter and be amazed...

More about Wildlife & Environment

Attractions & Tours
Attractions & Tours
National Parks
National Parks
Wildlife Spotting
Wildlife Spotting

Food & Wine

Take the road less travelled... and discover food and wine at nature's pure heart

Take a trail to surprising places on wild and welcoming Kangaroo Island where you can taste the unexpected and wondrous in food and wine. The Kangaroo Island Farm Gate and Cellar Door Trail introduces you to producers and products at their source. It invites you to enjoy the rich fruits of Kangaroo Island producers' labours in your own time in a natural unspoilt environment. Farm gate and cellar door locations are listed separately and alphabetically. Each has its own specialities and personality. The three listed itineraries cover three areas, each about a day's drive (but you're welcome to take two). The Dudley Peninsula, Central and South Coast, and Kingscote and surrounds trails are a suggested guide to a variety of sensations and connections with locals. Choose your own, guided by the listed farm gate and cellar door venues, and mix in a splash of art, scenery and natural delights.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT KI FOOD & WINE

Rich History

A Wild Island with Wild Stories

Islands across the world have more than one thing in common. They share a frontier bound by water and a history and culture of ingenuity, borne out of their inherent isolation. Kangaroo Island's history is no different; it is full of interesting and compelling stories. Be sure to travel through time at one of the many museums and history - inspired attractions dotted across the Island.

READ more about KI History


Lighthouses
Lighthouses
Modern Settlement
Modern Settlement
Early History
Early History


Kangaroo Island, South Australia

... need some help booking somewhere to stay?

While all Kangaroo Island accommodation is suitable for exploring the Island, particular regions of the Island afford different advantages. Whether you are arriving in the evening and need accommodation close to the ferry port, you prefer to be close to shops and restaurants or if you really want to get away from it all and stay in a more secluded area, there is a region on Kangaroo Island to suit everyone. Need some help with your bookings ... then call us now on ...

TOLL FREE: 1800 811 080

BOOK ACCOMMODATION ONLINE

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Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre

Visit with our friendly staff at Kangaroo Island's only Accredited Visitor Information Centre and let us help you customise an itinerary as unique as you are to get the most from your time on Kangaroo Island.

Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre - Howard Drive, PENNESHAW SA 5222
Open: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Weekends & Public Holidays 10am - 4pm, Closed Christmas Day.

TOLL FREE: 1800 811 080