The first European explorers found the Island to be uninhabited, as evidenced by the lack of campfires and tameness of the wildlife. Since the 1930s, Aboriginal campsites have been discovered in a number of areas around the Island, including one near the sea lion colonies of Cape du Couedic. Today, it's believed Aboriginal people were living on the Island at least as long as 16,000 years ago (before the Island was separated by rising sea levels) and as recently as 2,000 years ago.
Why the Aboriginal people abandoned Kangaroo Island - and how they left - remains a mystery. Intriguingly, mainland indigenous peoples called it ‘Karta' or ‘Land of the Dead'.