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Tips for Visiting South Australia's Kangaroo Island

Updated: Mar 4

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Kangaroo Island is home to many kangaroos

Anytime Australia comes to mind, you can't help but think of the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House, and the terrifying creatures you don't wish to encounter. But most of all, you probably think about kangaroos, because is there anything more stereotypically Australian than these pouch-having marsupials?

If that's the case for you, you likely aren't surprised that the continent has its own island named for the 'roos. Kangaroo Island is quickly becoming one of the most visited places in South Australia, welcoming 140,000 tourists each year. These numbers don't hold a flame to the 6.7 million people who visited Australia pre-Covid, but as the third largest island, tourism can only go up from here.

What Exactly is Kangaroo Island?

Kangaroo Island, Australia is a 1,701 square-mile stretch of land that approximately 65,000 kangaroos call their home. The strong-legged animals greatly outnumber the people; the population of the island sits at about 4,500. With more than 50 beaches, Kangaroo Island is great for swimmers and visitors hoping to catch a tan. The scenery is stunning, as the island is decorated with picturesque mountains and beautiful deserts.

What Can I Do There?

The most common activities on Kangaroo Island involve the great outdoors. If you're the type to get lost in nature, you could spend hours at the Kelly Hill Caves and the Flinders Chase National Park, where you can see the Remarkable Rocks made possible by 500 million years of exposure to the elements. Along with a wide kangaroo population, the island is a fantastic place to spot sea lions, penguins, and koalas. To be sure you see these magnificent creatures, don't miss out on the Parndana Wildlife Park and Seal Bay.

Like many destinations that boast great beaches, Kangaroo Island is a popular place to snorkel, surf, and bike along the coast. Additional outdoor activities include swimming with dolphins, riding toboggans in the sand, and fishing. Furthermore, it would be a crime to visit Kangaroo Island without checking out one of its 14 wineries.

Kangaroo on the beach

How Can I Visit?

There are a couple ways to venture to Kangaroo Island. One option is booking a tour via the SeaLink ferry, which takes about 45 minutes via Adelaide. It's also possible to make a connection from Cape Jervis and Penneshaw. If the thought of long boat rides makes you feel queasy, you can choose to fly from Adelaide to the Kangaroo Island Airport. After arriving, the most efficient way to explore is by car rental. Australia, as you already know, can get pretty hot. Because of this, the best time to visit is from December to February, where temperatures don't normally exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where do I Stay?

With many changes in scenery comes many accommodation choices. For families and people traveling in groups, One Kangaroo Island offers a private place to stay right on Brown Beach. It holds up to 10 guests and is blooming with luxurious benefits, including meals prepared by private chefs. If you favor wildlife over your feet in the sand, Ecopia Retreat, located mid-island, is the place to be if you want to spot animals. For some, the thought of a retreat can be a little overwhelming. Rest assured, traditional hotels are also available, such as the Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn.

Kangaroo Island rock formation

Disclaimer: despite the large number of kangaroos, it's never a good idea to approach or attempt to feed one in the wild. Although these marsupials are pretty cute, they are also very dangerous.

Now that we've got the warning out of the way, I hope this article introduced you to, or at least expanded your knowledge of Kangaroo Island, Australia. This up-and-coming travel destination continues to attract more tourists each year, so if the outdoors are your forte, you better go see what everyone's raving about.


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