June 18, 2019
People & Places

Happy holidays: 10 things to do on Kangaroo Island

One of the most beautiful and spectacular destinations in South Australia, Kangaroo Island is packed with things to see and do.

SeaLink Kangaroo Island Odysseys

In partnership with SeaLink, Kangaroo Island Odysseys operates a three-day Kangaroo Island food, wine and wilderness tour throughout the year. Gain an intimate insight into the wildlife and natural landmarks of the region with a three-hour marine adventure, and also indulge in the best produce of the region, getting to know producers. Operating Monday, Wednesday and Friday from the Adelaide CBD.

Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action

Work up an appetite at Little Sahara with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action. The stunning natural inland sand dune system can be explored in a range of action-packed ways: hire a sandboard to surf the impressive dunes, discover the area on a guided walking tour, or ride across this unique landscape on a guided fat bike tour, where visitors can sample some native bush foods. If Little Sahara leaves you hungry for more adventure, check out the quad tours and kayaking at Vivonne Bay. 

Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

The Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary houses an abundance of native bird and animal life. The Koala Walk is open every day for koala viewing, while guided nocturnal and daytime tours showcase the animals respectfully and informatively. The sanctuary is also a bird watcher’s paradise with resident blue wrens, scarlet robins, lorikeets, crimson rosellas, black cockatoos, scrub wrens, bush stone-curlews, crescent honey-eaters, banded plovers, and Cape Barren geese. A cafe provides refreshments and a bee-keeping initiative houses 600 hives, most of which are on-site at the sanctuary.

Remarkable Rocks & Admiral’s Arch

Natural wonders of the region include the iconic Remarkable Rocks, perched above the sea in Flinders Chase National Park, shaped by eroding forces over the past 500 million years. Also in the park is the natural rock formation of Admiral’s Arch, best viewed from the boardwalk along the cliff face with fur seals often sighted here.

Seal Bay Guided Tour

For an educational and comprehensive dive into Seal Bay, take a guided tour from Kangaroo Island Parks and Seal Bay Visitor Centre. With tour proceeds going towards ongoing research and conservation efforts in the area, visitors can embark on a self-guided or guided walking tour learning more about the sea lion colony and their coastal environment.

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail 

One of Australia’s great walks, the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a 61-kilometre, five-day trek into nature. The trail weaves its way through the most botanically diverse and unique area in the state, from Flinders Chase to the rugged and remote coastline of the Southern Ocean. Located in the south-west of the island, hikers are encouraged to be prepared, self-sustaining and are recommended to hike between March and November. 


With 500 kilometres of coastline, visitors to Kangaroo Island are spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches. Emu Bay is a stretch of sand and surf protected from the elements, while the u-shaped Vivonne Bay was also once voted Australia’s best beach. Stokes Bay surrounds itself with a network of caves and rock pools with some of the clearest water and white sand on the island.

Kelly Hill Conservation Park and Caves

The magical underground world of Kelly Hill Conservation Park and Caves at Karatta delves into the island’s geological history. For the bold, there are also adventure caving tours that take visitors crawling through the underground maze. Alternatively, the surrounding landscapes above ground can be appreciated on a short walk and visitors can take advantage of the picnic facilities.

Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari

Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari is an adventurous wildlife experience suitable for the whole family. Departing from Penneshaw daily, one option is the 75-minute ocean safari exploring the coastline, with the opportunity to see dolphins, seals, eagles and birdlife, while learning about the history of the area. The second tour is a two-hour snorkelling safari with the opportunity to swim with dolphins and seals in the wild, with all equipment provided.

Penneshaw Maritime and Folk Museum

The Penneshaw Maritime and Folk Museum occupies the building once known as the Hog Bay Public School, which operated from 1869 to 1967. The School Room of the museum showcases photographs and objects that reflect a bygone era in education within this remote, rural community. In the Maritime Room, the history of both the sealing and whaling industries, and commercial shipping activities, are conveyed through models, images, and artefacts. The McKenzie Room highlights the isolation experienced by earlier settlers and celebrates the pioneering spirit that is integral to the identity of the local community.


This story first appeared in the SALIFE Food & Wine List 2019.

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