What to see in Kangaroo Island: The Complete Guide
In this guide we are going to show you What to see in Kangaroo Island, accommodations, routes and the budget we handle during our five days on Kangaroo Island, a natural paradise.
We had been planning a trip to Kangaroo Island for a long time, we had heard of this island that it is like a zoo without cages: A natural and wild space where animals roam freely, the perfect place to meet and enjoy the unique Australian fauna, and the truth is that we were not disappointed.
We spent five wonderful days on Kangaroo Island surrounded by nature and wild animals. We saw seals, sea lions, kangaroos, possums, pelicans, dolphins, and almost almost a platypus. Why visit a zoo when you can enjoy these animals in their natural habitat?
Organizing a trip to Kangaroo Island can be a bit complicated, especially because of the logistics of how to get to the island and move within it, to help you prepare your trip to Kangaroo we leave you this guide to visit Kangaroo Island.
Guide Index (Follow the links to go directly to what interests you)
At the end of the article we also leave you a video that summarizes our days in Kangaroo Island.
A little information about Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is the third largest island in Australia and is located in the state of South Australia just 112 km south of the city of Adelaide.
The island is 150 km long and between 57 and 90 km wide.
How to get to Kangaroo Island
There are two ways to get to Kangaroo Island:
Plane : From Adelaide to Kingscote airport, the flight takes about 30 minutes and the price is around 300 AUD (Australian Dollars).
Ferry: From Cape Jervis, two hours south of Adelaide, it is possible to take a ferry to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. The trip lasts 45 minutes and its price is 98 AUD round trip (price for an adult in 2017).
If you are in Adelaide, you can travel by bus to where the ferry departs. Tickets can be purchased on the same sealink website where the ferry tickets are purchased.
The cheapest and most comfortable option for us, being a group of five, was to fly to Adelaide, rent a car at the airport with which we went down to Cape Jervis and take the ferry to Kangaroo Island.
On the way to Cape Jervis we also took the opportunity to get to know McLaren Vale and have a wine tasting in a winery.
If you are going to fly to Kangaroo Island, we recommend you search for flights with Skyscanner because you will be able to decide between the companies with the cheapest prices.
If like us you want to rent a car in Kangaroo Island, it is best to do so through Airport Rentals because we have not found a comparator with cheaper prices and because the customer service they have is excellent.
What to see in Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is divided into seven regions, and although the island's tourist guides advise dedicating a day to each of them, normally trips to the island are usually three to five days. For this reason, we have prepared a map for you in which we indicate the places that, in our opinion, you cannot miss if you travel to Kangaroo Island:
It is the capital of Kangaroo Island, a small fishing village with a lot of charm. There you can find the main stores on the island, gas stations and some restaurants.
Pelicans and seals can be seen in Kingscote Harbor. In addition, it is the meeting place for the locals at sunset to fish and a great area to take photos.
In Seal Bay there is a colony of about a thousand sea lions, you cannot miss it.
You have two options:
Entry for 16 AUD. It allows you to access a ramp from which to observe the sea lions that are on the beach. The viewpoint is about 50 meters from the neighborhood and you can stay there as long as you want.
Entry 60 AUD. Includes a beach tour led by a park ranger . The group approaches the sea lions at a distance of about 20 meters while the ranger explains certain aspects of the life of the sea lion such as reproduction, hunting, ...
We did the walk on the catwalk and we watched the sea lions frolic in the sand and play with the waves for an hour, we loved it.
It was voted one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia in a study carried out by the University of Sydney and it is not for less: white sand and clean and crystalline waters; We even saw a manta ray on the shore.
It is a formation of dunes near the coast of Vivonne Bay.
Flinders Chase National Park
It is a natural conservation area that is located to the west of the island. To access you must pay a fee of AUD 11 per person.
Two icons of Kangaroo Island: Remarcable Rocks and Admirals Arch are found in this park. There are also several hiking trails and camping areas to explore the park on foot.
In the park you can see many animals such as seals, kangaroos, opossums and platypus.
The entrance to Stokes Bay beach through the rocks is very curious and the beach is beautiful, well worth a visit to see the north coast of the island.
The small town was named for the American whalers who settled in the area in the early 19th century. It is a picturesque place where you can eat oysters and watch birds.
Before continuing we would like to clarify that these are the places that, in our opinion, you cannot miss if you visit Kangaroo Island, but the island is much more. If you have time to hike through Flinders Chase National Park or get lost in remote parts of the island, do so and let us know.
Day 4 Emu Bay - Swim with the Dolphins Tour - American River
Day 5 Stokes Bay - Pennershaw
How to get around Kangaroo Island
Rockhopper is the name of the community bus service on the island, we leave you the link in case you are interested in taking a look, but the truth is that it seems very little useful for tourists because it only has two routes with very few trips a day and stops are limited. If you want to get the most out of your trip to Kangaroo Island, this is not the best option.
This was the option that we chose and it was a success because it allows you to visit the island at your own pace. You can rent the car at Adelaide airport and ride it on the ferry or rent it directly on the island. We were considering the two options, and we decided to rent it in Adelaide because it was much cheaper: We saved the bus to the ferry, and renting the car inside the island costs double the money.
If you are going to rent a car, we advise you to do so through the Airport Rentals search engine .
Make sure to ask the company if you can ride the car on the ferry and cross to Kangaroo Island because not all companies allow it.
If you don't want to or can rent a car to tour the island, the other option you have is to book one of the bus excursions offered by local tour operators and not miss the best things to see on Kangaroo Island.
In Kangaroo Island there are all kinds of accommodation for travelers: Hotels, cabins, rural houses, camping ...
We stayed in a rural house that we found through Booking.com : Kirazz Holiday Homes . We decided on this type of accommodation to be able to cook ourselves, save some money and have privacy at night.
Other very good accommodation options on Kangaroo Island are:
On the island there are many restaurants where you can try local seafood and fish and some wineries that you can visit.
We went to American River to try the famous oysters from The Oyster Farm Shop which did not disappoint and to have a typical fish and chips at The Deck Cafe.
Best time to visit Kangaroo Island
Although they say that any time of the year is good to visit the island, and it sure is, without a doubt the best is summer. On Kangaroo Island there are some beautiful beaches and summer is the best time to enjoy them.
So that you can get an idea of the price of the trip, we leave you here an approximate budget per person. Keep in mind that we made the trip in a group of five, which greatly reduces the costs of car rental, gasoline and accommodation. Amounts are in Australian dollars.
Budget 4 days Kangaroo Island
Roundtrip flight with Tiger Sydney-Adelaide
Car rental + insurance
Flinders Chase National Park Tickets
Seal Bay Conservation Area Tickets
Guides and maps
In Adelaide and in the offices of the ferry to Kangaroo Island you can ask for guides and tourist maps of the island, but if you want to advance the organization of your trip a bit, here is this link to the South Australia website where you can download all the information you need to organize your trip: Guides and Maps .
What are you waiting for to plan your trip to Kangaroo Island?
These are the resources that a trip to Australia or New Zealand we recommend, we use them constantly and they are the ones that work best:
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Article published in March 2017 and updated in November 2018.