The first Aboriginals to walk Australia’s forests discovered the power of eucalyptus oils. In addition to its trademark, earthy aroma, the oils contained in the eucalyptus leaves can naturally bolster health. Once the Australian continent was settled, eucalyptus oil became the nation’s first export and the global source of the product. Today, however, diluted sources from other nations dominate the global market, and the original eucalyptus oil industry has seen a steady decline into obscurity.
Here on Kangaroo Island, however, South Australia’s only eucalyptus distillers still operate out in the bush. With rusting relics scattered about the property and an eccentric taste of the outback, the family-run Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery still churns out the sweet-smelling elixir. Learn the ways that the oil is extracted from the narrow mallee leaves, and the healing benefits the oils can have for aiding wounds or illnesses. Group tours and self-guided tours help visitors experience the property, and in addition to the enchanting historical feel, there is a small bar attached to the farm where you can sample the locally made spirits.
Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery is located 45 minutes from the ferry at Penneshaw and 25 minutes from Kingscote. The distillery is open from 9am to 2pm on every day except Christmas, and is open for guided group tours during school holidays and peak seasons. During all times of a year, a self-guided tour makes for an informative visit, and entrance fees range from $4-$7 depending on the type of tour.