With its unmistakably Aussie name, it’s little surprise that Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to spot native Australian wildlife. Australia's third-largest island, this unspoiled haven is a trove of natural wonders, from red rock cliffs to sandy beaches, sweeping dunes, and wild bushlands.
Famous for its natural beauty and culinary culture, Kangaroo Island is a popular South Australia vacation destination. While it’s possible to take in the highlights on a full-day tour from Adelaide, multi-day Kangaroo Island tours offer the chance to explore further afield. Most tours explore the island’s wildlife reserves and visit natural landmarks such as the Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, and Vivonne Bay. It’s also possible to venture off-road on a Kangaroo Island 4WD tour or sample the island’s local produce on a food and wine tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is no public transportation on Kangaroo Island, so it’s best to join a tour or rent a car if you want to go exploring.
- Most hotels and resorts offer Wi-Fi for guests.
- Ferries to Kangaroo Island are fully wheelchair accessible and many tours offer accessible transport.
How to Get There
Kangaroo Island is located off the coast of South Australia and is reachable by ferry or by plane from Adelaide or Melbourne airport. Car and passenger ferry services reach the island in about 45 minutes, and run several times daily from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. Cape Jervis is roughly two hours by road from Adelaide.
When to Get There
Summer (December through February) is the most popular time to visit the island. This is also the best time to spot wildlife because it coincides with the breeding season. Due to mild year-round temperatures, it’s also possible to visit during winter to avoid crowds and find lower prices on tours and accommodations.
Wildlife on Kangaroo Island
Wildlife lovers will be in their element on Kangaroo Island, where a third of the land is designated as nature reserve and animal residents outnumber human ones. Admire the natural beauty of Flinders Chase National Park, walk the boardwalk at Seal Bay to see fur seals in their natural habitat, admire little penguins at Penneshaw Penguin Centre, visit the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, or stop at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to spot koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and cassowaries.