Roughly 150km long and 60km wide this island off the coast of Adelaide is a paradise for those that love nature and the outdoors. To get there you can either take the 45 minute ferry from Cape Jarvis about 2 hours south of Adelaide or you can fly directly to the island. We drove my car from Melbourne so we took it across on the ferry with us but I’m sure there are car rental options on the island too. Unless you’re on a tour you WILL need a car!
The entire island is absolutely stunning and there are beaches, hiking trails and wildlife galore. With so much to see and do on this island you could easily spend a whole week here but I would suggest at least a minimum of three nights. Without further ado here is my list of the best of Kangaroo island.
Our first stop on Kangaroo island after driving off the ferry! You can kayak up the river with your eyes peeled for the dolphins that live in the area but believe it or not this isn’t the main attraction. The main attraction lies in the The Oyster Farm Shop which is somewhere you absolutely MUST go if you enjoy seafood. Even if you don’t… this is probably your best chance of ever being converted into a seafood lover.
As the name suggests this bay is actually a breeding ground for Australian sea lions. You can get up close and personal to these wild sea lions however, to access the beach and walk down to them you must be accompanied by an experienced tour guide (times and prices at Seal Bay Tours). I cannot speak highly enough of the tours as not only was it an amazing experience but your money also goes back into the conservation of these incredible animals.
Seal Bay is also a great spot to stay as it lies almost halfway across the island. We actually stayed here so from experience I can say that day trips to either side of the island were super easy from this location.
This is probably the one you’ve seen in all the photos! Towards the western end of the island these granite rock formations were naturally formed over time by the elements. We got here at 9am and by some miracle had the whole place to ourselves for almost an hour before the tour busses came. With incredible views over the water this is something you have to see.
Quite literally an arch formed by the weathering of the rocks. You can see even more seal species here (from a distance) but instead of sea lions you will also find a mix of Australian and New Zealand fur seals. You can also take a tour of the lighthouse and some of the old heritage houses in the area.
Hiking through Flinders Chase
While remarkable rocks and admirals arch are already apart of Flinders Chase National Park, I also recommend doing one of the other hikes as well. You can get a ton of information from the visitors centre at the entry to the park and choose what works for you. The hikes vary in length and intensity and can range from under an hour to camping overnight. We did the platypus hike to the coastline along the mountainside which was amazing however, I didn’t do the others so I can’t really make comparisons. You will have to make your own mind up and let me know how it goes!
Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
With the help of our cattle dog tour guide, we walked through a forest of eucalyptus trees spotting koalas before heading over to meet the resident echidna of the property. He wasn’t at all afraid of people and would even push us out of his way if we were standing between him and his food (aka ants).
This is a great place to see a few more of those iconic Aussie animals you’ve heard so much about. Or, if you’re as lucky as us, you might even get rare footage of a drop bear attacking its prey.
There are amazing beaches everywhere however, the most impressive beach of all was Stokes Bay. You have to walk through a cave to get to the stretch of secluded beach and while it can be a little tight for those with claustrophobia I promise it is well worth it. We watched the sunset on the beach but if you plan on doing that too just make sure you get back through the cave before dark / high tide because that won’t be a very fun experience.
Explore the farms and food
On the eastern side of the island you will find a variety of farms to explore. The ones we went to were:
- Island Beehive- Sample different types of local honey and take a look at all the various honey products on offer including skin care ranges. Oh, and did I mention the best honeycomb ice cream EVER!?!
- Emu Bay Lavender Farm – Lavender… Obviously, but lots of it and so many different varieties. Absolutely stunning to walk through.
- Island Pure Sheep Dairy – Different sheep milk products including yogurts and cheeses. There are also options for taste testing and tours offered to learn how it is all produced. And who doesn’t love cheese ❤
Unless we just got lucky and happened to see all the best places (which is definitely a possibility) I’m sure you will find plenty of gems like these scattered around the island.
Caves and Sand Dunes
The two things I didn’t have time to do! 😦 Little Sahara looks great but Kelly Hills Caves is something I’m genuinely really disappointed I missed. If anyone has been to either of these I would love to hear about your experience and if it was worth doing.
Regardless, I hope this post and my montage of photos has inspired you to plan a trip to Kangaroo island or at least to add it to your list. If you have questions or anything else to add please comment below. Would be great to hear from you!
Amberlee Jane xx