I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published October 7th 2014
I had not heard of the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery before I visited Kangaroo Island but it turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip. It allows you to see how eucalyptus oil is made and until recently, this place had been making it the same way as it was done over a hundred years ago, so it was great to see history in action.
Most of the oil production here is still done the traditional way on they site today and by doing one of the tours, you can explore where a lot of it happens. There's the option of doing a self-guided tour or a guided tour (the guided tours aren't too long, around 25 minutes, as there's only really two stops).
One of the stops on the tour: where the leaves are burnt and the oil collected as steam
Guided tours take place every half hour during school holidays and group tours can be booked in advance at any time. If you do one of these, you'll see where the eucalyptus is burnt and the oil collected, hear about the business's sustainable side, and more.
The site is filled with history
If you don't want to pay for a tour, the site will still make sense after you watch a video you're immediately taken to see upon arrival (the room is interesting itself with a carriage to sit in while you watch, which will make it more fun for kids). This video goes for three minutes and has different language options to cater to a variety of tourists.
After you've done a tour spending time in the gift shop is a must. This place is massive, which is understandable for an attraction that makes a product it then needs to sell. A lot of what's here is indeed stuff the distillery has produced itself, which includes emu oil products as well as eucalyptus oil. I came away with eucalyptus oil and if you're interested in purchasing some too you can get it online here.
Products in the gift shop
Next to the gift shop there's also a dining room which is full of artwork. These pieces have been created by local artists.
There's a dining room next to the gift shop
Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery is the best attraction I found on the Kangaroo Island for getting behind the scenes of an industry. However, there are other options like the Marron Cafe, where you can see marron that have been farmed for food, and Cliffords Honey Farm. These latter attractions are free, but they do not offer any kind of tour.
As well as being very interesting, the attraction is also one that can be accessed petty easily from anywhere on Kangaroo Island, being relatively close to most towns, including Kingscote, Parndana and American River.
Cost:Self-guided Tour - Adults: $7.00, Concessions and students: $6.00 per head, children 6 and under: Free, Family $22.00. Guided tour - Adults: $4.50, Concessions & Students: $3.50, Children 6 and under: Free, Family: $14.00