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Published June 7th 2012
Surprisingly with South Australia's widely explored areas, Kangaroo Island largely remains undiscovered by many, yet several Eco delights await. So take a trip to this brilliant island off the coast and get to know South Australia that bit better.
How to Get There: the Sealink Ferry operates daily to and from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw. From $24 per child to $46 per adult (concession prices and companion card discounts available) and $29 motorbike, $90 car, $90 caravan (one way prices, discounts apply if booked online). Phone 13101 to organise your ticket the helpful staff will book everything in for you with a wave of your credit card. There are several times a day for departures, but not all may be available hence it is wise to book ahead. Arrive 30 minutes before departure, drive on (if taking a car) and then off when you get to the other end. The trip takes around 45 minutes.
When to Go: Winter is full of lush green growth, wallabies and joeys emerging from their mums pouches, echidnas create 'mating trains' where 7-8 males follow along after the female. Southern right whales pass the shores. Spring brings wildflowers, eucalyptus oil peak production, cape barren geese incubating their eggs in the native grasses. Summer finds the wildlife retreating into the bush lands to escape the heat. Golden pastures, growth of new trees. Autumn water begins to flow, new rainfall brings greenery, bringing the wildlife out again.
Kangaroo Island, known as KI to the locals, is remarkably diverse.
It is 155km in length (yet 540km of beaches/coastline). You will discover remarkable rocks, soaring cliffs, thick forests, rolling sand dunes, wetlands and beautiful beaches. Many years ago I visited here as a teenager in our converted camping bus with my family. Now armed with my own family, we set off to discover if it remains the same or what new delights await. There are 7 main sections to the island, Dudley Penninsula, Heartland, South Coast, West End, North Coast, Kingscote and Districts, and American River.
When you get to the island there is plenty to do, including fishing, swimming, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, bush walks, lighthouse tours, kite flying, birdwatching, feeding pelicans, shipwreck searching,wildlife encounters, caving, camping, stay in a log cabin/eco home/5 star resort, tasting gourmet delicacies from local producers.
Treat yourself to a few days of total relaxation in one of the beautiful national parks. Watch sunrise and sunset over rugged coastlines. Perhaps even from the historically restored lighthouse cottage.
The kids will delight in sand surfing down the dunes, getting up close with seals, sea lions and penguins along the beaches. Gaze up at sleepy koalas in the overhead trees.
If you want to get back to nature take a tent, caravan or trailer and camp amongst the forest or at one of the caravan parks. Flinders Chase National Park is a great place to set up your tent. For camping inquiries call 08 8553 4490. If you prefer 5 stars, rather than sleeping under them, there is also a fantastic range of accommodation available to suit all tastes and budgets.
Camping fees apply, yet start from $25 for a powered site Park fees apply for some parks, however you can purchase a Kangaroo Island tourist pass. This will provide unlimited entry and tours to many of the attractions. Including: Flinders Chase national park, Seal Bay tours, Cape Border and Cape Willougby lighthouse tours, Kelly Hill Show cave tours. Visit the tourist office when you get off the ferry for information, maps and for even more things to do.
Just the information I needed to start planning my next family holiday. You've said it all Lesley and thanks for the excellent links.
By Anonymous Wednesday, 11th of January @ 10:15 pm
I would love to get some feedback from people who have already visited Kangaroo Island. I want to visit it soon and would love to stay close to nature and hand feed kangaroos !
By Kabhi - reader Tuesday, 24th of February @ 10:18 pm
Most incredible destination in Australia. Been 4 times, most recently last Summer. Stayed at a wonderful rental on beach at Emu Bay. Exquisite! Don't miss The Fig Tree restaurant and nearby Snellings Beach!
By kerri - reader Tuesday, 10th of May @ 03:34 am
New reader comment. Waiting for approval.
By r.eng - reader Monday, 21st of November @ 03:11 am
Unless they have improved the roads on KI are narrow. Apparently there is a farming property which makes sheep cheese. We were on a quick tour and didn't have time to visit all KI's unique scenery. To see the whole island you need a few days.
By r.eng - reader Monday, 21st of November @ 03:14 am
Please don't go too close to the Sealions.
You are likely to have a male chase you away from the females as they are very protective, especially of they are pregnant or have pups.
By r.eng - reader Monday, 21st of November @ 03:17 am