Australia’s very own ‘zoo without fences’, Kangaroo Island has all the elements for a perfect getaway.
Named after the abundance of kangaroos found here by Matthew Flinders in 1803, Kangaroo Island is a tranquil and gorgeous island just 13 kilometres (8 miles) off the coast of South Australia. An easy two-hour drive from Adelaide is Cape Jervis, from where a 50-minute ferry will get you to Penneshaw – the eastern part of the island. You could also take a bus from Adelaide and then take the ferry across and pick up a pre-booked hire car from Penneshaw. Another option is to fly from Adelaide to Kingscote and pick up your hire car from there. However you may choose to get here, once on Kangaroo Island, these are a few experiences you can’t miss.
SEAL THE DEAL AT SEAL BAY CONSERVATION PARK
A 40-minute drive south from Kingscote will bring you to the southern coast of Kangaroo Island which is home to endangered Australian sea lions. They can be seen resting in the sun and nursing their young after feeding for three days at sea. Others, in true Aussie style, ride the waves onto the beach. If you join a guided tour, you can walk on the beach to within metres of them, or view them from the boardwalk.
DRINK IN THE VIEW AT VIVONNE BAY
Just 23 kilometres (14 miles) from the Seal Bay Conservation Park is Vivonne Bay. Absolutely drop-d.e.a.d gorgeous, the bay’s long curved sandy beach is a superb site for picnics, beachcombing, or fishing. If you’re an experienced surfer you can enjoy the awesome turquoise waters. This bay is also a safe harbour and is the base for cray and game fishing boats.
DON’T SLEEP TOO DEEP
Kangaroo Island’s wild nature and fresh air will have you sleeping well at night, but don’t miss out on the after-dark activities. Experience an enchanting dinner by candlelight in Lifetime Private Retreats’ rustic shearing shed, or opt for a private beach dinner in the summer months (December to February). Don’t forget to look up to see South Australia’s brilliant stars come out. As the temperature cools down for the evening, the island’s wildlife becomes even more active. On a nocturnal wildlife tour, you’ll discover the animals that come out after dark, like owls, possums and even wallabies.
EXPLORE FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK
Located at the western end of Kangaroo Island, Flinders Chase National Park is one of Australia’s largest parks covering 74,000 hectares of untouched bushland. The park is home to a variety of fauna including Kangaroo Island kangaroos, koalas, tammar wallabies and the endangered Cape Barren geese, and considered to be one of South Australia’s most significant parks due to its natural state and wildlife. Remember to drive slowly through it and you’ll be rewarded with great sightings of the wildlife that populate this park and island.
VISIT THE REMARKABLE ROCKS AND ADMIRAL’S ARCH
A 20-minute drive south from the resort will take you to Kirkpatrick, 23 kilometres (14 miles) away – home to an impressive natural formation that appears to be a cluster of precariously balanced boulders. This extraordinary geological feature is aptly named the Remarkable Rocks and is located within the Flinders Chase National Park. Nearby is Admirals Arch, another of nature’s wild sculptures, where fur seals can be seen frolicking in the waters or resting on the rocks.