Romance, nature, seclusion or a home away from home – there is an accommodation to suit all types of holidaymakers on Kangaroo Island.
The allure of its multi-hued beauty, preserved natural landscapes and abundance of seasonal produce is well documented, but Kangaroo Island is also home to a number of first-rate accommodation options that – thankfully – escaped the destruction caused by the 2019-2020 summer bushfires.
Start planning your escape to South Australia’s most prized island paradise by selecting from our pick of the best places to stay on Kangaroo Island.
1. Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge
Best for: peace and serenity
Tucked away on the eastern side of the island is The Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge. The tranquil setting provides plenty of opportunities for guests to unwind, watch the sunset over the calm waters of the American River and relax to the soothing sounds of nature.
The Mercure offers a more secluded, relaxed accommodation option for those looking to avoid the crowds. There are 38 well-appointed guest rooms of various sizes – most of which feature exceptional waterfront views.
The property’s award-winning fine dining offering, Reflections Restaurant, is an excellent place to dine of an evening. The venue won Best Dining Experience on Kangaroo Island in 2017 and 2018 and continues to deliver on both taste and quality.
There is an abundance of birdlife and wildlife to encounter, including tammar wallabies, black cockatoos, brush-tailed possums – and you can feed the local pelicans each morning with the whiting scraps from the restaurant. Or explore the coastal scrub and curious wildlife along two of the main walking tracks, the Independence Trail or the Fish Cannery walk.
2. Hamilton & Dune
Best for: modern luxury
If Kangaroo Island’s newest luxury accommodation option isn’t already on your radar, Hamilton & Dune’s duo of exclusive lodges overlooking Emu Bay are about to go straight to the top of your wish list.
Choose between the architecturally-designed Dune House, a chic, private three-bedroom property that boasts direct beach access and a sunken living room with a wood fire and a breathtaking backdrop of uninterrupted ocean views; or the homier, yet equally impressive, Hamilton House, which is perfectly sized to cater to larger groups or families with spectacular ocean views and a large deck for entertaining.
There are additional experiences to book in advance of your stay, including an in-house massage or yoga session, an in-house chef, food delivery service, a beach picnic experience and more.
3. Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel
Best for: location, location, location
Marvellous views come standard with every room at the Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel.
Situated in the town centre and spanning a whole corner block, the Seaview delivers on all the conveniences of its central location while still providing guests with a tranquil escape.
The iconic motel was the first to open on Kangaroo Island, but they’ve expanded the accommodation offering in recent years to include the Holiday House and Guesthouse for travellers in search of a little more luxury than a standard motel.
4. Antechamber Bay Retreats
Best for: nature lovers
A stay in one of the two self-contained properties at Antechamber Bay Retreats is a fully-immersive experience of Kangaroo Island’s most coveted natural treasures.
The two distinctive cottages – Nat’s (four bedrooms) and The Kona (three bedrooms) – are located on Creek Bay, the oldest continuous farming estate in South Australia. Each property rewards its guests with dramatic ocean vistas, expansive views of native bushland and four kilometres of unspoilt white-sand beach to explore.
Watch the wildlife at dawn and dusk, cook a barbeque on the verandah or book the in-house catering option in advance of your stay for a little extra guaranteed downtime.
5. Cliff House – Kangaroo Island Stays
Best for: honeymooners or romantic getaways
Spend your stay on Kangaroo Island perched on a cliff overlooking Snellings Beach inside the exquisite Cliff House property. The luxurious pad sleeps six, but you’ll want this one all to yourselves.
Boasting a number of romantic features, including a master bedroom fashioned inside a circular tower with panoramic views of the Southern Sea, a cushioned sunken pit with open fire, an outdoor cliff-edge Jacuzzi and a nearby helicopter pad for those romantic scenic flights you’re bound to book.
The addition of a fully-equipped kitchen keeps things simple and convenient for those not wanting to venture far, or opt to cook up some of that famous South Australian produce on the barbeque.
6. Adagio Bed and Breakfast
Best for: those who want to slow it right down
Adagio’s beachfront-meets-bush location provides the perfect backdrop for a holiday that offers easy access to Island Beach, plenty of coastal and bushwalking opportunities and abundant wildlife encounters.
The modern B&B accommodates two people and includes traditional breakfast, access to a barbeque, a balcony with 180-degree-views of Island Beach, an independent entrance for guests – and the option of a tailored itinerary.
7. Stowaway self-contained cottages
Best for: panoramic views
Stowaway is for those who allow aesthetically-designed properties to influence their booking decisions. From the beauty of the surrounding natural landscape to the lush furnishings, scenic reading nooks, fireplace, free-standing bath, neutral tones and wooden floorboards within the property – you’ll be hooked.
The two self-contained properties – The Nest and The Sleepy Hollow – are tucked away on the corner of a family farm on the north coast of the island near Stokes Bay. Both properties feature panoramic views of the native bushland and ocean, as well as plenty of opportunities to admire flora and fauna in the Lathami Conservation Park it butts up against – including the rare Glossy Black Cockatoo if you’re lucky.
Spend your days immersed in the rugged beauty of the island, take a dip in the pristine waters of Stokes Bay, and taste the locally-sourced food and exceptional wine that the region is renowned for.
8. The AirBnB of your choice
Best for: those who want it all
Airbnb properties on Kangaroo Island are giving hotel rooms a run for their money. Here is a selection that far exceeds expectations when it comes to the humble homestay.
- For cliff top views and architecture reminiscent of Greece, try The Sky House.
- Ecopia Retreat provides absolute privacy within a luxurious rammed earth villa.
- If a tiny, kitsch cottage is more to your taste, then book a stay at Serenity Cottage.
- Instagrammer’s flock to the newly renovated, aesthetically appeasing Sorrento on Sorata.
- Alchemy on Island Beach is what beach house dreams are made of.
- But if it’s true seclusion you’re after, you can’t go past The Wandering Souls glamping option. Become a pioneer of luxe, local Kangaroo Island camping with a stay in one of these.