February 22, 2023
7 mins Read
With its clean, bright waters, Mediterranean climate and super-local food scene, a trip to Kangaroo Island in South Australia is bound to take your breath away.
Cut off from the mainland thousands of years ago, this ‘Galapagos of Australia’ has become a wildlife and nature-lovers paradise. To make the most of the few days you’re here, we’ve lined up some of the top Kangaroo Island tours to do.
If you only have one day to spend in the area, be smart with your time and book a one-day tour with SeaLink. With the price of the ferry included, SeaLink has a variety of one-day tour options that include Kangaroo Island highlights such as the Seal Bay Conservation Park, the granite sculptures of Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park, Clifford’s Honey Farm Shop and Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Extend the magic by opting for one of their multi-day tours.
If you’ve ever wanted to swim with wild dolphins, now is your moment. Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures offers tours for eco-conscious visitors to swim with the dolphins that live in the waters around the island. The operators guarantee a chance for you to dive in with dolphins on their three-hour Island Explorer Tour, and you’ll also be keeping an eye out for seals, ospreys and sea eagles.
KI Marine Adventures aren’t the only ones to rule the seas around the island. Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari also offers up some salty adventures. Join their 75 Minute Safari to get to know the marine wildlife that is found here or go on a two-hour snorkelling safari to swim among long-nosed seals or dolphins. There are also private charters available.
The sea around Kangaroo Island has got plenty for the experienced fisher, whether you prefer to dangle a line off the jetty or head out by boat. Fishing charters such as Emu Bay Fishing will take you out offshore on half and full-day trips on the hunt for catches like King George whiting, tuna, trevally and snapper.
Rev up for a quad biking adventure with KI Outdoor Action. From quad bike discovery tours (perfect for families who want to get used to riding through the bush) to spending three hours speeding along coastlines and farmlands as part of their Edge of the Earth Adventure, there are levels to suit everyone.
Switch the surfboard for a sandboard over on the huge inland sand dunes of the Little Sahara Adventure Centre. You can also grab a fat bike to cruise, hop onto a guided buggy tour or take a guided walking tour that goes from koala spotting to watching the sunset across the sands as part of golden hour.
Did you know: Kangaroo Island has the only genetically pure population of Ligurian bees left in the world? To see how a working honey farm is operated, head to Kangaroo Island Living Honey and find out just how the honey is extracted from the 250 hives on the property. After seeing the sweet life for yourself, it will be near impossible not to pick up some bee-autiful goodies like beeswax wraps, lip balms, and (of course) honey.
It’s not just the bees here who are good at crafting up some sweet nectar – the humans are pretty incredible at it too. Head over to Kangaroo Island Spirits, Australia’s first dedicated gin distillery.
The spirits here benefit from the one-of-a-kind botanical mix of the area, with resulting tipples such as vodka and limoncello, as well as gin. There are several KI Spirits experiences to be had at their cellar door, including a cocktail masterclass and tasting experience.
If you’re more into the savvy b’s than the G&Ts, Kangaroo Island is also a famous grape-growing area. Hop between the wineries on the Kangaroo Island Trail Hopper, or Kangaroo Island Trails half or full-day food and wine tour. You’ll stop off to sample foodie delights at places like Clifford’s Honey, as well as try out the ciders and spirits.
Sometimes just one day of delectable food just isn’t enough – and that’s just fine when you’re staying on Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island Odysseys have a sinfully indulgent three-day food and wine tour, made just for the dedicated gastronomist. Skilfully paired with dolphin swims and walks to Remarkable Rock (a chance to work up to peak appetite), you’ll sit down to daily gourmet lunches with KI wines at some of Kangaroo Island’s best restaurants in a hedonistic experience like none other.
It just isn’t a trip to Kangaroo Island without a day out at its Wildlife Park, paying a visit to some of KI’s cutest residents. Book in for a full-day trip that can include wallaby feeding, koala holding, encounters with dingos and seeing a spiky echidna up close. We’ve also put together a guide for the ultimate day out at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.
Visitors to Kangaroo Island can also visit Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, which provides a habitat for native Australian animals to live in the wild. While the sanctuary was badly hit during the 2020 bush fires that ravaged large parts of the island, you can still see crimson rosellas, Tammar Wallabies, koalas, echidnas and much more here. Tours are available here from spring 2022.
The Seal Bay Conservation Park is where you will find Australia’s third-largest seal lion population. While you can watch the colony yawn, stretch, scrap and snuggle from the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk under your own steam, the Seal Bay guided tour (from $38 for an adult) means you’ll also make the walk with a guide, who can interpret the sea lion behaviour for you and the rest of the group.
Kangaroo Island is home to the world’s smallest penguins: Little Penguins. Stop by the Penneshaw Penguin Centre as the sun is going down. You will then follow the guide, and watch the little penguins toddle up the sands with determination, back to their homes; all while being under the fantastically clear night sky and stars of Kangaroo Island.
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