21 Things to Do in Kangaroo Island, South Australia (Full Guide!)

Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by admin

Kangaroo Island (KI) is known for its abundance of wildlife, pristine beaches, and excellent wine and food. It’s one of Australia’s top destinations for a reason! If you like to spend time in nature, you are sure to love Kangaroo Island. As the third largest island in Australia, there are plenty of places to explore on the island. In this article, we’re sharing the 21 best things to do in Kangaroo Island.

We spent a week of our honeymoon in Kangaroo Island, so we researched everything we could about the island. To this date, it’s still one of our favorite trips of all-time. We hope this post inspires you to visit Kangaroo Island!

Please note: Kangaroo Island is still recovering from bushfires that occurred in 2019-2020. Please be a respectful visitor and leave no trace. Please see this link for an updated list of what attractions are open.

Join our newsletter (linked here) and never miss a post!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. These sales help to run this blog without any additional cost to you. See our policy page for details.

Kangaroo Island South Australia at Flinders Chase National Park
Flinders Chase National Park


How to Get to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide


By Ferry

The Kangaroo Island Connect is a passenger ferry that runs from Cape Jarvis to Penneshaw, Kanagroo Island. Kangaroo Island Connect has the fastest trip available to Kangaroo Island. The ferry is approximately 30 minutes. You can view the ferry times here

The SeaLink is another ferry that offers service to Kangaroo Island. This ferry is both a passenger and a vehicle ferry. If you’d like to have a vehicle on the island, you might consider taking this route. But, if you have a rental car from the mainland, be sure to check in advance to see if they allow travel to Kangaroo Island. We found that many car rental companies in Adelaide prohibit excursions to Kangaroo Island, or they have much higher prices. We were told that this is because Kangaroo Island has many unpaved roads and an abundance of wildlife. 

By Air

When we traveled to Kangaroo Island, we flew from Adelaide Airport (ADL) to Kingscote Airport (KGC). Kingscote Airport is the only airport on Kangaroo Island, and it’s served by Qantas Airlines. The flight is only 30 minutes long from Adelaide. The airport is fairly small, so don’t expect to have lots of dining or lounge options.

TIP:I recommend checking the SkyScanner website to search for the best airfare prices for your dates of travel if you plan to fly to other places on your trip!


Getting Around Kangaroo Island

Rental Car or Personal Vehicle

Whether you arrive by ferry to Penneshaw or plane to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, you can rent a car to explore the island. We chose to rent a car when we arrived in Kingscote because we wanted to drive to remote beaches and explore unpaved roads. Having a car gave us the freedom to customize our trip. Because Kangaroo Island has many unpaved roads and lots of wildlife, we found that the rental car prices were a bit higher than we expected. In our opinion, though, it was definitely worth spending a little more to have our own vehicle. If you choose to rent a car, just be sure to budget a little extra money. 

We were cautioned not to drive after sunset, because there’s so much more wildlife on the roads. We found that to be true, and we were careful to complete all our driving for the day prior to sunset.

Guides and Tours of Kangaroo Island

If you don’t want to worry about driving, there are plenty of tours available on the island. Some tour options include:


Public Transportation

When we visited Kangaroo Island, there was virtually no public transportation. To our knowledge, there were no taxis or ride shares. When planning your trip, be sure to identify how you are traveling between island destinations.

Our Video Footage of Kangaroo Island


Map of Kangaroo Island Destinations

We created this map with all of the destinations mentioned in this post to help you plan your own trip to Kangaroo Island. 


What to Pack on a Trip to Kangaroo Island

We recommend that you bring the following items:

  • Packable rain jacket (Even if rain isn’t in the forecast, the weather can change quickly. This rain jacket folds down small and can be easily packed in a bag for when you need it.)
  • Comfortable daypack (When exploring, you’ll want a comfortable daypack to place all of your belongings, snacks, and souvenirs.)
  • Portable charger (You’ll be using your phone for maps, navigation, and photos, so make sure you don’t run out of battery while you’re on the go. We like this one because it’s slim and you don’t have to worry about packing extra cables. The cable is built-in to the charger.)
  • Insulated water bottle (This water bottle will keep your water cooler for longer.)
  • Comfortable walking shoes (When out exploring, you’ll be walking quite a bit. Make sure you have comfortable shoes! Brooks has been my favorite brand so far.)
  • Microfiber Towel (This one dries very quickly and can be packed small so you’re always ready for the beach.)
  • Binoculars (There’s tons of wildlife on the island, and you’ll definitely want a pair of binoculars to see the many koalas, kangaroos, seals, and more that make Kangaroo Island their home!)


(Click on any of the above images for current pricing and shipping information.)

Best Things to Do in Kangaroo Island, South Australia

1. Flinders Chase National Park

The best place to experience Kangaroo Island’s rugged wilderness is Flinders Chase National Park. We spent a day in this national park and hit the main sights, but we would have loved to have spent several days here. The park was so beautiful, it was difficult to leave and head on to our next destination. (You can read all about our trip to Flinders Chase National Park to hear more about what we liked and see more of our photos!)

Flinders Chase National Park is located on the west side of the island, about 130 kilometers away from Penneshaw and 97 kilometers away from Kingscote. The park was the second national park to be established in South Australia. The park is home to many endangered species as well as unique geological structures.

Flinders Chase National Park consists of three sections: Cape du Couedic, Gosse Lands, and Cape Borda Lightstation. The park contains two geological monuments that have been recognized by the Geological Society of Australia: Cape du Couedic and the Remarkable Rocks.

If you enjoy hiking, you might be interested in the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, which is a 5-day hike along the coastline. Because the park is recovering after the bushfires of 2019 and 2020, you can now complete the trail through a licensed tour operator

Flinders Chase National Park
Flinders Chase National Park – Boardwalk to Admiral’s Arch

There are two particularly famous things to see at Flinders Chase National Park. The first is Admiral’s Arch, which is a natural landmark that was created by the forces of nature. There’s a beautiful boardwalk that you can walk down to see this magnificent arch. You likely won’t be the only one there – lots of seals have made this cove their home!

Admirals Arch
Admiral’s Arch

The second main sight to see at Flinders Chase National Park is the Remarkable Rocks. The parking lot to this site fills up quickly, so we recommend getting there early. The rocks are made of granite and have unique shapes as a result of erosion due to the ocean winds. It’s a great place to take photos. Because it is literally crawling with people in the afternoon, it’s another reason to get there early.

The Remarkable Rocks Kangaroo Island South Australia
The Remarkable Rocks

The roads within Flinders Chase National Park are spectacular too. We enjoyed just driving around the park as much as we did arriving at its different destinations!

Cape du Couedic road
Cape du Couedic road


We wrote a full post on what to see at Flinders Chase National Park. Check it out here!

2. Seal Bay Conservation Park

Kangaroo Island is home to a number of protected species, including the Australian sea lion. Their numbers are in decline, and Seal Bay Conservation Park is doing important work to protect them. For a small fee, a tour guide will take you down to the beach to see these beautiful sea lions. From a short distance away you can observe the seals barking, swimming, and napping. In addition to the tour, there is also an extensive boardwalk that offers plenty of up-close opportunities to see the seals.

We really enjoyed seeing the seal colony from a respectful distance. It was so fun to see the seals’ unique personalities! We must have seen dozens of seals, each one doing a different activity. We highly recommend checking out Seal Bay Conservation Park. 

Seal Bay Conservation Park at Kangaroo Island
Australian Sea Lions


3. Bales Beach

After visiting Seal Bay Conservation Park, we recommend that you stop by Bales Beach. The Bales Bay lookout is just a 5-minute drive from Seal Bay Conservation Park. 

4. Sandboarding

Although Kangaroo Island is known for its beaches, inland you can find some pretty dramatic sand dunes! The sand dunes on Kangaroo Island are known as the “Little Sahara”. We had never gone sandboarding before and decided to try it out on a whim after seeing a sign posted on the road. We had a blast sandboarding and using a toboggan! We rented all of the equipment through Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action.

Sandboarding Kangaroo Island South Australia
Sandboarding at Little Sahara


5. Kelly Hill Conservation Park

Another thing to do on Kangaroo Island is take a tour of the Kelly Hill Caves. We really enjoyed learning about the caves, and our guide even turned out all the lights and lit a candle so that we could appreciate how the caves were first explored with very minimal light. As of this writing, you can only visit Kelly Hill Conservation Park through a guided tour. The rest of the park is planned to re-open in April of 2023.

Kelly Hill Caves Kangaroo Island South Australia
Kelly Hill Caves


6. Hanson’s Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Koalas are one of our favorite animals, and we really enjoyed the Koala Walk at Hanson’s Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. We went on a walking tour of the sanctuary at sunset and saw tons of wildlife, but the highlight was certainly the line of trees that contained dozens of koalas. They typically sleep 20 hours a day, so we were lucky to catch them during the evening when they were a bit more active!

As of this writing, you must book a guided tour in advance of your visit. During your visit, you are likely to see koalas, tammar wallabies, kangaroos, bats, echidnas, possums, and bust stone-curlews.

You can also book accommodations at one of their beachfront cabins

Koala at Kangaroo Island South Australia at Hanson's Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Hanson’s Bay Wildlife Sanctuary


7. Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

If you are looking to hold a koala while you visit Kangaroo Island, the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is the place to do it. You can feed kangaroos, wallabies, and hold a koala. This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

There are over 150 native species at the park, with over 600 animals. 

After the bushfires in 2020, the park established the Kangaroo Island Koala and Wildlife Rescue Centre. After the fires, they helped to treat and rehabilitate over 600 animals that were injured. You can donate to their rescue centre here

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park with a koala
Feeding a Koala!


8. Dudley Wines

Kangaroo Island is famous for wines. The maritime air and the excellent soil quality create the perfect conditions for grapes. We had planned to visit several wineries during our visit to Kangaroo Island, but we didn’t go to any others after coming to Dudley’s! We started with a wine tasting which contained over 14 samples. WOW! And with an absolutely stunning backdrop, we were happy to spend the afternoon eating local cheeses and sampling their wines.

Dudley Wines Kangaroo Island South Australia
View From Dudley Wines


9. Kangaroo Island Spirits

Kangaroo Island Spirits is famous for their gin. You can head to their Gin Garden to enjoy a Gin Tasting Flight, a Liqueur Tasting Flight, or a cocktail. We stopped by Kangaroo Island Spirits and we really enjoyed their gin. They also had a nice outdoor area with picnic tables. I bought one of their shirts as a souvenir, and I wear it all the time. It brings back such great memories from our trip!

Kangaroo Island Spirits on Kangaroo Island
Gin tasting menu from our visit


10. Clifford’s Honey Farm

Clifford’s Honey Farm is another foodie destination on the island. We enjoyed sampling the various honeys they produce. It’s a must to try the honey ice cream! We also bought some honey beer to take back to our hotel for later. This is the world’s oldest bee sanctuary and is home to the only pure strain of Ligurian Bee honey in the world.

Clifford's honey farm on Kangaroo Island
Honey Taste Testing


11. Dinner at Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn

Our favorite meals on Kangaroo Island took place at our hotels. One of the best meals of our lives was at the Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn. The steak and shrimp dish was simply amazing! You must visit Kangaroo Island for the food and wine!

Amazing restaurant at Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn
Excellent Cuisine on the Island


12. Vivonne Bay

Vivonne Bay was rated as one of Australia’s best beaches. There is plenty of coastline, white sand, and turquoise water. We stopped by Vivonne Bay and enjoyed a nice beach walk. The color of the water was absolutely beautiful!

Kangaroo Island South Australia Vivonne Bay
Vivonne Bay


13. Stokes Bay

On our last day we decided to visit Stokes Bay before heading to the airport. We were glad we did! It was by far our favorite beach. There is a “secret” path through the boulders to the right of the parking lot. After bending and twisting through the rocks, we discovered a quiet inlet with crystal clear water. We still daydream about this picture-perfect beach.

Stokes Bay at Kangaroo Island
Stoke’s Bay


14. Raptor Domain

Raptor Domain is a conservation center for birds of prey on Kangaroo Island. The staff at the center work to rehabilitate birds that are sick or have been injured. Birds that cannot be safely returned to the wild are kept as ambassadors. Raptor Domain has a 1-hour Free Flight Birds of Prey Presentation and a Reptile Presentation. (Admission required.)

15. Penneshaw Penguin Centre

Penneshaw is home to a colony of Little Penguins on Kangaroo Island. The Penneshaw Penguin Centre is typically not open during the day, because they offer night-walking tours which offer the best chances of seeing the Little Penguins. During a 1-hour nighttime tour, your guide will take you for a walk with animal-friendly flashlights to look for Little Penguins. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll see a penguin, but you’ll have a good chance with a guide!

16. Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery 

While on Kangaroo Island, you can also stop by the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery. For a small fee, you can take a short self-guided tour of the distillery. The distillery also has a cafe and a shop. They recommend that you allow 30 minutes for a visit to the distillery in total. If you give advanced notice, you can also try to book one of their private tours for a more in-depth experience. 

17. Cape Borda Lightstation

The lighthouse at Cape Borda was built in 1858. A small settlement was built to support the lighthouse. You can take a self-guided tour around the lightstation, and the park is free to the public. Check out the short Clifftop Walk trail for excellent views of the ocean. 

18. Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park and Wilderness Protection Area

On the southern coast of Kangaroo Island you’ll find the Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park. The park has walking trails, beaches, wetlands, and campgrounds.

19. Emu Bay Lavender Farm

The Emu Bay Lavender Farm has over 12 varieties of lavender that grow on over 50 acres. You can visit the farm and buy their lavender products. If you hope to see the lavender flowers in bloom, you’ll want to visit in the summer. 

16. Kangaroo Island Brewery

Head to Kangaroo Island Brewery to try their beers. No reservations are required.

17. Snelling Beach

Snelling Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the north coast of Kangaroo Island. 

18. Salt Lagoon

This pinkish salt lagoon is located on a bit west of Kingscote. The salt lagoon experience will depend on the season.

19. Kingscote Golf Club

The Kingscote Golf Club has an 18-hole course. If you enjoy golfing, check out their Facebook page for current updates.

20. Spend the afternoon in Kingscote

Kingscote is the largest city on Kangaroo Island. (Although it’s still pretty small… the population is less than 2,000 residents.) While you’re in Kingscote, you can check out the jetty, galleries, markets, restaurants, and more. You might also want to visit Hope Cottage, the Reeves Point Historic Site, the Old Mulberry Tree, and Flagstaff Hill. 

21. Drive to Parndana

While you’re driving through Kangaroo Island, you might want to stop by Parndana. Parndana is a very small town located in the heart of Kangaroo Island. There’s a couple of stores as well as the Parndana Soldier Settlement Museum

Tips for Visiting Kangaroo Island

If you’re headed to Kangaroo Island, here’s some tips to help you prepare for your visit:

  • Bushfire Awareness: Please be aware that Kangaroo Island is recovering from bushfires that occurred several years ago. You can see this link for an updated list of what attractions are open at this time.
  • Leave No Trace: Help keep Kangaroo island pristine by following Leave No Trace principles. This includes only staying on marked trails, not littering, and not feeding the wildlife. 
  • Download Offline Maps: There is very little cell phone coverage on the island. Make sure to download maps in advance, so that you can reference them as you explore.
  • Bring a Battery Pack: Make sure that you can charge your phone on-the-go with a fully charged battery pack. That way, you can use your phone for navigation and photography all day long. 
  • Drive Carefully: If you’re driving a vehicle, be sure to drive carefully. There are many unpaved roads, and there’s a lot of wildlife. If you have a passenger, put them on lookout for wildlife. 
  • Be Spontaneous: Our favorite thing about Kangaroo Island was choosing a road, following it, and discovering a beautiful beach or lookout. 
  • Don’t Drink and Drive: With numerous wineries, breweries, and spirits on the island, make sure that you do not drink and drive. Have a designated driver and drive responsibly. 

Photos of Wildlife We Saw in Kangaroo Island

When we were researching places to visit in Australia, we decided to visit Kangaroo Island because of the wildlife. There are few other places in Australia where you can regularly see koalas and kangaroos in the wild! 


We were a little nervous when we did not see any kangaroos during our first day on the island. However, we were pleased to find out that the kangaroos can often be found in the paddocks (fields) just after sunrise and at sunset. We ended up seeing dozens of them when we woke up early and went for a drive.

Three kangaroos on Kangaroo Island South Australia
We never got tired of seeing kangaroos!



Kangaroo Island has a koala population of about 8,500. During our hikes, we saw three koalas in the wild. It was so fun to watch them sway in the uppermost branches of trees. If you want to see a koala in the wild, carefully scan the tops of the trees as you walk by.

Two koalas in a tree on Kangaroo Island
Keep a lookout for koalas in the treetops!



These cute creatures are sometimes known as spiny anteaters. They are the only mammals in the world that lay eggs. We saw several of these during our hikes.

echidna on Kangaroo Island
Keep your eyes on the ground for echidnas along the path.



We also saw plenty of seals. It was pretty amusing to watch the seals sleep in odd positions, race to the water, or bark at each other.

Seal on Kangaroo Island
There are many opportunities to see seals on the island.

Kangaroo Island Accommodations


When we visited Kangaroo Island, we spent two nights on the east side of the island and two nights on the west side of the island. We were very happy with our accommodations and would recommend both of them.

In Kingscote, we stayed at the Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn. We liked the location (right next to the beach), and they served truly excellent food at their restaurant. 

When we visited Flinders Chase National Park, we stayed at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat. Unfortunately, this hotel was severely damaged during the bushfires.  

For a full list of properties in the Kingscote area, click this link. (There are over 40 different lodging options to choose from!)

Kangaroo Island Restaurants, Wineries, Bars, and More

Kangaroo Island is famous for its wineries and restaurants. Here’s a list of restaurants, wineries, and more on Kangaroo Island: 

  • Bay of Shoals Wines: With vines growing right by the sea, this vineyard produces stunning wines. Visit their Cellar Door to do a wine tasting. 
  • Cactus: This self-described funky cafe serves up breakfast and lunch on the daily. They also offer to-go picnic baskets, so you can take a great meal anywhere on the island.
  • Dudley Wines: As you saw earlier on our list of things to do on Kangaroo Island, Dudley Wines was one of our favorite stops. We had a fantastic wine-tasting with a spectacular view.
  • Emu Bay Lavender: The farm has a cafe which serves some lovely lavender-flavored dishes and sandwiches.
  • False Cape Wines: This winery has a Cellar Door with indoor and outdoor seating. There’s also activities for kids. 
  • Gastronomo: For foodies, Sensorium is one of the most famous dining experiences on Kangaroo Island. They serve a prix-fixe menu focusing on local ingredients.
  • Millie Mae’s Pantry: Excellent place to stop by for coffee, breakfast, or lunch. You can dine in the garden or on the deck. 
  • Kangaroo Island Brewery: With so much focus on Kangaroo Island wine, it was time for a brewery to enter the scene! 
  • Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn: One of our favorite meals from the trip was actually at the restaurant at this hotel! We had an excellent steak and prawn dinner. 
  • Kangaroo Island Spirits: We stopped by Kangaroo Island Spirits for a gin tasting. The gins were truly very good and we were so glad we visited!
  • Parndana Bakery and Cafe: If you’re looking for a place to eat in the middle section of Kangaroo Island, Parndana Bakery and Cafe is a convenient stop. 
  • Sunset Food and Wine: With a picturesque view and award-winning food, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic meal. 
  • The Islander Estate Vineyard: This winery is located near the Cygnet River. They offer wine tastings and is a beautiful place to visit. 
  • The Oyster Farm Shop: Looking for fresh seafood? Look no further than The Oyster Farm Shop! They even offer free tastings of some of their products. 

Suggested Kangaroo Island 5-Day Itinerary

(Based off of our own 5-day trip to Kangaroo Island!)

Day 1: Fly into Kangaroo Island and arrive to hotel. Visit Kangaroo Island Spirits.

Day 2: Visit Dudley Wines, Clifford’s Honey Farm, Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, and Stokes Bay.

Day 3: Visit Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Caves, and Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Day 4: Visit Seal Bay, Vivonne Bay, and Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action.

Day 5: Return to mainland Australia. 

History of Kangaroo Island

There is evidence that aboriginal people inhabited Kangaroo Island as long as 16,000 years ago. It’s estimated that about 2,000 years ago, the aboriginal people disappeared from the island when rising waters separated the island from the mainland. The Kaurna people called the island Karta Pintingga, which translates to Island of the Dead. 

In 1800, British explorer Mathew Flinders arrived to the island. He stopped at the island in order to get fresh water and provisions. He named the island Kangaroo Island due to the presence of numerous kangaroos. The French explorer Nicolas Baudin was the first European to map the island. That is why so many of the island’s prominent sights have French names.

Sealers lived on the island and abducted aboriginal women. See this article for important commentary about this history of exploitation. 

In the year 2020, Kangaroo Island had a population of 5,021 people

FAQs About Kangaroo Island

Is Kangaroo Island worth it?

Visiting Kangaroo Island is absolutely worth it! Although you need to travel to the island from the mainland, once you are on the island, you couldn’t ask for more! We especially enjoyed seeing wild koalas and kangaroos, visiting pristine beaches, and enjoying local wine and food. We especially recommend visiting Flinders Chase National Park and Stokes Bay.

Are there kangaroos on Kangaroo Island?

There are thousands of kangaroos living on Kangaroo Island. In fact, there are more kangaroos than people on the island. (Hence its name!) The kangaroos that live on Kangaroo Island are their own distinct species, which are called Kangaroo Island Kangaroos. They are a bit smaller than kangaroos you might see in mainland Australia. 

Why is it called Kangaroo Island?

Matthew Flinders, an English explorer, named the island Kangaroo Island after he landed in 1802 and saw the numerous kangaroos on the island. The aboriginal name for the island is Karta Pintingga, which means “Island of the Dead.” 

How many days do you need in Kangaroo Island?

We recommend spending at least 3 days on Kangaroo Island to see most of the sites. You’ll want to spend at least one day at Flinders Chase National park, one day visiting the island’s pristine beaches, and one day visiting the wildlife parks. It’s possible to take a day trip of Kangaroo Island through a tour agency if you’d like just a quick taste of the island. We spent 4 nights on Kangaroo Island at felt that it was the perfect amount of time.

Summary: Best Things to Do on Kangaroo Island

We hope this post about things to do in Kangaroo Island was helpful. We spent 5 fabulous days on Kangaroo Island for our honeymoon, and we would go back in a heartbeat. The island really does have it all. If you’re considering a trip to Kangaroo Island, we highly recommend it!

Kangaroo Island South Australia at Flinders Chase National Park boardwalk

If this article was helpful to you, please consider sharing it on your social media accounts to share with others who might find it helpful. Also, don’t forget to join our newsletter. Thank you!
best things to do on Kangaroo Island Pinterest pin
Pin for later!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy the following posts:

DisclaimerWe always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please look up such information directly from each vendor or institution for the most current information.


After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading Spanish novels, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!