7 Reasons Why Kangaroo Island Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination
Blog Post - By Camille Helm
Avid adventurers Camille and Jamie from All About Adventure took seven incredible days to explore Kangaroo Island in their van. Take a read and find out why they fell in love with this the island and some of the hidden rock pools and locations they found off the beaten track.
What do you dream of when thinking about your next holiday destination? Do you want to relax on a sandy beach and swim in clear blue rock pools? Are you hoping to have up close encounters with adorable wallabies, koalas, dolphins or seals? Do you dream of wide open spaces and unspoilt, rugged scenery? Or maybe you seek the thrill of adventure, like sand boarding, surfing or hiking?
Well, Kangaroo Island in South Australia has all that and more! Let us share our experience on this island with you, and tell you why this could be the holiday you’ve been dreaming about. Here we explain our 7 reasons why you need to visit Kangaroo Island:
1. It’s so easy to get to and navigate around
90 minutes south of the hustle and bustle of Adelaide city, brings you to Cape Jervis. Here, the SeaLink Ferry will be waiting to take you over to Kangaroo Island. On a clear day you can see over to the island and feel the excitement that awaits. The ferry ride is a short 45 mins and you can enjoy a coffee or snack from the on-board cafe and make the most of the free Wi-Fi.
As Australia’s third largest island, KI is 155km in length and around 55km at its widest point. There is a sealed road in a loop around the island, which will get you to the main tourist attractions. However, you will find that the island offers much more than just the main attractions. 10 minutes along an unsealed road will often lead to an untouched beach or lookout.
There is so much to see and do whilst on Kangaroo Island. Due to that fact, we took our own vehicle over but you can easily rent one there if required! We had planned a 7 day trip, but we loved it so much that we found ourselves wishing we had more time. So, we would recommend a minimum of 10 days to really explore the island, but you could definitely stay longer. If you only have a short amount of time, we highly recommend a two day tour, as the local guides will be able to get you around to so many of the local attractions.
2. The wildlife is incredibly abundant
Within a few hours on KI we spotted a sea-lion, a pod of dolphins and a gorgeous little wallaby. Keen to get a closer look, we booked into the 2 hour snorkel tour with KI Ocean Safari from Penneshaw. Not only did we snorkel with a group of playful sea-lions but the tour also allowed us to swim with a pod of dolphins with a calf in their midst. It was certainly an experience we won’t forget anytime soon.
Camping at the beautiful Stokes bay, we were surrounded by hundreds of Tammar wallabies each evening. As the sun set, large groups of Eastern Grey Kangaroos came out to graze. A Kangaroo Island local told us a very interesting fact about the cute Tammar wallabies. Did you know, they have the ability to drink salt water?
Some of our best wildlife viewing came during our 2 night stay at Vivonne Bay, located on the southern coast of KI. Whilst at the property we made friends with the resident koalas and had fairy wrens and honey-eaters keeping us company on the deck. Heading down to Vivonne Bay jetty, we watched another pod of dolphins and a curious seal popping up to say hello.
Every season brings out different wildlife on KI, the winter months being perfect for whale watching. Our trip in early February coincided with the time of year that the NZ fur seal pups are out and exploring. They are particularly active and playful at Admirals Arch, which is their designated breeding ground but can also be found at Seal Bay.
3. There’s a beach for every occasion
KI has a beach to suit everyone’s tastes. Whether it’s a calm swimming beach, a rugged surf break or some protected rock pools. With the wind blowing predominantly from the south, we found the calmest areas were the northern beaches. This meant we spent a good few days just floating or swimming at the stunning Stokes Bay. A walk through a rocky tunnel takes you to ‘Secret Beach’ where you are met with a lagoon style rock pool. The white sandy beach makes the perfect spot to set up for the day! If you are a keen explorer, there are even some hidden rock pools to be found there.
The south coast of the Island is more rugged and wild but equally as beautiful as the north. Pennington bay is one of many picturesque surfing beaches. Not to worry even if you’re not a surfer, as there’s so much more to enjoy! Small caves to explore, sandy bottomed rock pools and dolphins are all part of the charm of Pennington Bay.
Vivonne Bay is a beautiful area with so much to choose from. Calm and safe areas to swim or snorkel, a jetty for fishing and a beautiful white sandy beach to enjoy. It should be noted that Vivonne Bay was voted ‘The World’s Best Beach’ in 2003. At nearby point Ellen you will also be able to find some amazing hidden rock pools . Their stunning, clear turquoise waters are oh so inviting for a swim. But beware! On large swell days the waves can be dangerous at the rock pools and the water a little cold!
4. You can feel like you’re on your own private island
Numerous times during our stay on Kangaroo Island we had a beach or landmark to ourselves. There were even times when we didn’t pass another person for half a day. With 50 unique beaches, your chance of getting one to yourself is pretty high. Of course there are busy times and popular attractions, so our advice is to catch a sunrise or watch the sunset. You are likely to get the area to yourself and it feels like you’re enjoying your own private island.
5. It has some of the most incredible geological formations in Australia
Flinders Chase National Park on the Western side of the Island showcases many of these interesting geological sites. Admirals Arch is one of the more popular attractions, and we could see why. This spectacular natural arch is complete with impressive stalactites and views out to the wild ocean below. To make it even more impressive it is also a breeding ground for NZ fur seals.
Nearby, you will find the aptly named Remarkable Rocks. The large granite outcrop has been fantastically shaped and moulded by wind and rain creating a rocky playground. Weave in and around these sculpted works of art, and make sure to stay for a spectacular sunset!
Unfortunately, we did not get time to see the Kelly Hill caves on this trip. However, our hikes and explorations had us discovering other interesting limestone sea caves, particularly at Ravine Des Casoars.
Harvey’s return is a steep but fascinating walk that is rich in history, having served as the Cape Borda lighthouse supply route. It’s geological significance comes in the form of the sparkling, layered “zebra rock” that we discovered along the small bay.
6. It’s an adventure lovers paradise
We were lucky to spend 2 nights in Vivonne Bay which was booked through SeaLink when booking our ferry travel. It was the perfect base for adventure activities on the island. As a bonus, when staying 2 nights guests have access to the kayaks, bikes and sand boards. First on our agenda was sand boarding the rolling dunes at Little Sahara. Make sure to grab the Mr Sheen to make your board go extra fast.
Next, we headed to the Harriet River for a scenic kayak ride. You can paddle towards the ocean or up river, all with the included single or 2 person kayaks. We found bike riding or bush walking to be the best way to explore the area.
Kangaroo Island offers numerous hikes with varying lengths and even some overnight ones such as the Kangaroo Island Wilderness trail. We decided to do the 7.5km Ravine Des Casoars hike in Flinders Chase National Park. Any adventure lover would appreciate the beautiful creek, secluded bay, several sea caves to explore and the friendly Rosenberg goannas.
If that hasn’t satisfied your sense of adventure, you could always surf or snorkel at the countless beaches and bays. After a long day adventuring, we were happy coming back to our accommodation for a beer on the deck.
7. You can eat and drink your way around the island
We only managed to scratch the surface when it came to tasting everything KI has to offer. Wineries are abundant, micro breweries are popping up all over and the local produce is to die for. Our foodie highlights included a fresh King George whiting burger at Vivonne Bay general store. We also enjoyed an emu pie and Marron salad with a tasting platter of ciders at Emu Ridge Eucalyptus distillery.
Kangaroo Island Brewery was another favourite and does a fantastic pale ale and IPA. The friendly local owners Mike and Nina have done a great job creating an off grid and sustainable brewery. We drank up the friendly atmosphere while we sampled their tasty brews. This place is definitely worth a stop on your KI itinerary. Kangaroo Island is also home to a honey farm, a gin distillery and world class seafood. What’s not to love?
So we have to ask… what are you waiting for? Book a trip to Kangaroo Island with Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours today!
Interested in following our adventures around Australia? Follow our blog or find us on Instagram.