In the 19th century sealers and whalers began to settle on the island, eventually establishing it as a colony.
This 4,405 km sq island has a 540 km stretch of coastline. It is 150 km long with its highest point at Mount McDonnell standing at 299 m above sea level. Kingscote, the island’s largest town, serves as the administrative centre.
Kangaroo Island’s economy hangs on two major industries: agriculture and tourism. As a famous tourist attraction in South Australia, Kangaroo Island received more than 140,000 visitors annually – a fourth of the tourists are international.
Some of the island’s tourist attractions
The gourmet products
Try the fresh seafood, honey, cheeses, beers, and wines. Visit the cellar doors of Dudley Wines (Penneshaw) and Bay of Shoals Wines (Kingscote). Sample the handcrafted gin, vodka, and liqueurs of Kangaroo Island Spirits. Or visit the Kangaroo Island brewery for some craft beers.
At Clifford’s Honey Farm, you may try their pure honey from Ligurian honey bees. Sample some sheep cheeses from Island Pure Sheep Dairy. Visit the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery, a manufacturer of eucalyptus oils.
Freshly caught seafood is always available in some of the island’s seafood hotspots. Visit Kangaroo Island Fresh Seafoods, the Enchanted Fig Tree, or Takeaway at Kingscote. You may also try the Australian freshwater crayfish at the Marron Café.
Explore Flinders Chase National Park for its impressive scenic attractions and wildlife. Covered by orange lichen, check out the giant granite boulders called Remarkable Rocks. Nature has formed and shaped these rocks for millions of years. You can also check out the Admirals Arch which is covered by stalactites and have some great ocean views at the Cape du Couedic Lighthouse.
View the sea lions
At the Seal Bay Conservation Park, view the rare Australian sea lions on a 900-metre boardwalk. Have a Seal Bay experience. Take a 45-minute tour around the beach among the playful sea lions. Or you could wait for the colours of a South Australian sunset.
KI is replete with endemic wildlife. Spot some fur seals and other native wildlife including the large goannas, wallabies, echidnas, and kangaroos. If you’re lucky enough you may be able to see the elusive platypus at the Platypus Waterholes Walk.
Koalas are a common sight; they spend their day on top of the eucalypts either sleeping or eating. The Koala Walk at the Hansen Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the great places to see the koalas.
KI is considered an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
Some of the birds that can be found on the island include fairy tern, bush stone-curlew, hooded plover, western whip bird, rock parrot, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Cape Barren geese, black-faced cormorant, Pacific gulls, pied oystercatchers, musk ducks, blue-billed ducks, freckled ducks, Australian shelducks, chestnut teals, banded stilts, native emus, and glossy black cockatoos.
Other places to see the Australian native animals are Kelly Hill Conservation Park, Lathami Conservation Park, and Baudin Conservation Park. There are also little penguin colonies at Flinders Chase and Hanson Bay. You can also board a cruise to see the seals, dolphins, and whales.
Have fun in the sand at the huge sand dunes of Little Sahara on the island’s southern coast. To view the entire island, climb up the lookout at Mount Thisby.
These are only some of the good things to see and do on Kangaroo Island, and there’s a lot more to explore.
By Kelvene Requiroso, content writer and member of the SEO team of the Melbourne-based Get Lost Travel Group.