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Kangaroo Island: Where Wildlife Reigns
Kangaroo Island is about 150 km in length and has a year-round population of only 5000 inhabitants. So when you reach your holiday rental on the island, don't be surprised if you don't run into another human for hours on end. You are much more likely to see wild kangaroos and koalas going about their business. While on Kangaroo Island, many travelers spend their days swimming, hiking or fishing. Kangaroo Island also boasts a thriving farming community. Visitors have access to the freshest home-grown produce and can even sample some local wine. Kangaroo Island holiday rentals are primarily self-contained, but there are some restaurants on the island if you don’t wish to cook all your meals.
Wildlife Observation on Kangaroo Island
As you might expect from somewhere called Kangaroo Island, this holiday destination is teeming with wildlife, including, predictably, kangaroos and wallabies. These large marsupials are generally used to human presence. Look up at eucalyptus treetops throughout the island to observe wild koalas in their natural habitat and keep your eyes cast on the waters of Seal Bay to watch - you guessed it - seals. Wildlife tours are run daily on Kangaroo Island. You can also rent a 4WD vehicle and look for local species on your own. Alternately, head for one of the island’s wildlife sanctuaries. Hold koalas and feed emus at Paul’s Place Wildlife Sanctuary or feed wallabies at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.
Aquatic Adventures off Kangaroo Island
With over 500km of pristine coastline, Kangaroo Island offers travellers ample opportunities to partake in water sports of all kinds. Kangaroo Island is a snorkelling and diving hotspot, as numerous colourful fish species live in the reefs a short distance from the coast. Meanwhile, divers can explore over 60 shipwrecks close to shore. Families with small children will enjoy the island’s safe swimming beaches with their clear water and gentle waves. Surfers also have their pick of rougher waters. Finally, as the waters surrounding Kangaroo Island are relatively warm, fishing enthusiasts will be able to reel in all sorts of fish species. Cast your line off one of the island’s beaches or head to the jetty to fish alongside local fishermen. Alternately, higher a boat and head out to the open water for deep sea fishing.
Kangaroo Island for Foodies
Kangaroo Island may be far removed from the mainland, but that doesn’t mean the holiday destination is missing out on its own gourmet cuisine scene. Extremely fertile soil means that travellers can sample fresh produce, local cheeses and meat. Kangaroo Island is also home to a honey farm, where you can purchase everything from honey-flavoured ice cream to honey-based cosmetics. You can try some of the area’s freshly caught seafood at restaurants or by buying the day’s catch from local fishermen. Restaurants tend to serve dishes with locally sourced ingredients. Eateries are spread out across the island, with a higher concentration in Kingscote. If you would like to cook your own meals, stop by one of the weekly farmers’ markets. Kangaroo Island boasts over 25 vineyards and wine tours are available, introducing visitors to this official Australian wine growing region.
Action and Adventure Sports on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island’s interior is rife with opportunities to get your adrenaline flowing. Rent a quad bike or joing a tour and ride past sand dunes, along designated forest trails and through grassy plains at high speed. Dare devils can head to Vivonne Bay’s sand dunes for a spot of sand surfing. You can rent sandboards and toboggans onsite. If you feel comfortable, you can hit the sand dunes on your own. Otherwise, sign up for an introductory sand surfing class. Kangaroo Island harbours a network of underground caves, most of which are set beneath Kelly Hill Conservation Park. These are some of Australia’s only dry limestone caves. Above ground, you can go on the 18km Hanson Bay Hike. Beneath the surf, join a guided tour and see the stalactites for yourself.
Getting to Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is situated approximately 200 km from Adelaide in South Australia. To get to the island, you can hop aboard a public ferry at Cape Jervis (an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Adelaide). The ferry ride takes 45 minutes. While aboard, travellers can enjoy some of the best views of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
For more travel information on Kangaroo Island, see our article on Things to do on Kangaroo Island.