Australia is a wonderful island. And what makes it even better is the amazing islands surrounding it. There’s Rottnest, Phillip, Daydream and the Whitsundays to name a few. But the most beautiful natural landscape can be found on our own Kangaroo Island. Nowhere else will you find seals, giant ancient boulders balanced precariously on cliffs, white sands, rugged ocean, crisp, pristine beach and an abundance of local wine and food produce. You can even visit the incredible Raptor Domain Environmental Education and Rehabilitation Centre or stay at the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to see the wildlife at your doorstep – the kids will LOVE these!
There are plenty of accommodation options, including the lush Kangaroo Island Lodge, Mecure Hotel, which has its own pool, tennis court and nature walking trail. Or imagine yourself relaxing at Dudley Wine’s Cellar Door, with a sweeping cliff-top views, a wine in hand and gourmet food at your fingertips while the kids play.
To get to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide, you will need to head down the coast from Adelaide first, driving along the beautiful Fleurieu Penisula. This drive takes about 1 hr 30 minutes, so make sure you give yourself enough time. We suggest about 3-4 hours so you can enjoy a stop or two along the way. The Sealink ferry departs from Cape Jervis and takes about 45 minutes. Ferry’s leave regularly and you can find the timetable and prices on the Sealink website. Pre-booking tickets is a good idea and will remove any stress of last minute problems. KI is quite a big place, with lots of national park, so it’s recommended you do a self-drive, particularly if you have younger kids. Sealink ferrys accommodate for cars, just make sure you book your car on beforehand!
Kangaroo Island is a great family-friendly holiday location that suits all ages, so get booking and find out just what this incredible island has to offer! Make sure you check out our Top 5 things to do at the bottom of the post.
Hanson Bay Wildlife Santuary
Sadly this beautiful spot was badly affected by the bushfires, but although the accomodation and cafe are not open at this stage, you can contact them for limited tours.
The 5000 acre Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the western end of Kangaroo Island, between the Kelly Hill Caves Conservation Park and the Flinders Chase National Park. It is bordered by over 100,000 acres of protected wilderness lands which have never been cleared and the Great Southern Ocean. It is the gateway to South Australia’s most iconic wilderness area. Pristine beaches,spectacular coastline, old growth maritime bushland and forest plus abundant wildlife combine to make this area one of Australia’s most awe inspiring places.
The Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its abundant native bird and animal wildlife. Australian wildlife is predominantly nocturnal so it is most active between dusk and dawn. During your visit you will encounter Australian native animals such as Koalas, Kangaroos, Tammar Wallabies, Possums and Echidnas. It has possibly the worlds most prolific populations of Rosenburg Goanna, Short beaked Echidna (the world oldest mammal) and Bush Stone Curlew. Our Koala Walk is open every day for Koala viewing and is recognised as the best place on Kangaroo Island to see a sustainable population of Koalas in the wild.
We offer guided nocturnal tours and guided and unguided daytime walks of the Sanctuary so you can experience Australian native marsupials up “close and personal”. The Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is also a bird watchers paradise – with resident Blue Wrens, Scarlet Robins, Lorikeets, Crimson Rosellas, Black Cockatoos, Scrub Wrens, Bush Stone-Curlews, Crescent Honey-eaters, Banded Plovers, and Cape Barren Geese.
Raptor Domain is an Environmental Education and Rehabilitation Centre.
We believe, Education creates awareness, Awareness encourages interest, Interest generates appreciation and Appreciation promotes the want to preserve and protect.
Visit Raptor Domain where the whole family can experience the Ultimate Interactive Wildlife Experience with Amazing photo opportunities!
11:30 and 2:30 Join us at the Birds of Prey and put on a glove and have some of our amazing friendly birds fly to you including Kookaburras, owls and falcons or experience holding a Wedge-tailed eagle.
1:00 “Fang-Tastic “ Reptile Encounters/Venom Pit. Here you will learn about and hold some of our amazing Australian reptiles. Venom Pit, is where you can get up close and personal to some of the most deadly creatures in the world.
Pay per presentation. Join us for 1, 2, or all 3 presentations. Please note: Animals are only seen during our presentations.
All of our presentations are extremely educational, interactive and lots of fun.
Dudley Wines Cellar Door
Experience the essence of Kangaroo Island at Dudley’s Cellar Door. Sweeping cliff-top views surround you as you sample Dudley’s fine Kangaroo Island wines accompanied by gourmet food made with local ingredients. View local fine art or be tempted by our range of exquisite wool and natural fibre clothing and tasty local produce. Live music sessions “Savvy Sundays” every first Sunday of the month.
Dudley Wines serve light meals daily from 12noon featuring gourmet pizzas and local produce. Kid’s pizza/menu available including activity packs.
Child friendly with plenty of space for young ones to run around in the fenced lawn area. Toy box, books and kids table as well as an old boat to climb on. Try your hand at “golf across the gully”, an opportunity to practice your golf skills for the young ones and young at heart!
1153 Willoughby Road (12km from Penneshaw)
Open 10:30am – 4:30pm daily
Phone: (08) 8553 1333
Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge
*** Covid-19 Update – Mecure KI Lodge are anticipating a July 1 2020 re-opening!! ***
Kangaroo Island Lodge is situated on the banks of Eastern Cove in American River, with rooms perfectly perched offering exceptional water views over the bay. Amid lush coastal vegetation, KI Lodge is designed to blend in with its natural surroundings. There is no better place to unwind and to enjoy the peace and tranquillity.
Kangaroo Island Lodge is nestled on a hillside in native bushland setting. The seclusion of this area allows for the abundance of wildlife to roam free. So come and escape to Kangaroo Island Lodge.
Kangaroo Island, one of Australia’s great wilderness destinations, is best known for its magnificent coastal views, unique landscapes, uncrowded beaches and fascinating wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, Australian sea-lions, New Zealand fur seals, Little penguins and an abundance of bird life.
Kids in Adelaide Top 5 things to see and do on Kangaroo Island with your kids:
A beautiful part of the world, Seal Bay can also get a bit pongy. Haha. No seriously. It can get a good stench up, but, weirdly enough, this is when you should go and visit! Seal Bay is home to loads of Sea-Lions (it’s home to a wild colony of approximately 1000!) who stretch out on the beautiful sands, relaxing and being a bit stinky. Despite the odd wiffy scent, kids will LOVE Seal Bay. We think they may love it so much because it reminds them of their school bags when they forget to empty their lunch boxes, but it may also be because of the majestic creatures they get to see in their natural environment. To make the most of your experience at Seal Bay, book a Seal Bay Guided Tour. The tours depart regularly and take you on a 45 minute tour. If you have little ones, they may need a little bit of carrying now and then to keep up with the pace, but it’s a very relaxed and informative walk.
9am – 5pm daily (except Christmas Day) – last entry 4:15pm
9am – 6pm on South Australian summer school holidays – last entry 5:15pm
Fees (as of August 2016): Adult: $30, Child: $20, Family: $85
(Family – 2 adults & 2 children OR 1 adult & 3 children. Any additional children to be charged at 50% of child rate.)
If you have a husband like mine, you will spend most of your time in Kangaroo Island walking around looking at natural landforms and hearing things like, “…Earthquakes, land formations….soil layers, quartz, erosion… oh! There’s a beautiful old tree! I wonder how old that is.” In other words, heading to Remarkable Rocks may be a wonderful experience for budding geologists AND nature-loving partners. My husband told me it took over 500 million years of Mother Nature’s brutal strength to form the Remarkable Rocks. I told him that it only took me 2 hours to do 4 loads of washing, 1 house cleaning and 3 big cook-ups and no-one was calling me Remarkable.
Anyway, there is a nice, sloping boardwalk for the kids to walk up, but the adventure really begins once you hit the rockface. It’s a fairly flat climb for the kids, but make sure you’re more vigilant than normal of course as there are sheer drops and unfenced edges. We recommend wearing good sneakers for climbing! Tip: there are no toilets at Remarkable Rocks so make sure you stop beforehand with the kids. Prams are not recommended, opt for a baby carrier instead.
3. Vivonne Bay, Stokes Bay & Northern Swimming Beaches
Both of these bays have beautiful beaches, with lots of white sand for the kids to play on. Stokes Bay is about an hour’s drive from Kingscote, on the North Coast, and is the perfect place for a beach picnic. It’s also a lovely spot for swimming and exploring the rock pools. My favourite part is the walk to the beach through rock formations.
Vivonne Bay is south from Kingscote and is surely one of the world’s most stunning beaches (in our humble opinion!). If you have older kids, you can take them sandboarding near by at Little Sahara sand dunes. We’ve never done this on KI, but have done so in Port Lincoln and it’s soooo much fun- and SO funny. Vivonne Bay probably isn’t the best spot for kids to swim as it’s very cold and has quite strong currents. But it’s certainly worth a look. Head to beaches closer to Kingscote for better swimming spots, for example Emu Bay and Stokes Bay.
4. Admirals Arch
Another spot for the geology lovers, Admirals Arch is a beautiful land formation. Depending on the time of year you go, you may seen whales, dolphins or seals. Kids will enjoy the view from the viewing platform, and it’s not far from Flinders Chase National Park and Remarkable Rocks.
5. Locally grown/sourced produce
Make sure you take the time to enjoy the beautiful wine, honey, olives, seafood and other produce you can find on the island. There are many places you to enjoy the local produce. Check out Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Association or KI Producers for details on what to find where.
Bonus: Pelican Feeding
We’re putting this one down, hesitantly, as a bonus fave. This is because we know how much kids love pelicans and birds, but we’re hesitant due to an incident Fleur was involved in when she was around 4 years of age. It involved a pelican, a Promite sandwich and, well, a trip to Kangaroo Island. Let’s just say the pelican didn’t go hungry that day. Hopefully you have more success with the pelicans- and your sandwiches!