Kangaroo Island Online - General Information

General Information

Kangaroo Island is the third largest island in Australia

The island is about 155km long from the East to West and about 55km wide from North to South.

Many visitors who have heard of the wonderful experiences and want to experience them for themselves seem to be unprepared for the distances between locations and they find themselves running out of time because they do not realise how large the island is. They arrive on the ferry and think that they can get around to the major attractions and be back on the mainland within the same day.

If you would like to make the most of the experiences and activities the island offers - you need to consider staying on the island for at least 2 to 3 days. That way you won't find yourself racing around and missing out on some great experiences. The main expense in planning a trip to Kangarro Island will be transportation. There are two ways to get to the island from Adelaide.

    By Ferry - you arrive on the Eastern side of the island at Penneshaw. The trip from Adelaide to Cape Jervis (the ferry terminal on the mainland) takes just under 2 hours if there is a good run with no traffic or roadworks.The ferry trip is about 30 minutes in good weather and there are extra services at peak periods.
    By Air - you arrive at Kingscote airport (about 20 minutes from Kingscote). The flight takes about 20 minutes from Adelaide airport. Adelaide city is close to the airport, about 20 minutes from the center.

There is NO public transport on the island. There is a shuttle service for passengers from the airport and from Penneshaw to Kingscote but you need to make reservations to ensure that you will have a seat or you risk waiting a long time for a lift in the right direction !!!

The main attractions are Seal Bay Conservation Park (home to a colony of Australian sea lions) and Flinders Chase National Park where visitors can view the New Zealand fur seals at Admirals Arch and be amazed by the incredible natural sculptures at Remarkable Rocks.

It takes about 45 minutes to get to Seal Bay from Kingscote and another hour or more to get to Flinders Chase from Seal Bay. The road is a sealed road now and there is a sealed ring road which traverses the South Coast (with no coastal views) and then along the interior of the island through farmlands in the heart of the island - bypassing Parndana.
The drive from the ferry terminal at Penneshaw to Kingscote takes about 45 minutes and there is a stretch which can be tricky to drive along at dusk or twilight because of the nocturnal wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies and possums which could be on the move at that time to graze.

Fuel stations are situated in Kingscote, Penneshaw, Vivvone Bay and Parndana. They are far apart and it is a good idea to make sure you have a full tank when you start the day or you could come to grief along the way. Some of these fuel stations serve as a one-stop convenience store as well for meals,snacks and supplies. Most places except the major credit cards.

Weather wise - be prepared for all sorts of weather no matter which season you visit. There can be dramatic weather changes from one day to the next and even within the day itself. Always check the weather forecasts and carry layers to make sure you don't get too cold or hot. A windproof rain jacket is a handy accessory to have even if it stays in the car all your trip (you were lucky!!!) as it gets pretty windy along the coast and if you are on the South Coast you will find that there can be quite a chill in the temperature after being warmed up on the North Coast.

Where to go - what to do

South Coast

    Seal Bay Conservation Park - go on a guided tour. The guides take groups on to the beach and interprets what the sea lions are doing at the moment or why they aren't doing anything. Tours start at 9am and the last tour starts at 4.15pm. The park closes at 5pm. Extended hours of operation during the South Australian School summer holidays.
    Little Sahara - Climb 90ft of spectacular sand dunes and when you get to the top, you will see a different view from different directions. Imagine standing in the middle of a huge sand dune formation and looking out to the coast on one side, over paddocks on another and then expanses of native scrub from yet another. Bring or hire a sand board and have fun sandboarding down the face of the dunes - just remember if you want to do it again you have to walk all the way back up to the top. Lots of fun - good for kids (should be supervised by adults) and great for those with lots of energy. If you have keen eyes you might even spot tracks in the sand and see who goes there when there's no one around...........
    Vivonne Bay - go for a walk on one of Australia's most beautiful beaches. It actually won the award in 2003 for its pristine waters and beautiful white sandy beach. It is also home to the boats of the South Australian rock lobster fishermen. You can catch fresh fish and squid off the jetty for your dinner. There is a camping area with toilets and a barbeque shelter if you want to stay the night. There are camping fees for the use of the campground.
    Admirals Arch - Flinders Chase - watch the New Zealan fur seals rest and play on the rocks just metres away from the boardwalk. If the surf is up - watch them ride the waves and wonder how they don't get smashed to smithereens by the force of the waves. You might also be able to spot a fair few Australian fur seals and a couple of Australian sea lions amongst them.
    Remarkable Rocks - Flinders Chase - Admire the spectacular formations sculpted by the elements. If you are there at the right time you will see the most stupendous colour contrasts between the sea, sky and the rocks. Be careful to keep away from the edges and don't get too adventurous scrambling around. The rocks can be deceptively slippery. People have lost their lives there recently.

To explore and enjoy these areas, you should give yourself enough time to get there and do everything at leisure. It would be more than a full day out if you wanted to do just this list.

This is a start - I hope to work on this more and will keep updating the site and links as I go along.

Keep checking back and see how this page is developing. Send me an email to let me know if you would like something added or if you have a comment on the site.