This mini Galapagos off the coast of South Australia is one of the country’s most beautiful and underrated wildlife sanctuaries.

Step onto this time-warped isle and you’ll find the clocks seem to have stopped in about 1973. Kids here still ride bikes to school and farmers chase kangaroos off their front lawns before dawn, but it’s the local wildlife that’s the real draw card. Grey kangaroos, fur seals, dolphins, echidnas, koalas and dozens of other species have flourished on the island without the threat of species introduced to the mainland. 

Our Kangaroo Island tours

What to do on Kangaroo Island

Walking along Vivonne Beach, Kangaroo Island.

Kick back at Vivonne Bay

When the University of Sydney travelled the country to rank Australia’s best beaches in 2002, they happened across Vivonne Bay tucked in a little pocket on Kangaroo Island’s south coast. Of Australia’s 10,685 beaches, the experts placed Vivonne Bay close to the top and it’s easy to see why. Five kilometres of squeaky white sand, aquamarine water, cray-fishing boats puttering around the headland – Vivonne has a lot going for it. There’s even a BBQ near the jetty and an adjacent 887-hectare nature reserve. All that’s needed to complete the picture is a towel and a good book.

Cycle around Kangaroo Island

Hop on a bike

Of all the ways to explore Kangaroo Island, hopping on a bicycle is arguably the best. It has a low impact on the environment, provides plenty of fresh air, and there’s mile upon mile of stunning coastal scenery to enjoy. Some of the island’s more popular riding trails are around Penneshaw Hill (Kangaroo Island’s highest point) and the rugged, unsealed wilderness of Three Chain Road – a challenging route that passes the island’s alien-looking salt flat. For beginner riders, there’s always the leisurely highway leading away from Kelly Hill Caves. Just keep an eye out for the Tammar wallabies along the side of the road.

Enjoy a sunset kayak on Harriet River

Kayak the Harriet River

Anxious paddlers can rest assured: there are no raging torrents or waterfalls on this river. Harriet is a tranquil stream that flows down to an estuary on the south coast of Kangaroo Island. The pace is laid back and the scenery gorgeous. There are usually two kayak tours departing during the day, one in the early morning and one in the afternoon. The afternoon is the perfect time to see the surrounding bush come alive in the fading light. Look out for koalas in the riverbank gums, as well as the occasional bream or salmon swimming underneath your kayak. 

Enjoy the views on Kangaroo Island

Soak in the views

Kangaroo Island is blessed with some of the most stunning coastal scenery on Australia’s south coast. The land meets the sea with plunging sandstone cliffs and windswept grassy bluffs that are crying out for a wide-angled lens. During your stay, perhaps pay a visit to the Remarkable Rocks, the lighthouse at Admiral’s Arch and its spooky coastal sea caves, and the cliffs at Cape du Couedic. Chasing a memorable sunset couldn’t come any easier: just head out to the coast and face west.

Sandboard at Little Sahara, Kangaroo Island

Sandboard at Little Sahara

This collection of silky soft sand dunes is one of the few places in South Australia where you can try your hand at sand boarding. Sitting alongside the spectacular Vivonne Bay, you’ll get some great views as you board or toboggan your way down the slopes (the biggest of which is nearly 70 metres high). You can hire all the gear you need in nearby Vivonne Bay town, but if you travel with us your local guides can handle all the logistics.

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