You might come for the wildlife and beaches, but you’ll stay for the local oysters and delicious wine.
You might already know about Kangaroo Island‘s pristine beaches, enchanting landscapes and abundant native wildlife. But did you know it’s also a top destination for foodies?
Here are some of the top foodie experiences to enjoy on Kangaroo Island.
Tip: don’t read this blog if you’re hungry.
1. The Oyster Farm Shop, American River
The Oyster Farm Shop was founded in 2005 when owners, Amanda and Ken Rowe, uprooted to Kangaroo Island to give their girls a ‘free-range kid’ life. They said goodbye to the corporate world, and hello to a totally new business venture farming oysters. And it turned out to be a roaring success.
The menu changes daily depending on what’s been harvested, but favourites include Pacific or native Angasi oysters, King George whiting, marron, abalone and calamari. This is as fresh as seafood gets.
2. Kingscote Farmers & Artisan Market
What better way to start your weekend than a morning at Kingscote Farmers Market. Mingle with the locals as you meander the stalls, treat yourself to a freshly baked pastry, or fill your day bag with picnic goodies. As well as food, you’ll find plenty of stalls selling homemade clothes, jewellery, plants and more. The market runs every 2nd and 4th Sunday at Kingscote Wharf.
3. Emu Bay Lavender Farm, Emu Bay
Emu Lavender Farm spans 51 acres with over 7,500 lavender plants. If you visit during summer when the plant is in full bloom, you can walk through endless rows of purple and fill your nostrils with its sweet aroma. Or, surprise your tastebuds with orange and lavender cake, scones with lavender jelly and fresh cream, or a lavender gin and tonic.
4. Dudley Wines, Dudley Peninsula
Back in 1994, Dudley Wines co-owner, Jeff Howard, and his two mates tried their luck at planting vines on some empty land known to locals as Porky Flat. With support from the community, they produced their first batch of Cabernet Shiraz. A year later – with too many grapes to warrant personal consumption – they made their first commercial vintage. Things continued to go well, and they now have many varieties on their menu.
Enjoy sweeping coastal views from Dudley’s Clifftop Cellar Door or pair a glass with a platter of cheese, cured meats and other savoury treats. Dudley Wines is also conveniently located only 12km from Penneshaw ferry terminal… just in case you fancied popping in for one last hurrah before travelling back to the mainland.
5. Kangaroo Island Spirits, Cygnet River
If gin is your tipple, head to Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS), Australia’s first official gin distillery. With abundant natural resources and some of the most fertile soil in the country, it’s no surprise Kangaroo Island gin tastes so good. Pop in for a gin-inspired cocktail in the Gin Garden or go all out with a distillery tour, gin-tasting flight or a cocktail masterclass.
6. Bay of Shoals Wines, Kingscote
Bay of Shoals is quite possibly one of the island’s most picturesque spots for a glass of vino. Located above the stunning Bay of Shoals, the cool sea breeze makes it a prime location to grow grapes. Visit the cellar door to sample their wide range of drops including Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Island Blend. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Arinto, why not also treat yourself to a seafood platter to accompany the light and fresh notes.
7. Kangaroo Island Brewery, Kingscote
Kangaroo Island Brewery is a must-visit for craft beer enthusiasts. From the hop selection to the brewing, everything is hand-planted and crafted on-site. Cosy up around the fire or find a spot outside on the lawn depending on the weather. They offer a solid range of beers including IPA, summer ale, golden ale, pale ale, wheat beer and sheoak stout.
8. Clifford’s Honey Farm, Kingscote
Dave and Jenny Clifford started making honey as a hobby back in 1973. And it turned out they were un-bee-lievably good at it. So, what makes their honey so tasty? Well, the purest strain of Ligurian bees produces it, and Kangaroo Island is said to be home to the last remaining colony.
Take a tour of the farm and learn about the art and science of beekeeping before tasting honey straight from the comb. There are several varieties to try including cup gum, sugar gum and coastal mallee honey. If it’s warm, quench your thirst with some honey ice cream or honey wheat ale.