This mini Galapagos off the coast of South Australia is one of the country’s most beautiful and underrated wildlife sanctuaries.
It takes just 45 minutes to travel by ferry from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island where it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. This island wonderland is packed with pristine beaches and natural habitats to explore. 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 drawcard. Grey kangaroos, fur seals, dolphins, Australian sea lions, echidnas, koalas and dozens of other species have flourished on the island without the threat of species introduced to the mainland. Flinders Chase National Park is one of the best areas to spot the island's native wildlife. With plenty of famous picture-postcard sights to see, such as Admirals Arch and sparkling Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island is a ‘don’t miss’ destination.
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Kangaroo Island FAQs
Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travellers are required to produce:
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.
You can fly to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide and other destinations in Australia (subject to seasonal demand) or catch a ferry from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. The ferry trip takes around 30 to 45 minutes.
Kangaroo Island has 1,600km of roads and no public transport so you need your own set of wheels. Your options are to bring your car on the ferry, hire a car on the island or join a guided group tour.
Kangaroo Island is a beautiful spot to visit at any time of year. Summer is generally hot and dry and winter is pleasantly cool. Spring and Autumn are perfect for bushwalking, fishing and seeing the island's native wildflowers in bloom. Kangaroo Island can be chilly in the evening, even during the summer months.
Kangaroo Island is a casual place so you can leave your dressy clothes at home. Gear which can be layered is the best option as it can be chilly when you set off on tour in the early morning but temperatures can warm up substantially as the day goes on. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must, even in winter. A raincoat or poncho is better than an umbrella as it can get windy on some parts of the island. One thing you definitely shouldn't bring is honey. Kangaroo Island is a sanctuary for the world's only Ligurian bee population and all honey products and associated equipment are banned from the island to prevent contamination.
Most activities on Kangaroo Island involve the great outdoors so there is no need to dress up. In the evening, smart casual is the typical dress code for the island's restaurants.
Kangaroo Island ferries offer free WiFi and Telstra customers can get a signal in major tourist areas and along most of the island's sealed roads. There is limited or no WiFi available in some parts of the island, particularly when you are travelling off-road. Non-Telstra customers will have little or no coverage throughout the island but most hotels and resorts on the island offer Wi-Fi access.
Telstra customers can use their mobile in major tourist areas and along most of the island's sealed roads. There is limited or no mobile service available in some parts of the island, particularly when you are travelling off-road. Non-Telstra customers have little or no mobile coverage throughout the island.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
The bushfires on Kangaroo Island in January 2020 were the biggest in the island's history. The fires burnt almost half of the island and had a devastating impact on the people, homes, businesses, wildlife, nature and tourism. As catastrophic as the fires were, Kangaroo Island and other bushfire affected regions in South Australia are bouncing back. Nature is starting to flourish again, wildlife is returning to native habitats and species that were thought to have been wiped out have been spotted (such as the Kangaroo Island Little Pygmy Possum which was discovered in Flinders Chase National Park). Tourism has suffered a great deal since the bushfires, but as the island continues to recover, it's more important than ever.