This mini Galapagos is one of Australia’s most beautiful and underrated wildlife sanctuaries

Arriving on Kangaroo Island feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Kids 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. Fur seals, dolphins, Australian sea lions, echidnas, koalas and dozens of other species have flourished here without the threat of species introduced to the mainland. The island also boasts some of the country's best beaches, pristine hiking trails and lip-smacking local produce.

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Our Kangaroo Island tours

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Highlights of Kangaroo Island

A koala in a tree on Kangaroo Island

Meet native critters

With an expert guide by your side, you'll have a good chance of spotting native animals in their natural habitats. Keep an eye out for koalas high in the trees, fur seals sunning themselves on the rocks, echidnas searching for ants and platypus which can often be spotted at the waterholes in the Rocky River region at Flinders Chase National Park.

Little Sahara Dune on Kangaroo Island

Surf the dunes

Named for its rolling dunes that resemble the North African desert, Little Sahara is a must-visit for anyone who wants to admire sweeping views of the spectacular Vivonne Bay. But the fun doesn't stop at the top. To get back down to sea level, why not sandboard or toboggan your way down the slopes (the biggest of which is nearly 70 metres high). Adrenaline rush guaranteed.

A traveller admiring the sea views on a Kangaroo Island beach

Hike the Wilderness Trail

Get active and connect with nature on the Wilderness Trail. From dense bushland and towering Mallee forests to rugged coastline and vast vistas of the Southern Ocean, walking is a great way to see the island's beauty and explore at your own pace. Keep watch for local bottled-nosed dolphins and seabirds soaring above your head along the coastal sections.

A walker at Flinders Chase National Park

Explore Flinders Chase National Park

Explore Flinders Chase National Park and visit famous sites such as Weirs Cove, Harvey’s Return, Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks (and remarkable they are!). This unique, 500 million-year-old rock formation is perched 70 metres above the ocean and could easily be mistaken for a modern art sculpture.

Two Australian sea lions

See Australian sea lions

Kangaroo Island is one of the best places in the country to see Australian sea lions. Take a stroll along the boardwalks of the stunning Seal Bay where these intriguing animals have lived in large colonies for thousands of years. You'll observe their behaviour with a ranger and learn all about how they surf, hunt, nurture their pups and defend their territory.

Kangaroo Island beach

Hit the beach

Kangaroo Island's beaches are regularly voted as some of the most beautiful in Australia. The best part? They're lower on the tourist radar so you'll have them (almost) all to yourself. Hop your way between the white sands of Emu Bay, the turquoise waters of Vivonne Bay and the giant rock pool of the secluded Stokes Bay.

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Kangaroo Island FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

You can fly to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide and several other cities in Australia (subject to seasonal demand), or catch a ferry to Penneshaw from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The ferry takes around 45 minutes.

Learn more about how to get to Kangaroo Island

There's no public transport on Kangaroo Island, so you'll need your own set of wheels. You can 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 mild. Spring and fall are perfect for bushwalking, fishing and seeing the island's native flowers in bloom.

Learn more about when to visit Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is a casual place so you can leave your dressy clothes at home. Layered, breathable clothing is key, as while it can be chilly when you set off in the morning, it can warm up substantially throughout the day. You'll also need a pair of comfy walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses and a sunhat (even in winter). A raincoat or poncho is better than an umbrella as some areas can be very windy.

Most activities on Kangaroo Island involve the great outdoors, so there's no need to dress up. In the evening, smart casual is the typical dress code for the island's restaurants — think t-shirt and jeans. Evenings can be chilly, even during the summer months, so ensure you bring a couple of warm layers.

Telstra customers can get mobile data coverage in major tourist areas and along most of the island's sealed roads. There's limited signal available in more remote areas of the island, particularly when you're traveling off-road.

Customers with other network providers may have little or no coverage throughout the island, but most hotels and resorts offer wi-fi. Kangaroo Island ferries also offer free wi-fi.

Telstra customers usually have the best coverage on Kangaroo Island, particularly in more populated areas. If you're with another network provider you may have less or no coverage at all, however, most hotels offer free wi-fi so you can stay connected.

The 2020 bushfires 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 flourishing again and wildlife has returned to native habitats. Amazingly, some species that were thought to have been wiped out have been spotted, including the Kangaroo Island Little Pygmy Possum.

Tourism has suffered a great deal since the bushfires, but as the island continues to recover, it's more important than ever.

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 travelers 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.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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