Kangaroo Island - Hidden Gem of the South

Kangaroo Island is an understated, often overlooked gem of Southern Australia. As Australia’s third largest island, it’s wise to take your time to appreciate all that it has to offer. It really is like nowhere else on earth!

It’s a place that encapsulates the expression ‘natural paradise’. From its sublime beaches to its rugged national parks, its abundant wildlife to its bizarre landmarks. Kangaroo Island is the ideal place to experience Australia’s wonders all rolled into one!


The island was named by English explorer Matthew Flinders due to the large populations of tame kangaroos he and his crew encountered. You will also notice that besides many English place names, there are many French ones, named by French Explorer Nicolas Baudin, the first explorer to circumnavigate Kangaroo Island.

Getting There

Travel to Kangaroo Island is done in two ways – by air or sea.

Take to the skies from Adelaide for a thirty-minute flight, or make the journey by sea with SeaLink’s ferries, taking just 45-minutes to cross the Backstairs Passage from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw. There are multiple departures daily, and you can take your car or hire one on the island. It’s a great way to start your holiday.

Things to Do

Kangaroo Island is a one-of-a-kind destination, where Australia’s most unique animals roam wild and you can literally get away from it all. Rugged and remote, Kangaroo Island is an adventurer’s dream. If you want to find the most unusual and untouched corners of Australia, this is the place for you.

The island is home to a variety of unique animals, from the island’s own Kangaroo Island kangaroo (a sub-species of the Western Grey), to cute, waddling echidnas, and the rare Glossy-Black Cockatoo.

If you’re coming to Kangaroo Island looking for beaches, you’ll find plenty of them, with the island’s vast coastline and endless stretches of white sand beaches perfect for snorkelling or surfing.

Kangaroo Island is an all-around fantastic place for adventure-seekers who want to take in everything from the gorgeous scenery, to historic sites, to abundant wildlife. There are numerous tours available to see wildlife in its natural environment or learn about its history—an absolute must for history buffs and animal lovers alike.

When planning your itinerary, consider that there are seven regions on the island, so allowing a week to see them all is ideal. The largest township is Kingscote, home to over 2,000 people, and offers a range of places to stay, a supermarket, cafes and restaurants, and art galleries.


It is no surprise, being an island, that Kangaroo Island boasts a large fishing industry, with specialties such as crayfish, prawns, scallops, oysters, and King George Whiting, which can be bought fresh or served in takeaway shops, cafes, and restaurants. The whiting burger at the Vivonne Bay Store is a must!

Kangaroo Island also boasts some wonderful dining experiences such as The Enchanted Fig Tree (open in summer months only), or Cactus Café, The Odd Plate, The Rockpool, and Bellas, to name a few. The local hotel in each of the four townships around the island, also serve up great restaurant and bistro meals.


Kangaroo Island boasts a number of popular annual events through the year, such as the Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival in February, the New Shoots Music Festival in April, Gutsy Kangaroo Island Food & Wine Event in June, and the local cellar doors, gin distillery and brewery offer various events throughout the year. Be sure to check out the local tourism site to see what’s on at tourkangarooisland.com.au.


Kangaroo Island offers plenty of ideal places to stay, from hotels, motels, B&B’s, luxury lodges and retreats, caravan parks, and farmstays…the list goes on.

Kangaroo Island is a travel destination that needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. Its pristine locations will inspire you to get out there, explore, and experience everything it has to offer.

Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide

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