Coastal Activities

Kangaroo Island's coastline has everything!
From surf-pounded cliffs to becalmed coves and
famous sweeps of sand to secret rocky inlets.

Yet in spite of the diversity, you don't have to travel far to enjoy spectacular contrasts.
The possibilities for recreation are equally diverse - surfers, fishermen, wreck-divers, wildlife lovers and
of course people who simply love to feel sand between their toes, they all relish the Island fringes.

Marine Activities

 A marine tour will allow you to explore the underwater world, gain an insight into the lives of dolphins, coastal birds or even a chance encounter with seals.

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Take a one-hour, half or full-day excursion, soak up the fun and meet the marine life on one of Kangaroo Island's Marines Tours. Encounter pods of bottle nose and common dolphins, colonies of New Zealand Fur Seals and Australian Sea Lions, Southern Right Whales (seasonal), many varieties of sea birds and spectacular coastline scenery.
Or perhaps you might like to experience the thrill of swimming with dolphins. Whichever you choose, put exploring Kangaroo Island's magnificent coastline on your list to do!

Bookings are essential. For more information or to book, contact the Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Penneshaw on
(08) 8553 1185 or

Fishing & Boating

Whether you want to dangle a line from a jetty, cast a line from one of the numerous beaches, or charter a deep-sea boat, the Island offers excellent fishing spots for all to enjoy.

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Rod Hire 

Small rods & Beach rods are available to hire from the Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Penneshaw when you arrive.
For more information, phone (08) 8553 1185 or email

Bait, Tackle & Ice

Tackle, bait and ice are available from Kingscote, American River, Penneshaw, Parndana and Vivonne Bay. 

Fishing Regulations 

There are certain sections of the regulations (Fisheries Act 1982) that all anglers should know before casting a line. Minimum lengths and bag limits must be adhered to. There are heavy penalties for infringements of the regulations. Contact Primary Industries and Resources, South Australia for bag and boat catch limits or phone 'FISHWATCH' on 1800 065 522. Aquatic reserves at American River (Pelican Lagoon) and Seal Bay are closed to fishing. Taking any marine organisms (including plants, crabs, shells, etc.) or disturbing the seabed is prohibited. Entering the water at Seal Bay is also prohibited. No fishing in National Parks rivers or creeks is allowed. 

Fishing Charters & Boat Hire 

Kangaroo Island has a range of businesses offer fishing charters. Some operations are seasonal. Bookings are essential by contacting the Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Penneshaw on
(08) 8553 1185 or email




Antechamber Bay - Chapman River

Baudin Beach 

Browns Beach 

Hog Bay Beach 

Island Beach 

Flour Cask Bay 

Pennington Bay

Red Banks


Emu Bay 

Stokes Bay 

Snellings Beach 

Western River Cove 

Hanson Bay 

Bales Beach 

Vivonne Bay 

D'Estrees Bay 

Keep Yourself safe

Dudley Peninsula 

Antechamber Bay - Chapman River 

You could easily spend a day relaxing at Antechamber Bay and Chapman River. The area is full of tracks leading through bushland, sand-hills and lagoons, and is a favourite spot for canoeists and campers. Chapman River is a wonderful place to spend a day and a great place for children to play in the shallow waters of the river mouth. A stroll on the long, sandy beach will reveal the splendour of Antechamber Bay; and more often than not, you'll have the beach to yourself. Swimming, picnic areas, camping and toilets are available. 

Baudin Beach 

This small community of approximately 50 residents is actively preserving the local area for the enjoyment of all. Next to the boat ramp is an interesting copper sculpture celebrating Mary Beckwith, the first recorded European woman to set foot on South Australian soil. Facilities include a boat ramp, viewing platform, cliff-top walking path and public toilet. 

Browns Beach 

A sheltered and easily accessible beach suitable for families with children. Great for swimming, wading in the shallows or fossicking for shells on the beach. Camping facilities, picnic area and public toilets are available. 

Hog Bay Beach, Penneshaw 

Clean sand, safe swimming and views across Backstairs Passage to the mainland make Hog Bay the ideal holiday beach for all ages. The Lloyd Collins Reserve provides toilets, electric barbecue and picnic facilities, and being in Penneshaw, you're not too far away from the ice cream shop! 

Island Beach 

Known locally as Millionaires' Row for its fabulous real estate, Island Beach is the quintessential beach holiday location. Fringed by dense bush land, the sandy beach stretches almost as far as the eye can see and provides very safe swimming. A walk along the coast towards American River has plenty of bird watching opportunities. Boats can be launched from the beach. 

American River and Districts 

Flour Cask Bay 

This secluded beach is a great place to experience the raw power of the Southern Ocean. Enjoy sweeping views of the South Coast, salt lakes and dunes with a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife. Private camping available at Flour Cask Bay Sanctuary, phone (08) 8553 2356.

Pennington Bay A faded sign on Hog Bay Road points to Pennington Bay - a photographer's dream, a superb surf beach and a popular place for fishing and swimming. But as with all beaches, care must be taken, as Pennington Bay can, at times, be dangerous for even experienced swimmers and surfers. In rough weather, the southerly winds blow at gale force, causing huge waves that can be heard at American River, 9km away. 

Red Banks 

One of Kangaroo Island's best-kept secrets, Red Banks is a stretch of interesting, coloured cliffs just five minutes north of American River. Take in the views of the bay from atop of the cliffs, walk along the beach, or better still, view it all from a boat in Western Cove. Watching the sunset on the cliffs is a special experience. Note: infrastructure at Red Banks is minimal so please take care, follow designated tracks and respect the environment. 

Kingscote and Districts 


The beach area in front of the Ozone Hotel is a popular family picnic spot with elevated grass banks. Little Brownlow Beach, in front of the Yacht Club, is also a pleasant area providing shallow swimming and wading. 

North Coast 

Emu Bay 

Emu Bay is a beautiful, four-kilometre long (4km), safe beach with vehicle access onto the hard sand. It is one of the most popular spots on the Island with safe, clear water for swimming. Anglers can try their luck from the jetty or launch their boats from the access ramp. The jetty was built in 1916 and, until the early 1930s, grain, stock and merchandise were taken to and from the Island from this jetty. Barbecue and picnic area, toilets. 

Stokes Bay 

Walk to the east of the Bay, follow the signs pointing to the ‘Beach' and make your way through the headland of boulders. There you'll find a fine, white beach surrounded by cliffs, a large rock-enclosed pool that provides protection from the surf, and a safe swimming spot for all the family. Facilities include barbecue and picnic areas, camping, toilets and the Rockpool Café. 

Snellings Beach 

At the mouth of Middle River, this beach is excellent for swimming and surf-fishing, while either end of the beach offer quality rock-fishing. Care should be used when swimming in the river because of hidden logs and weeds. If approaching Snellings Beach from the west, make sure you have your camera ready for the view from the top of Constitution Hill. Barbecue, picnic area and toilets are available. 

Western River Cove 

Following a spectacular drive into the valley, proceed over the footbridge, along the riverbank to a hidden sandy cove. This picturesque area is ideal for swimming, rock and surf-fishing. Diving and fishing charters depart from Western River Cove along the spectacular North Coast. Not accessible for caravans and campervans over 5m. Barbecue, camping facilities and toilets are available. 

West End 

Hanson Bay 

Hanson Bay is a popular surf-fishing area with large Australian salmon often caught along the spectacular sandy beach. At a rocky outcrop a short way down the beach, a walkway leads to a second section of beach or, for the more energetic, a hike begins to Kelly Hill Conservation Park. The hike is approximately 8 hours (18km) return. 

South Coast 

Bales Beach 

The closest beach to Seal Bay. Take a walk around the sweeping bay towards the Cape Gantheaume Wilderness Protection Area. Picnic, BBQ and toilet facilities are located just a short drive from the beach. 

Vivonne Bay 

Once proclaimed one of the ‘best beaches' in Australia after research by Sydney University Professor Andrew Short, Vivonne Bay is a long, curved, sandy beach superb for picnics, beachcombing, surfing and fishing. Experienced surfers enjoy the wonderful turquoise waters; fishing from the jetty, beach, boat or the Harriet River mouth is excellent. The beach can be reached by taking the road just past the Vivonne Bay store. Safe swimming areas can be found near the jetty or the sandy-bottomed Harriet River that enters the bay nearby. On the other side of the river, Point Ellen provides photographers with spectacular views of the Southern Ocean sending its waves crashing onto the cliff-face. Vivonne Bay is the only safe harbour on the south coast of the Island and is the base for crayfishing boats from November to May. Barbecue, picnic areas, toilets and camping facilities are available. 

D'Estrees Bay 

An attractive area that has seen much history with the establishment of a whaling station and the wrecks of ships. Today it is virtually unspoilt, with shore-wading birds and pelicans feeding on the long stretches of beach. Many hours can be spent exploring the large bay or driving along the coast to the south. The track is rough, but passable with a conventional vehicle, and leads to a horseshoe-shaped cove, site of a popular surf-break. Note: trekkers to Cape Gantheaume should discuss their plans with National Parks staff at Kingscote before beginning their trek. The need for adequate and appropriate equipment is essential. Camping, swimming, fishing, toilets. 

Keep Yourself Safe 

Although our beaches are beautiful, there are some dangers associated with open ocean. Beware of rips and undertows. Seek advice from locals on current conditions. Shark attacks, although rare, have occurred in waters around the world and indeed around the Australian coastline. If diving, adhere to the usual diving rules. Advise someone of your whereabouts and dive with a 'buddy'.
Use common sense, and enjoy the Island's beautiful beaches. 

Sailing & Cruising

Clear water, sandy beaches, isolated coves and impressive scenery can all be enjoyed while sailing the waters of Kangaroo Island. 

 Many little bays on the East Coast have all year-round sheltered cruising for day sailing, and the north coast provides numerous spectacular anchorages on longer voyages. Overnight mooring is available in Penneshaw at Christmas Cove. 

Self registration is available on arrival. Annual Christmas Cove boat launching permits are available from the
Penneshaw Business Centre, located at the Australian Post Office in Middle Terrace, Penneshaw: (08) 8553 1011.

Scuba Diving

The waters off Kangaroo Island provide some of the best temperate-water diving in Australia.

Descending to 20-24 metres, walls of Gorgonia corals, red, orange and white sponges are impressive. To add to the kaleidoscope of colour are some equally magnificent fish: Blue Devil, Harlequin, Truncate coralfish and Boarfish. A spectacular sight is the elusive Leafy Sea-dragon that is endemic to these waters. Over 50 recorded shipwrecks have occurred around the Island's coastline, ranging from the 5,000-tonne freighter, Portland Maru, wrecked in 1935, to the 500-tonne sailing barque, Fides, wrecked in 1860. While not all of these wrecks are accessible, there are some opportunities to view part of the Island's tragic past. For more information on Kangaroo Island's Ship Wrecks, view the below PDF.

Ship Wrecks Trails (download PDF)

Although beaches are beautiful, there are some dangers associated with open ocean. Beware of rips and undertows. Seek advice from locals on current conditions. Shark attacks, although rare, have occurred in waters around the world and indeed around the Australian coastline. If diving, adhere to the usual diving rules. Advise someone of your whereabouts and dive with a 'buddy'.
Use common sense, and enjoy the Island's beautiful beaches.


A well-kept secret is the quality and quantity of
uncrowded surf-breaks around the Island.

 Stokes Bay, Vivonne Bay and Pennington Bay are suitable for beginners; however, the beach breaks can often produce quality waves for more advanced surfers. There are numerous surfing spots around the Island for experienced surfers and most are accessible by car. Kangaroo Island's surf is unpolluted and uncrowded, and you are requested to respect the environment and the locals!


Kangaroo Island, South Australia

... need some help booking somewhere to stay?

While all Kangaroo Island accommodation is suitable for exploring the Island, particular regions of the Island afford different advantages. Whether you are arriving in the evening and need accommodation close to the ferry port, you prefer to be close to shops and restaurants or if you really want to get away from it all and stay in a more secluded area, there is a region on Kangaroo Island to suit everyone. Need some help with your bookings ... then call us now on ...

TOLL FREE: 1800 811 080



Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre

Visit with our friendly staff at Kangaroo Island's only Accredited Visitor Information Centre and let us help you customise an itinerary as unique as you are to get the most from your time on Kangaroo Island.

Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre - Howard Drive, PENNESHAW SA 5222
Open: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Weekends & Public Holidays 10am - 4pm, Closed Christmas Day.

TOLL FREE: 1800 811 080