About Kangaroo Island, South Australia
But just because it's wild, don't underestimate the welcome...
Some 4,600 folk live here, most of them primary producers, many of them descended from Islanders who have farmed the land and fished the seas for generations.
Naturally enough, being surrounded by fertile lands and rich waters, Kangaroo Island produces some of Australia's finest gourmet foods. Gastronomic adventurers should get ready to be amazed by the likes of freshly caught King George Whiting, sheep's cheese, marron, a unique variety of honey and an exciting range of varietal wines.
As if this isn't enough on your plate, you'll also find rich histories, a thriving arts community, and a range of accommodation options ranging from outdoor swags to lighthouse keeper's cottages to super-chic retreats.
So we'd like to extend a wild and very warm welcome to Kangaroo Island - Australia's premier wildlife destination.
Experience and enjoy...
About Kangaroo Island
"There really aren't enough adjectives to accurately describe the beauty of Kangaroo Island. In fact, words can almost spoil the moment. Even photos don't do this wildly gorgeous destination justice". Isaac Bober, Symmetry, Australia
Sea-lions basking on white beaches, koalas dozing in lofty eucalypts, pelicans soaring over shimmering lagoons...
Kangaroo Island is a pristine wilderness - a place that has offered protection to substantial populations of native Australian animals, a place of beauty and a place of escape.
Kangaroo Island (or ‘KI' as the locals call it) is also big and surprisingly diverse. If you traverse its 155km length you'll find soaring cliffs, dense bushland, towering sand dunes, wetlands and massive arcs of bone white beach.
A Destination For All Seasons
While some things never change - friendly people, cool breezes, uncrowded beaches and geological wonders - each season brings new life and spectacular changes in landscape colours.
Summer: December - February
As the summer approaches, wildlife retreat to bushland habitat to shelter during the heat of the day. The land is a contrast of golden pastures against summer wild flowers and the new growth of native trees.
- Kangaroos and Tammar wallabies are seen predominantly at dawn and dusk.
- Little penguins moult all their feathers at the end of the breeding season and can lose up to half their body weight.
- New Zealand Fur seals give birth to chocolate-brown pups.
- The Australian Sea-lion breeding season begins with pups born from January to June 2006.
- Heath goannas lay 10-17 eggs in the warm, stable, humid atmosphere of termite mounds, the perfect incubator.
- Koalas, wallabies and kangaroos give birth to tiny young, which are naked and blind.
Autumn: March - May
Pastures begin to green and waterways and catchments begin to flow. Autumn is a time of transition, with some rainfall gradually providing the wildlife with fresh growth to feed on.
- Glossy Black cockatoos and Little Penguins begin nesting.
- Black swans begin their courtship behaviour of wing-raising, neck-stretching and loud trumpeting.
- Fungi start to appear on damp ground and rotting wood.
Winter: June - August
Winter is spectacular with lush green countryside, flowing rivers and abundant wildlife: it's Kangaroo Island at its most appealing. Land mammals, predominantly night, dawn and dusk feeders for most of the year, frequently come out by day.
- Koalas emerge from the mother's pouch and begin to ride on her back.
- Kangaroo and wallaby joeys start to emerge from the mother's pouch and feed by her side.
- Echidnas form 'mating trains' where up to eight males will follow a female for around four weeks.
- Waders, on their migration from Siberia, begin to arrive.
- Ospreys show off to their mates in spectacular courtship fights.
- Southern right whales pass the shores on their migration from Antarctic waters to the Great Australian Bight to calve.
Spring: September - November
Spring is the season of rebirth. It is a wonderful time to see the spectacular array of wild flowers, birds and mammals.
- Wildflowers are in abundance. There are approximately 40 endemic floral species found on Kangaroo Island.
- Eucalyptus oil is in peak production. One tonne of leaf can produce up to 30 litres of oil.
- Cape Barren geese nest on top of the native iris grasses to incubate their eggs.
- Platypuses lay two eggs in a burrow up to 20 metres long.
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.
Need some help booking somewhere to stay?
Toll Free: 1800 811 080
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.