Regions of Kangaroo Island

North Coast, Parndana and Heartland, Kingscote, American River, Penneshaw and Dudley Peninsula, South-West Coast

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.


Dudley Peninsula & Penneshaw

Incorporating: Antechamber Bay, Brown Beach,
Baudin Beach & Island Beach

 Situated on the northeast coast of the Island, Penneshaw is an attractive welcome for visitors arriving on the ferries. Visitors enjoy a wide selection of accommodation in Penneshaw or one of the surrounding bays. The Hog Bay Jetty is famous as a fishing spot. Penneshaw is home to a colony of Little Penguins with tours conducted nightly. Climb Cape Willoughby Lighthouse for spectacular views back to the mainland and the South Coast.

 read more about Dudley Peninsula and Penneshaw 

With a commanding view of the mainland, just 18km across Backstairs Passage, Penneshaw is the community centre for Dudley Peninsula. 

Visitors enjoy a wide selection of accommodation in Penneshaw or one of the surrounding bays. Visitors are well serviced with places to eat and purchase all they require. 

Recently upgraded, Christmas Cove has been a haven for small boats for over 150 years. The Hog Bay Jetty is famous as a fishing spot. Tommy ruff, trevally, snook, King George whiting and salmon can be caught in peaceful, picturesque surroundings. Penneshaw is home to a colony of Little Penguins. 

Tours are conducted nightly from the Penguin Interpretive Centre.

American River

Incorporating: Pelican Lagoon, Muston & Red Banks

  A narrow tidal channel, known locally as 'The River', separates Pelican Lagoon and Eastern Cove. This channel forms the Island's most protected harbour. The village nestles on the hillside in native bushland, offering superb views of Eastern Cove and the mainland. With the integration of bushland and accommodation, the night life in American River is naturally wild.

read more about american river


The bushland surrounding the village is habitat to the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo, which are often seen in the area. 

Eastern Cove, the outer bay, offers excellent sailing and fishing in semi-protected waters. The village of American River supports these pursuits with an excellent boat ramp, barbecue and picnic facilities and fishing charters. 

The Kangaroo Island oyster industry is based here, with the wharf being a hive of activity during the season. Oysters are available, seasonally. Pelican Lagoon, the inner bay, is a natural fish nursery and is protected as an Aquatic Reserve. 

The islands within the lagoon are important bird-breeding habitats. Black Swans, Cape Barren Geese, Australian Pelicans and other birds make the area an excellent bird-watching destination. The foreshore and the Fish Cannery Walking Trail are great places to pursue this.


Incorporating: Cygnet River, Brownlow, Nepean Bay,
Western Cove & Wisanger 

Kingscote is situated on the shores of Nepean Bay, with panoramic views of a boat-studded harbour. Kingscote is the island's capital and is a bright, bustling town of about 1,800 people. It is the centre of trade and commerce with banks,
extensive shopping and services including cafes and restaurants.

 read more about Kingscote 

Kingscote is the commercial and business hub of the Island. 

To the north there are steep cliffs that descend steeply to Reeves Point (old Kingscote), one of the most important heritage sites in South Australia. 

Kingscote is the Island's capital and a bright, bustling town of about 1,800 people. It is the centre of trade and commerce with banks, extensive shopping and services.

The jetty nearly always yields a feed of fish for the keen and patient angler. Tommy ruff, garfish, King George whiting and snook are the most commonly caught varieties

North Coast

 Incorporating: Emu Bay, Cape Cassini, Stokes Bay,
Snelling Beach, Middle River, Western River Cove
& King George Beach 

The North Coast is the perfect place for a few days retreat from the busier South Coast of Kangaroo Island. A mixture of tall cliffs, deserted sandy coves and beaches, line the coast with conservation parks, hills, valleys and rolling farmland meeting the sea. The white sandy beach of Emu Bay is a haven for holidaymakers and is close to town facilities in Kingscote. 

read more about the north coast 


The North Coast has its own unique character - from the rugged, isolated northwest through to the expansive white sandy beaches.

Eighteen kilometres northwest of Kingscote, Emu Bay is a beautiful 4km beach with safe swimming and vehicle access. A favourite swimming beach for the locals, this quiet town is a haven for holidaymakers. 

Anglers can try their luck from the jetty or launch their boats from the access ramp. West of Emu Bay, the delightful North Coast is the perfect place for a few days retreat from the busier South Coast of Kangaroo Island. 

A mixture of tall cliffs, deserted sandy coves and beaches line the coast with conservation parks, hills, valleys and rolling farmland meeting the sea. Base yourself at one of the quiet self-contained retreats and enjoy fishing, beachcombing and touring. The South Coast attractions are within easy reach of both Emu Bay and the North Coast.

Parndana & Heartland 

Often described as a typical Australian country town, Parndana is the heartland of Kangaroo Island. Centrally located, it provides convenient access to the north and south coasts and has a small shopping centre and bakery,
a newly renovated community hotel and a museum. 

 read more about Parndana and Heartland 

The heart of KI and some may argue, the soul of the Island. Where generations of families have lived, where farmers work the land and where you will find Parndana - the ‘Scrub Gum Place'' - a typical Australian country town. 

Parndana is home to the Soldier Settlement Museum that takes you on the journey of the returned soldiers; as part of the Soldier Settlement Scheme, they were responsible for almost doubling the area of agricultural land on the Island. 

The Heartland is renowned for spotting wildlife and provides a real spectacle in late winter/early spring when the wildflowers come out.

It also makes an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the Island, providing convenient access to both the north and south coasts.

Parndana truly comes alive in November when the annual Speed Shears event is held. Shearers from Australia and overseas compete in one of the richest shearing events in the world. Whilst year round at the Parndana Hotel you can visit the 'Shearers' Hall of Fame' to learn more about the proud shearing heritage of Kangaroo Island. 

South-West Coast

Incorporating: D'Estrees Bay, Murray Lagoon, Seal Bay, Vivonne Bay, Hanson Bay, Flinders Chase, Macgillivray & Karatta 

 The South-West Coast hosts many attractions including Seal Bay, Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Caves. Vivonne Bay is home to a fleet of lobster boats, the turquoise water and rustic jetty are a photographer's delight. Overnight guests are conveniently located to enjoy the nocturnal wildlife.

 read more about the South-west Coast 

The South Coast of Kangaroo Island is a hive of activity by day, as it's home to many of the Island's major attractions. 

Seal Bay is spectacular with the opportunity to walk among Australia's third largest, and most accessible, colony of Australian Sea-lions.

Vivonne Bay can only be described as stunningly beautiful. The long, curved sandy beach is a superb site for picnics and fishing. 

On the other side of Vivonne Bay, Point Ellen is home to a fleet of lobster boats, the turquoise water and rustic jetty are a photographer's delight. Kelly Hill Caves offers tours throughout the day. The recent installation of fibre optic lighting allows visitors to see the cave decorations in brilliant natural white light. 

Further west, Flinders Chase National Park includes some stunning walks as well as the natural rock formations, Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.

Our Mainland Neighbours

For those taking the ferry to or from Kangaroo Island, why not explore KI's neighbouring regions. 

 Below are some accommodation & attractions we suggest.

read more about our neighbours 

Aldinga Beach Holiday Park 

Greenhills Adventure Park 

Strath Motel

Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park

Victor Harbor Holiday and Cabin Park

Rattleys at Pear Tree Hollow

McLaren Vale Lakeside Caravan Park

McLaren Vale Motel & Apartments

Harbour View Motel 

Fleurieu Peninsula 

Aldinga Beach Holiday Park 

Located in a bush setting just 15 minutes walk to the beach through the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park. An ideal holiday location for groups, families and individuals, and perfectly situated to explore the magnificent Fleurieu Peninsula, its wineries, restaurants and historic towns.

Greenhills Adventure Park 

If you want a day packed full of fun, food and adventure, there is only one place to go! Nestled in the picturesque Hindmarsh Valley just over an hour's drive south of Adelaide, Greenhills Adventure Park offers something for all ages. From golf and go-karts to the waterslides and archery, it's easy to have a whole day of fun.

Strath Motel 

Strath Motel is ideally located in the heart of South Australia's premier food and wine districts. Only a short drive to the Adelaide Hills and renowned Langhorne Creek wine region - boutique wineries, cellar door sales and exquisite local produce surround Strathalbyn. Nestled in the Angas Valley, Strathalbyn is the gateway to the Fleurieu Peninsula and Murraylands regions, making it the perfect stop over or destination for your South Australian holiday.

Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park 

Accommodation that will suit all tastes and budgets. Select from modern waterview villas & cabins through to powered & unpowered camping sites, some with private ensuite facilities. Kids can play in the pool and go bananas on the jumping pillow while you relax with a good book and a cool beverage.

Victor Harbor Holiday and Cabin Park 

Situated at Victor Harbor on the South Coast, only an hour's drive from Adelaide. Victor Harbor Holiday and Cabin Park offers accommodation from self contained villas, chalets, cabins and units to on-site caravans along with numerous powered and unpowered grassed sites.

Rattleys at Pear Tree Hollow 

A self contained cottage for two, in a rural garden and bush setting on eight acres with views over historic Inman Valley. Enjoy the lifestyle and country air.

McLaren Vale 

McLaren Vale Lakeside Caravan Park 

Nestled in the heart of McLaren Vale wine region and offers the perfect spot to relax, while being a convenient base for touring the Fleurieu Peninsula.

McLaren Vale Motel & Apartments 

Provides modern accommodation in the heart of the McLaren Vale wine region. You will experience romantic, comfortable and quiet motel units, plus 12 newer studio apartments.

Limestone Coast 

Harbour View Motel 

With stunning uninterrupted panoramic views overlooking the new Robe Marina and picturesque Guichen Bay, this motel offers guests a warm welcome with a choice between luxurious upstairs panoramic view suites, spacious ground level suites or deluxe, standard and family suites.

If you would like more information or to book any of our fabulous neighbouring region partners, contact the Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Penneshaw on (08) 8553 1185 or email

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