The Best Free things to do on Kangaroo Island


It’s time to explore Kangaroo Island with the kids, and there are so many fun family activities you can do for free.

Kangaroo Island is a magical place, nature and wildlife are abundant like within a sanctuary.  The rugged rolling hills and spectacular cliffs provide breathtaking views, and the miles of white sandy beaches are just calling out for exploring.  There are lots of adventures to be had and activities to do, and the eating and drinking are pretty darn good.

But what about the free stuff?  What are the best free activities to do on Kangaroo Island?  Well, we have put together our top 10 ideas.


Chapman River

A great place to dangle a fishing line with the kids to catch a Bream.  The best bait to use is……. canned sweet corn!  Yep, it is cheap, and the kids will definitely catch something! Also, Chapman's (as the locals call it) is a great opportunity to get your kayak out and go for a paddle. Some of the best memories have been captured as families at Chapman River.  You will want to spend the day here, bring a sausage and cook it on the BBQ.  There is so much exploring to do.


In Penneshaw, a 5-minute walk from the ferry, this is a great one for the kids.  Take a wander through ancient forests of blackthorn, watch the wallaby’s in their well-crafted humpy homes, and find beautiful art installations throughout the trail.  The trail winds through a changing landscape, and makes you wonder what is around the next corner.  Within the trail is the States first padestrian swing bridge, built by the Sculpture Park Volunteers, and is a beautiful piece of engineering art.


Prospect Hill

If you have an energetic bunch, climb over 500 steps to the top of Prospect Hill, the same hill that Matthew Flinders climbed in 1802.  You will be rewarded with stunning views of Pennington Bay, Pelican Lagoon and across Muston to American River.  You will not be disappointed.


Rebuild the Independence

Visit the rebuilding of the first vessel ever built in South Australia, a 45ft US Schooner "Independence", on the wharf at American River.  Yes, they are rebuilding the actual vessel, and it is interesting to talk to the volunteers about how they are building it, and the process.  The original Schooner was built on the banks of an inlet, where the town of American River now stands.

Kingscote Wharf and Jetty

Kingscote Wharf is a great place for seeing the resident Pelicans, watching sunrises and sunsets, and catching fish and squid.  You generally will not leave without a squid.  There are also resident Long-nosed Fur Seals that live at the Wharf, and you can see them sometimes taking a dip along the foreshore in Kingscote.  Look for the fins poking out of the water.

The Old Wisanger School

Opened in 1884, take a walk back in time through the historic building and view photos and old textbooks. The school was a part-time school, with the teacher travelling around the Island to two other schools.  You must check out the 'Rules for Teachers'!  Just make sure that you close the door when you leave, just like the sign asks you to.

Stokes Bay

Most of you might know or have heard about Stokes Bay, or the hidden beach.  As you arrive, follow the sign to the beach, and explore the cave tunnels through to a spectacular beach.  There is a rockpool for the kids to swim or snorkel in, or the open beach is great for surfing.

D'Estrees Bay – Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park

Take the self-guided drive which begins at the second boat ramp to discover a greater understanding of the natural and cultural history of D'Estrees Bay, the coastal habitats, birdlife, whaling, and farming history is quite amazing.  The kids will love finding the next stop, and the exploring opportunities here are great fun.

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Point Ellen

Located on the furthest point at Vivonne Bay, Point Ellen is past the Vivonne Bay Jetty.   Park at the car park at the end of Jetty Road, and if the weather is calm, take the path to the coast.  There are some amazing rock pools, which you can explore, and if calm enough, swim in.  Be careful, and always observe the kids here.

Western River Cove

The adventure begins with taking the drive over the massive rolling hills of Western River Cove. When you get there, take a walk over the footbridge along the riverbank to the sandy cove. It is one of the most spectacular locations on Kangaroo Island, and generally, you will be the only one there!


But do you know what?  There are lots more than just 10 great free things to do on Kangaroo Island.  There are so many beaches to explore, and each one is different.  There are many walks and hikes, which you can find out about here, and there are lots of fishing locations, which you can find more information about here.  If you are planning on a camping trip, then we have the perfect Camping and Caravanning guide right here.  Have fun though, we always do.


If you need some help to navigate to get to any of these destinations, then use our handy digital Map to help you get there.


If you need any help, get in contact with us via the link below.

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