Secret spot 2: Pelican Lagoon Marine Sanctuary
The Dudley Peninsula—Kangaroo Island’s eastern part—is joined to the rest of the island by a narrow strip of land, also the southern side of Pelican Lagoon. Named by British explorer Matthew Flinders after its large population of pelicans, it is South Australia’s oldest marine protected area.
Nearly 20 kilometers south-east of Kingscote and a short drive from coastal town American River, the seawater lagoon is now part of the Encounter Marine Park and is a perfect location to kayak.
Spot native wildlife on the water's edge while you drop the stresses of everyday life in this serene and tranquil spot where fishing boats and motorboats are prohibited. Pelican Lagoon Marine Sanctuary is also a photographer's paradise where kangaroos and wallabies graze on the shores around sunset, and stingrays can be seen in the mud at low tide.
Climb the 500 steps up nearby Prospect Hill—Kangaroo Island’s highest point—for astonishing 360° views across Pennington Bay, the Dudley Peninsula, Pelican Lagoon, and beyond.
Secret spot 3: Mulberry Tree
Reeves Point, a picturesque precinct with significant early settlement history on the outskirts of Kingscote, overlooks Nepean Bay and the Bay of Shoals. It is also a haven for shorebirds. Wander the beach, wading through small pools teeming with marine life, or uncover snippets of local history by strolling the Historical Reeves Point Walk.
The famous Mulberry Tree, planted around 1836 and the oldest surviving fruit tree in the state, still bears fruit every summer. Expected to survive for up to 500 years, the old tree is propped up by a support system of cables and poles, and a propagated cutting is growing successfully nearby.
Popular with birdwatchers, photographers, hikers and families, the area has a barbecue area, picnic shelter and playground. Nearby Flagstaff Hill has spectacular views over Reeves Point and Beatrice Islet Conservation Park, and the Hope Cottage Museum tells the story of the first settlers in this area.
Secret spot 4: Emu Bay Trilobites
Travel back over 500 million years to when prehistoric sea creatures once teemed on the seafloor. Now preserved in perfect condition, more than 50 species of trilobites and other fossils have been found in the Emu Bay Shale formation.
Emu Bay has one of only two shale formations worldwide containing Redlichiidan trilobites. Join the locals who love to come here for a fossil hunt or see more fossils at the South Australian Museum.
Secret spot 5: Billy Goat Waterfall Hike
In the Western River Wilderness Protection Area on the north-western coast, follow a quiet and secluded track to Billy Goat Falls. They normally only flow in winter but have sometimes flowed as early as January and all through autumn, winter, and spring.
The stunning 4.2-kilometer return hike takes keen bushwalkers and birdwatchers through regenerating bushland and across the creek, before descending into a spectacular valley of She-oak trees, a favourite of the endangered glossy black cockatoo. This pleasant 90-minute walk will show you the true resilience of the island’s flora and fauna.