Kangaroo Island, SA, Australia cruises
Kangaroo Island port guide.
Be mesmerized by Kangaroo Island’s pristine natural beauty. Find plenty of unspoiled beaches and enjoy the rare opportunity to witness an amazing range of animals up close in their natural habitat.
Located off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide, Kangaroo Island boasts an abundance of wildlife. As one would expect, there’s a substantial kangaroo presence, along with wallabies, koalas, seals, sea lions, and goannas - the placid and unassuming lizards that grow up to a foot long.
Top landmarks and sights on Kangaroo Island.
Kangaroo Island’s attractions are nothing short of breathtaking. From its rugged coastline, secluded walks, and iconic wildlife, to extraordinary food and wine, this part of the world has so much to offer.
Home to an abundance of beaches, caves, sand dunes, protected reserves, conservation areas, and national parks, taking in Kangaroo Island’s array of natural wonders.
The 5,000-acre Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, located between Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Conservation Park, offers a mesmerizing way to see koalas in the wild. Here you will also have the chance to see kangaroos, possums, echidnas, and goannas, and bird lovers may spot honeyeaters, black cockatoos, and rosellas.
Visitors looking to get up close and personal with Australia’s iconic creatures, koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies, can take a visit to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. The park is home to over 150 species of native Australian wildlife, and you’ll have the chance to cuddle a koala bear, witness penguin and pelican feedings, hold a snake or book a private reptile session.
Those looking to simply enjoy the weather and relax will appreciate the pristine delights of Vivonne Bay. Renowned for being one of Australia’s top beaches, Vivonne Bay is located on the island’s southern coast. Here you can sunbathe, try fishing, relax with a book or perhaps take a stroll. Swimming isn’t recommended here, however, due to strong currents and cold water. The island’s north coast beaches, such as Emu Bay and Stokes Bay, are well worth a visit and are recommended for swimming.
Kangaroo Island’s rich culture and history are celebrated across the island’s many art galleries, museums, and historical landmarks. Reeves Point in Kingscote is the historic point where European settlers established their first base. Kingscote is home to one of three original cottages built in 1856, and Hope Cottage National Trust Museum exhibits a fascinating collection of items depicting early settlement life in Kingscote.
Soak up the island’s heritage by taking the walking trail up to the views from Flagstaff Lookout. Reeves Point is also home to the Old Mulberry Tree, the oldest surviving fruit tree in South Australia, which was planted in 1836.
Things to do on Kangaroo Island.
Outdoor adventures are a superb way to enjoy the many natural attractions on Kangaroo Island. You’ll find wildlife safaris, and animal encounters, or, if you’re a keen explorer, you can take to one of the island’s many walking trails that meander through the national parks and snap keepsakes of an abundance of wildlife.
You could explore Flinders Chase National Park, one of the island’s most famous attractions. Covering the entire western end of Kangaroo Island, the park is home to forests and waterways which can be explored via its extensive network of boardwalks and hiking trails. Here you’ll also find interesting wildlife including thousands of fur seals, plus many birds and kangaroos setting up home on the park’s borders.
Seal Bay Conservation Park is another must-visit for wildlife lovers. It is the only destination in the world where visitors can witness a colony of Australian sea lions in their natural habitat. The 2,953-feet boardwalk has plenty of viewing platforms for you to take in these playful creatures, and the Seal Bay Visitor Center offers information on sea lions as well as the park itself.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline buzz, surfing the sand dunes at Little Sahara promises a thrill-seeking experience. Around a five-minute drive from Vivonne Bay, the largest of the towering dunes reach around 230 feet high. Take in the stunning scenery as you enjoy an exhilarating experience.
Food lovers can enjoy the range of mouth-watering produce that the island has to offer. Kangaroo island is renowned for its honey, eggs, and fresh seafood, and is also an up-and-coming grape-growing region with an array of wineries and vineyards, many of which offer tours. These include Kangaroo Island Estate Wines, Dudley Wines, and Bay of Shoals Winery to name a few.
Established in 1968 by a group of dedicated local residents, the Penneshaw Maritime and Folk Museum is a National Trust Museum located in Penneshaw, on the Dudley Peninsula on the eastern end of the island. Boasting displays, artifacts, and information on the maritime and folk history of the Dudley Peninsula, visitors can visit the museum from Wednesday – Sunday.
Kangaroo Island’s main ferry port, Penneshaw, is a popular destination for food lovers. It offers picturesque views, plus some of the best cafes and restaurants on the island, which celebrate the local, fresh produce from the surrounding farms.
Kangaroo Island’s cuisine is a gastronomic celebration of local, seasonal produce. Many eateries use the island’s selection of locally caught seafood - so if this appeals, you’ll find opportunities to sample some of the freshest, mouth-watering fish and shellfish the island’s waters have to offer.
From quirky cafes to fine dining and delicious local island wines, you’re sure to enjoy an unforgettable gourmet experience during your visit.
Shopping on Kangaroo Island.
While on the island, perhaps find time for a local farm. Clifford’s Honey Farm produces pure Ligurian honey, or Emu Bay Lavender Farm offers a host of lavender-based oils and body products, as well as loose-leaf teas. Locally sourced products direct from Kangaroo Island make for the perfect souvenir to commemorate your voyage or unusual gifts for loved ones.
If you’re looking for more unique gifts, both Fine Art Kangaroo Island and Kangaroo Island Gallery showcase an array of artwork from local artists, making for another lovely memento.
Getting around Kangaroo Island.
It is important to be aware that there is no public transport on the island and no taxi services. There are some shuttle bus services available from the ferry port that visit locations including Kingscote.
Kangaroo Island port facilities.
Kangaroo Island’s cruise port terminal is located at Penneshaw, a port town on the island’s eastern coast.
The facilities at Penneshaw include tourist information, toilets, and ATMs and boast the island’s largest selection of dining options.
Kangaroo Island quick tips.
Currency and ATMs.
The Australian Dollar is used on Kangaroo Island. At the time of writing, the current conversion from the United States dollar to Australian dollar is roughly $1 to $1.42.
While most establishments do accept card payments, it can be a good idea to take cash if you’ll be shopping at market stalls or small shops and cafes. You’ll find ATMs located in Kingscoat and Penneshaw.