KI is really a must-do for anyone wanting to encounter Australian wildlife. It’s a place where you’ll see seals on the beach, koalas up in the trees, and kangaroos hopping around. It’s a short 20-30min flight from Adelaide, or you can do a coach/ferry trip which takes roughly three hours. I would recommend staying for at least a night, preferably two, as the island itself is huge.
- Marsha, Aussie Specialist Ambassador, Blowes & Stewart CWT, Ontario, Canada
Karta Pintingga, known as Kangaroo Island, is often described as a ‘zoo without fences’ for the abundance of wildlife encounters and biodiversity.
As Australia's third-largest island and just over 9 miles of water away from the mainland, Kangaroo Island covers a landmass approximately the size of Puerto Rico with a population of fewer than 4,300 people yet hundreds of thousands of animals.
Although parts of the island were severely affected by bushfires, the vegetation, wildlife habitat, and community of Kangaroo Island residents have made a full recovery.
It’s only a 30-minute flight from Adelaide Airport to Kingscote Airport, available via QantasLink.
With multiple departure times offered daily, it’s easy to take a quick and luxurious passenger ferry from the mainland at Cape Jervis to Penneshaw which is just 45 minutes away. There are also options for mainland coach return connections via Kangaroo Island SeaLink and Kangaroo Island Connect.
Beach & Coast
Nature & Wildlife
Walks & Hikes
History & Heritage
Food & Wine
There is a range of accommodation options throughout Kangaroo Island. For backpackers, simple lodgings include campgrounds with great views, barbecues, picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. Some are even close to general stores to restock on goods.
Some notable hotels, lodges, and retreats include:
Southern Ocean Lodge - The acclaimed Southern Ocean Lodge is being built after the bushfires of January 2020, and is expected to reopen in late 2022 or early 2023.
Sea Dragon Lodge & Villas - This boutique luxury retreat sits on a 250-acre seafront estate and provides guests with access to its private beach at Pink Bay, a variety of Australian Wildlife that live on the property, fully self-contained luxury villa accommodation, delicious home-cooked meals, and premium Kangaroo Island wines, as well as private 4WD tours with tailor-made itineraries.
Oceanview Eco-Villas - A fully-hosted eco-luxury accommodation located on a 500-acre rural property nestled atop the stunning Kangaroo Island coastline known as 'Redbanks'. The off-grid, eco-design and build gives guests a personalized 5-star experience along with the good feelings that come with leaving a small footprint and an ethos that seeks to both restore and give back to the environment.
Hamilton & Dune - a duo of private-hire lodges ripe with Australian heritage that overlook the picturesque Emu Bay foreshore and offer a choice between the architecturally designed Dune House, or Hamilton House, a property that can house larger groups and boasts an impressive list of amenities.
One Kangaroo Island - one of Kangaroo Island's best private luxury beachfront retreats set on a stunning, pristine beach on the north coast of Kangaroo Island. The accommodations are perfectly positioned, surrounded by wildlife and natural beauty in a secluded Australian beach and bush setting. ONE KANGAROO ISLAND provides tailored experiences, ideal for intergenerational, holiday and family groups, couples retreats, and private honeymooners.
Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge - Situated on the banks of Eastern Cove, Kangaroo Island Lodge offers 38 well-appointed guest rooms with exceptional waterfront views. Offering quality accommodation, fine dining, panoramic water views, wildlife and birdlife, this lodge provides a blend of personalized, quality service and a great experience to remember.
Aurora Ozone Hotel - Boasting a truly unique location, set along the foreshore of one of South Australia’s most pristine coastlines, overlooking stunning, panoramic views of Nepean Bay, Ozone Hotel is the ideal base for your guest's Kangaroo Island visit. Relax and enjoy the outdoor pool, sauna, barbecue area, and free wireless internet access
Stranraer Homestead - The homestead is set on 1290 hectares of working property, producing prime lamb, wool, and grain. Adding to its beauty, the property has two large, bird-filled lagoons surrounded by hummocks, beautiful scenery, and wildlife. Stranraer offers a country experience with peace and tranquillity. The homestead's central location on the island makes it convenient for exploring local highlights, natural beauty, and wildlife.
4 distinct seasons allow for different experiences throughout the year: