Dolphins at Emu Beach, Kangaroo Island

Ultimate Guide: 10 Things to Do at Kangaroo Island

What are the top things to do at Kangaroo Island? Whether it’s wildlife spotting, hiking through majestic landscapes, or tasting locally-produced delights. After visiting this beautiful place, we have compiled a straightforward list for your visit. Continue reading to uncover the essential activities that Kangaroo Island offers.

Key Takeaways

  • Kangaroo Island provides a diverse range of experiences, from witnessing sea lions at Seal Bay to sandboarding on the dunes of Little Sahara.
  • Visitors can enjoy the island’s natural beauty through activities such as wildlife encounters in national parks, guided walks, and water sports like kayaking.
  • The island’s rich offerings extend beyond natural wonders, including a vibrant culinary scene, local art galleries, and opportunities to delve into maritime history and conservation.

1. Unveiling the Magic of Flinders Chase National Park

Flinders Chase National Park, the most popular national park on Kangaroo Island, is a treasure trove of natural wonders and Kangaroo Island attractions. Home to iconic attractions such as Remarkable Rocks and the historic Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, the park is an explorer’s paradise.

Unwind at the Rocky River Campground, lulled by the soothing sounds of ocean waves and nocturnal birdcalls.

Dani standing in the middle of the road at Flinders Chase

Wildlife Encounters

For wildlife enthusiasts, Flinders Chase National Park is a dream come true. Imagine spotting kangaroos, echidnas, and rare birds in their natural habitat across the park. Take the Snake Lagoon Hike during late winter to witness the unique echidna mating parade or visit the Black Swamp to observe Cape Barren Geese during their nesting season.

The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is a living, breathing testament to the rich biodiversity of Kangaroo Island.

Coastal Marvels

A visit to Flinders Chase National Park is incomplete without exploring its coastal marvels. The Admirals Arch is a compelling spot for visitors to discover the region’s coastal features. Watch New Zealand fur seals bask on the rocks, soaking up the sun.

The Casuarina Islets near Cape du Couedic offer a dramatic sight, especially during stormy weather when waves crash over them. So, don’t forget to pack your binoculars!

Standing under the Admirals Arch

Trekking Adventures

Flinders Chase is a hiker’s paradise. The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a must-do experience, connecting to prime attractions like Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. For those seeking less demanding adventures, there are shorter marked trails.

And if you’re up for a challenge, the Cape Gantheaume Coastal Trek and hikes around Seal Bay, like Murray Lagoon and the Coastal Trek, are waiting for you. Enjoy the great outdoors at your own pace!

2. Delights of Seal Bay: A Conservation Showcase

Seal Bay Conservation Park offers a unique opportunity to enter the heart of an Australian sea lion colony. The park is a testament to nature conservation efforts, where visitors can watch an endangered sea lion colony in its natural habitat. Informative interpretive signs enhance your understanding of these magnificent creatures.

Guided Beach Walks

Guided beach walks at Seal Bay Conservation Park offer a leisurely stroll and an educational experience. Rangers lead these 45-minute walking tours, providing insights into the lives of Australian sea lions.

The tour includes a boardwalk through the dunes to the beach, offering a closer look at the sea lion colony.

Boardwalk Views

The boardwalk at Seal Bay offers more than just a walk; it’s a journey of discovery. With several viewing platforms, this wheelchair-accessible boardwalk provides stunning coastal views and intimate observations of the sea lion colony, not far from the picturesque Stokes Bay.

Experience the boardwalk at your own pace, taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

3. Encounter Koalas at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for nature lovers. Here, you can observe koalas lounging in the eucalyptus trees and a rich array of native wildlife, including wallabies, echidnas, and possums. The sanctuary also offers the Heritage Walk near the visitor centre, where you can explore the grounds and spot local fauna. After your visit, consider taking a trip to the nearby Emu Bay Lavender Farm for a relaxing and fragrant experience.

Koala in a tree at Kangaroo island

Self-Guided Tours

The sanctuary offers self-guided tours, allowing you to explore at your leisure. Follow well-marked trails and observe the region’s unique wildlife, such as koalas and various bird species.

Equipped with your camera, you can venture into the wild at your own pace.

Guided Night Walks

For a different experience, join a 90-minute guided night walk at the sanctuary. As you explore under the cover of darkness, you can see nocturnal animals such as koalas, wallabies, and echidnas in their natural habitat. Simply remember to book in advance and get set for an enchanting evening.

4. Maritime History and Penguins at Penneshaw

Penneshaw, a charming seaside town on Kangaroo Island, offers a rich maritime history and a special opportunity for penguin watching. You can explore sites like the Maritime and Folk Museum and the scenic Cape Willoughby Lighthouse here. But that’s not all; there’s more to this town than meets the eye.

Let’s plunge into the exploration!

Penguin Watching

At the Penneshaw Penguin Centre, you can:

  • Embark on a 60-minute evening walk to see the world’s smallest penguins.
  • Watch the penguins waddle about in their natural habitat.
  • Learn about their behaviours from knowledgeable guides.

You’ll be left charmed and enamoured with these adorable creatures from this unforgettable experience.

penguins on Kangaroo island

Historical Exploration

Penneshaw is steeped in maritime history, and there’s plenty to explore. Visit the Maritime and Folk Museum to learn about the region’s heritage. You can also explore the historic sites at Weirs Cove, where you can see remnants of a jetty and storage rooms that give a glimpse into the life of former lighthouse keepers.

5. Embrace Adventure at Little Sahara

Adventure awaits at Little Sahara, a vast natural sand dune system on Kangaroo Island. Covering over two square kilometers, these dunes offer a range of experiences for thrill-seekers of all levels. From sandboarding to quad biking, there’s something for everyone.

Sand Sports

Sandboarding at Little Sahara’s sand dunes is a unique and exhilarating experience. Imagine gliding down the dunes, feeling the rush of adrenaline! The dunes offer sandboards and toboggans for riding, with boards of various sizes to accommodate different levels of experience.

So, hop on and get ready for a thrilling ride!

Quad Biking

For a motorized adventure, try quad biking across the dunes. This guided tour provides a unique way to experience the vast expanse of dunes and the diverse terrain of Little Sahara.

This heart-pounding experience is not to be missed!

6. Savour Local Flavors and Craft Beverages

Kangaroo Island’s culinary scene is a treat for the senses. Indulge in exceptional seafood, savour locally-produced honey, or tackle a self-guided winery trail. The island’s local flavours and craft beverages are a feast for the palate.

Seafood and Specialties

From native angasi and Pacific oysters to wild marron and more, Kangaroo Island offers a plethora of fresh seafood. Try the famous whiting burger at Vivonne Bay General Store, or savour international and seafood dishes at The Zone Restaurant and Bar. The island’s seafood offerings guarantee freshness and local sourcing, giving you a taste of its maritime catch. Don’t miss the chance to visit an oyster farm shop during your stay on Kangaroo Island.

Wine and Spirits Tasting

Kangaroo Island is a haven for wine and spirits connoisseurs. The island’s wineries, distilleries, and breweries offer tastings of their best products in beautiful settings. From False Cape Winery’s award-winning riesling to Kangaroo Island Spirits’ gin distilled with local botanicals, every palate has a flavour.

Raise your glass and celebrate the island’s craft beverages!

7. Artistic Expressions at Fine Art Kangaroo Island

Art lovers will find a haven at Fine Art Kangaroo Island. The gallery showcases diverse works from talented local artists, including paintings, sculptures, and handcrafted jewellery.

Gallery Visits

A visit to Fine Art Kangaroo Island is a visual delight. The gallery showcases a diverse collection of local art, featuring sculptures by Fred Peters and paintings by Janet Ayliffe. With accolades such as being an inductee in the South Australia Regional Hall of Fame for Arts, the gallery truly embodies the island’s artistic spirit.

Meet the Artists

The artists featured at Fine Art Kangaroo Island draw inspiration from their connection to the island. Their works include:

  • Paintings
  • Prints
  • Sculptures
  • Jewellery

These artworks celebrate the diverse creative output of the island’s artists.

8. Dive into Kelly Hill Conservation Park’s Caves

Kelly Hill Conservation Park invites you to explore its stunning underground caves. The park’s limestone formations and subterranean ecosystems take you beneath the surface into a world that’s as beautiful as it is intriguing.

Let’s probe further into this subterranean marvel.

Cave Tours

The Kelly Hill Caves tour takes you on a journey of discovery. It begins with a guided above-ground walk, where you learn about the caves’ history. Then, you embark on an underground tour to marvel at the stunning limestone formations.

Adventure Caving

For those seeking a more immersive experience, the park offers adventure caving. This guided tour includes:

  • An above-ground walk
  • An underground exploration
  • Narration
  • Dynamic lighting

Embark on a memorable journey through the caverns’ historical and natural beauty.

9. Soak up the sun at Vivonne Bay

Vivonne Bay, recognized for its clear water and cleanliness, is the perfect place to soak up some sun. Whether you’re a beach bum or a surfing enthusiast, the bay has something for everyone.

Get ready to plunge into the beachside merriment!

Beach Leisure

Spend a day relaxing on the pristine sands of Vivonne Bay. Whether you’re up for a picnic, a surf session, or a sunbathing spree, the bay is the place to be. And don’t forget to try the famous whiting burger at the Vivonne Bay General Store!

Wildlife Watching

Vivonne Bay isn’t just about beach fun; it’s also an excellent spot for wildlife watching. You can spot a variety of marine life here, including:

  • Sea lions
  • Southern right whales
  • Humpback whales
  • Dolphins (if you’re lucky)

10. Kayaking and Marine Life at American River

American River offers a unique way to explore Kangaroo Island’s wildlife – by kayak. Paddle the tranquil waters, spotting dolphins and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. After your adventure, consider taking the Kangaroo Island Ferry to continue exploring the island’s beauty.

Kayak Rentals

Rent a kayak and embark on your aquatic adventure at American River. As you paddle along the tranquil waters, look for local wildlife and soak in the serene surroundings. This experience perfectly combines leisure and exploration.

Dolphin Spotting

A kayak ride at American River also offers the chance to spot dolphins. Watch as they frolic along the ‘blue line’ where sandy areas transition into seagrass beds. Besides dolphins, the surrounding waters are also home to diverse marine life, adding to your kayaking experience.


Kangaroo Island offers a unique blend of nature, adventure, wildlife, and culinary experiences that will leave you spellbound. From the awe-inspiring landscapes of Flinders Chase National Park to the serene waters of American River, each spot is a gem that awaits your exploration. The island’s rich biodiversity, local flavours, and warm hospitality make it a must-visit destination. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to Kangaroo Island!

Frequently Asked Questions