SeaLink Kangaroo Island Ferry in the water, shot from a drone

Your Ultimate Guide to Booking a Ferry to Kangaroo Island

Are you looking to journey across the water to Kangaroo Island? The SeaLink ferry is your direct link, offering a 45-minute trip from Cape Jervis to the island’s stunning shores. This article provides everything you need to know about booking your ferry ticket, including service details and travel tips to ensure a smooth experience. We took our camper van on the SeaLink and had a great experience.

Key Takeaways

  • SeaLink Kangaroo Island Ferry is your go-to service for a trip to Kangaroo Island, offering a comfortable 45-minute ride with amenities and ensuring availability with Kangaroo Island Connect no longer in operation.
  • Getting to Cape Jervis is the first step to reaching Kangaroo Island, with scenic drives from Adelaide or public transport via LinkSA’s Route 1259 as your options, so plan and be cautious of wildlife when driving.
  • Exploring Kangaroo Island can be tailored to your preference, with the freedom to self-drive using your vehicle or rentals or the ease and added insight of guided tours, ensuring a rich experience regardless of your travel style.

SeaLink Kangaroo Island Ferry

SeaLink Kangaroo Island Ferry

SeaLink operates two car and passenger ferries, the ‘Sealion 2000’ and the ‘Spirit of Kangaroo Island’. These ferries provide transport services between Cape Jervis and Penneshaw. The ‘Sealion 2000’ can accommodate up to 375 passengers and 50 cars, or 30 cars and 4 coaches, while the ‘Spirit of Kangaroo Island’ can hold up to 240 passengers and 50 cars, or 8 semi-trailers and 18 cars. Thus, irrespective of your group size or the kind of vehicle you have, SeaLink can accommodate you.

But SeaLink offers more than just a ride across the water from the sealink ferry terminal. Onboard the ferries, you’ll find:

  • cafes
  • baby change facilities
  • tourist information
  • opportunities for whale and dolphin watching

Imagine sipping a cup of coffee while watching dolphins play in the ferry’s wake, all while getting the latest tips on what to see and do on Kangaroo Island. This is not merely a ferry ride; it marks the beginning of your adventure.

Kangaroo Island Connect Closure

With the closure of Kangaroo Island Connect, SeaLink has stepped up to ensure that travellers can still easily access Kangaroo Island. While this situation has affected the availability and schedule of services, particularly during high-demand periods, SeaLink has worked hard to accommodate all travellers wishing to explore the island.

Therefore, you can be confident that your journey to Kangaroo Island is being managed competently.

Preparing for Your Journey to Cape Jervis

Preparing for Your Journey to Cape Jervis

Once you’ve booked your ferry, the next step in your journey to Kangaroo Island is getting to Cape Jervis. Accessible by road from Adelaide, Cape Jervis is the starting point for ferries to Kangaroo Island. The road distance from Adelaide to Cape Jervis Port is about 108.2 km, and the average driving time is around one and a half hours. This drive is not just a means to an end but a beautiful journey through South Australia’s picturesque landscapes.

However, if you’re not driving, public bus services from Adelaide to Cape Jervis are also available, albeit less frequent than other routes. Hence, planning your trip and considering possible transfers at major junctions when using public bus services to Cape Jervis is essential.

Driving to Cape Jervis

If you’re driving to Cape Jervis, the most direct route from Adelaide is via Main South Road and Victor Harbor Road. This journey of approximately 108 km is cost-effective and allows you to travel at your own pace and enjoy the scenic beauty of South Australia, including Adelaide and Cape Jervis.

However, driving also requires vigilance. While driving to Cape Jervis, look for wildlife on the road, especially during dawn and dusk. The roads to Cape Jervis are often shared with Australia’s unique wildlife, from kangaroos to echidnas. Therefore, remain alert and ensure safe driving!

Public Transportation Options

For travellers relying on public transportation, LinkSA operates Route 1259, a daily public coach service from Adelaide to the Cape Jervis Ferry Terminal. This service runs daily, including on public holidays, except Christmas Day, ensuring you have consistent access to the ferry terminal. This reliability makes it a convenient option for those who prefer not to drive.

Passengers using Route 1259 who are not going to Cape Jervis as their final destination do not need to book ahead and have the flexibility to pay on board using various payment methods. Whether planning a brief day trip or an extended stay on Kangaroo Island, public transportation options ensure a smooth journey to the ferry.

Exploring Kangaroo Island with Your Own Vehicle

Exploring Kangaroo Island with Your Own Vehicle

Once you’ve set foot on Kangaroo Island, having your car opens up a world of exploration possibilities. Bringing your vehicle to the island offers the freedom to:

  • Explore less-travelled roads
  • Enjoy the scenery at your own pace
  • Experience special destinations that might not be included in scheduled tours
  • Access unique and private experiences

Self-driving allows you to make the most of your time on Kangaroo Island and create unforgettable memories.

Imagine driving along the coast, stopping at a secluded beach for a picnic, or spotting kangaroos in the wild as you traverse the island’s diverse landscapes. Kangaroo Island offers various natural attractions such as Seal Bay, Vivonne Bay, and Kelly Hill Conservation Park, which are all accessible by car. Exploring Kangaroo Island with your vehicle truly immerses you in this wild wonderland.

Car Rental Options on Kangaroo Island

If you decide against bringing your vehicle, you can still explore Kangaroo Island at your own pace by hiring a car on the island. Multiple car rental services are available, providing a range of options for travellers seeking to rent a vehicle during their stay.

Thus, exploring Kangaroo Island’s beautiful landscapes remains possible even if you don’t have a personal vehicle.

Joining a Guided Tour on Kangaroo Island

Perhaps you prefer to let someone else take the wheel and show you the best that Kangaroo Island offers. In that case, guided tours are a fantastic option. They offer a range of experiences, from hop-on guided tours to fully guided nocturnal adventures that cater to visitors’ preferences. These guided tours even add an element of luxury to your journey, with meals in unique bush or coastal settings and signature hospitality.

With the assistance of knowledgeable guides, you’ll navigate the island efficiently, utilising the best routes and shortcuts. Tour operators like Kangaroo Island Tours and SeaLink Kangaroo Island Tours offer tour packages that connect seamlessly with the shuttle bus service and cover major attractions across the island.

Relax, sit back, and let the professionals navigate you through Kangaroo Island’s wonders.

Benefits of Guided Tours

You’re signing up for an educational and enriching experience when you join a guided tour. Expert guides share their detailed knowledge about local wildlife and natural attractions, providing insights that you might not get on a self-guided tour. Furthermore, guided tours offer:

  • Dynamic management
  • Context
  • History
  • Personalisation
  • Storytelling

These elements create a rich and layered travel experience, ensuring a smooth transition even for those with existing travel bookings.

Aside from the educational benefits, guided tours also increase your chances of witnessing Kangaroo Island’s unique fauna. Guides know the prime locations for wildlife encounters, ensuring you have the best chance to see the island’s remarkable creatures in their natural habitats. Some of the wildlife you may encounter on a guided tour include:

  • Koalas in the treetops
  • A colony of sea lions on the beach
  • Kangaroos hopping through the bush
  • Echidnas foraging for food
  • Penguins returning to their nests at sunset

Guided tours offer unforgettable wildlife experiences.

Onboard Amenities and Facilities of SeaLink Ferries

Onboard Amenities and Facilities of SeaLink Ferries

The journey to Kangaroo Island on a SeaLink ferry is more than just a means of transport; it’s an integral part of your Kangaroo Island adventure. SeaLink ferries, including the ‘Sealion 2000’ and ‘Spirit of Kangaroo Island,’ feature air-conditioned lounges with comfortable lounge, aircraft-style, or café-style seating options for passengers.

Beyond comfort, the ferries offer a range of amenities to improve your journey. The onboard licensed cafes offer a selection of fresh snacks and beverages, while the facilities are designed to be accessible to all travellers. Baby change facilities, support family travel and crew members can assist in warming milk, baby formula, or baby food on request.

Tips for a Smooth Ferry Experience

Tips for a Smooth Ferry Experience

Ferry travel can be a new experience for many, and like any journey, it comes with its own challenges. To help prevent seasickness on your ferry journey, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid heavy, fatty, acidic foods and excessive alcohol beforehand.
  • Natural remedies like ginger can help combat nausea.
  • Focusing on a fixed point on the horizon can minimise sensory confusion.

In addition to these preventative measures, you can seek fresh air at the back of the boat or use one earplug to align your brain’s signals if you feel unwell. Over-the-counter medications or patches can also be used to prevent seasickness but be mindful of potential drowsiness from these remedies.

Kangaroo Island Shuttle Service

Once you arrive on Kangaroo Island, you’ll find a convenient shuttle service that can whisk you away to various local destinations. Contracted Peninsula Coaches operates a shuttle bus service that connects with two ferry services daily and runs from the Penneshaw Ferry Terminal to various local destinations on Kangaroo Island. This service aids in transport to and from popular locations like Penneshaw, American River, and Kingscote, making navigating the island easy.

If you prefer door-to-door service, Kangaroo Island Transfers offers a passenger transfer service that includes:

  • Pick-up and drop-off from the airport, ferry terminals, various accommodations, as well as holiday and private homes
  • Timed to meet all scheduled daily flights
  • Serves all areas of Kangaroo Island

Whether you are a tourist, a resident, or a business traveller, Kangaroo Island’s shuttle and transfer services offer convenient access to tours and transportation across the island.


We’ve covered everything from choosing the right ferry service to exploring Kangaroo Island with your own vehicle or joining a guided tour. We’ve delved into the benefits of guided tours and the onboard amenities of SeaLink ferries. You’ve learned tips for a smooth ferry experience and the convenient Kangaroo Island shuttle service. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, the unknown wilderness of Kangaroo Island awaits. It’s time to tackle your journey and create your unique Kangaroo Island adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions