Antechamber Bay

Kangaroo Island

Penneshaw and The Dudley Peninsula

American River and Kingscote

The Northern Beaches

The South Coast

Flinders Chase National Park

Bird Watching on Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Map Link

Other Useful Web Site Links

King George Beach


Kangaroo Island is one of my favourite places for a holiday.  The island is situated just off of the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula and can be reached by ferry from Cape Jervis, or by taking a flight from Adelaide. 

A visit to Kangaroo Island will take at least a few days.  Although some tours are offered as a 'day trip',  the island has much more to offer than can be covered in just one day.  To enjoy this amazing place, I suggest you plan to spend at least 5 to 7 days!   Kangaroo Island has gorgeous beaches, wineries, wildlife, limestone caves, an incredible National Park, snorkelling and diving, local honey, oysters, lobster and other gourmet products, and the fishing is sensational.  


 

Penneshaw Jetty

PENNESHAW AND THE DUDLEY PENINSULA

If you have reached Kangaroo Island on the ferry, then you will arrive in the small township of Penneshaw.  Take time to explore this beautiful spot.  Highly recommended is a feed of fish and chips from '2 Birds and a Squid', a tiny fish and chip shop situated on North Terrace.  The meal will be delicious, sensationally fresh and definitely among Australia's finest.  Enjoy your meal sitting across the road, overlooking Backstairs Passage.  The mainland is clearly visible across the blue water.

Penneshaw is also the place to join a tour to view some of Kangaroo Island's fairy penguins.  The Gateway Visitor Centre just near the edge of town is where you will find all of the information that you need to enjoy your visit.

South-east from Penneshaw a short drive will bring you to Antechamber Bay and the mouth of the Chapman River.  Camping is available along the banks of this small picturesque river, and the beach is beautiful.  Cape Willoughby Lighthouse sits at the tip of the Dudley Peninsula.  The lighthouse and its buildings are in good condition and tours are available.  Located right alongside the lighthouse is the Dudley Winery, where you can taste some wine and have a meal or a coffee looking over Antechamber Bay and the Backstairs Passage. 

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Antechamber Bay

Cape Willoughby

Pelican Lagoon

from Sunset Winery

AMERICAN RIVER AND KINGSCOTE

Sunset Winery is situated just out of Penneshaw on the main road to Kingscote.  Here you can enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the stunning views of Pelican Lagoon. It seems that Kangaroo Island wineries are blessed with amazing views! 

 

Island Beach

There are many charming holiday villages situated along the shorelines of Eastern Cove and Pelican Lagoon.  Baudin Beach, Brown Beach and Island Beach are great places to stop for lunch or use as a base for your Kangaroo Island holiday.  American River is on the western side of the cove, and is one of Kangaroo Island's main tourism towns.  Good fishing tours begin here, and the area is well known for its abundant bird life. 

Fairy Penguin

near Penneshaw

As you make your way from American River to Kingscote, there are a number of excellent detours worth the effort.  At Jumbuck Australiana you can learn all about the wool industry.  Tours are available, and there are some beautiful wool and sheepskin products available for sale.  Clifford's Honey Farm is where you will find tasty honey which is harvested from the world's last remaining pure Ligurian bees.  Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery if a fascinating place where you will discover the amazing properties of Eucalyptus oil, and find out how it is harvested.

Near Cygnet River you will also find Island Pure Sheep Dairy.  The dairy makes delicious cheeses and yoghurt, and the short tour is very informative.  On the outer border of Kingscote another local honey producer can be found at Island Beehive. 

Bay of Shoals vineyard

Kingscote is the island's major centre.  With a number of accommodation options, a very good hotel and plenty of shops it is certainly one of the busiest places you will visit.  I highly recommend lunch or dinner at the Ozone Hotel, where you can enjoy an excellent meal with a view of Nepean Bay.  The Bay of Shoals Winery is yet another Kangaroo Island attraction where the views are excellent.  The vineyard rolls down the hill towards the shallow waters of the bay.

Reeves Point Monument

Reeves Point just to the north of town, is one of South Australia's most significant historical sites.  Signs in this area provide information about the hardships of the first settlers to the area.

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Emu Bay

THE NORTHERN BEACHES

Much of the northern coastline of Kangaroo Island is inaccessible.  The scuba diving along this coast is excellent, with regular encounters with seals and the elusive and beautiful leafy sea-dragon.  Snorkelling is an easier way to sample the  underwater life of the island and many beaches along this coast have good rocky headlands to explore. 

Emu Bay is the most well-known of all the northern beaches.  It is a gorgeous spot.

Stokes Bay Rock Pool

When you first approach Stokes Bay it appears to be a rocky, unattractive beach with little to offer.  The Rockpool Cafe near the car park however has a reputation for serving very good food.  The surprise comes when you take the short walk through the rocks on the eastern headland and emerge onto a breathtaking beach.  The shallow rock pool is great for the children to swim in, and the surf beach further on is excellent for boogie boarding or body surfing.

Western River Cove

Western River Cove is another favourite place to spend some time.  Excellent snorkelling and diving can be enjoyed from the beach, particularly on the western headland.

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Pennington Bay

THE SOUTH COAST

If you choose to head along the southern coastline from Penneshaw, the one of the first beaches to visit is at Pennington Bay.  Often overlooked, it is reached by a gravel road, just east of the Prospect Hill Lookout.  Pennington Bay is has many shallow rock pools which children will find fascinating to explore.

Brush-tailed Possums

Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park and Wilderness Protection Area cover a large tract of land on the southern coast of Kangaroo Island.  Popular with fishermen the eastern section overlooks D'Estrees Bay and offers basic camping areas right on the coast. The track along the coast is scenic and unspoilt.

Seal Bay Sea-lions

The Aquatic Reserve at Seal Bay is one of the island's premier natural attractions.  The beach itself is attractive but the Australian sea-lions which are always present here make it a very special place to spend some time.  To enjoy watching their behaviour it is necessary to join a tour.  Access to the beach is not allowed without the guidance of a park ranger.  The tours are informal and informative, and allow plenty of time for visitors to observe the seals at a close distance.

Point Ellen

Vivonne Bay was recently voted Australia's best beach.  It is a long sandy beach, protected in the western corner by Point Ellen. There is good surfing here, and swimming is excellent near the jetty on the western side.  I can also thoroughly recommend the 'famous' whiting burger from the Vivonne Bay store on the South Coast Road - freshly caught whiting, beautifully battered, with salad in a fresh roll - delicious! 

Hanson Bay

Kelly Hill Caves Conservation Park can be found further along the South Coast Road.  The area in the front of the tourism centre offers a shady, attractive place for a picnic lunch.  Regular tours are conducted of the decorative limestone caves at Kelly Hill.  There are also tours for more adventurous cavers. 

Hanson Bay is an excellent beach for a swim or a snorkel.  The bay has a network of rocky ledges that harbour a good variety of fish.  Beach fishing is also popular here. 

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Kangaroo Island kangaroos

FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK

Much of the western end of Kangaroo Island is protected and extremely remote.  Flinders Chase National Park is one of South Australia's premier parks, and is high on the list of 'must-sees' on the island.  There is an excellent visitor centre located a few kilometres into the park.  Here you will be able to book a camping spot and gather information about what to see and do while you are in the park.  There is a park entry fee and additional camping fees apply.

Remarkable Rocks

Remarkable Rocks can be found on the southern coast of the park.  The road is sealed and the boardwalk to the rocks is very user friendly.   The coastline near here is rugged and beautiful. 

NZ fur seals

at Cape Du Coedic

At Cape Du Couedic you will find another unusual formation at Admiral's Arch.  The arch itself is a fascinating example of a collapsed limestone cave, but the New Zealand fur seals which live on the rocks on the cape offer excellent entertainment.  They can be observed on all of the rocky shelves around this region.  At Weirs Cove, you will find the ruins of the winch system that was used for hauling supplies to the lighthouse keepers.  Many of Kangaroo Island's lighthouse cottages are available as holiday accommodation, and the ones at Cape Du Couedic are amongst these.

Tammar Wallaby

Snake Lagoon is the starting point for a couple of good walking trails.  The lagoon does not normally have any water, but makes a good cricket pitch for campers, and attracts kangaroos and the elusive tammar wallaby in the evenings.  Right at the end of the road is West Bay.  Camping is available here in a protected spot behind the dunes.

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Pelican Lagoon

BIRD WATCHING ON KANGAROO ISLAND

The whole of Kangaroo Island offers very good bird watching, but there are a few highlights. 

Pelican Lagoon and the shallow, sandy flats anywhere around this area, are excellent for water birds and waders.  During the summer months, migratory waders can be found here in large numbers.  Duck Lagoon, near Cygnet River is a small oasis for water birds, and the surrounding bushland is excellent for honeyeaters, robins and wrens.  Murray Lagoon may provide similar results. 

White-bellied Sea-eagle

 

Flinders Chase National Park is a haven for bush birds.  There are many walking trails which offer excellent birding opportunities.  You may be rewarded with sea birds from any of the vantage points overlooking the Southern Ocean.

The most exciting bird you may be lucky enough to see is the Glossy Black-Cockatoo.  Highly endangered, the sub-species that is found on Kangaroo Island might be seen in the Western River Wilderness Protection Area.   Late afternoon or early morning are the best times to look for them.   There is an extremely active and relatively successful programme underway for the recovery of these beautiful birds.  For details, please click here

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Here are some valuable web site links to help you plan your trip to Kangaroo Island:

Sealink Ferry - Timetables and Prices

Regional Express Airlines

Tour Kangaroo Island

South Australian Tourism Commission - Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Web Portal

Flinders Chase National Park

Kelly Hill Caves National Park

Cape Willoughby Light-station

Seal Bay Conservation Park

Restaurants in Wine Regions - Wine Diva

Kangaroo Island Restaurants - Virtual Tourist

Takeabreak Holiday Accommodation

Ozstays Holiday Accommodation

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