Kangaroo Island

Located off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island boasts an incredible combination of spectacular coastlines, wildlife species, creative artists and food & beverage producers.

Overview of Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is an intriguing destination – it is physically large, socially small and close-knit, and it enjoys a climate conducive to walking and experiencing the outdoors year-round. Its diverse natural history and creative local produce scene enable you to walk, taste, observe and explore a range of landscapes.

Size of Kangaroo Island - just how big is it?

It is 145 km long from east to west and north to south 55 km at the widest point. At its narrowest – a neck of land between Pelican Lagoon and the spectacular Pennington Bay, it is less than 2 kilometres across. The coastline is nearly 460 kilometres in length and boasts 218 beaches.

Room for nature

National Parks, Conservation Park and Wilderness Protection Zones protect over one-third of the land surface. A series of aquatic reserves and Marine Parks offer similar protection to the coastal and oceanic environments. Private landowners have retained a large percentage of natural vegetation in the landscape, and the broad swathes of roadside vegetation provide critical connecting corridors which link all of this up.

ISOLATION​

The 14 kilometre stretch of ocean that separates Kangaroo Island – or KI as locals universally call it, from the Australian mainland, has significant ongoing impact on Island life. From a genetic perspective, the isolation has driven diversity – we have over 50 plants found only on Kangaroo Island, 17 birds with a recognised KI variant, and many terrestrial animals that are local subspecies, including the namesake Kangaroo Island kangaroo.

Kangaroo Island Wildlife - diverse and wild

Our wildlife list is impressive – kangaroos, wallabies, possums, echidnas, bandicoots, dunnarts, goanna, koalas, platypus, a couple of snakes, a dragon and several small skinks, some microbats, frogs, sea-lions, fur-seals, dolphins and whales (mainly southern rights and humpbacks) and a bird list that runs to around 250 species. What we don’t have is important – no foxes, rabbits or hares, and we have recently eradicated feral goats and deer. Learn more about our wildlife here.

Kangaroo Island geology - set in stone

The underlying geology – and resultant soils that have developed are both equally diverse. Sediments are still being deposited in the bays and estuaries around the shore, and our oldest rock strata date back around 850 million years. That is quite a span! The Island is a large wedge that tilts to the north with a high rainfall plateau through the centre to the west. The plateau slopes south, and the landscape changes from pasture to limestone and sand dunes as you approach the coast.

KANGAROO ISLAND PRODUCE - FARMED AND FORAGED​

The topography, soil type and rainfall create an environment in which our productive farmers graze sheep and cattle, raise free-range chickens for eggs and meat, grow olives for fruit and oil, figs, grapes for wine, and a suite of cereals and other crops such as canola, wheat, barley, oats and beans. Beekeepers tending a unique strain of bees from Liguria harvest some delicious honey and distillers forage wild botanicals for a local gin. Check out our Fine Flavours day tour, or for a more immersive, exclusive experience, try our private three day Fished, Farmed & Fermented tour.

Kangaroo Island produce - from the sea

Our seafood from the clean and cool ocean surrounding the Island is produced through aquaculture (oysters, marron, abalone and barramundi) and wild-catch. Hand-caught King George whiting, sand crabs and Southern rock lobster are local favourites. We serve Kangaroo Island King George whiting on our Island Life day tour.

Kangaroo Island art - a creative community

This diversity and creativity shown by our producers extending into an art scene that is subtle, strong and pervasive. Comprised of a mix of formally trained artists drawn from far afield and locals inspired by the open spaces and vibrant light to try their hand, the Island’s art community continues to design, create and challenge. For those wanting to go behind the scenes with some of Kangaroo Island’s most creative and talented artists, we have check out our private three day Art Immersion tour.

Want to experience all of this?

Walk Kangaroo Island gives you an incredible overview of our island and featuring spectacular coastal and inland landscapes, wildlife in the wild, delicious fresh local produce, warm hospitality, expert guides and behind-the-scenes access to some of Kangaroo Island’s most incredible producers, researchers, artists and storytellers.

Overview of Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is an intriguing destination – it is physically large, socially small and close-knit, and it enjoys a climate conducive to walking and experiencing the outdoors year-round. Its diverse natural history and creative local produce scene enable you to walk, taste, observe and explore a range of landscapes.

Size of Kangaroo Island - just how big is it?

It is 145 km long from east to west and north to south 55 km at the widest point. At its narrowest – a neck of land between Pelican Lagoon and the spectacular Pennington Bay, it is less than 2 kilometres across. The coastline is nearly 460 kilometres in length and boasts 218 beaches.

Room for nature

National Parks, Conservation Park and Wilderness Protection Zones protect over one-third of the land surface. A series of aquatic reserves and Marine Parks offer similar protection to the coastal and oceanic environments. Private landowners have retained a large percentage of natural vegetation in the landscape, and the broad swathes of roadside vegetation provide critical connecting corridors which link all of this up.

Isolation

The 14 kilometre stretch of ocean that separates Kangaroo Island – or KI as locals universally call it, from the Australian mainland, has significant ongoing impact on Island life. From a genetic perspective, the isolation has driven diversity – we have over 50 plants found only on Kangaroo Island, 17 birds with a recognised KI variant, and many terrestrial animals that are local subspecies, including the namesake Kangaroo Island kangaroo.

Kangaroo Island Wildlife - diverse and wild

Our wildlife list is impressive – kangaroos, wallabies, possums, echidnas, bandicoots, dunnarts, goanna, koalas, platypus, a couple of snakes, a dragon and several small skinks, some microbats, frogs, sea-lions, fur-seals, dolphins and whales (mainly southern rights and humpbacks) and a bird list that runs to around 250 species. What we don’t have is important – no foxes, rabbits or hares, and we have recently eradicated feral goats and deer.

Kangaroo Island geology - set in stone

The underlying geology – and resultant soils that have developed are both equally diverse. Sediments are still being deposited in the bays and estuaries around the shore, and our oldest rock strata date back around 850 million years. That is quite a span! The Island is a large wedge that tilts to the north with a high rainfall plateau through the centre to the west. The plateau slopes south, and the landscape changes from pasture to limestone and sand dunes as you approach the coast.

Kangaroo Island produce - farmed and foraged

The topography, soil type and rainfall create an environment in which our productive farmers graze sheep and cattle, raise free-range chickens for eggs and meat, grow olives for fruit and oil, figs, grapes for wine, and a suite of cereals and other crops such as canola, wheat, barley, oats and beans. Beekeepers tending a unique strain of bees from Liguria harvest some delicious honey and distillers forage wild botanicals for a local gin.

Kangaroo Island produce - from the sea

Our seafood from the clean and cool ocean surrounding the Island is produced through aquaculture (oysters, marron, abalone and barramundi) and wild-catch. Hand-caught King George whiting, sand crabs and Southern rock lobster are local favourites.

Kangaroo Island art - a creative community

This diversity and creativity shown by our producers extending into an art scene that is subtle, strong and pervasive. Comprised of a mix of formally trained artists drawn from far afield and locals inspired by the open spaces and vibrant light to try their hand, the Island’s art community continues to design, create and challenge.

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