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Is Kangaroo Island Worth Visiting? An Aussies Honest Opinion!

Kangaroo Island is a unique and beautiful destination located off the coast of South Australia, and it can be a great place to visit depending on your interests and preferences. In this post I am going to answer the question, is Kangaroo Island worth visiting? 

I actually visited Kangaroo Island on my first solo trip ever in my early 20s! I wanted to go somewhere close to home (I’m from Brisbane) with plenty of things to do and places to explore.

And spoiler alert, I absolutely loved it here. The island has stunning beaches, incredible wildlife, great wineries, and untouched landscapes – it’s no surprise it is now one of my favourite spots in Australia.

Keep reading to learn more about whether Kangaroo Island is worth visiting for you as well as my top travel tips. 

✔️ Flights: Book your flights on Skyscanner 

➡️ Car rental: Rent your car on DiscoverCars

✔️ Travel insurance: I recommend World Nomads

➡️ Accommodations: Book your stay at booking.com

✔️ Activities: Arrange your adventure trips and tours

is it worth visiting kangaroo island
Is Kangaroo Island Worth Visiting?

Is Kangaroo Island Worth Visiting in Australia?

So you may be thinking is Kangaroo Island worth visiting? 

In my eyes, it’s a big YES. 

Beautiful rugged coastlines, turquoise waters, top-rated beaches, native animals, unique natural formations and wines to taste. Shall I go on? 

I travelled to Kangaroo Island in December 2022 on a solo road trip and had an absolute blast! Yes, I recommend travelling around Kangaroo Island solo as a female. There are loads to explore to keep you busy, the locals are super friendly and phone reception is overall pretty decent for a more remote location. 

10 Reasons To Visit Kangaroo Island

These are a few of the many reasons why you should consider visiting Kangaroo Island!

is kangaroo island still worth visiting
Spot the Seals at Seal Bay!

1. Unique Wildlife

Kangaroo Island is home to a variety of unique and fascinating wildlife species, including, you guessed it, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, koalas, and sea lions.

You can see these animals up close and in their natural habitat at various national parks, reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries on the island.

best time to visit kangaroo island
Weirs Cove

2. Secluded Beaches

With over 500 kilometres of coastline, Kangaroo Island is home to numerous pristine beaches without the crowds so you can relax, swim, surf, or simply soak up the sun.

Honestly, the beaches here are some of the best in the country and that’s saying something

3. Untouched Landscapes

The natural beauty of Kangaroo Island is nothing short of breathtaking. The island has many scenic drives and hikes, offering you a chance to explore the island’s stunning landscapes.

It is largely untouched meaning you get to experience Australia in its raw and natural form.

drone for travel photography
Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island

4. Loads of Activities

For adventure seekers, Kangaroo Island offers a range of outdoor activities such as surfing, fishing, kayaking, hiking and even sandboarding

You can also go on guided tours to explore the island’s hidden gems if you don’t hire a car (more on that later!)

why visit kangaroo island

5. Gourmet Food and Wine

Kangaroo Island is famous for its gourmet food and wine, with many local producers offering fresh seafood, cheeses, and wines. You can take food and wine tours to explore the island’s culinary delights.

My personal favourite is visiting the Bay of Shoals for a wine tasting at the most beautiful winery with insane beach views.

6. Relaxation

With its laid-back vibe and tranquil surroundings, Kangaroo Island is the perfect place to unwind and relax. You can stay in luxurious eco-lodges, enjoy a spa treatment, or simply soak up the sun on one of the island’s many beaches.

It’s the kind of place where you can put your phone away and totally chill out, listen to the birds, and just let yourself unwind, soaking in the peaceful vibes of nature.

7. Conservation Efforts

Kangaroo Island is not just a destination for leisure; it’s also a testament to the importance of conservation efforts. The island takes great pride in its commitment to preserving its natural wonders and wildlife.

You will see firsthand the dedicated conservation initiatives in place, whether it’s through guided tours led by passionate local guides or visits to wildlife sanctuaries at national parks.

By immersing yourself in these conservation efforts, you not only gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s biodiversity but also contribute to its ongoing protection for future generations to enjoy.

8. Flinders Chase National Park

As the crown jewel of Kangaroo Island’s natural beauty, Flinders Chase National Park is a major drawcard.

Within Flinders, you can visit iconic landmarks such as Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, each sculpted by millions of years of natural forces. Keep your eyes peeled for seals at Admirals Arch, when I visited there were loads of them lying on the rocks.

Then you have to stop by Weirs Cove for one of the best views of the island, it is a hidden gem not to be missed!

9. Photographs Playground

For shutterbugs seeking the perfect shot, Kangaroo Island is a photographer’s paradise.

From golden sunsets and pristine beaches to wildlife encounters in their natural habitats, every corner of the island is like a postcard.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, Kangaroo Island is a spot for those insta-worthy shots.

Tip: If you have a drone, don’t forget to bring it, my best photos are taken from my DJI mini drone! it is one of the best ways to capture this stunning island.

10. Scenic Road Trip Adventures

There’s no better way to explore Kangaroo Island than with a road trip and who doesn’t love a road trip?! With well-maintained roads and don’t forget the island is actually pretty big, a day out road-tripping is an adventure in itself.

Take your time exploring charming towns, stopping at picturesque lookout points and perhaps picnicking at the beach

So pack plenty of snacks, blast your favourite road trip playlist, wind down the windows and get ready to explore all that Kangaroo Island has on offer.

⭐ Love my travel guides and itineraries? I’m here to design a custom itinerary tailored to your travel dreams! Fill out the contact form below, and let’s plan your dream trip!

⏬ Custom Travel Itineraries Enquiry Form ⏬

Learn more about my custom travel itinerary services here.

best beaches in adelaide

Getting To Kangaroo Island

To get to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide city/airport, you will need to drive about 1hr 30mins to Cape Jervis. 

From Cape Jervis, catch the Sealink ferry across. Be sure to book in early if you are travelling during the summertime and are taking a car across as it books up fast! 

The ferry is about a 45-minute trip and will drop you off at Penneshaw. 

From Penneshaw, I recommend you stay in Kingscote (see below for my suggested accommodation). It is about a 45-minute drive from Penneshaw to Kingscote.

Alternatively, skip the ferry and fly to Kangaroo Island, although expect to pay more and have less flexibility with scheduling. 

kangaroo island self drive itinerary

Getting Around Kangaroo Island

I highly, HIGHLY recommend renting a car when travelling around Kangaroo Island. 

As mentioned, it is a large island with many attractions spread across it.

If you want to travel beyond your accommodation (and I highly suggest you do) you will need a car. 

The roads vary but are generally suitable to drive without a 4-wheel drive. 

I rented a small economy car from Sixt and it was perfect for a solo road trip! 

✔️ Rent a car for your trip to Kangaroo Island

Where to Stay on Kangaroo Island

I recommend you stay in Kingscote as there are enough cafes, restaurants, petrol stations and shops to get you by. There is a supermarket which I found great for picking up lunch for on the go (as there isn’t much past Kingscote) and a few great takeaway and dining options.

Although it is still a small town it’s the probably best you’re going to get on the island, other than perhaps Penneshaw which is only slightly smaller!

kangaroo island accommodation Kingscote
Kangaroo Island Accommodation Kingscote

Aurora Ozone

I stayed in the Aurora Ozone Hotel which had everything I needed. 

The room I booked was the executive double room which had a single bed and a king bed, perfect for up to three people. There is Wi-FI, air conditioning, comfy beds, a small fridge and some kitchen essentials. The room is cleaned daily which is always a treat when you’re on holiday.

An executive double room cost me $239 AUD per night which isn’t bad considering I travelled over Christmas. If you are travelling solo or with one other and want to save some money, I would check availability for the Standard Heritage Room which costs $199 AUD per night. 

There is a restaurant onsite with beach views which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For $25AUD you can purchase a buffet breakfast which was decent. 

Overall I really enjoyed my stay at Aurora Ozone, the location was great, the staff were super friendly and the rooms were comfortable!

A few other places to check availability are below

✔️ Book your stay at Aurora Ozone Hotel

Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel

Super cute modern beachfront motel at a mid-range price (approximately $170-$270 AUD per night depending on the time of year).

I had my eye set on this place however it wasn’t available.

✔️ Book your stay at Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel

Kangaroo Island Seafront

If you prefer to stay in Penneshaw to stay close to the ferry and explore more dining options than Kingscote, Kangaroo Island Seafront is a fantastic option for a reasonable price. 

Expect to pay around $150 – $200AUD a night for a double room with all the basic amenities you need. 

✔️ Book your stay at Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel

What to do on Kangaroo Island
Admirals Arches

Best Things To Do On Kangaroo Island

Here are the best activities and places to visit on Kangaroo Island to help you plan your itinerary.

Flinders Chase National Park

A visit to Flinders Chase National Park is the number 1 attraction on Kangaroo Island and for good reason. Home to iconic landmarks like Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch and some adorable wildlife including sea lions, it’s a must-add to your itinerary.

Vivonne Bay Jetty

Spend a leisurely day at Vivonne Bay Jetty, known for its pristine white sands and crystal-clear bright blue waters. Whether you’re swimming, fishing, or simply soaking up the sun, this place honestly made my jaw drop.

A highlight of my trip and hopefully yours too.

Stokes Bay Beach

Discover the hidden gem of Stokes Bay Beach, accessible via a secret pathway through the rocks.

Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a secluded cove with calm waters, ideal for swimming, snorkelling, and picnicking.

Rated as Australia’s best beach in 2023, it’s a must-visit.

Bay of Shoals Winery

Indulge your senses at Bay of Shoals Winery, where you can sample some premium wines crafted from locally grown grapes. But the real highlight here is the views.

This vineyard combines stunning sea views with the grape vines, making it the perfect place to spend the afternoon sipping wine and eating cheese.

Seal Bay

Get up close and personal with Australian sea lions at Seal Bay Conservation Park.

Join a guided tour along the boardwalks and sandy shores to observe these playful creatures in their natural habitat.

When I visited there were loads of them chilling by the beach and playing in the water!

Pennington Bay

Experience the raw beauty of Pennington Bay, renowned for its dramatic coastline and powerful surf.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer catching waves or simply someone admiring the rugged scenery, this remote beach offers a true escape.

Kelly Hill Caves

Delve into the underground world of Kelly Hill Caves, where intricate limestone formations create such a unique landscape.

Join a guided tour to uncover the fascinating history hidden beneath the surface.

Little Sahara

Head on a fun adventure at Little Sahara, featuring vast sand dunes amidst eucalyptus forests.

Whether you’re sandboarding down towering slopes, going on a buggy tour or simply exploring the surreal desert landscape, Little Sahara offers such fun day out.

Map of Kangaroo Island Attractions 

Kangaroo Island is bigger than you might think. It takes roughly 2 hours to drive end to end. 

It is essential you plan your itinerary carefully and strategically to avoid wasting time behind the wheel. And to ensure you have enough time to get around to all the amazing attractions!

I have created a map of Kangaroo Island attractions to help you put together your itinerary!

map of kangaroo island attractions
Map of Kangaroo Island Attractions

kangaroo island itinerary 2 days

How Many Days Do You Need on Kangaroo Island?

The amount of time you need to spend on Kangaroo Island really depends on your interests and what you want to see and do on the island.

For a basic introduction to the island’s main attractions, a 2-3 day visit is sufficient. This would give you enough time to visit some of the island’s most popular sights, such as Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks, Seal Bay Conservation Park, and the Kelly Hill Caves.

If you are interested in exploring additional beaches such as Vivonne Bay, Pennington Bay and Emu Beach and/or adding on outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife watching, and beachcombing, I recommend 4-5 days on the island. This would give you more time to explore the island’s many parks, reserves, and beaches at a leisurely pace. 

For those who want a more in-depth experience of the island’s culture, history, and gourmet food and wine, you may want to consider spending up to a week on Kangaroo Island. This would give you enough time to take guided tours, meet with local producers, and immerse yourself in the island’s unique way of life.

I personally spent 4 nights or 5 days on Kangaroo Island and that was perfect for me. As I was solo travelling I covered a lot of ground in those 4 days. I wouldn’t say it was leisurely as I had a lot of places I wanted to see and it is a spread-out island. That being said you can certainly have more time to relax if you pick and choose what you want to see. 

Overall, the length of your stay on Kangaroo Island depends on your interests, budget, and travel style. Whether you have a few days or a week, there is plenty to see and do on this beautiful island.

Is Kangaroo island worth visiting after the fires
Pennington Bay

Best Time to Visit Kangaroo Island

I’m sure by now you’re just about sold and no longer questioning is Kangaroo Island worth visiting.

So let’s cover when the best time to visit Kangaroo Island is. 

Summer is the most popular time to visit between December and February as the weather is perfectly warm for exploring the stunning beaches.

Shoulder seasons of Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to May) are also ideal for avoiding peak time charges, skipping the crowds and enjoying slightly cooler weather. 

2 weeks in australia budget
Vivonne Bay Beach

Cost To Travel Kangaroo Island – My Expenses

Let’s uncover a realistic budget for visiting Kangaroo Island. 

Depending on where you are travelling will influence this partially.

For example, if you’re from Adelaide, you can skip spending money on flights and instead treat yourself to a few extra nights on Kangaroo Island. 

Let’s dive into how much it cost me to travel to Kangaroo Island for 4 nights during the peak season in December. Below are all listed in AUD.

Total for 4 nights for 1 traveller (mid-range) in Kangaroo Island = $2,729

Now, this does seem like a lot, but as I mentioned earlier solo travel at peak times is expensive! If I were to travel with 1 other person I would have saved around $800. 

But this is not always possible! Don’t stop exploring the world and doing what you want to do because no one can come with you. 

FAQs: Is Kangaroo Island Worth Visiting?

Moving onto some commonly asked questions I get about: Is Kangaroo Island worth visiting?

What is special about Kangaroo Island?

Kangaroo Island is special for so many reasons!

Firstly, its untouched natural beauty is absolutely breathtaking. From gorgeous beaches and coves to lush forests, the landscapes here are simply stunning.

Plus, it’s a wildlife lover’s paradise. Where else can you spot kangaroos, koalas, sea lions, and penguins all in one place?

The island’s commitment to conservation efforts also sets it apart, ensuring that its unique ecosystems remain protected for future generations to enjoy.

And let’s not forget about the incredible great food and wine scene – think fresh produce and farm to table.

Is 1 day enough for Kangaroo Island?

While you can certainly see some of Kangaroo Island’s highlights in a day, I’d highly recommend spending a bit more time here if you can.

There’s just so much to explore and experience!

Ideally, plan for at least 3-4 days to truly immerse yourself in everything the island has to offer.

This will give you enough time to visit key attractions, go on wildlife tours, and soak up the laid-back island vibe without feeling too rushed.

Personally, I went for 1 week and still didn’t get around to seeing everything I wanted. The more the merrier here on Kangaroo Island!

How long is ferry trip to Kangaroo Island?

The ferry trip to Kangaroo Island varies depending on the departure point.

Generally, the ferry ride from Cape Jervis (which is about 1hr 30 minutes from Adelaide) on the mainland to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island takes about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s a scenic journey across Backstairs Passage, offering beautiful views of the coastline along the way.

Be sure to check the ferry schedule and book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel times and if you are bringing a car!

What is the best town to stay in on Kangaroo Island?

What is the best town to stay in on Kangaroo Island?

Choosing the best town to stay in really depends on your preferences, itinerary and the availability of accommodation.

Kingscote is often considered one of the best options for accommodation on Kangaroo Island. As the largest town on the island, it offers a range of accommodations, dining options, and amenities.

Additionally, Kingscote’s central location makes it a convenient base for exploring other parts of the island. I chose to stay here and found it the perfect spot.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy bed and breakfast or a luxury resort, you should find a good option here (if you book in advance).

But even though Kingscote is the biggest town, don’t set your expectations too high, it is still a small town with only a few essential shops, restaurants and cafes.

Kangaroo island secluded beach

The Wrap Up: Is Kangaroo Island Worth Visiting?

Is Kangaroo Island worth visiting in 2024?!

If you enjoy exploring beautiful beaches, tasting local wines, road-tripping and spotting animals in their natural habitat then Kangaroo Island is definitely worth it.

On the other hand, if you are more interested in urban attractions and nightlife, Kangaroo Island may not be the best choice for you. The island has a relaxed, rural feel, with small towns and villages and limited nightlife options.

Let me know in the comments if you think Kangaroo Island is worth visiting.

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Pin for Later – Is It Worth Visiting Kangaroo Island?

is it worth visiting kangaroo island
Is it worth visiting Kangaroo Island

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