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?
If you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife watching, and beachcombing, then Kangaroo Island is definitely worth it. On the island, you can spot Australian native animals including kangaroos, koalas, seals, and sea lions.
The island’s stunning beaches are also a major draw, with pristine sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and other water sports.
Keep reading to learn more about whether Kangaroo Island is worth visiting as well as my top travel tips.
Discover the best time to go, how to get around, the top attractions to see, where to stay and much more.
- Why visit Kangaroo Island?
- What to do on Kangaroo Island?
- Map of Kangaroo Island Attractions
- How many days do you need on Kangaroo Island?
- What is the best time to visit Kangaroo Island
- How to get to Kangaroo Island?
- How to get around the island?
- Where to stay on Kangaroo Island?
- How much does it cost to travel?
- Wrap Up
Why visit Kangaroo Island?
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.
Is Kangaroo Island worth visiting?
These are a few of the many reasons why you should consider visiting Kangaroo Island!
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.
The natural beauty of Kangaroo Island is breathtaking, with rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and lush forests. The island has many scenic drives and hikes, offering visitors 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. Kangaroo Island is also home to some of the best beaches in South Australia and even the country.
For adventure seekers, Kangaroo Island offers a range of outdoor activities such as surfing, fishing, kayaking, and hiking. You can also go on guided tours to explore the island’s hidden gems.
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.
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.
Whether you are a solo traveller from Australia, visiting from overseas with your partner or looking for a weekend getaway from Adelaide with friends or family there are loads to explore, so don’t be shy, Kangaroo Island is calling!
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What to do on Kangaroo Island?
I think the best way to determine whether you want to travel to one destination or another is to check out the top attractions and things to do.
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!
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.
What is the 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.
How to get 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.
How to get around the 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!
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!
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
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
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
How much does it cost to travel?
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.
- Flights from Brisbane to Adelaide = $665
- Aurora Ozone Accommodation for 4 nights = $1069
- Petrol = $110
Car Rental = $358 (I was under 25 so was hit with a young driver fee, but also get discounts from my corporate job…)
- Food & Drinks= $145
- National parks and tours = $52
- Ferry pass for 1 person + car = $330
Total for 4 nights solo travel (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.
I also would have saved around 0 if I had booked a few weeks earlier as I would have had more Kangaroo Island accommodation options that are more suitable for 1 person. But sometimes you don’t have the luxury of planning 3+ months in advance.
Good thing I still work full time as a Campaign Manager for a travel company!
Is Kangaroo Island worth visiting?
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.