Kangaroo Island, 13 kilometres (8 miles) off the coast of South Australia and 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide, is brimming with native animals, some of which aren’t found anywhere else. It is also home to an established artisanal food scene, and one of the world’s best hotels. More than one third of the island is protected by conservation areas and national parks, while lush farmland and small towns make up much of the rest. The island, known to the locals as “KI”, is divided into seven regions, with four major towns: Kingscote (the island’s relaxed capital), Penneshaw (where daily ferries disembark), American River, and Parndana. Most major areas are connected by sealed tarmac roads, and there are gravel roads elsewhere.
How to get to there
Kangaroo Island Sealink operates a daily ferry service from mainland South Australia to Penneshaw, a major town on Kangaroo Island. The ferry departs from the town of Cape Jervis, which is a 90 minute drive south of Adelaide. The passenger boarding ramps are wheelchair accessible with assistance and there is also an accessible restroom onboard each ferry.
Daily flights also transfer passengers from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island with the airline Regional Express or Qantas. The island is surprisingly large, being 155 kilometres (96 miles) long and 55 kilometres (35 miles) at its widest; you’ll need at least a weekend to explore it. Several tour operators offer guided experiences and multi-day trips.
You can take your own car to Kangaroo Island by ferry and exploring Kangaroo Island by car is a wonderful way to travel the 1,600 Kilometers of roads which take you through the major townships. You can expect the majority of the main roads to be sealed, principally those linking Penneshaw, American River, Kingscote, Parndana and Flinders Chase National Park. Be aware that many of the tourist spots and tucked away beaches are accessed via unsealed roads.
Most major tourist attractions have step free access, but be prepared to navigate gravel car parks and ramps of varying degrees to enjoy the experience.
Make sure to check out the National Public Toilet Map when you’re planning your trip. Most major tourist attractions have accessible bathrooms of varying standards.
Average maximum temperatures range from 28°c in summer to 15°c in winter.
Kangaroo Island is home to events such as the KI Art Feast, KI Marathon and farmers’ markets. KI may only have a population of around 4500 people, but residents sure know how to have a good time! The Island is gripped by racing fever in February when the Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival is held. You’ll find events all across the island. In October, exhibitions pop up everywhere for the Art Feast. Visitors are strongly encouraged to join-in. Don’t miss the Kangaroo Island Farmers’ and Community Markets and various agricultural shows. Kangaroo Islands Major Events.