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Where Summer Never Ends: Our Ultimate Kangaroo Island Guide

Where Summer Never Ends: Our Ultimate Kangaroo Island Guide

Kangaroo Island—a haven where pristine beaches, untamed wildlife, and enchanting landscapes collide. 

From stirring encounters with kangaroos to heart-pounding hikes through rugged trails, a trip to this spot might make your friends say, “You’ve got a koala-ty for epic adventures!” 

This is a must-try escapade, and our guide below will help you have a journey like no other.

Things to Know

Currency: Australian Dollars (Check the current exchange rate)
Language: English
Calling Code: +61

How to Get around at Kangaroo Island

How to Get around at Kangaroo Island

Car Rental: Renting a car is a popular and convenient option for exploring Kangaroo Island. Several car rental agencies are available at Kingscote Airport, allowing you to pick up a vehicle upon arrival. 

Taxi: Taxi services are available on Kangaroo Island, primarily in Kingscote. You can arrange a taxi to pick you up or drop you off at specific locations. 

Additionally, some accommodation providers offer taxi services for their guests, particularly if they are located near popular attractions.

Public Bus Service: Kangaroo Island has a limited public bus service that operates on selected routes. The bus service mainly serves the towns of Kingscote, Penneshaw, and Parndana. 

It’s essential to check the bus schedule in advance, as the frequency and availability of routes may vary.

Bicycle Hire: For those seeking an eco-friendly and active way to explore the island, bicycle hire is an option. Several rental outlets offer bicycles for rent, allowing you to pedal through scenic areas and enjoy the natural beauty of Kangaroo Island at a leisurely pace.

Best Time to Go

The months of November to March are favorable times to visit Kangaroo Island, as they offer the best opportunities for wildlife encounters, including kangaroos, koalas, and sea lions. 

Additionally, this period coincides with the summer season, providing ideal conditions for swimming and other beach activities. 

Keep in mind that this is also the island’s peak tourist season. Expect large crowds.

Where to Stay in Kangaroo Island

Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge

Address: 73 Scenic Dr, American River SA 5221
Phone: (08) 8553 7053
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge is a resting hub strategically placed near the island’s top-tier beaches. 

This lodge can be a knockout deal if tranquility and affordability are accommodation clinchers for you.

Our team had a blast staying in the lodge’s Waterview Superior. The room’s stunning panoramic views of the Eastern Cove and its stylish rammed earth walls in warm ochre tones perfectly capture the island’s mellow vibes.

Kangaroo Island Seafront Hotel

Kangaroo Island Seafront Hotel

Address: 8 North Terrace, Penneshaw SA 5222
Phone: (08) 8553 1028
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Imagine waking up in a vibrant room with a direct view of the jaw-dropping Backstair Passage Strait of Penneshaw. This is what the Kangaroo Island Seafront offers, a cozy relaxation spot. 

The Garden Villa 4 Star room is worth every dime. Nestled within the hotel’s lush tropical gardens, this freestanding one-bedroom retreat features a stylish blend of modern and island design, with separate living areas and a romantic balcony. 

Stowaway Kangaroo Island

Address: 3923 N Coast Rd, Cassini SA 5223
Phone: +61 8 7009 4443
Pricing: $$$
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Stowaway Kangaroo Island is a magnificent accommodation. Sitting by the cantilevered window seat of our private deck while fully immersing ourselves in a well-written novel was a luxurious and soothing experience, and we want to return for more.

This spot treated us to a view of sandy-white coastlines and kangaroos leisurely munching away. The large windows made sightseeing an absolute breeze. 

We had front-row seats to all the sights without stepping foot outside!

Sea Dragon Lodge Kangaroo Island

Address: 2575 Cape Willoughby Road Pink Bay, Cape, Willoughby SA 5222
Phone: 0401 727 234
Pricing: $$$
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Sea Dragon Lodge is built in a stunning coastal location, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the calming sound of breaking waves. The lodge’s best rooms are arguably its luxury villas, intimate rooms with private balconies and outdoor bathtubs. 

There are also the more inexpensive deluxe ocean view rooms—elegant ensuite rooms near the lodge’s tree-lined landscapes. If you stay here, you’ll have more chances of seeing kangaroos and their joeys. 

Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel

Address: 51 Chapman Terrace, Kingscote SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 2030
Pricing: $
Book Now

With Nepean Bay a stone’s throw away from your doorstep, the Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel is an island-themed accommodation providing jaw-dropping coastal sceneries. 

This spot was built in the 1920s, and its continued success is a testament to its quality services.

The Garden View Room is highly recommended. It’s spacious, has a welcoming atmosphere, and overlooks a courtyard with radiant flowers. 

For a more romantic spot, we suggest booking the Matthew Flinders Suite.

Where to Eat at Kangaroo Island

Sunset Food and Wine

Address: 4564 Hog Bay Rd, Kangaroo Head SA 5222
Pricing: $$

Mouthwatering delights and a view that’s a feast to the eyes are the two reasons why Sunset Food and Wine is a foodie’s go-to spot. The inviting atmosphere of this coastal restaurant is hard to resist, especially during the golden hour. 

Their Shark Bay Scallops and Smoked Barramundi Rillettes burst with tangy and savory flavors. 

Pair these up with their house wines and sit in front of the resto’s iconic glass wall that provides a view of the sapphire beach, and you’ll have a hearty dinner for the ages. 

Amadio’s Vino e Cucina

Address: 1 Commercial St, Kingscote SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 3235
Pricing: $$

With Italian chef oeuvres oozing with the authentic flavors of Old Italy and a seaside ambiance perfect for lightening moods, Amadio Vino e Cucina is an experience not to be missed. 

Topped with some of the ocean’s finest prawns and scallops, their Linguini Allo Scoglio is our fave here. Wash this flavorsome meal with their Rose E Moscato, an Adelaide Hills masterpiece, and you’ll know why this resto is one of the best in Kangaroo Island.

Gastronomo the Enchanted Fig Tree

Address: 6015 N Coast Rd, Middle River SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8559 2236
Pricing: $$

The moment we passed through the plant-covered gateway of Gastronomo the Enchanted Fig Tree, we were welcomed by sweet music. A cordial host approached us and offered samples of luscious spirits and canapes. 

We ate at their alfresco zone, a quaint dining area shaded by the awe-inspiring and mythical fig tree. Their creamy and sweet ravioli and refreshing local fish salad are gastronomical wonders, especially if you top them off with the resto’s zesty white wine. 

The Odd Plate

Address: 51 Chapman Terrace, Kingscote SA 5223
Phone: 0455 404 251
Pricing: $$

At The Odd Plate, a world of flavors awaits those who aren’t afraid to experiment. With its creative and eclectic menu, expect culinary wonders that push the boundaries and challenge traditional cooking norms. 

Basing their dishes on Kangaroo Island’s changing seasons is the name of the game for The Odd Plate’s chefs. 

Their delicious catalog changes a lot, but our top recommendations have to be their Cured Kingfish, Roasted Short Striploin, and Cultured Vanilla Parfait.

KI Tru Thai

KI Tru Thai

Address: 148 Old Salt Lake Rd, Haines SA 5223
Phone: 0408 848 211
Pricing: $

Authentic Thai cuisine and Kangaroo Island’s tranquil ambiance is an unexpected pairing that works quite well. 

With their expertly crafted menu featuring traditional Thai flavors, expect an explosion of taste that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Thailand. 

Evenings are the best time to eat here, with live music adding a dash of energy to the island’s relaxed vibe.

What to Do at Kangaroo Island

Head to Emu Bay Lavender Farm

Address: 205 Emu Bay Rd, Wisanger SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 5338

What started as a humble lavender garden in 2001 is now a 51-acre awe-inspiring lavender farm distilling high-quality oils. The view at Emu Bay Lavender Farm is stunning, with seemingly endless lavender fields.

The farm has a soothing fragrance often described as fresh, clean, and subtly earthy, especially during summer when the lavenders are in full bloom. 

Swim with dolphins

Swim with dolphins

Address: Jetty, Emu Bay SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 3227

Marine eco-tourism is a must-try when at Kangaroo Island. It offers one of the best aquatic adventures in the country: swimming with dolphins. 

Jumping into the crystal-clear waters of Kangaroo Island and swimming with these enchanting creatures is an exhilarating adventure. Guides here also provide valuable educational insights about the dolphins’ behavior, habitat, and conservation efforts.

Check Vivone Bay

Check Vivone Bay


Vivone Bay is a municipality with pleasant temperatures, sweeping coastlines, and crystalline shallows—basically, a summer wonderland. 

Whether you’re looking to blow away the cobwebs on the secluded beach, have a splash of fun by trying water activities like swimming and kayaking, or simply admire the striking ocean, Vivone Bay will sea to it that you’ll get your slice of paradise.

Savor the best wines of The Islander Estate Vineyards

Address: 78 Gum Creek Rd, Cygnet River SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 9008

For us, your South Australian escapade won’t be complete until you have a glass of crisp red or soothing white wine. 

The Islander Estate Vineyards is one of our team’s most treasured vineyards because their wines showcase the extraordinary flavors produced by the island’s unique terroir. 

With more fruity and citrusy undertones, their drinks here are perfect for a day at the beach.

Taste the products of Kangaroo Island Spirits

Address: 856 Playford Hwy, Cygnet River SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 9211

If your taste buds prefer the kick of well-crafted vodka or gin (why not both?), Kangaroo Island Spirits is the place where you should be going. Set on a lush land surrounded by trees and wildlife, this distillery is as beautiful as the spirits it brews. 

Their Mullberyy Gin is a total banger. Its flavor is a combination of the rich sweetness of mulberries with the slightly spicy touch of cinnamon, resulting in a harmonious balance of fruity and herbal notes. 

For a crisper spirit, have a glass of their Coastal Vodka, a smoother drink with a subtle hint of saltiness complemented by a gentle warmth.

Visit the Seal Bay Conservation Park

Address: Seal Bay Rd, Seal Bay SA 5221
Phone: (08) 8553 4463

Seals might be one of the cutest gems of nature. If you want to see several of these plump sea doggos waddling and just being total cuties in their natural habitat, the Seal Bay Conservation Park should be on top of your travel list. 

In addition to its undeniable charm, Seal Bay Conservation Park offers a remarkable opportunity to gain insight into the vital role seals play in Australian biodiversity. The guides will educate you on the small things you can do to help these enticing animals.

Try the oysters of The Oyster Farm Shop

Address: 44 Tangara Dr, American River SA 5221
Phone: (08) 8553 7122

A day at Kangaroo Island with a plate of The Oyster Farm Shop’s fresh oysters drizzled with lemon juice is a great day. Harvested directly from the pristine waters of the island, these oysters boast a distinct flavor and exquisite texture. 

Here, you can learn about the careful cultivation, harvesting, and preparation of oysters. Watch attentively, and you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and dedication involved in bringing these delectable treats from the ocean to your table.

Go fishing

The salt and freshwaters of Kangaroo Island teem with aquatic life, making it a prime fishing spot. King George whiting, salmon, and snappers are common in Vivonne Bay. 

Better bring a large cooler cause the chance of a large catch is high here!

If you prefer a more populated fishing zone, head to Kingscote Wharf where you might go home with fish containers full of squid, garfish, and tommies. 

The Western River Cove and American River are more secluded, but they’re full of mulloways, trout, and mullets.

See the penguins at Penneshaw Penguin Center

Address: Corner of Middle Terrace and Bay Terrace, Penneshaw SA 5222
Phone: 0499 346 013

The fun and adventure don’t stop when the sun sets at Kangaroo Island, especially if you go for a night walk at the Penneshaw Penguin Center. This area is the humble abode of the world’s smallest penguins, the aptly named little penguins.

This attraction is only open during the night. You’ll find the cute birds doing their adorable waddle—a comical and majestic sight to behold.

Watch the birds of prey at Raptor Domain

Address: 58 Seal Bay Rd, Seal Bay SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8559 5108

As ferocious as they may be, birds of prey have a distinct regality and grace that incites bewilderment within onlookers. At Raptor Domain, you’ll get to see exactly what we’re talking about.

At their free-flight shows, the skies come alive with awe-inspiring demonstrations of flight from apex predators like owls and eagles. 

For the brave-hearted, there’s even a chance to personally interact with these birds of prey and experience the thrill of holding them.

Celebrate art at the Kangaroo Island Gallery

Address: 1 Murray St, Kingscote SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 2868

Our team treasures art, so we had a wonderful time at Kangaroo Island Gallery! This esteemed hub of artists and art buffs showcases local works, offering a glimpse into their unique perspectives and artistic prowess.

The gallery predominantly features artworks that are interpretations of the environment in which the artists reside. The collection primarily revolves around the depiction of animals, plants, and various land and water formations. 

Look for koalas

Do you want to spend your day looking for cute koalas? By exploring the scenic walking trail along Cygnet River at Duck Lagoon, you’ll get the fantastic opportunity to see koalas in their natural habitat!

This is an outdoor adventure best done with groups. If you prefer to self-reflect while searching for koalas, the serenity of the areas where they live will surely help you find your inner zen.

Rent ATVs at Kangaroo Island Bush Getaway 

Rent ATVs at Kangaroo Island Bush Getaway

Address: 6400 S Coast Rd, Karatta SA 5223
Phone:0407 784 975

Exploring Kangaroo Island on a quad bike—what’s not cool and exciting about this? This is an exhilarating and action-packed experience that often leads to laughter, thrills, and unforgettable memories.

The adrenaline rush we felt as we navigated through rugged terrains, conquering thrilling twists and turns along the way upped the excitement levels of our vacation. 

It got a little bumpy when we hit rougher roads, but we’ll surely do it again and again. 

Where to Shop at Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Organics

Kangaroo Island Organics

Address: 21B Murray St, Kingscote SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 3233

You can’t travel well if you’re hungry. If you’re looking to feast on healthy treats, the organic offerings of Kangaroo Island Organics might suit your tummy best. 

Their wide range of products is high-quality and environment-friendly, providing you with nourishing options that promote both your well-being and the planet’s.

Kangashoo Shoes

Kangashoo Shoes

Address: 70 Dauncey St, Kingscote SA 5223
Phone: (08) 8553 2164

Looking to score some hot kicks? This is the place for you.

Kangashoo Shoes sells various types of footwear: boots, runners, sneakers—you name it! They have footgear produced by trendy brands like And1 and Asics, but our faves have to be the shoes crafted by local artisans.

Best Neighborhoods to Visit at Kangaroo Island



Kingscote has it all—enthralling waterfronts, buzzing local markets, and picturesque beaches! If you’re stomach rumbles, this coastal town also has terrific restaurants and cafes.



Penneshaw offers a serene and relaxed atmosphere. From enjoying the local cuisine to soaking up the sun on unspoiled beaches, Penneshaw is a delightful destination that embodies the natural beauty and laid-back island lifestyle of Kangaroo Island.

What to Expect of Kangaroo Island Weather

Summer (Dec to Feb): Enjoy warm and pleasant weather on Kangaroo Island during summer, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). It’s the peak tourist season, perfect for beach activities and outdoor adventures.

Autumn (Mar to May): Experience mild temperatures as autumn sets in, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The island showcases beautiful fall colors, making it an ideal time for nature walks and wildlife spotting.

Winter (Jun to Aug): Expect cooler temperatures during winter, averaging around 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). It’s a quieter season on the island, but you can still enjoy indoor attractions, cozy up by the fireplace, and witness stunning stormy coastal scenes.

Spring (Sep to Nov): As the weather warms up, spring brings temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The island bursts with the splendor of blooms and emerging wildlife, making it an excellent time for hiking and birdwatching.

Apps to Download for a Kangaroo Island Trip

TheFork: for restaurant booking
iOs | Android

Klook: for private car hires
iOs | Android

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