kangaroo island aerial shot

Kangaroo Island might be one of Australia’s lesser known islands, but over the last few years it has been becoming more popular and it’s not hard to see why! Even in the height of summer, it’s busiest peak period when all the hotels, caravan parks and ferry tickets are booked out, it can still feel like there’s no one around, that you’re in a completely remote part of Australia, exploring without anyone else around.

This was our second visit to Kangaroo Island, and if it’s possible we loved it even more than the first time we visited!

If you’re planning your trip to Kangaroo Island, here are 20 things to do that will really show you the best of Kangaroo Island.

vivonne bay jetty

1. Hit the beach at Vivonne Bay

This might just be out favourite beach in Australia so far. Vivonne Bay is absolutely beautiful, with bright turquoise water, pure white sand, and a red desert road that runs alongside this whole landscape. Take a walk down the long jetty for an even more stunning view of the coastline, that will have you wondering if you’ve actually found paradise.

Check out the best places to stay around Kangaroo Island.

flinders chase national park

2. Explore Flinders Chase National Park

One of the main attractions on the island is Flinders Chase National Park, which takes up the whole west side of the island and has more beautiful locations and hidden secrets within it’s sprawling grounds than anywhere else on the island. From incredible rock formations that have been created over millions of years, to one of the biggest seal colonies in all of Australia, there are so many things to see here.

Give yourself a full day to explore the National Park, it’s a lot bigger than you might expect with heaps of different places to explore around the park. Some of the most popular attractions include points 3 and 4.

Location: South Coast Road, Flinders Chase

Admission: Tickets cost $11 per adult, which includes the fees for a vehicle as well. You can purchase your tickets at the Visitors Centre as you enter the park, which is open from 9am to 5pm each day.

Opening Hours: The park is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

Read more: A Guide To Flinders Chase National Park

remarkable rocks in flinders chase national park

3. Wander around the Remarkable Rocks

From the minute you catch a glimpse of the Remarkable Rocks it’s easy to understand how they got their name. Formed over 500 million years of wind, rain and pounding waves, each of these huge boulder formations is as unique as it is beautiful.

Take the time to walk around them and really check out all the different features, they are truly remarkable.

Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Kangaroo Island

admirals arch in flinders chase national park

4. Check out the Admirals Arch

The other highly popular place to visit within Flinders Chase National Park is Admirals Arch. Another feature of the park that has come from thousands of years of erosion, this rock bridge is found right next to the Cape du Couedic Lighthouse and is home to hundreds of local seals.

The boardwalk down to the lighthouse is a thing of beautiful all on its own, twisting and turning around the cliff face to offer stunning views over the ocean, where you can spot the seals swimming and playing with each other in the rock pools below.

seal at seal bay conservation park

5. Make friends with the locals at Seal Bay

Seal Bay is home to a wild colony of Australia Seal Lions, with around 1,000 living on the shores of this bay. And this is one of the only places in the world where you can get up close and personal to these fascinating little creatures.

On a guided tour of Seal Bay, you can get right up close to the seals (without interrupting them of course) and learn more about their daily life. They are incredibly cute and don’t even really look at the people standing on the beach, they’re way more concerned with just doing their own thing!

To visit the beach at Seal Bay you must book onto a guided tour, as you can’t just visit the beach at any time without a local guide. Tours run for 45 minutes each day at 9am, 9:45am, 10:30am, 11:15am, 12:15pm, 1pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm and 4pm, with additional tours running during the South Australian school holidays and public holidays.

Location: Seal Bay Road, Kangaroo Island

Admission: A Seal Bay guided tour costs $35.50 per adult. You are able to walk up and book your tour on the spot, but there might be a wait on particularly busy days. If you really want a specific date and time it’s a good idea to book in advance.

If you just want to check out the Visitors Centre and lookouts over the beach, and not actually go down to the beach, you can do this free of charge.

sealbay.sa.gov.au || (08) 8553 4463

Read more: Visiting Seal Bay Conservation Park

drive on the beach at emu bay

6. Drive on the beach at Emu Bay

Get out of your element and drive on the beach at Emu Bay. This long, beautiful beach is the perfect place to try beach driving for the first time, alongside the crystal clear water.

We actually spent New Years Eve on Emu Bay. We drove along the shore, before setting up a great picnic spot where we had a beach BBQ, a dip in the ocean, and toasted the year that had gone and the year that was before us.

The beach is so long that you can easily find a spot all to yourself to enjoy your day.

Check out the best deals for rental cars on Kangaroo Island.

koalas at hanson bay wildlife sanctuary

7. Count how many koalas you can find at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Guaranteed koala sightings, that’s what Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary boasts and they are not wrong. On our second visit to the sanctuary we spotted more than 25 koalas sitting high above us in the trees at Hanson Bay. This sanctuary is also home to kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and all sorts of Aussie wildlife, but the koalas are the real draw, and there’s no shortage of them here.

Location: 7797 South Coast Road, Karatta

Admission: $10 for a regular self-guided koala walk, or $30 for a nocturnal guided walk

Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm between September and February, or 9am to 5pm for the rest of the year.

hansonbay.com.au || (08) 8559 7344

Read more: Finding Koalas on Kangaroo Island

hanson bay

8. Check out where the sea meets the lakes at Hanson Bay

Just around the corner from the wildlife sanctuary, Hanson Bay is a beautiful closed little bay with crystal clear water and almost no other people around. On the opposite side to the bay you can see a river running around the mountains of the coastline. The contrasting colours were so incredible that we had to get the drone up into the air to check it out.

little sahara sand dunes on kangaroo island

9. Climb the sand dunes at Little Sahara

Maybe one of the most unexpected attractions on Kangaroo Island, Little Sahara is group of sand dunes that just pop up out of nowhere on the Southern coast of the island. Only a short distance away from Vivonne Bay, you can go sand boarding down the dunes or simply climb to the top and check out the view.

10. Have a drink at some of the local wineries

There are a few wineries around Kangaroo Island, that all offer delicious local drinks and produce. Stop by a few of the cellar doors to experience the best wines the island have to offer. Some of the best wineries on the island include –

The Islander Estate Vineyards with a beautiful testing room that over looks the Cygnet River. 78 Gum Creek Road, Cygnet River.

Dudley Wines which sits on top of a cliff overlooking Backstairs Passage. Come to Dudley Wines to enjoy your wine with pizza or grazing platters. 1153 Cape Willoughby Road, Penneshaw.

Bay of Shoals Wines with maybe the best views across the ocean of any wineries on the island. 49 Cordes Road, Kingscote.

The Amadio Wines cellar door is where you can find award-winning wines accompanied by rustic tapas-style platters. 1 Commercial Street, Kingscote.

rock entry way at stokes bay

11. Climb through the rock walkway to Stokes Bay

Another of our favourite spots on Kangaroo Island, Stokes Bay is one of the best kept secrets. If you don’t know about it before you go, it’s so easy to miss it. Stokes Bay is hidden behind a wall of rocks that you have to walk through to access it. Check out our SA Insta story highlights here to see the walk through the rocks and to the beach on the other side. And trust us, it’s definitely a beauty.

If you get hungry after a bit of swimming and exploring Stokes Bay, hit the Rockpool Cafe for some lunch. With a lovely outdoor dining area and some of the freshest seafood you will find on the island, the menu is ever changing and absolutely delicious. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm between September through to May.

lunch at emu bay lavender farm

12. Visit the Emu Bay Lavender Farm

Visit the super cute  Emu Bay Lavender Farm for lunch, to shop their amazing selection of lavender products, or just to take a walk around the lavender. They have a huge selection of lavender based products you can try out. My favourite is definitely the lavender sleep balm, it will absolutely give you the most peaceful sleep ever! There is also a cafe on site, offering delicious lunch dishes, as well as light snacks.

Location: Emu Bay Road, off North Coast Road

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm daily

emubaylavender.com.au/ || Ph: (08) 8553 5338

13. Stay at one of the world’s top 4 hotels

In what might be one of the best kept secrets of the island, Kangaroo Island is actually home to the world’s 4th best hotel. Yep, in the whole world. The Southern Ocean Lodge is located on a sea cliff, in a secluded part of the island, with stunning coastal views and rugged wilderness all around.

The hotel is regularly on lists of the best hotels in the world and can’t be beaten in luxury for your stay on the island.

Check out the best deals at the Southern Ocean Lodge for your stay.

kangaroo island beach

14. Try some of the local seafood at The Oyster Farm Shop

You can’t get oysters much fresher than those at The Oyster Farm Shop in American River, where you can watch the oyster punt come in with a fresh load, before they are then shucked right in front of you. Their oysters are served at restaurants all across Kangaroo Island, but why not come and try them fresh from the source?

Location: 44 Tangara Drive, American River  

Opening Hours: 11am to 3pm daily, local produce tasting menu until 2:30pm.

15. Experience the local marine life with an ocean safari

Hit the water with Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari to swim with wild dolphins and seals, and enjoy coastal snorkelling to get up close and personal with even more of the marine life. The two hour ocean safari is the best way to swim with dolphins on the island and experience even more of the ocean.

Admission: $150 per adult

kangarooislandoceansafari.com.au || 0419 772 175

tasting plate

16. Go on a tasting tour around Cygnet River

Some of the islands best produce and drinks come out of Cygnet River. Hop your way around the local hot spots to try the best wines, cheeses, beer, spirits and produce from the area. In this little pocket of the island you can find –

Kangaroo Island Spirits to try some local gin, vodka and liqueurs. 856 Playford Highway, Cygnet River.

The Islander Estate Vineyards with a beautiful testing room that over looks the Cygnet River. 78 Gum Creek Road, Cygnet River.

kangaroo island brewery

17. Try the local beer at the Kangaroo Island Brewery

Known as Kangaroo Island’s first original cellar door microbrewery, the Brewery offers local beers, stunning views over the rolling hills and good vibes. There are light snacks, but not an actual lunch menu at the brewery, but it’s a great place to spend the afternoon as the sun goes down, trying a few of the local brews.

Location:  61 North Coast Road, Kingscote

Opening Hours: 11am to 7pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

kangarooislandbrewery.com.au || Ph: 0409 264 817

kangaroo island wildlife sanctuary

18. Visit the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

Home to all kinds of local Australian wildlife and offering up close encouters with their inhabitants, the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is the place to go if you’d like to hand feed a joey, pat a koala or have a huge massive python wrapped around you.

Location: 4068 Playford Highway, 3km past Parndana

Admission: Adult tickets to the Wildlife Park are $25.

Opening Hours: Open from 9am to 5pm each day. Check the website for the times of presentations, feedings and activities.

kangarooislandwildlifepark.com || (08) 8559 6050

19. Shop up a storm at the Kingscote Gift Shop

With a huge collection of local souvenirs, as well as beautiful local artwork, handmade gifts and cute little nick nacks, you could spend hours browsing the shelves of the Kingscote Gift Shop. There are so many precious little pieces in there as a momento of your time on KI.

Location: 78 Dauncey Street, Kingscote

sunset at emu bay

20. Experience as many KI sunsets as you can

They’re absolutely beautiful and they will take your breath away.

Have you visited Kangaroo Island before? Share your favourite places with us below!

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Happy travels,



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Kangaroo Island is full of beautiful beaches, incredible national parks and an abundance of wildlife. Here are the 20 best things to do on Kangaroo Island.
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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started Explore Shaw to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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