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One of the first things I did in Australia was to take a tour to Kangaroo Island. The island is situated about 45 minutes off the south coast of Australia. It was absolutely amazing and a great way to start my time in this beautiful country!

If you’re planning on visiting, it’s worth bearing in mind there’s no public transport on the island. You’ll either have to bring your own car or book a guided tour, otherwise you won’t get very far! I didn’t have a car, so I opted for a guided tour starting in Adelaide. After a 1.5-hour bus ride, we took the only ferry from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw, a town on Kangaroo Island.

Kangaroo Island – two days on the beautiful island

View at Kangaroo Island

I spent two full days on the island and this was plenty to see most of what the island has to offer. However, there’s plenty more to do if you’re planning to stay a little longer! Being an island, it’s naturally home to many amazing beaches, but there’s much more than just sandy stretches. Keep reading to discover my top 5 recommendations for things to do on Kangaroo Island!


1. Little Sahara

One of the first attractions we visited was the Little Sahara, a small dune system on the south coast of the island, stretching over two square kilometers. The dunes were formed by coastal blowouts over the past 7,000 years. The sand is very soft and an off-white color, so the sun’s reflection makes it look like snow.

The dunes of Little Sahara on Kangaroo Island

Although the property is privately owned, you can visit the dunes for free, but will need to pay to rent a board or toboggan, which is great fun! Unlike in most ski resorts, there is no lift that pulls you up the hill, so you’ll have to carry the board to the top (or as far as you can). As mentioned before, the sand is very soft, so be prepared to sink as deep as your knees, or slip back a little while walking!

I like to consider myself a good skier, but I’ve only been on a snowboard once or twice in my life. This maybe explains why I face-planted into the sand so often! One thing I learned pretty quickly was that you really shouldn’t scream while falling, unless you want to end up with a mouth full of sand! I tried to master the art a few more times, before deciding it was best for me to admire the experts from the sidelines. The tobogganing, however, was much easier and more enjoyable!

2. Flinders Chase National Park

Flinders Chase National Park is an area of rugged wilderness in the West of Kangaroo Island. The park is home to many of the island’s main attractions, including the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, as well as lots of wildlife and plenty of walking routes. You can still see the remnants of the 2007 bush fire, which tragically burned down 60 percent of the park, but it doesn’t take away from its beauty!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have too much time to explore the park. But from the bit I did see, it’s a stunning destination, and I’d highly recommend spending more time there if you can.

One of the ways in the Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island

Just be careful of the snakes! While wandering around, I saw a pretty big black snake a couple of meters away from me. I’m not a big fan of these reptiles, so I kept my distance, but was still brave enough to also take a photo. I later found out it was a Black Tiger Snake, which is highly venomous!

Black Tiger Snake in the Flinders Chase National Park

3. Remarkable Rocks

One of the main Flinders Chase National Park’s highlights are the Remarkable Rocks. This cliff-top collection of granite boulders has been formed into unique shapes by water and wind over the last 500 million years.

The Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island

You can walk across and climb over the rocks, while enjoying the amazing view! Apparently, it’s best to come here in the early morning or later in the evening in order to beat the crowds and see the sunrise or sunset over the stones. They’re covered with orange lichen, which appears golden in the sun.

When walking around the boulders, don’t go too close to the edge of the cliffs. They can get slippery and it’s easy to fall. Despite many warning signs, our tour guide told us that tourists still fall into the water from time to time. With some of the strongest waves I’ve ever seen, and the rugged cliffs, it’s very unlikely that you’d make it out alive.

4. Admirals Arch

Admirals Arch is also part of Flinders Chase National Park, located just a couple of minutes from the Remarkable Rocks. To get to the arch, you’ll have to follow a wooden boardwalk that’ll lead you over the cliffs and to the coast. While the views from the boardwalk were amazing, the arch itself was a little underwhelming. Similarly to the Remarkable Rocks, it has been shaped by erosion over thousands of years, and now features some impressive stalactites hanging from the cave ceiling.

Kangaroo Island's Admirals Arch

If you get here later in the afternoon, you’ll have it mostly to yourself, as most tourist buses will have already departed. However, the afternoon sun will also shine through the gap in the arch, making it hard to see anything.

The main reason why Admirals Arch still makes it onto my top 5 list is that you can see a New Zealand fur seal colony from the boardwalk! These friendly, playful creatures are pretty small and like to live on rocky shorelines, which is exactly what Admirals Arch offers.

While we were there, the seals were very active and it was really entertaining to watch them playing with each other! If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to spot some dolphins or — if you visit between May and October — some impressive whales (May to October only)!

The Admirals Arch Board Walk on Kangaroo Island

5. Watch Wildlife

My two days on Kangaroo Island were full of encounters with all types of wildlife. According to the Kangaroo island official website, there are more than 1,500 different animals living on the island, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in Australia!

Let’s start with some of the most obvious (the island has its name for a reason): kangaroos and wallabies! You won’t have to try very hard to spot them, as they appear nearly everywhere you look and come very close, too.

While having a barbeque, we were surrounded by kangaroos and wallabies trying to sneak a cheeky bite! We saw more unique wildlife on our second day, when we spotted pelicans and dolphins in the distance from our lunch break spot in the small village of American River.

Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island, Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

More than a third of Kangaroo Island is dedicated to national parks and wildlife conservation areas, such as the Seal Bay Conservation Park. The entrance fee is worth it to see gorgeous Australian sea lions, and to contribute to the maintenance of the conservation area and research about this endangered species. You’ll be able to get up close to the seals, ranging from small pups to big bulls.

While we were there, a tiny pup was crawling through the sand crying for its mom, who was sadly nowhere to be seen. It was heartbreaking and I really hope it found her!

Koala in the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Kangaroo Island

We also stopped at the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to countless animals, including many nocturnal species. We mainly visited for the koalas, which were easy to spot while taking a walk through the vast park.

We learned that, on average, koalas spend about 20 hours a day sleeping, two hours eating, and a maximum of 30 minutes moving around — what a life, right?! In addition to koalas and kangaroos, I also spotted an echidna — a close relative of the American anteater — which I’d never seen before!


About the author

Caroline Harsch from NextStop24
Caroline

Caroline is the founder of NextStop24, a brand-new travel inspiration and review website. She doesn’t believe anyone should spend hours on research: finding your dream destination should only require a few clicks! Caroline’s always up for a city break or beach vacation, but also loves open landscapes like the Australian Outback. Iceland, South Africa, and Canada are just some of the places that are still on her bucket list. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Have you ever been to Kangaroo Island? How did you like it or would you love to go someday? Leave us a comment!

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