Discover the best of native wildlife and unspoilt rugged wilderness in this island sanctuary off the mainland of South Australia.
Seek out a quiet beach
King George Beach is a moody northern spot, and swimming is only suitable at the river mouth, but even on a windswept day the 220-metre stretch of white sand is a gorgeous spot for fishing, strolling, or simply sitting on your towel contemplating life as you gaze out to sea. From here, you can almost draw a straight line to Vivonne Bay (pictured top) on the island’s southern coast. It’s six kilometres of calm seas, sugary sand and a jetty that lets you get a close look at the water.
See the sea lions
The country’s most accessible colony of Australian sea lions lolls about in spectacular Seal Bay. Watch them from the boardwalk or join a guided tour into the colony.
Stay in luxury
Hamilton & Dune are two separate, exquisite homes overlooking the white sands of Emu Bay on the north-east coast. They can be booked individually – Hamilton sleeps six, Dune five – or together. Or, stay off-grid at Oceanview Eco Villas, two fully hosted two-bedroom luxury villas set on 200 hectares above the rugged Redbanks coastline (a rescued ’roo may even come to visit).
Image credit, and top image: Josie Withers.
Kangaroo Island is home to the last remaining pure Ligurian bees on the planet (you can’t bring honey onto the island but you can take it home). Learn about their busy schedule and buy a jar at Clifford’s Honey Farm.
Open a cellar door
The Islander Estate Vineyards’ east-end cellar door is an intimate tasting room in Cygnett River. Sample its elegant French-style range with some regional produce.. Nearby Springs Road also offers a fine drop.
Take a tour of Emu Bay Lavender but don’t leave without coffee and a delicious bite in the café. Open for breakfast and lunch, Cactus Kangaroo Island in Kingscote (59 Dauncey Street; 0473 311 049) is passionate about supporting local producers (try the cumin and ginger spiced lamb dumplings). Bella Café & Pizza Bar, also in Kingscote, has a strong (and accomplished) focus on pizza and pasta. At Sunset Food & Wine (reopening in Spring 2021), grab a seat on the deck, order a local vino and take in glorious views over American Beach while you mull over the sophisticated offerings. You’re on KI; it’s hard to go past King George whiting.