Dreaming of an island escape? Looking for a destination where you can go on long nature walks, visit award-winning cellar doors, have wildlife encounters and swim at stunning secret beaches? Kangaroo Island, located off the South Australian coast ticks all these boxes and more. The island is known internationally as a haven for wildlife and one of Australia’s top eco destinations, however, many Australians are yet to discover the secrets of Kangaroo Island that the rest of the world is already in on.
If you have been searching for your next holiday destination than here are eight reasons why you need to visit Kangaroo Island in 2020.
1. You can visit a wild colony of seals
Kangaroo Island holds a very special place in the hearts of wildlife lovers because it provides a safe habitat for a wild colony of rare and endangered Australian sea lions. Head down to Seal Bay Conservation Park for a close encounter with these cheeky and playful animals.
Tour guides will lead you along the boardwalk and onto the beach to meet some of the friendly locals. This is a must-do experience on Kangaroo Island and best of all, entry to the park is free. Guided tours do attract a small fee but are well worth it as they take you out onto the beach into the centre of the colony where you will learn all about the Australian sea lions while watching them play, nurture their young and defend their territory up close.
Guided tours of Seal Bay Conservation Park take place every 45 minutes between 9am and 4pm daily and can be booked from the Seal Bay Visitor Centre on the day.
2. The beaches are uncrowded
From Emu Bay to Vivonne Bay and beyond, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a secluded beach to lay down a towel, throw out a fishing line or catch a wave. Emu Bay (pictured above) is a long stretch of beach with azure waters and powdery white sands. It’s a popular swimming spot and its also the only beach on the island that you can have some off-road fun taking a 4WD on the beach. Despite its popularity though, it’s rarely crowded.
Boating, fishing, birdwatching, swimming, 4WDing, relaxing beach picnics – what more could you ask for? The tranquil setting can be found just a short drive from Kangaroo Island’s main settlement, Kingscote.
3. The island is ‘spiritual’
Got a love of Gin? Well, you are in the right place at the Kangaroo Island Spirits. The boutique distillery is the first in South Australia and takes pride in producing unique blends of gin with the use of botanicals and in 2019 was named the ‘Best Contemporary Gin’ at the International Wine and Spirits Awards.
If that hasn’t convinced you to visit then there are the vodkas, liqueurs and a range of delicious artisan and hand-made and seasonal food products. A blend your own GIN workshop even allows you to get creative mixing your very own bespoke gin. Now, that’s something to brag about. The Kangaroo Island Spirit cellar door is open 7 days a week from 11am to 5.30pm.
4. The island boasts an Insta-worthy lavender farm
The aroma and delicious tasty scones are a huge drawcard here. Stop by at the Emu Bay Lavender Farm to see first hand the production of Lavender at various stages. There is also a cafe on-site serving up a fresh breakfast and lunch plus a gift shop selling lavender-infused products.
Visitors are welcome to wander through the fields to snap an Instagram worthy pic and say hello the friendly locals. The Emu Bay Lavender Farm is located near Kingscote and is open 7 days a week between 9am and 5pm.
5. It’s the perfect location for an ocean safari
No ocean safari is ever the same but that is all part of the beauty on a Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari. The exciting yet scenic 75 minute adventure will take you out to sea in search of marine life. It won’t take too long before you spot some of the natives including Australian Sea Lions, New Zealand Fur Seals, Bottlenose Dolphins, White Bellied Sea Eagles and majestic Humpback Whales in the winter months.
The small tours cater for a maximum of 12 guests with a stunning backdrop of the South Australian coastline. The Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari also caters to your schedule too with a 9am or 3pm tour from the Christmas Cove Marina in Penneshaw.
6. They love a good winery
If you love a cheeky glass of wine then there are plenty of cellar doors to choose from on Kangaroo Island. Dudley Wines (featured above) is one such winery situated in a picturesque corner of Kangaroo Island. The clifftop cellar door is open daily from 11am- 4.30pm and boasts spectacular views.
You’ll want to stay awhile here to savour the scenery and wine. You can even bring the kids too with a playground and nature play area for kids to run wild in. If you feel a bit peckish then a cheese board or pizza is perfect to pair with a Dudley Wine.
7. Sandboarding adventures await
Forget snowboarding, when you can go sandboarding down the incredible sand dunes on Kangaroo Island’s own Little Sahara. Estimated to have been formed over 7,000 years ago, the sand dunes reach 70 metres above sea level at their highest point and you can try your hand at sandboarding or tobogganing- if you dare.
The low-cost activity is great fun for the whole family and provides a different viewpoint to take in the scenery of Kangaroo Island. The concept is simple. Grab a board, wax up and slide away. The hardest part of the experience is the climb up the dunes. Word of warning though, try not to smile or scream too much, you may just end up with a mouth full of sand.
8. They need your support so help them out and #BookThemOut
January was a tough start to 2020 for Kangaroo Island given the devastating bushfires that affected the community, however, the island remains open and ready to welcome visitors. In the wake of the bushfires, it’s important now more than ever to show your support to local businesses and tourism regions.
Kangaroo Island is just as beautiful with plenty of wildlife experiences, stunning beaches and unique food and wine experiences you won’t find elsewhere in the world. The community is eager to continue showcasing their home to visitors again now and well into the future. So, if you have been pondering the idea of travelling to Kangaroo Island, make 2020 the year that you holiday here this year. Let’s help them out and #BookThemOut.
For more Kangaroo Island travel inspiration head to our main experiences page to see what extraordinary experiences await you on your visit to the South Australian destination.