Are there still kaengurus on Kangaroo Island

Tour tip: Kangaroo Island

Remarkable rocks
© Ingo Öland

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The third largest island in Australia is about 145 km long, between 900 m and 57 km wide and 60 km wide and has an area of ​​440 square kilometers. The highest point is 307 meters above sea level. The island is only 16 km from the mainland at Cape Jervis.
Several bushfires burned on Kangaroo Island in January over an area of ​​over 210 square kilometers (about 48 percent of the island). Vacationers were able to be evacuated from the affected region in good time. At the time of publication of this announcement on February 1, 2020, the island was still burning. The fires are considered "under control".

The fires destroyed well-known accommodations and attractions such as the luxury resort Southern Ocean Lodge, Western Kangaroo Island Caravan Park, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Vivonne Bay Lodge. Tourist infrastructure such as the visitor center of the Flinders Chase National Park was also destroyed.

The region west of Kingscote is closed to travelers. Clean-up work is taking place in this area. Army veterinarians and reservists ensure the removal of animal carcasses and put incurably injured farm animals and wild animals to sleep. Damage to power, water and telecommunications lines will be repaired. This work should be completed within a few weeks.

We will update this page when access to the national park is permitted again and we have information on reconstruction.
The one in the west Flinders Chase National Park 20 percent of the island. The island is considered an "absolute must" among animal lovers. No wonder, according to a census before the major fire in January 2020, there were 891 plant species (46 of them endemic), 18 marsupials, 267 bird species and 226 fish species. The total numbers are also impressive: around 15,000 koalas, more than 400,000 kangaroos and wallabies, 27,800 fur seals or exotic species such as 330 black cockatoos.

There are also long beaches and good hiking opportunities. There are also numerous ecotourism offers on the island. The island is largely agricultural. The economy is determined by tourism, wine, honey, wool, meat and grain.
Service for Kangaroo Island in AUSTRALIEN-INFO.DE
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Kangaroo Island Tourism
Kangaroo Island Photo and Video Collection (website operated by Sealink ferry company)
Kangaroo Island Council
Flinders Chase National Park
Seal Bay Conservation Park
Kelly Hill Conservation Park

locationKangaroo Island: 35 ° 49 'S 137 ° 16' E
Location / region representation in online maps
Google Earth views from: Cape du Couedic Remarkable Rocks Seal Bay Conservation Park Kingscote
Time zone
Current time:
GMT +9.5 Central Standard Time
  • Summer usually warm and dry, rarely temperatures above 35 ° C and therefore not quite as hot as on the mainland, average temperature in February between 20 and 25 degrees.
  • Mild, humid winters - between June and September, when most of the rain falls over the year. Average temperature in August between 13 and 16 degrees.
Residentsapprox. 4,500, main town Kingscote: 1,790 (2016 census)
Foundation & historyAfter its discovery in 1802, the island was forgotten again and was initially left to whale and seal trappers. Originally the capital of South Australia was supposed to be on Kangaroo Island. Kingscote was founded in 1836 - earlier than Adelaide. An old mulberry tree that was planted back then still stands in the middle of Kingscote today. Too little drinking water supplies on the island changed the settlement plans in favor of Adelaide. The First Post Office and the Hope Cottage Pioneer Museum commemorate the beginnings of settlement.

Until about 1945 there were the towns of Kingscote on the island, which could almost have become the capital of South Australia, the ferry terminal Penneshaw and a town in between with the strange name American River. The rest of the island consisted of largely untouched nature.

After the Second World War, the island's agricultural utility came into the focus of development. In 1961, the city of Parndana was founded in the center of the island, also to provide a home for veterans of the Australian Army, who have been settled here since 1948. In the mid-1960s, Kangaroo Island was an area that was used intensively for agriculture except for smaller areas in the west (Flinders Chase National Park) and south. At the end of the 1960s a rethink began. The settlement in Parndana had largely failed economically, the determination of Kangaroo Island as a natural monument came back into focus.

Kangaroo Island is full of inspiring impressions.
The gallery below is presented with the kind support of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

Kangaroo Island: Hanson Bay

Kangaroo Island: Remarkable Rocks

Kangaroo Island: Boardwalk to Remarkable Rocks

Kangaroo Island: Southern Ocean Lodge

Kangaroo Island: encounter with kangaroos



Individual travelers should plan to spend three nights on the island if possible. We recommend planning two nights in the west of the island and one night in the east. We definitely recommend staying overnight on the island at least once and not just visiting the island as a day trip from Adelaide to watch the penguins in the evening after sunset. Organized trips to Kangaroo Island are offered by Adelaide as single and multi-day trips.

Your days on Kangaroo Island
  • Begin your island exploration with the Murray Lagoon, a moorland area with many marsh birds.
  • Seal Bay is home to a sea lion colony. Around 500 animals live in the bay. You can visit them with a ranger and come within a few meters of them.
  • Vivonne Bay has a wonderful long white sandy beach.
  • The Kelly Hill Cave is a shell limestone cave with fascinating stalactites.
  • Wild kangaroos, koalas and emus can be seen up close in the extensive Flinders Chase National Park. There are also a large number of parrot species. A curiosity - so to speak, "zoo wrong": The picnic area at the park headquarters has been specially fenced in so that visitors can have a snack undisturbed by curious emus and kangaroos.
  • From fauna to two geological phenomena: the south-western tip, the Cape du Couedic, the Admirals Arch hides a cave arch with stalactites and a view of the open sea where you can observe New Zealand fur seals. The Remarkable Rocks in the immediate vicinity are a collection of unconventionally shaped granite blocks.
  • On the way back to Kingscote, if you have time, make a detour to the north coast, whose cliffs and green hills are reminiscent of Ireland.
  • In the evening, a visit to the penguin colonies in the harbor / beach area of ​​Kingscote or Penneshaw is worthwhile. In Penneshaw, guided tours after sunset are offered by the Penneshaw Penguin Center - not far from the pier and near the Penneshaw Caravan Park, the animals can then be observed from a boardwalk.
As of 2019, cell phone reception on the island is only working to a limited extent, most likely with Telstra.

If you want to stay longer in the western part of the island as a self-caterer, you should stock up on groceries in the supermarket in Penneshaw or Kingscote.

view You can walk through and on up to 40 m high white sand dunes in the Little Sahara (55 km SW Kingscote). They appear out of nowhere between Seal Bay and Vivonne. Really worth it. By the way, the desert grows two centimeters a year.
  • The Southwest Cape - that Cape du Couedic (125 km SW Kingscote) has, among other things, the somewhat hidden Admirals Arch, a spectacular stalactite arch with a view of the open sea (approx. 30 min walk there / back)
  • The Remarkable rocks (127 km SW) are an extraordinary rock formation made of granite, which could also have come from Henry Moore.
  • Also exciting: The gigantic rock formations of the Antechamber Bay southeast of Penneshaw.
  • The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a 61 km long path along the coast and through the interior of the island: From Flinders Chase National Park, the route leads past the Cape du Couedic lighthouse, Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks to Kelly Hill Caves. The trail is designed for five daily stages that can be hiked on your own or as part of a guided tour. The best time to tour is between March and November.
    Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
Literature tipsTravel literature for South Australia

A special feature: Because of bee protection, the import of bee products (especially honey) from the mainland is prohibited.
Airportregional: Kingscote (KGC), international: Adelaide (air route 60 km N)
StreetsAdelaide is on the Stuart Highway (# 87), distances are direct
Adelaide via Cape Jervis: 180 km
General information about road conditions on the island: Around 75% of the roads on Kangaroo Island are unpaved, mostly gravel roads (as of 2016). The main attraction of the island - the Flinders Chase National Park (Cape Couedic, Remarkable Rocks, Rocky River, Admirals Arch) - can be reached by tarred road.
  • Not all car rental companies allow you to leave the mainland with the rented car. Please clarify this with your car rental company in advance.
  • On Kangaroo Island, too, the following applies to those who do not just want to follow the beaten tourist path: Unpaved roads are often excluded from insurance cover for two-wheel-driven rental vehicles. However, due to the road conditions, an all-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary.
Alternative: rent a car on Kangaroo Island. Driving on gravel roads is often permitted here, even with two-wheel drive cars. Rental locations in Penneshaw and Kingscote. If you reserve in advance, the vehicle will also be brought to the airport or the ferry terminal and picked up again. During the main travel times it is strongly recommended to reserve in advance due to limited capacities.
Please drive carefully and calculate with a maximum of 60 km / h for routes on Kangaroo Island. There are only four police officers on the entire island (as of 2018) and it can take a long time before an ambulance service arrives at an accident site. There is no ambulance on the island. For severe cases, the Royal Flying Doctor Service's helicopter from Adelaide is organized and it can take up to an hour. Pay particular attention to Kängrus and other wild animals when driving at dawn, dusk and in the dark. Unfortunately, there are many accidents with wild animals. Ideally, you do not drive during these periods.
Current road traffic report (Transport SA)
ship Ferry to mainland Australia: Vehicle and passenger ferry Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) - Cape Jervis (southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, from Adelaide after approx. 115 km) Sealink, travel time approx. 50 min. The crossing is similar to ferries in Central Europe Distances are expensive. Advance reservations are strongly recommended during the Australian school holidays.
Tip for online bookers: If you want to reserve a crossing for your rental vehicle, enter "rental car" instead of a license plate number that you do not know at the time of the reservation, otherwise the reservation is not possible.
The swell between Kangaroo Island and Cape Jervis is sometimes stronger. It is advisable to take teablettes with you as a preventive measure against motion sickness.

Various types of accommodation are offered to you by numerous providers. We recommend that you first familiarize yourself with the forms and classification of accommodation in Australia.
Accommodation types
Accommodation classifications

If you are planning a trip to Australia with various components (flight, rental vehicle, domestic flights), we recommend that you seek advice from experts on booking accommodation. Please use our
Provider database

Hotels / motels

Accommodation search via HotelsCombined

Use this search mask to start an accommodation search at our Australian partner Hotels Combined Pty Ltd. In a meta-search, the databases are queried via 25 different reservation systems. Around 900,000 hotels worldwide can be queried in this way. Hotels Combined has existed since 2005.

Most visitors go to Kangaroo Island for the wildlife. And rightly so: Anyone traveling to Kangaroo Island can assume with 100% certainty that they will encounter kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, sea lions, pelicans and black swans in the wild. The encounter with a beaked hedgehog, an echidna, is possible, in the right season you will also encounter a large number of New Zealand fur seals. Encounters with animals, which elsewhere only come about as an unplanned stroke of luck, are almost certainly predictable here. How is this possible?

Around 1920 the Australian government decided to create a kind of ark on which these animals could survive in case something negative happened to the unique wildlife of Australia - the rabbits, foxes and feral domestic cats were already causing severe damage. It was decided to go to Kangaroo Island. Kangaroos, wallabies (small kangaroos) and echidnas have already lived here. Penguins, sea lions, pelicans and seals were found here. But what was most important, the almost uninhabited island the size of Lake Constance was free of foxes and feral domestic cats. Only one species of bee from Liguria was found among immigrant animals, which today only exists on Kangaroo Island.

It was decided to introduce more Australian animal species. With the koala this worked very well, the settlement of the wombats failed because only two males were accidentally released on the island. To date, there are no wild wombats on Kangaroo Island.

Today, Kangaroo Island is a habitat for many animals in which they can exist safely and in freedom. Today the island has about 4,500 inhabitants, who are concentrated in the island's capital Kingscote and in the ferry terminal Penneshaw. In the east and north of the island are also the farms, the west and south are the areas that are interesting for tourists. In 2006 there were 16,000 koalas on the island. While elsewhere the koala is threatened with extinction due to ever-increasing settlement areas, on Kangaroo Island there was a risk that too many animals would destroy each other's sources of food. The animals were partially sterilized.
Kangaroo Island Koala Management Program

Please refrain from feeding the animals - especially no kangaroos. They eat everything that is offered to them (would be held). The animals die miserably after eating a piece of bread because their stomachs cannot absorb bread.

  • Kangaroos: In Flinders Chase National Park (103 km SW Kingscote), wild kangaroos are particularly affectionate. There's a zoo upside down here: Kangaroos watch tourists who spend their holidays. The rest area at the ranger station is fenced in so that visitors can rest in peace in front of the very trusting kangaroos. For many years the kangaroos were omnipresent at the Rocky River Picnic Area. In the meantime, they are no longer allowed to be fed and are therefore hardly to be found any more. The former farm area of ​​Grassdale Station is considered one of the most impressive places to meet kangaroos. The site can be reached on foot and is perfect for a hike to beautiful Hanson Bay.
  • Echidnas, a prickly ant-eater that looks something like a hedgehog, are less likely to be seen. Ask the ranger if and where any sightings have been made recently. Especially after short rain showers, the little hedgehogs like to be seen on the side of the road.
  • Possums are mainly out and about in the west of the island in the evenings after sunset.
  • Platypus are best seen at dawn in Flinders Chase National Park.
  • Koalas Doze in the eucalyptus trees near the rest area at the information center. Sometimes you need a little luck to spot the nocturnal koalas in the middle of the leaves of the tree, often high up during the day. Only around 15 of the 600 species of eucalyptus are accepted by the koalas as a source of food. A night tour in the Wildlife Sactuary Park on Hanson Bay is recommended for everyone who wants to see koals in the best possible way.
    Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sea lions: The reserve is world famous with around 500 animals in Seal Bay (55 km SW Kingscote). There are daily tours of the colony. Caution: Sea lions are surprisingly fast and you should keep a distance of at least five meters and never cut off the escape route to the sea.
  • Little penguins (Fairy Penguins): They come about 1 hour before / after sunrise / sunset to the port area and the beaches of Kingscote and Penneshaw (61 km W Kingscote) to return to their nests.In Kingscote, the Wildlife Service offers guided tours of the nesting area after sunset.
    Please be quiet when visiting the penguins and do not use bright flashlights (recommendation: red light foil). The way from the water to the caves is a huge stress for the animals - they are defenseless and not as used to running on land with a full stomach as swimming, and the water cools better than the air (hence the red tapers. ..) and their eyes are damaged by bright light.
  • Pelicans: on the beaches and lagoons of the east coast, even in the docks of Kingscote.
    (The evening show feeding of the "pelican man" John unfortunately no longer exists since May 2017)
  • Marsh birds can be found in the Murray Lagoon (50 km SW Kingscote) along several moor lakes that belong to the Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park.
    Pelican feeding
  • Black cockatoos are at home on the north coast at Lathami Conservation Park near Stroke.
Last but not least, Paul’s Place on the north coast offers a very good opportunity to see a variety of animals. Here, injured animals are - if possible - made fit for freedom again.
Paul's Place
floraThe arid island is characterized by heather and dune landscapes. A lush acacia forest (mallees) stands inland with an attractive yellow flower.

In addition to marron (a freshwater crab) and excellent sheep cheese, Kangaroo Island has made a name for itself above all for honey and wine. There are now also Spritiousen specialties.

honey Kangaroo Island is one of the oldest bee sanctuaries in Australia and is famous for honey made from the pollen of the Kangaroo Island eucalyptus. The bees on Kangaroo Island are immigrants from Italy, more precisely Liguria. Just one year after the first bees came to the island, the island was declared a bee sanctuary by the government of South Australia in 1885. The bee species is said to be particularly gentle. Allegedly people are very, very rarely stung by her. Because the bee is such a specialty, you are not allowed to bring honey products from the mainland. The gene pool of this valuable bee species, which is largely free from disease, should ultimately be protected accordingly.
Iceland Beeheive
WineDue to the mild climate, various wineries have settled on the island since 1990. Many of their wines have now been awarded prizes and there are many companies with the opportunity to try the delicious drops.
Kangaroo Island Wineries

SwimmingKangaroo Island is not a "real bathing island". There are only a few sandy beaches on the north and south coast. The water on Kangaroo Island is around 3-5 ° C cooler than on the mainland coast near Adelaide. In the hot midsummer of South Australia it is pleasantly refreshing. A beautiful, long white sandy beach is located in Vivonne Bay (64 km SW Kingscote), which has been awarded as one of the most beautiful beach bays in Australia. Emu Bay, Stoke Bay and Browns Beach are primarily suitable for swimming on the northeast coast.
DivingAbout 30 wrecks can be discovered off the western tip - Cape Borda (110 km W Kingscote).

On Wilson Road (30 km SW Kingscote), the Emu Ridge Distillery produces eucalyptus oil the traditional way (visits and sales on weekdays). It has proven itself many times as a good home remedy for colds (to be inhaled) and as an antiseptic. A very useful souvenir.
Emu Ridge Distillery

You will find tips for your onward journey in our route recommendations.
The following goals are presented in the tour tips from AUSTRALIEN-INFO.DE:
AdelaideBarossa ValleyVictor Harbor

The Google Earth links for Kangaroo Island are provided with the kind support of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

Editor's note: We would like to thank Rudi Francken (Adelaide, South Australia) for additional background information about the island to expand this topic.
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