The reason we went back to Kangaroo Island this time was to have more of a holiday on the island and spend some time looking around. The good news at least for domestic travellers is that most of the major tourism attractions have reopened after the disastrous bush fire that destroyed over half the island in January 2019.
Now, one year on, the scars from that event are still widely evident in the landscape, but the people on the island have shown remarkable resilience in getting back on their feet. Here are some of our favourites from our January 2021 visit to Kangaroo Island
Places we can recommend
The following is a guide to the places that the family visited during this trip. All we can recommend as worthy stops if you visit Kangaroo Island.
1. Seal Bay National Park
This is the home of one of the regions biggest Sea-lion colonies. These sea-lions are on the endangered species list and access to the beach where the colony is located is now strictly controlled by the National Parks and Wlldlife service.You need to book for a tour and can do so here:
2. Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery & Kangaroo Island Ciders Cellar Door
The eucalyptus distillery and cider cellar door were 5 minutes from us. We had lunch here several times at the cafe. Another KI business worth supporting if you visit the island – and the Apple Ciders are very nice indeed! The oils are made on site and the apple orchards that the ciders are made from are grown on Kangaroo Island.
3. Cliffords Honey Farm
Honey production is something special on Kangaroo Island. The island is the world’s oldest bee sanctuary and is home to the only pure strain of Ligurian Bee in the world. Due to their isolation they have remained free of the major bee diseases, which infect mainland bees. Bees cannot fly to Kangaroo Island because it is too far, even with strong winds to propel them.
Cliffords Honey Farm (one of several on the island) was only 10 minutes south of the VK5KI station location. Definitely worth the trip down. If you like Honey, this is something special.
4. Vivonne Bay
Located approximately half way from Kingscote to Flinders Chase national park, Vivonne Bay is one of those idyllic picture spots you have to visit. The burgers at the Vivonne Bay store are also top notch. We planned our day trip to Flinders Chase around stopping here for lunch. Note also, Vivonne Bay is the last place you can buy fuel on the south coast for the time being as the facilities in Flinders Chase National Park have yet to be rebuilt after the catastropic bushfires of January 2019. The island is bigger than you think so it is best to top up here before heading further west on the islands south coast.
5. Flinders Chase National Park
The facilities at Flinders Chase are now very basic but the natural attractions are still as stunning as ever. Park fees can be pre-paid online.
a. Admirals Arch
b. Remarkable Rocks
6. Kangaroo Island Raptor Domain
This Kangaroo Island attraction is located at the turn off into Seal Bay national park. The team here can give you an amazing opportunity to learn about the various raptor birds we have in Australia and the free flight show provides plenty of opportunities to see the birds up close. Our favourite is still an owl named “Shhhhh”, although the Wedge Tailed Eagles are definitely the most magestic of the birds on display. If you plan your day right you can visit Flinders Chase in the morning and then attend the 2.30pm show back at Raptor Domain on your way back to Kingscote.
7. Cape Willoughby Light House
Located at the eastern end of the island is Cape Willoughby Light House. Tours are available.
8. Red Banks – Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island
Another interesting corner of the island – located part way between Penneshaw and Kingscote on the north coast of the island – access is tricky and steep but worth the climb.
9. Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park
Kangaroo Island wildlife park is located just west of Parndarna on the Playford Highway. This was about 25 minutes from our accommodation and hosts a great collection of rescued wildlife. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with the animals including Kangaroo and Wallaby feeding and plenty of keeper talks. Come and see the reptiles, dingoes, penguins, birds, monkeys and more here at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park!
9. Other Recommendations
Other places we visited and enjoyed included
- Kingscote Fish and Chip shop. Dont be put off by it being located in the petrol station, the seafood here is delicious and its LOCALLY CAUGHT. The Whiting was excellent.
- Cafe Bella Pizza Bar – Kingscote – book ahead to get into this very popular venue – the Pizzas are excellent
- Kingscote Rock Swimming Pool – as the beaches are very shallow on the north coast, if you fancy a swim then the sea pool in Kingscote is the place to go!
- D’Estrees Bay – Located on the South Coast of the island, this was about 15 minutes south of our accommodation, this almost deserted beach was pristine and fantastic to spend time on with the family building sand castles. Be mindful in the water however as we did see Singrays only metres from the shoreline.
We must say a big thank you to Barbara our host at Hilltop Lodge on Kangaroo Island. If you are looking for somewhere to stay this house is central, well appointed and really feels like your second home away from home.