Welcome to an island inhabited by beach bums. South Australia’s aptly-named Kangaroo Island is home to countless kangaroos and wallabies, sharing pristine beaches, iconic bushland and wild coast with a whole host of iconic Australian wildlife. Fly Virgin Australia to get up-close and personal with our furry friends on Australia’s zoo without fences.
WHAT TO DO
1. Cuddle a koala and feed Kangaroos at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park like Camille Kostek
Head off to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park and spend the morning getting acquainted with some of Australia’s most iconic animals. Spanning a massive 50 acres, the park is home to more than 1,000 animals. Hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, cuddle koalas and see Australia’s most iconic animals, from wombats and echidnas to reptiles and birds.
2. Explore Flinders Chase National Park like Olivia Culpo
Wake up early and venture to Flinders Chase National Park, home to the Kangaroo Island’s crown jewels: Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. The Remarkable Rocks are a cluster of gigantic, artfully-placed granite boulders overlooking savage cliffs and deep-blue swells, while Admirals Arch is a rocky naturally-formed archway dripping with stalactites. Start at the car park and continue along the boardwalk with stunning views of the coast and seal colonies below.
3. Meet the locals at Seal Bay like Camille Kostek
Seal Bay has been home to Australian sea lion colonies for thousands of years. Watch resident sea lions in their natural habitat from a 900-metre-long wheelchair accessible boardwalk, meandering through the dunes to impressive coastal lookouts. You can get up-close and personal with the resident sea lions on a guided beach tour.
4. Walk among wild koalas like Olivia Culpo
Stop off for a leisurely stroll among an avenue of koala-laden Eucalyptus trees on the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is home to wild koalas where you can expect to see anywhere between 15 to 20 koalas at any given time.
5. Stop for a local gin at KI Spirits like Myla Dalbesio
Feeling thirsty? Indulge at Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS), South Australia’s first boutique distillery, established in 2005. Conveniently located, their award-winning range of drinks includes liqueurs, vodkas and premium gins. All products are handmade in small batches using hand crafted copper pot stills and have received major awards in London, New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. Love a good G&T? Try your hand at distilling and delve into the fascinating world of gin on a gin blending masterclass.
6. Admire sunset at Snellings Beach
At Snellings Beach the ocean sunsets are just as incredible as the local food! Better still? You can soak in views of the beach from your accommodation at Lifetime Private Retreat’s Cliff House or wander a few metres from your room down to the sand for a quick dip sunset dip. Snellings Beach is also said to be home to a pod of friendly dolphins who are known to join swimmers unannounced.
7. Dive into turquoise waters at Vivonne Bay like Hailey Clauson
Once voted Australia’s best beach, Vivonne Bay’s six-kilometres of white sandy shores meet gently lapping waves. With a jetty framing the south-end and distant dunes in the north, this beach is the perfect spot for a quick dip, a picnic or a spot of fishing. It’s also a popular haunt for the locals, with dolphins and seals often found enjoying the post-card worthy turquoise waters.
8. Go for a surf at Little Sahara like Camille Kostek
Stop for a spot of surfing. On sand? Little Sahara, less than a 10-minute drive from Vivonne Bay, is a series of epic sand dunes popular with adrenalin junkies. Hire a sandboard or taboggan from Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action and work on your cardio like Camille.
Feeling adventurous? Start the morning with an epic underwater adventure and come face to face with some of the playful locals. Jump on a tour with Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures from Kingscote where you’ll be taken to a remote coastal location and snorkel in shallow, safe waters alongside wild dolphins and sea lions.
Another must-see while you’re on the south coast of the island is the Oyster Farm Shop on the shore of American river. Stop off for lunch and devour some of Australia’s best seafood including oysters, marron, abalone and King George Whiting before venturing on to another of the island’s beautiful beaches…
11. Soak up the sun at Stokes Bay like Camille Kostek and Olivia Culpo
Stokes Bay is a picture-perfect cove to throw down a towel and while away an afternoon soaking in Kangaroo Island’s famed beaches. After pulling up in the carpark, weave through a little labyrinth of caves before emerging onto some of the whitest sand and clearest water in Australia.
On Kangaroo Island, it’s easy to jump from one picture-perfect cove to the next without running into anyone. If you’re lucky, you might even get the entire beach to yourself!
WHERE TO STAY
Relax in luxury at Lifetime Private Retreats’ Cliff House
Where better for a Sports Illustrated photoshoot than the sandy white shores and turquoise waters of Kangaroo Island’s Snelling Beach? An intimate setting with ocean front views, unique, world-class dining experiences set in quintessential Australian settings, and a pristine beach as your front yard, it’s easy to see why this idyllic coastal location was the perfect base for Sports Illustrated’s epic Kangaroo Island adventure. The beach is also home to LifeTime Private Retreats’ Cliff House, which boasts sweeping coastal views, private beach access, a hot tub, outdoor patio and tower bedroom with panoramic views. There’s even the option to have an in-house catering team prepare dinner while you lounge on the patio, spotting dolphins and sipping a fine South Australian pinot grigio. LifeTime Private Retreats also offer a range of other luxury accommodation options across Kangaroo Island including Sky House, Settlers Homestead, Sheoaks and Beach Retreat.
GETTING TO AUSTRALIA AND KANGAROO ISLAND
From the US, About Australia and Virgin Australia make it easy to plan and book your Kangaroo Island vacation.
Hire a car in Adelaide, then drive one hour and 40 minutes to Cape Jervis.
Drive your car onto the SeaLink or Kangaroo Island Connect and cruise for 40 minutes over to Penneshaw. Alternatively, catch KI Connect, a passenger-only ferry and hire a car or camper van when you arrive on the island.
TBC Fly to Adelaide with **** airline from $***. Spend a few days in Australia’s food and wine capital, Adelaide, before setting the clock to island time on Kangaroo Island.