Accommodation and Adventure at Vivone Bay Lodge

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kangaroo island mickExploring the lush scenery and fascinating wildlife of Kangaroo Island is on a lot of visitor’s to-do lists when they visit Australia. At the Vivonne Bay Lodge, you’ll have the chance to explore all of this and more.

Set on 206 hectares of sprawling bushland and flanked by 1 kilometre of pristine sands, the lodge is surrounded by exciting activities and adventures that let you enjoy everything Kangaroo Island has to offer.

Surrounding the lodge, you’ll find an eclectic selection of wildlife, plenty of recreational activities, and upmarket accommodation that provides a taste of paradise island life for visitors.

Accommodation at Vivonne Bay Lodge

The accommodation at Vivonne Bay Lodge offers something for everyone. As well as contemporarily-styled dormitories, there are also twin rooms and four-share rooms for those travelling with friends or family.

Things to Do at Vivonne Bay Lodge

The Lodge provides the perfect place to situate yourself on Kangaroo Island, and is within easy reaching distance of the major attractions and activities.

Relax on the Beach

Vivonne Bay itself is a beautiful stretch of coastline with pristine white sands that seem to sprawl out endlessly towards the horizon. The shallow waters mark the perfect place to take a refreshing dip, while the serene backdrop is ideal for picnics and simply kicking back and relaxing.

Try Your Hand at Fishing

Fishing is a popular pastime in Vivonne Bay, and you can get involved in the local way of life by trying your hand at the relaxing sport. There are plenty of great fishing spots, including the jetty, the beach, from a boat, or from the pretty banks of the Harriet River mouth.

Swimming at Kangaroo IslandSwim and Surf

The waters lend themselves perfectly to swimming and surfing, giving you the chance to explore the scenery from a different perspective. There are several safe swimming spots located around the mouth of the Harriet River.

Take a Walk

The scenery surrounding the Vivonne Bay Lodge is breath-taking, and there are numerous walks that crisscross through the landscape, exposing you to stunning views and hidden spots. As well as walking, you can also hire a bike from the lodge and take to the trails on two wheels instead.

sandboarding 2Kayak and Sandboard

For something a little different, hire a kayak from the lodge and venture around the coastline at a leisurely pace. Alternatively, you can head to the surreal slopes of Little Sahara and try your hand at sandboarding – a fast and fun way to whizz down the dunes and discover the sandy world from a unique vantage point.

Admirals Arch at Cape Du Couedic

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kangaroo island mickKangaroo Island is a haven of wildlife and natural scenery, promising visitors an eclectic mix of sprawling beach views and native animals.
There are several major attractions on the island, one of which is the impressive Admirals Arch. It is considered to be the most unusual natural landmark, thanks to its weathered look and thousand-year creation process.

What is Admirals Arch?Cape du Couedic michael

The Arch has been carved over thousands of years by erosion, and it now forms a distinctive rock bridge that sits pretty near the famous Cape du Couedic Lighthouse to the southwest of the island. It overlooks stunning views of the ocean, giving visitors an uninterrupted view out to sea.

The Arch is reached by boardwalk, which is just as picturesque as the landmark itself, showcasing mesmerising scenery on either side as you cross it. When you reach the viewing platform, you’ll have a fantastic view of the landmark as well as the other residents that this area is famous for – the local colony of New Zealand fur seals.

admirals arch michaelThese cute critters lounge about on the rocks surrounding Admirals Arch, only slipping off the rocks into the ocean to hunt for food. If you’re lucky, you might spot the younger members of the colony playing in the cool rock pools that sit pretty beneath Admirals Arch.

There are numerous notable things about the Arch – not least its fascinating history which spans thousands and thousands of years. It also boasts a collection of stalactites that dangle from what would have been the uneven ceiling of the cave that once took pride of place there.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the floor is incredibly smooth, offering an incredible contrast of textures to admire. If you’re in the area between May and October, you’re just in time to see the amazing whale migration. These huge, majestic creatures swim close to the island as the journey to find warmer climates during the winter months. remarkable rocks michael

It’s not just whales that you have the chance to spot from Admirals Arch, though. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphin pods and other fascinating marine life.

Nearby, you’ll also find the Remarkable Rocks, another of Kangaroo Island’s most popular natural landmarks. This monument is made up of several rocks that have been eroded over time and marks the start of many walks that take you through the lush scenery of Flinders Chase National Park.

Why You Should Visit Kangaroo Island in Winter

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Seal Bay IIKangaroo Island is a haven of wildlife all year round, but in the winter months you get to see the incredible array of plants and animals come to life. The great thing about the island is it maintains a consistent temperature – it’s never too hot or too cold. Winter runs from June to September, and the island is mild and wet during this time. August tends to be the coolest month of the year, while July usually sees the most rain.  

The wet weather in winter means the island bursts into life with vibrant greenery, cascading rivers, and a colourful array of wildlife to discover and explore. It’s during this time of year that the resident mammals come out to play, including the joeys when they start emerging from their mother’s pouches. Kangaroo

Winter also marks the perfect time to do some whale watching. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the Southern Right Whales as they breach just off the shoreline.

As you can imagine, the island is heaven for wildlife lovers during this time of year. The fur seal colonies and sea lions are a firm favourite amongst visitors in the winter months, too, as they bask on the rocks in search of the sunshine. And, if that wasn’t enough, the rivers are fit to burst, providing a beautiful backdrop to the excellent selection of animal encounters and views.


Fleurieu Peninsula IIIAside from the animal-spotting opportunities and the chance to experience this special part of Australia in a cooler climate, the winter months mean less crowds on Kangaroo Island. This means you’ll have free reign to explore everything it has to offer without the hordes of tourists that can gather there during the warmer months.

The activities you can get stuck into on Kangaroo Island in winter are similar to those you can do in summer. There are plenty of walking routes you can explore, national parks to discover, and a whole lot to learn about the resident animals, their behaviour, and their lush habitat.

If you’re unsure about when to visit Kangaroo Island, make it winter. Not only will you get to see the new animal generations as they make their first steps into the big wide world, but you can experience the incredible scenery without the crowds that congregate in the summer months.

The Eucalyptus Oil Distillery at Emu Ridge

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kangaroo island mickKangaroo Island is home to a wide range of wildlife and a fascinating dose of cultural heritage. At the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery and retail shop, you can get to grips with the island’s important history of eucalyptus growing. At the distillery, they produce 100% pure Australian Eucalyptus Oil which you can buy in the accompanying shop.

Why Eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus is, essentially, Australia’s national aroma, characterised by the earthy, refreshing scent it holds (and its association with the local koalas, of course). At the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery, you can learn all about why eucalyptus is so important in the country and how it is distilled into numerous different products. 

Eucalyptus holds a fascinating history in Australia. It was considered the country’s very first export and, at one point in time, formed the largest industry on Kangaroo Island. Today, the industry is struggling to compete with the cheaper, diluted versions of the product, and Emu Ridge is the only remaining commercial eucalyptus distillery in the South of Australia. The distillery dedicates itself to created pure oil that’s made from the narrow-leaf mallee, a type of eucalyptus tree that can only be found on Kangaroo Island.

The History of Eucalyptus in Australia emu ridge 2 mick

The healing powers of eucalyptus were first recognised by the Australian Aboriginals who originally used it to treat pain, illness, and infection. Even today, eucalyptus oil is used for these purposes, but it is also thought to contain anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties as well as acting as a natural insect repellent. 

What You Can Do at the Distillery

emu ridge mickThere are plenty of things for you to do while at the distillery. In the shop, you can browse a selection of eucalyptus-based goods as well as Kangaroo Island souvenirs, rustic relics, and artefacts from around the island that highlight the rich heritage of the surroundings.

Larry, the man behind the shop and distillery, will be on hand to answer any questions you have and give an insight into the importance of the eucalyptus industry on Kangaroo Island.
You can then move through to a screening room that boasts a beautiful vintage carriage. The film shows the history of the distillery and the eucalyptus industry on the island, giving you an insight into how the place is run and what you can expect. Afterwards, you can choose to take a tour of the distillery to learn even more about the production process. The practice has barely changed at all at Emu Ridge, so you can glean an insight into the traditional technique that has embraced the island for many years.

What to Expect at the Flinders Chase Visitors Centre

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Flinders Chase 1Flinders Chase National Park lies in the heart of Kangaroo Island, promising a whole host of natural wonders and wildlife encounters. Iconic landmarks include Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, two of the best-loved and most popular attractions in the whole of Australia.

Throughout the park, there are plenty of nature trails and heritage sites to explore, where you can learn more about the unique ecosystem of the island and its native residents. The landscape here is breathtaking, with a mishmash of towering limestone cliffs, coastal scrubland, and pristine beaches that seem to unfold endlessly out to the horizon.

There are several charming spots to soak up, too, including lighthouse keeper’s cottages that date back to 1907 and are made out of the local limestone.

The Visitors Centre marks the starting point of the National Park, and leads you into a rabbit warren of exciting scenery and fascinating facts. On-site, you can discover more about the natural and cultural heritage of the island with a collection of interactive screens and touch tables that provide an engaging experience. Elsewhere, there’s plenty for the kids to do, including a fossil dig pit that uncovers the rich history of the island.

In the Chase Café, you can sit back and relax with a coffee, cake, or snack before you start your adventure into the stunning surroundings. Flinders Chase Vistor Centre

The Best Time to Visit Flinders Chase

The National Park is beautiful throughout the year, but the scenery changes depending on the season. During the winter months, you can experience the unique colours of fungi and orchids and enjoy the cascading rivers and creeks.

In spring, the wildflowers come into full bloom and the animal life sparks into existence, with frogs calling to their mates and the background noise of numerous different bird species. In summer, you can picnic, camp, and explore the amazing selection of hiking trails that weave through the park, all of which start from the Visitors Centre – be sure to pick up a map before you leave.

The Facilities at the Flinders Case Visitors Centre

At the Visitors Centre, you can enjoy the selection of picnic facilities and BBQ spots for a relaxing way to refuel, and there are plenty of walking trails and nature routes to explore around the Centre itself.  

Getting to the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre

The National Park is set about 110km to the west of Kingscote on beautiful Kangaroo Island. Just follow the Playford and West End Highways and look out for signs.

How to Enjoy Cape Jervis

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Cape Jervis Ferry TerminalSet on the picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula, Cape Jervis is the gateway to Kangaroo Island, the home of Australia’s stunning wildlife and plenty of animal encounters. Only around 300 people live in the town, providing visitors with a chance to get up close and personal with local life in Australia, but there are also plenty of fun activities to get stuck into while you’re in the area.


The town itself was named after the western headland by Matthew Flinders who named it after John Jervis, the first Earl of St Vincent in the early 1800s.


Things to Do in Cape Jervis


Kangaroo Island
Obviously the main attraction in the region is Kangaroo Island, which you have to travel through Cape Jervis to get to. From the town itself, you can hop on a ferry across the narrow stretch of water to dive deep into the wonderful wildlife that calls it home. You can keep an eye out for kangaroos, koalas, seals, and more which live on a mixture of pristine beaches and lush rainforest.


Cape JervisWhale Watching
The waters around Cape Jervis are filled with mesmerising marine life. At certain times of the year, magnificent whales call the bay home, and you can hop on a boat out into the Victor Harbour to spot these incredible creatures.


Go Fishing
Cape Jervis is a renowned spot for fishing and draws in keen anglers from all around the region. There are several charted boat companies that offer fishing tours where you can catch your own snapper, sharks, tommies, and squid amongst other fascinating species.


Visit the Markets
All around the Peninsula there are a number of market towns that boast weekend stalls piled high with local produce and arts and crafts.


cape jervisTry the Local Wine
As the gateway to many of Australia’s wine regions, Cape Jervis’ restaurants are filled to the brim with delicious tipple which goes so well with the local cuisine. As well as sampling in-house, you can also go out to some of the wineries that surround the Peninsula to try some out from their source.


Explore the Natural Beauty
Cape Jervis is renowned for its beautiful scenery. You can explore the Deep Creek Conservation Park which is set less than half an hour from the town itself and which has a number of great hiking routes and stunning wildlife encounters for visitors to enjoy.

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The History and Highlights of Seal Bay

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Kangaroo Island is famed for its extensive animal-spotting opportunities. At Seal Bay, you won’t be disappointed. This is where the island’s resident Australian sea lion colony gather together to bask in the sun after a day spent fishing in the surrounding ocean.


The bay boasts the third largest colony of these sea lions in the country and is one of the most popular stops for visitors on the island. To get down to the beach where the sea lions bask, frolic, and bathe, you have to pay for a tour – this is a system put in place to protect the colony and their future.


Seal bay IThe History of Sea Lions on Kangaroo Island
Ever since the European colonisation took place, the huge sea lion population that calls Kangaroo Island home has been exploited to some extent. Even in 1945, the sea lions were used as shark bait until the Royal Society of South Australia wrote a plea to the South Australian Museum in 1953 asking them to protect the sea lions that lived on the southern coast of the island.


The plea was accepted, and a closed-off area especially for the sea lions was set up between Nobby Islet and Cape Gantheaume.


In 1955, shortly after the protection of these fascinating creatures was put in place, organised tours were set up. The tours continued for years, taking thousands and thousands of visitors to see the creatures.


Later, in 1967, the dedicated stretch of land was re-dedicated as a fauna reserve and a separate area was created for the sea lions to breed in away from the prying eyes of tourists. It wasn’t until 1972 that the reserve was re-named as the Seal Bay Conservation Park, which it remains today.


Seal Bay IIThe Seal Bay Visitor Centre
The accompanying visitor’s centre gives you the chance to learn more about these exceptional and rare creatures via a series of multimedia displays on the history of sealing, life at sea, the evolution of the creatures, current and past research that has taken place on them, and the effects of marine pollution on the Kangaroo Island colony.


The visitor centre prides itself on being completely environmentally friendly with solar power and fresh rainwater fuelling the displays.


After you’ve explored the displays and delved into the behaviour, history, and habitat of the sea lions, you can pop into the gift shop to pick up a souvenir or tuck into a quick snack from the on-site café.


Back outside, there is a self-interpretative boardwalk that overlays the unique dune system of the area, giving you the chance to see the sea lions’ habitat from up close.

Things to Do on the Fleurieu Peninsula

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Fleurieu PeninsulaSituated less than an hour south of bustling Adelaide near Kangaroo Island, the Fleurieu Peninsula boasts some of the best foodie experiences, wine tasting opportunities, and wildlife encounters in the whole of South Australia. As well as tasty treats and plenty of cultural moments to explore, you can get stuck into the abundance of water sporting attractions on the pristine stretches of beach and hike the rugged cliff scenery.


Elsewhere, fishing remains a prominent part of Peninsula life, and you can try your hand at the traditional sport, as well as explore the underwater world by scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, or swimming in the turquoise waters.


Here are some of the best things to do in the region.


Fleurieu Peninsula IIIExplore the Rich Art and Culture Scene
The Fleurieu Peninsula has provided inspiration for many of Australia’s artists, and you can see some of their works on show in the numerous art galleries and museums that are dotted around. Check out the landscape works of Hans Heyson, Dorrit Black, Hotace Trennery, and John Olsen amongst many others in the cultural hotspots.


Fun for All the Family
Providing a spectacular backdrop of beaches, cliff faces, and wildlife, the Fleurieu Peninsula is the ideal place for all the family. You can take in the adventure parks, take a pony or camel ride along the beaches, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, take a penguin tour, and visit the numerous playgrounds that dot the peninsula.


Get Adventurous
For the more adventurous traveller, there are plenty of sporty activities to get stuck into. Try your hand at sailing on the turquoise ocean, whizzing around on a jet ski, or canoeing around the coastline. On dry land, you can take a beautiful bush walk through the lush canopies, try aerial sports, and get active in a game of paintballing.


fleurieu peninsula Beaches and Waterways
The Fleurieu Peninsula is surrounded by an abundance of pristine beaches, each of which boast their own unique landscape and scenery. Try scuba diving, snorkelling, and swimming in the sparkling waters and, in winter, hop aboard a whale watching boat to try and spot these magnificent creatures.


Spot the Amazing Wildlife
The landscape of the Fleurieu Peninsula offers the ideal habitat for a number of Australia’s native species. Keep your eyes peeled for the Southern Right Whale out at sea and, further inland, spot colourful bird species and some of the country’s best-loved mammals.

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Getting to Know Australian Sea Lions

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australian sea lionKangaroo Island is a haven of nature, promising visitors the chance to see some of Australia’s beautiful native wildlife in its natural environment. On the coast, you’ll find Seal Bay, where a colony of Australian Sea Lions raise their young and spend their days.


There are thought to be almost 15,000 of these majestic creatures in the wild according to the Wildlife Conservation Act of Western Australia, which has them listed as “in need of special protection.”


If you travel to Kangaroo Island, be sure to stop by and see the Australian Sea Lions in person.


What Australian Sea Lions Look Like
Australian Sea Lions are mammals and use their flippers to swim through water, but they also use them to glide across land. For the most part, they resemble other sea lions with distinct features, like short fur, short flippers, and a bulky body. You’ll see them kicking back and relaxing on the rocks of Seal Bay and elsewhere on the coastline around the island.


Australian Sea LionThe Feeding Habits of Australian Sea Lions
The Sea Lions are predominantly opportunistic feeders and foragers. They have been known to eat a wide variety of prey, including seafood like fish, squid, cuttlefish, octopus, and even shark, as well as shellfish like rock lobster and other crustaceans. They can even eat penguins, many of which reside in the waters surrounding Kangaroo Island. The diet of an Australian Sea Lion tends to be seasonal, where they hunt and feed off animals and creatures that are available to them at certain times of the year.


Australian Sea Lions The Breeding Habits of the Australian Sea Lion
Australian Sea Lions are known for having an unusual breeding cycle. The season can last for anywhere between five and seven months (and even nine months, which has been recorded at Seal Bay). The unusual thing about the breeding rituals of the Australian Sea Lion is that it is not synchronised between different colonies. However, research has shown that the cycle tends to shift forward by 13.8 days every 18 months.


These creatures form just part of the incredible wildlife of Kangaroo Island. Exploring the rainforests and coastal regions that form the island will expose you to hundreds of different species, both native and not, that find the lush temperatures and stunning scenery the perfect place to live. Keep your eyes peeled for Australian Sea Lions as they bask in the sun and lazily fish throughout the day.

Visiting Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island

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Remarkable Rocks1Remarkable Rocks are perhaps the most popular attraction on Kangaroo Island. They sit 200 feet above sea level, proffering a unique look into the ancient natural history of the island and its surroundings.


It took around 500 million years for the granite rocks to take their current form. Battered by wind, rain, and waves, they were pummelled into shape through a variety of different elements.


It is thought the granite from which they are made was embedded into the crust of the earth during the Ordovician period. During that time, Kangaroo Island formed a part of Godwana, a mighty supercontinent that took up the majority of the southern hemisphere (it also included South America, Africa, India, and Antarctica). Around 150 million years ago, the mighty Godwana split up into the continents we know now, and Australia moved to the north taking the Ordovician granite with it.


After much weathering, the boulders have taken on some bizarre shapes, making them a popular photo opportunity for visitors.


Remarkable Rocks2The Best Time to Visit Remarkable Rocks
Early morning and early evening are the best times to visit this major landmark. You’ll be able to avoid the heavy daytime crowds at these times, and you’ll also be able to enjoy the stunning sunrise or sunset, which creates an even more epic backdrop for the rocks.


Many of the rocks are covered by a golden orange lichen, which lights up under the setting and rising sun.


Remarkable Rocks3The rocks are relatively safe to walk on during dry weather, but as soon as the weather becomes wet or windy, it’s advised that you take special care. There is a wooden boardwalk that leads to Remarkable Rocks, though, giving you a safe way to experience the rocks up close. From the western side of the platform, you’ll get stunning views across the surrounding bays and the Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse. You might also be able to catch a glimpse of the Casuarina Islets from Remarkable Rocks when the conditions are right.


No visit to Kangaroo Island is complete without an excursion to Remarkable Rocks. Not only will you get to see one of the island’s most mesmerising natural wonders, but you can learn more about the fascinating geology that characterises the area and tells the story of Australia’s lengthy, rich past. Don’t forget to take your camera, as the photo opportunities are endless.

The Common Brushtail Possum on Kangaroo Island

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brush possum 03Animal lovers in Australia enjoy the diverse selection of wildlife on Kangaroo Island. Here, native species frolic about in their natural habitat, whether that’s lush forests or wild beaches. The common brushtail possum is one of the most common creatures you’ll find on the island. Its name stems from the Greek for “furry tailed” and it is a native species of Australia and the second largest species of possum.


The common brushtail possum was introduced to New Zealand in the mid-1800s and thrived there so much that it became a pest. In Australia, they are much less densely populated, mainly because the eucalypt forests are more fragmented here and there are more predators.


brushtail possum2Like most of its close relatives, the brushtail possum is a nocturnal creature and, for the majority of the time, is a folivore – although these critters have been known from time to time to eat small mammals, like rats and mice. These creatures come in four colour variations: silver-grey, brown, black, and gold, and they have prehensile tails that help them balance and climb trees.


The common brushtail possum is the most common native Australian marsupial that is seen by city-dwellers because it thrives in the hustle and bustle of urban life, but on Kangaroo Island, you’ll get to see them in the wild, native habitat, amongst trees and greenery and other lush landscapes.


The Behaviour of the Common Brushtail Possum
These creatures live a predominantly solitary lifestyle, making their individual dens in natural caverns like trees hollows and caves (in their urban setting, they will set up home in the roofs of houses and other nooks and crannies). They communicate with each other via a series of clicks, hisses, screeches, and grunts.


brushtail possumThe Diet of the Common Brushtail Possum
Because of its varied habitats, the common brushtail possum can adapt to different environments and the food found in them. Its go-to food of choice is Eucalyptus leaves, but it will eat flowers, shoots, fruits, and seeds if it finds them along the way. When times get tough, it will also devour animal matter, like insects, birds’ eggs, and small chicks.


If you’re a keen animal lover and find yourself on Kangaroo Island, keep your eyes peeled for these cute critters. Though they are nocturnal, you might be able to catch a glimpse of them from time to time as they forage for leaves and fruits and tend to their dens.

Sand Boarding at Little Sahara

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sandboarding1If you’re looking to feel the wind in your hair, get your heart rate pumping, and enjoy some incredible scenery while you’re at it, Little Sahara on Kangaroo Island is the place to go.

Here, the mesmerising dune system provides the perfect backdrop for some adventurous pursuits, including tobogganing and sand boarding down the impressive mounds that dot the landscape.

Located in the region of Vivonne Bay, Little Sahara is a natural phenomenon with a selection of dunes in varying sizes, the highest of which rises 70m above sea level. The scene makes up one of the twenty natural geological features on the Island and has been listed by the Geological Society of Australia.

How Little Sahara Was Formed

The dune system was formed fairly recently – within the last 7,000 years – by storms and erosions after fires. During these natural disasters the vegetation was destroyed, leaving the sand to move around in the wind. The area covers around two square kilometres and is privately owned. It is through the generosity of the owner that tourists are allowed to visit the site, where they can try their hand at all sorts of fun activities.

Sand Boarding at Little SaharaSandboarding2

Sand boarding is the most popular activity at Little Sahara. This is where visitors grab themselves a board and glide down the dunes to the bottom, kicking up a flurry of sand in their wake.

This adventurous pursuit can be made as tame or as adrenalin-pumping as you like depending on which dunes you decide to tackle. There are a number of companies that run day trips to the region, giving you the chance to hire a sand board for one hour (with an instructor to show you how it all works) or for one day, so you can while away the hours sailing down the dunes.

sandboarding 2As well as sand boarding, visitors can toboggan down the dunes – which provides something easier for the less adventurous traveller. In this instance, you sit down on a toboggan and slide your way down the dunes.

This weird and wonderful activity provides an element of adventure to your time on Kangaroo Island, which is famed for its extensive collection of native species and amazing scenery, from beautiful turquoise waters that fringe the island to rainforests packed full of ancient plant life and, of course, the stunning dunes that make up Little Sahara.