Kangaroo Island is well known for its abundance of incredible wildlife, and the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary plays a big part in this. The 5,000-acre sanctuary is actually known as one of Australia’s most bio-diverse and well-maintained ecosystems, boasting almost 200 species of native plant.
Located to the west of the island between the Kelly Hill Caves Conservation Park and the Flinders Chase National Park it offers visitors an exceptional landscape filled to the brim with amazing sights, stunning scenery, and a huge number of potential wildlife encounters. By the coast, it sprawls out in a flurry of white sand beaches, which moves backwards into lush bushland and ancient forests – it is definitely one of the country’s most jaw-dropping destinations.
The History of Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sanctuary began life as KB Downs, a 10,000 acre grazing property that was owned and developed by Kaye Gibbs in the 1960s. During his time as developer, only 15% of the land was cleared, and he soon branched out into property development, adding a collection of cabins that sat along the coastline.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the land was sold and renamed the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. It was around this time it became a protected area. In 2004, it was sold to James and Hayley Baillie who remain the owners of the sanctuary to this day.
Cabins at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Guests are welcome to stay at the sanctuary, where there are six self-contained cabins – four of which are traditional log cabins with incredible views across the stunning waters of Hanson Bay.
Wildlife at the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
But it is the wildlife that most people head to Hanson Bay for, and the sanctuary does not disappoint. Throughout the 5,000-acres, you can expect to see an array of native Australian species like koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, and echidnas. There is a koala walk open every day, too, so you can get up close and personal with these cute critters. Birdwatching is a popular activity here as well, with vibrant species like blue wrens, scarlet robins, black cockatoos, crimson rosellas, and crescent honey-eaters calling the region home.
The sanctuary offers plenty of tours so you can make the most of the animal-viewing opportunities, including nocturnal tours where you can catch a glimpse of the creatures that only come out at night.