Eucalyptus Oil Distilling at Emu Ridge

Tucked away in the lush landscape of Kangaroo Island, the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery acts as one of the island’s best-loved attractions, giving visitors an insight into one of Australia’s most important exports.

The on-site distillery showcases the history and culture behind distilling eucalyptus oil and the shop has been luring in tourists since the early 90s. Today, Emu Ridge is the only Eucalyptus Oil distillery in the South of Australia, and it continues to produce 100% pure oil as well as a number of other fascinating products.

The History of Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery

Eucalyptus oil is thought to have been Australia’s very first export and, at one point in time, was hugely important on Kangaroo Island – so important, in fact, that it was the island’s main source of income.

Since then, Australia’s once-booming eucalyptus oil industry has petered out due to the cheaper versions of the product that can be created for less in other parts of the world.

However, Emu Ridge has remained strong in the turbulent past of eucalyptus distilling and now is the only commercial site of its kind in South Australia – and just one of a few left in the entire country.

At Emu Ridge, eucalyptus oil is still distilled in the traditional way, from the narrow-leaf mallee, a plant which is native to Kangaroo Island.

Eucalyptus first became popular in Australia via the Aboriginals, who discovered the healing power in the plant and began to use it in a medical fashion to cure wounds and infection. The oil is still used for this purpose today, as well as for others uses, like household cleaner and insect repellent.

The Shop at Emu Ridge

The on-site shop is a firm favourite amongst visitors who flock to its shelves of eucalyptus-based products – think soaps, oils, and even lollies – as well as handmade Australian crafts and souvenirs.

There is a historical element to Emu Ridge, too, with a number of antique relics dotted around that highlight the past of oil distilling in the region. As well as the shop, there is a screening room that showcases the history of Emu Ridge, and visitors can take a tour of the property to learn more about the history of it and the importance of eucalyptus oil in Australia.

The practice has barely changed at Emu Ridge, making for a historic and cultural adventure into the fascinating world of eucalyptus oil distillery.