How did Kangaroo Island get its name?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/27/2023

Reading time: 3 mins

A nature lovers paradise, Kangaroo Island is the most stunning place to visit in Australia.

Kangaroo Island is one of the most beautiful places to visit while in Australia. Just off the coast of the mainland in South Australia, the island boasts spectacular attractions and amazing scenic views.

Captain Matthew Flinders and his crew arrived on the island in 1802. Shortly after arrival, they found a lot of kangaroos which they hunted down for food. Due to the large amounts of kangaroos they were coming across, the island was called Kangaroo Island.

Will I see any kangaroos?

Given the island is called Kangaroo Island, there is a high chance you will come across one of Australia’s most common wildlife.

There are different kangaroo species on the island, the most common one being the Kangaroo Island kangaroo. This kangaroo evolved differently from the mainland kangaroos and is similar to the western grey kangaroo. The Kangaroo Island kangaroos can only be found on the island!

What other wildlife can I see?

Quite often you will almost certainly spot out wildlife while visiting Kangaroo Island. There is a great variety of animals that live on Kangaroo Island, some being more common than others.

• Wallabies

The tammar wallabies are found across Kangaroo Island, but mainly at Flinders Chase National Park.

• Dolphins

The bottlenose dolphins are in the waters surrounding Kangaroo Island. These dolphins are quite common and there is even a chance for you to swim with them.

• Fur seals

The New Zealand fur seals are along the coast of Kangaroo Island. You are almost likely to spot them at Admirals Arch over in Flinders Chase National Park.

• Sea lions

You are always able to see the Australian sea lions on Kangaroo Island! Just head down to Seal Bay to see some of the rarest sea lions in the world.

• Platypi

Platypi are rare to even find, but you might have a chance to see one if you do the Platypus Waterholes Walk.

• Birds

There are over 260 bird species that are on Kangaroo Island. The glossy black cockatoo is one to see as this bird cannot be found on the mainland anymore. Other birds on the island include the kookaburra, parrots, and swans.

You can spot a lot of these birds between walking trails, beaches, and Flinders Chase National Park.

What to do on Kangaroo Island

Flinders Chase National Park

Exploring Flinders Chase National Park is a must do when visiting Kangaroo Island as there are so many things to do and see. Some highlights to see Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. You can spend the day walking through the national park or even driving around and stopping off at the highlights.

Seal Bay

As mentioned earlier, Seal Bay is worth the visit just so you can see the rarest sea lions in the world, the Australian sea lions. There is a small fee to pay to walk along the beach and be greeted by the colony of sea lions.

Come down for a day and have the chance to explore one of the most beautiful islands. Book a one day Kangaroo Island tour and see for yourself this picture perfect island.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.