How far is Kangaroo Island from Adelaide?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/26/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

You’ve flown into Adelaide but now you need to get to Kangaroo Island, we’ll tell you how!

It takes approximately four hours to get from Adelaide Airport to Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, and there’s a few options to choose from when making your way there.

  • Driving

    Driving down the M2/Tullamarine Freeway is the most direct way to get to Cape Jervis. Once here you can ferry your car over to Kangaroo Island on a SeaLink Ferry.

    The drive to Cape Jervis will take you approximately 1-hour 40minutes and is a mostly straight drive. Though a relatively quick and easy drive there are plenty of great spots along the way you might like to stop at. By planning ahead, you could collect a hire car at the airport in the morning and make a few pit stops on your way to Cape Jervis.

    A ten-minute detour will take you through the McLaren Vale winery region. Why not stop at Beach Road Wines? Their famous Italian variety of wines were some of the first of their kind to be made in Australia. Stop for lunch and pair an award-winning glass with a traditional pizza for a fantastic start to your trip.

    To finish, grab a gelati and wander the property for a while before you jump back in the car and head towards Cape Jervis.

    After a half hour ferry trip from Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island it’s just a 40-minute drive to the island’s largest town, Kingscote. If you’re staying on the other side of the island, closer to Cape Borda or De Mole River the drive may take up to two hours. If doing this, we suggest stopping in Kingscote at one of the many restaurants serving fresh, locally caught seafood.

  • Public Transport

    If you’re coming from Adelaide but don’t have a car then there is a coach service run by SeaLink ferries that leaves from Adelaide twice a day – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Trip time to Kangaroo Island, including ferry time, when catching the coach is approximately three hours.

    If you’d prefer private transport, there are several companies that offer private transfers from Adelaide. It might also be possible to arrange with individual suppliers to make stops along the way.

    Once you’re on Kangaroo Island, though, it is essential to have a car. There are no taxis or public transport providers on the island, and hire cars are only available via pre-booking so make sure to be organised. During peak times expect to have to wait in line as others on the ferry will also be picking up cars.

  • Hire Cars and Kangaroo Island

    If you’ve hired a car in Adelaide or anywhere on the mainland and intend to bring it to Kangaroo Island on the ferry, you need to ensure you have extra car insurance. In addition, always check that you are allowed to take the car with you to the island as some hire companies won’t let you take the car over. If this is the case, you are better to pick up a car on the island as the companies there will allow you to drive the cars on unsealed roads.

Getting to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide can take a wonderful day, or a breezy four hours. Whichever mode of transport you opt for to get there, you’re sure to have a fantastic time once you make it to the beautiful island.

Related article: How many days should you spend on Kangaroo 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.

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