How were the sand dunes formed on Kangaroo Island

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/11/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Behold the impressive sight of the “Little Sahara” dune system on Kangaroo Island, consisting of naturally occurring dunes overlooking the stunning foreshore of the island.

These remarkable dunes were formed around 7,000 years ago through a gradual process of wind erosion and sand deposition, taking place over thousands of years. As vegetation grew in the area, the moving sand started to stabilize, and the dunes began to form! The Little Sahara dunes are constantly evolving.

Give sand boarding a try!

If you’re seeking a unique adventure, don’t miss out on sandboarding on Kangaroo Island—it’s an experience you won’t forget!

Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like! Sandboarding involves sliding down sand on a board. It’s incredibly fun, though not entirely risk-free as you do have to stand up to do it! Some of the dunes reach heights of over 70 meters above sea level, so perhaps skip this activity if you’re terrified of heights! But for those excited by the prospect of swerving through centuries-old sand, you’ll have a blast!

A less risky but equally enjoyable alternative is tobogganing! This is done lying tummy-down, head-first on the board, giving you quite a lot of control over how quickly you move, unlike sandboarding.

Where can I rent a sand board?

The Little Sahara Adventure Centre offers toboggans and sandboards for hire, starting from $37 per hour. Your second hour is free! You can also rent helmets and other protective equipment.

What else can I do at the Little Sahara dunes?

If sandboarding or tobogganing doesn’t appeal to you, why not join a buggy tour! You can opt for either a 50 or 110-minute tour, which will take you through the bush, along the coastline, and up into the dunes! The tours are child-friendly and suitable for adults of all ages. If you’re concerned about speed, don’t worry! You can dictate the pace.

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also embark on guided Fat Bike Tours, following a similar path to the buggy tours, but this time, you’re in the driver’s seat!

Check out nearby Seal Bay

Just a stone’s throw away from Little Sahara lies Seal Bay, by far the best spot on the island to observe seals lounging in the sunlight. The neighboring Visitor Centre is also worth a visit to learn more about these rare and wonderful creatures. Boardwalks overlay the dune system of the area, allowing you to observe the sea lions’ habitat up close. 

Then hop over to Vivonne Bay!

Just west of Little Sahara is Vivonne Bay, a stunning turquoise-watered inlet that curves towards the Harriet River. The river is a perfect spot for fishing, and there are some great spots by the boat ramp and jetty for swimmers to enjoy. Alternatively, head towards Harriet River for a swim in its sand-bottomed water.

Point Ellen on the other side offers incredible views, perfect for stunning landscape photos! You can even camp at Vivonne Bay before heading further inland towards Flinders Chase.

Head East to discover more Kangaroo Island!

Visit these places and more during our 1 Day Kangaroo Island Tour!

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.