The Marine Wildlife of Kangaroo Island

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 05/10/2018

Reading time: 3 mins

Kangaroo Island is packed full of animal encounters. From the pristine, white sand beaches to the lush forest, there are plenty of native species just waiting to be discovered.

In the waters surrounding the island, there are also plenty of incredible creatures. From gigantic whales to cute penguins and everything in between. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  • 1. Little Penguins

    Little Penguin

    The Little Penguins that live on Kangaroo Island are firm favourites amongst visitors. They are the smallest – and arguably, cutest – penguin species in the world. There are numerous colonies around the island. Keep your eye out for them at dusk on the beautiful island beaches.

  • 2. Australian Fur Seals

    Australian Fur Seals

    If you find yourself in the Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park, keep your eyes peeled for members of the Australian fur seal colony that live there. The males can grow up to more than 2 metres in length. Females flock to the shores to mate and give birth. If you’re lucky you might even see a pup!

  • 3. Australian Sea Lion

    Australian Sea Lion

    Seal Bay is one of the most popular destinations on Kangaroo Island. It is famed for having one of the largest collections of Australian Sea Lions in the world. These social animals gather together in large groups and frolic around the shoreline.

  • 4. The Fish of Kangaroo Island

    The waters surrounding Kangaroo Island are awash with tropical fish species. One of the most eye-catching are the Harlequin fish. They boast bright blue spots on their heads and can grow to a mammoth 75 centimetres in length.

  • 5. The Sea Birds of Kangaroo Island

    The backdrop of Kangaroo Island makes it the ideal habitat for a range of sea birds, the most common being the hooded plover. This small shorebird can be found on remote beaches and in the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park. They are particularly unique because they lay their eggs in shallow holes in the open sand. Another bird you might come across is the white-bellied sea eagle. Surprisingly, these birds are much closer to kites than eagles. They can be found nesting on the cliffs and in tall trees around the island.

  • 6. Southern Right Whale

    The waters around Kangaroo Island are also home to some bigger marine creatures – the southern right whale. These majestic animals travel to South Australia to breed every year and can often be seen from the coastline in the waters off the island around Victor Harbour.

Related article: What is the difference between a Kangaroo and a Wallaby?

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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