What wildlife is found on Kangaroo Island?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/14/2022

Reading time: 4 mins

There’s something magical about venturing off the beaten track and away from the mainland for a break from the daily hustle, especially when it’s to a quiet island escape offering unique wildlife and sensational scenery.

Kangaroo Island is the perfect place for exactly that. A paradisal sanctuary located 14km off the coast of South Australia, and 120km from the state’s capital Adelaide, it is easily accessible by sea or air. Over one third of the island is protected by conservation and national parks, and the rich shrubland means many animals call this small island home.

You’ll have a very good chance of seeing wallabies and kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, seals and possums, and if you try a little harder, you may even spot an elusive platypus in the creeks. Taking a glance towards the water, you could be spotting whales and dolphins in the distance.

How to spot the wildlife on Kangaroo Island

It’s easier than you may think! Priding themselves on keeping Kangaroo Island in its most natural form, the locals and the guides can easily point you in the right direction to see the animals going about their day in the wild.

A visit to Seal Bay Conservation Park will give you an up close and personal experience with a wild colony of endangered sea lions. Experienced guides are available to teach you everything there is to know about them, and there are boardwalks close by with views of the colony if you want to go at your own pace. Seal bay is a 45-minute drive from Kingscote and shouldn’t be missed.

There is a reason Kangaroo Island is named as such – in fact there are so many kangaroos around here that driving is banned at dawn and dusk, as the marsupials are out grazing in high numbers at these times. It’s virtually impossible to not spot several roos when you are here, but Flinders Chase National Park has a particularly dense population.

A lot of the wildlife become more active after dark, so a cruise around the island at night will treat you to owls, bats and possums.

The pristine waters surrounding the island are perfect for a day of fishing in the sunshine. The waters are full of a variety of fish including snapper, kingfish and whiting.

All the wildlife in one place

Cuddly koala’s can at times be seen snoozing in the trees, but if you’re wanting an interactive experience, the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Zoo should not be missed. You can cuddle up with a friendly koala, feed kangaroos, hold reptiles and even go for a walk with a Dingo at the park. You’ll see emus, penguins and wombats while you’re there, and the best news is that it’s open every day except for Christmas Day!

How to get to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide

If the abundance of Australia wildlife and rich beauty isn’t enough to entice you, it will be the easy-going locals, luxurious dining and serene accommodation that will win you over.

You can fly direct from Adelaide Airport into Kingscote with Qantas, with this flight being a quick 35-minute journey. If a flight isn’t suited for your itinerary, you can drive from Adelaide for 2 hours to Cape Jervis, where a ferry will have you on the island in just under an hour.

Having access to a car is helpful on Kangaroo Island, and the ferries allow you to embark with your car. Alternatively, hire a car once you’re on the island, or have a tour take care of all the driving and itinerary for you, and tick off all the best on offer.

There is no public transport here, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

Kangaroo Island is consistently voted as one of Australia’s best spots to travel to, so come and see for yourself what all the fuss is about and enjoy a getaway in nature at its finest.

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.