More than a third of its 4,400-odd square kilometers is protected parkland that shelters rabbit-size wallabies, elusive platypuses, and more.
Anchored off the shores of South Australia, sparsely populated Kangaroo Island—known to locals as K.I.—is a magnet for fans of weird and wonderful wildlife, especially during the warm, dry months of the southern summer. More than a third of its 4,400-odd square kilometers is protected parkland that shelters rabbit-size wallabies and elusive platypuses, echidnas and bandicoots and possums, endangered glossy black cockatoos, and (of course) kangaroos aplenty. K.I.’s rugged landscapes are equally thrilling: the year-old Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail in the southwest takes in towering sea cliffs, bone-white beaches, freshwater lagoons, and geological landmarks such as the aptly named Remarkable Rocks. And when mealtime comes around, visitors can look forward to a dining scene underpinned by delicious local seafood, wine, and produce, including honey made by
purebred Ligurian bees.
From Adelaide, a 90-minute drive plus 45-minute ferry crossing will get you to the island, though not as quickly as the daily flights operated by Regional Express. QantasLink will run a thrice-weekly service from Melbourne between December 17 and January 28.
Where to Stay
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, Southern Ocean Lodge (doubles from US$1,886, all-inclusive) remains the most luxurious digs on K.I., with 21 suites perched on a secluded sea cliff at Hanson Bay.
A guided walk along the beach at Seal Bay amid Australia’s third-largest colony of sea lions.
Outside the main town of Kingscote, Island Pure Sheep Dairy beckons with a mouth-watering variety of sheep’s-milk cheeses and yogurt, which visitors can sample in tasting sessions or light lunches.
This article originally appeared in the December 2017/January 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Hop To It”).