Fun things to do in Kangaroo Island

  • Admirals Arch
    Admirals Arch
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  • The sea lion cub continues its search for its mum
    The sea lion cub continues its search...
    by Longnosedbandicoot
  • Cape du Couedic Lighthouse
    Cape du Couedic Lighthouse
    by kelyeah

Most Viewed Things to Do in Kangaroo Island

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    Eucalyptus Oil Distillery

    by kyoub Written Feb 8, 2005

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    Emu Ridge Is the only commercial Eucalyptus Oil Distillery left in South Australia and are totally self sufficient. generating their power by steam.
    Native farming is far better for our environment, no sprays and chemicals, a great renewable resource and a natural product.
    We took a tour of the distillery. Stopped in the gift shop to buy some oil take home with us.
    We also saw an orphaned baby kangaroo. in the gift shop.
    They try to rehab orphans here in this area and they have a special place where they are kept.

    Distillery sign
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    Platypus Waterholes nature trail

    by Quero Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The main attraction of the area of Flinder's Chase nearest the Visitor's Center is the Platypus Waterholes nature trail. Platypus are endangered, and in an effort to increase population size, a number were relocated here from the mainland. The trail winds through the freshwater bog/creek area where the platypus have been introduced. There are wooden viewing platforms positioned at the edge of the creek and over the water at intervals along the trail.

    These are very shy creatures. Although I *thought* I *might* have seen the tell-tale bubble-and-ring disturbance on the surface of a pond a time or two, I have to admit that the only platypus I actually saw was this bronze one at the trail head.

    Walking along the nature trail, you also get a nice feel for the flora of Kangaroo Island. There are spiky, waxy flowers of several varieties, spiky-leafed trees and bushes, trees in bloom (I was there in December--summertime), and so on.

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    WEIRS COVE

    by balhannah Written Dec 11, 2012

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    After seeing Remarkable Rocks, we headed by car back along Boxer drive, turning left in Cape Du Couedic road, and then a little later turning left again into Weirs Cove Road.

    This area was notorious for Shipwrecks. After three major ones, it was decided to build a Lighthouse. The problem was, how to bring the building materials here as there were no roads.
    It was decided all building materials were required to be brought by sea, being landed at Weir's Cove Jetty, then brought to the top of the 150 foot cliff via a flying fox. It was amazing seeing the cutting which was all hand made, what a lot of hard work was done to make this possible. All on-going supplies of food, clothing etc. arrived at 3-monthly intervals for lightkeepers and their families. The winch raising the supplies was driven by a stationary engine, not only supplies were winched to the top, but also people!
    I went for a wander around the ruins of the storeroom that was used to house the supplies for the lighthouse staff in the years 1907 to 1936. Only a few walls standing, and close to the house, the remains of a water well.

    Weirs Cove Weirs Cove Storehouse Weirs Cove Weirs Cove Water Well History of Weirs cove
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    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

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    Learn a little lizard dance

    by Quero Updated Nov 26, 2004

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    The lizard in the photo is called a "goanna," and it, like the koala and the wallaby, was introduced into Kangaroo Island in an effort to protect it from extinction. You can see goannas sunning on walkways and pavements or scuttling into the underbrush when feeling threatened.

    You wouldn't imagine a lizard to be a very intelligent creature, but here's a fact that may demonstrate that they are: Kangaroo Island gets cold, and as these are cold-blooded creatures, they have learned to place their egg nests in the mounds of termites in order to incubate.

    I saw this one at Seal Bay Conservation Park. I like the shot because in it you can see that the lizard's right front and back feet are both off the ground and casting shadows as he runs.

    Lizard dance step: right front up, left back up...

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    ADMIRAL'S ARCH

    by balhannah Written Dec 11, 2012

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    This is another MUST SEE on Kangaroo Island

    Just follow the signpost to the car-park for Admiral's Arch. Once parked, we then went for the walk along the wooden walkway, following it to the end to find the Arch. This picturesque Arch has been formed by nature. The Sea comes crashing in, as do the strong winds, combined they have eroded the rock away and made a natural arch. This has happened over thousands of years, and will keep on happening over time. Take a little time here, as if you look carefully under the Arch, you will see a colony of New Zealand fur-seals on the rock platforms. They do blend in rather well with the dark grey rocks!

    Admiral's Arch Admiral's Arch Admiral's Arch Admiral's Arch Admiral's Arch
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    • National/State Park
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    THE CLIFF TUNNEL @ STOKES BAY

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    Now, if you come here by yourself like I did, and not on a tour, do not go away disappointed, for there is a surprise here.
    I was looking at the Ocean, then I decided to have a look a the big weather worn boulders. Thank-goodness I did, because hidden away was a notice to the Beach! Following a sandy trail, this led me along a track that passed by caves, and narrow areas where the giant boulders nearly touched. It was a fun, interesting walk. Children would love it!

    Now I know why it was advertised as a PLACE TO VISIT

    Stokes Bay - To the Beach Stokes Bay - To the Beach Stokes Bay - To the Beach Stokes Bay - To the Beach To The Beach
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    • Beaches
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    STOKES BAY BEACH

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2012

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    The other big surprise at Stokes Bay, was when I emerged from the rock tunnel to find a beautiful, pristine sandy Beach.
    It was wow! So different to the other side which was full of rocks and seaweed. The Beach was so clean, and there was only one couple walking along the Beach, hows that!
    A rock pool was in this area making it very safe for the children to have fun in the water. Even the cliffs were interesting. Most were honeycombed and there were caves I went into for a look. What a very nice area, one that I could have easily missed.

    Stokes Bay beach area See the entrance... Stokes Bay beach area Stokes Bay Cave Cliffs at Stokes Bay
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    • Beaches
    • School Holidays
    • Family Travel

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    Flinder's Chase National Park Visitor Center

    by Quero Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Flinder's Chase Visitor Center is a good place to begin a tour of Kangaroo Island since it is housed in a large new building with excellent interpretive displays of the island's geology and wildlife. There are even touch-and-feel exhibits for childeren to explore. The visitor's center also has nice bathrooms (in case you're camping in the bush and would like a flush toilet and running water to freshen up).

    In the parking area you will find lots and lots of kangaroos relaxing and posing with visitors. They may be hoping for handouts, but there is a sign asking people not to feed the wildlife: "Keep the wildlife wild."

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    Fur seals at Admiral's Arch

    by Quero Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The New Zealand fur seals found here are not true seals but rather a type of sea lion. The information posters at the entrance to the Admiral's Arch area of the park give this and other bits of information about these animals.

    Why does it matter? Because sea lions can actually use their back and front flippers to "walk" (sort of like inch-worms), which allows them to climb up on rocks along shorelines of the sort found at Admiral's Arch.

    You can't really get very close to these sea lions to take great portraits, but click on the image to see it a bit bigger and you might be able to tell which spots are the sea lions which spots are the rocks they are resting on.

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    Walk on seal beach

    by kyoub Written Feb 8, 2005

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    A highlight of any day is a visit to Seal Bay where your guide will walk you through a wild colony of Australian Sea lions as they relax in their natural habitat.
    You can walk the boardwalk afterwards and get some good views of the ocean and beach.
    There is a gift shop by the parking lot that has some good books on birding.

    Sea lions
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    • Eco-Tourism

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    NEW ZEALAND FUR SEALS

    by balhannah Updated Dec 11, 2012

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    Walking along the Boardwalk to Admiral's Arch, is where we saw lots of New Zealand Fur Seals.
    Here you can view them for FREE, but you can't get close to them. They were everywhere, in the Ocean, lazing around on the rocks and on the sides of the cliffs. From the viewing platforms the Seals were quite easy to see with the naked eye, even though they are a dark brown colour. The seals feed at sea but return to land to rest and breed. Breeding is in summer when males establish territorial areas. We weren't there at the right time to see the Fur-seal pups which are said to be seen playing near the rock pools beneath the arch.

    By Admiral's Arch By Admiral's Arch By Admiral's Arch By Admiral's Arch By Admiral's Arch
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    Hanson Bay koala sanctuary

    by Quero Updated Nov 26, 2004

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    Besides kangaroos, what other animal comes to mind when you think about Australia? Koalas, of course.

    Koalas were introduced to Kangaroo Island when the loss of their habitat on the mainland threatened their numbers. And they are still a threatened species... except on Kangaroo Island. The population of koalas on K.I. has increased so dramatically that they are considered pests by local residents--an example of the rule of unintended consequences, it seems. Efforts to cull the koalas to a manageable level have not got very far because of the fear of a tourist backlash.

    Of *course* people all over the world would think the authorities coldhearted if they were to allow culling, because koalas are so very adorable. Cuddly looking with round eyes below tufted, furry ears, and button-like black noses; babies clinging to their mothers tummies or backs; sitting placidly in gum trees munching on leaves... what could possibly be offensive about an animal that looks like a nursery toy?

    See them for yourself at the Hanson Bay koala sanctuary. From a small parking area, walk along a short wide pathway lined with gum trees. Look up into the branches to spot the koalas. The best time to go is late afternoon as koalas are nocturnal and will begin to rouse in the early evening.

    A juvenile 'tree-hugger'

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    PENGUIN'S & TOURS

    by balhannah Updated Dec 13, 2012

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    Kangaroo Island has many colonies of Penguins.
    Our accommodation at Penneshaw was just across the road from one of these colonies.
    I saw there was a KI Penguin centre at Penneshaw, and that it did tours. I decided against it as I had already seen many of these "small fellows" elsewhere in previous years.

    I went down the colony in daytime, and did manage to spot one in its man made burrow. Back again at night, and I could hear them crying out for their mothers to come home and feed them. While I was there, a tour group came along. As it turned out, they found one and that was all, this was in May. I heard the guide say not many were around and a Seal had been seen in the area. Seals were breeding well and gradually demolishing the Penguin colonies.

    Of course, if you do a tour, you will be filled in with information about the Little Penguin which happens to be the smallest of all the world’s penguin species and the only penguin that cannot be seen on land during the daytime.......hmm.....I saw one!
    Due to their small size & fear of larger predators the birds leave before dawn to feed at sea and return after dark.
    Little Penguins are often known as Fairy Penguins or Blue Penguins, they are all the same.

    In Kingscote, they live around the foreshore area of the town and wharf.
    Breeding season is from April through to the end of November each year and is the best time to visit. During this time, the adult penguins are concentrating on family matters - mating, laying eggs or returning from sea to feed their chicks.
    In December and January, the number of penguins seen moving about on evening tours declines. This is when adult Penguin's begin their annual moult.

    For the month of February the Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre closes because all penguins live at sea to eat and gain weight lost during the annual moult. Penguins return to land in March to begin looking for their mates and readying their burrows to lay eggs once again.

    If you are expecting Penguins to come ashore in large groups all at once to walk up the beach together, then you will be disappointed, it doesn't happen like that! They come in dribs and drabs, rather cute as they waddle along and find their burrows.

    Penguins have very sensitive eyesight so white torches/flashlights cannot be used, nor camera flashes.
    Red torches which provide a softer light than white are used.

    If you do the Penguin tour, this is what it includes..........

    "The penguin tour is preceded by an entertaining and educational aquarium tour and, weather permitting, a laser guided talk through the southern constellations, all included in the price."

    * Penguin tours will not be conducted from Feb 1 to Feb 28th/29th while penguins live at sea feeding.

    PRICE IN 2012....Adults...$17 Child $6 Family $40

    Please check the website for all other details as times vary throughout the year, ranging from a 7.30pm start to 8.45pm.
    This is for seeing Penguins at Kingscote. There is a Penguin centre at Penneshaw too!

    Penneshaw Fairy Penguin @ Penneshaw Penneshaw Penguin area Penguin burrow
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium

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    THE HOODED PLOVER

    by balhannah Written Dec 5, 2012

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    The Hooded Plover OR Hooded Dotterel inhabits ocean beaches and subcoastal lagoons. On Kangaroo Island, this shore Bird nests in the dunes around Vivonne Bay, laying its eggs directly on the sand. This rather attractive shore bird is in decline and is listed as a vulnerable species in South Australia. We had a look to see if we could see any, but didn't, perhaps you will be luckier!

    Hooded Plover taken by JJ Harrison Vivonne Beach Vivonne Beach Hooded Plover eggs taken by Benjamin 444
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    • Hiking and Walking
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    • Beaches

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    CAPE BARREN GEESE

    by balhannah Written Dec 9, 2012

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    Never seen Cape Barren Geese?
    Well your best chance of seeing them in the wild on Kangaroo Island is near the Flinders Chase visitor information centre.

    The Cape Barren Geese were introduced to the Island between the 1920's & 1930's from the Bass Strait islands. As you can see by my photo's, the Cape Barren Goose is about the same size as a domestic goose. Its plumage is a pretty pale grey, with black markings near the tips of its wing feathers and tail. It has pink legs and black feet, and a little bright green on its short black bill.
    Cape Barren geese live mostly on small, windswept and generally uninhabited offshore islands, so that would be why it is doing well here in the National Park.
    These geese are grazing birds. It was by the Visitor Centre where we saw dozens of them feeding on the green grass surrounding the centre.
    The Geese lay eggs [approx 5] in nests in the tussocks found in the open grassland areas in which they live. The goslings grow during the winter, and by the end of spring are able to fly.

    By the 1950's, the numbers of Cape Barren geese were so low, they were thought to be near extinction, now they are not in any danger and are breeding well.
    They still remain one of the rarest of the world's geese
    There are more Cape Barren geese alive today than at any time since the settlement of Australia.

    They weren't afraid of us so it was quite easy to take a photo. Because of this, drive slowly, as they take right away when wandering across the road.

    Cape Barren Goose Cape Barren Geese Cape Barren Geese Watch out for the Geese
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    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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