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A refuge for native wildlife, Kangaroo Island has its own kangaroo species, endangered Australian sealions, echidna, koalas and 267 bird species. From May to September migrating southern right whales may be seen.

Kangaroo Island is a remarkable sanctuary for Australian native species, with none of the pests prevalent on the mainland and a tiny human population – fewer than three individuals per 1.5 kilometres. Most of the island’s beaches are deserted, except for wildlife. 

With five protected areas on the island: Flinders Chase National Park, Seal Bay Conservation Park, Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park, Cape Bouger Wilderness Protected Area and Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area, Kangaroo Island's many species include short-beaked echidna, koala, the tammar wallaby – the smallest of the wallabies – and the platypus. Here you might also see the glossy black cockatoo and the southern brown bandicoot.

There are many ways to enjoy close encounters with the wildlife that thrives in this pristine environment. From four-wheel-drive style tours or quad bike rides through the bush, to boat trips to visit little penguin colonies or swim with dolphins.

The island is not only famed for its wildlife. There is a ‘Farm Gate and Cellar Door Trail’ celebrating the islands fresh produce – including honey from Ligurian bees, gourmet cuisine and locally produced wines. Australia’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island is 155 kilometres long from east to west, and lies 112 kilometres southwest of Adelaide, just a short flight, or a ferry ride from Cape Jervis.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: tammar wallaby, Australian sealion, short-beaked echidna, glossy black cockatoo, Kangaroo Island kangaroo
  • Where: Southwestern Australia, Australia

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Islands, Rivers & Ranges

Visiting some of South Australia’s diverse and wildlife-rich habitats, we hope to see over 200 species of birds including Cape Barren goose, little penguin and three species of cockatoo, as well as many fascinating endemic mammals, such as short-beaked echidna, southern hairy-nosed wombat, koala and kangaroo.

  • When to go: Sep-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,895 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Kangaroos, Sealions & the Gawler Ranges

Explore two of South Australia’s finest wildlife locations: Gawler Ranges and Kangaroo Island, travelling from the Outback to the sea. Visit a koala colony, study geological formations, swim with sealions, and seek out rare species such as echidna, glossy black cockatoo and the elusive platypus.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

South Australia in Style

Staying in luxury properties at Kangaroo Island and Flinders Ranges, explore the picturesque landscapes of South Australia in search of its wildlife, including Australia’s largest macropods: red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and common wallaroo, as well as fur seal colonies and prolific birdlife.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,095 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat

Situated on 45 hectares of bush land, close to the entrance to Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat is the ideal base from which to explore the western side of Kangaroo Island. The retreat offers a range of en suite accommodation and is committed to sustainable tourism.

Molly’s Run

Molly’s Run is a small Mediterranean style villa situated on Kangaroo Island’s north coast within 24 hectares of farmland overlooking Smith Bay. Offering just three bedrooms all with panoramic views of the bay, Molly’s Run is a charming property from which to explore the natural attractions of the island.

Southern Ocean Lodge

Australia’s first true luxury lodge, Southern Ocean Lodge stretches along a secluded cliff on a rugged part of Kangaroo Island’s coast. Designed to impact as lightly as possible on its environment, the lodge is a sophisticated and welcoming base from which to explore the island's natural sites.