With a name like that it’s no surprise this small island off the coast of South Australia attracts quite a lot of visitors each year.
Through SeaLink, my friends and I organised a bus transfer from Adelaide Central Bus Station (around a 2 hour drive), alternatively you can get picked up directly from your accommodation though.
We arrived at Cape Jervis and boarded the last ferry of the day to the island, which only took around 45 minutes.
Staying in the area of Penneshaw at Kangaroo Island SeaFront, our little chalet was super comfortable and perfect for the short one night stay we were there.
Starting early the following morning we rented a car from Budget, located inside the ferry terminal. There happened to be a P&O cruise day excursion on land the day we were there so we were lucky to pick up our vehicle before the rush began.
Our car was a great mid sized Ford and I enjoyed driving it. If you haven’t driven much in Australia however, especially in more rural locations like the island, being super aware of wildlife that might jump out across the road at anytime is imperative.
We decided our plan of action would be to drive to the furthest side first of the island and work our way back. It took around two hours of straight driving to reach Flinders National Park.
The highlights here were Admiral’s Arch, a naturally forming arch made of rock. There were dozens of seals in the area just lying around, enjoying the sun. It was a lovely sight!
Nearby is also the Remarkable Rocks, probably one of the most popular areas on the island for visitors. The formations are quite unique and the scenery around is stunning.
We stopped into a small café for lunch called Rustic Blue, where the service was super friendly. While the location was charming, the food though was quite average. My sandwich was stale and my friend’s coffee was really bitter but for such a remote area we couldn’t really complain too much.
The café was really close to our highlight of the day – Vivonne Bay. Having the beach to ourselves, the white sand and many shades of blues to be seen here were fantastic. We just wished it wasn’t quite so windy, otherwise a swim here is ideal!
On our way back to Penneshaw, we decided we had time to stop into Emu Bay towards the north. It was also a beautiful beach, stretching on with its location showing only calm waters.
Overall I think we managed to squeeze in a good deal in only a day but we could’ve of course seen so much on the island. In saying that, I think 2-3 days would be the ideal, longer than this personally I think would be too much unless you purely want beach days to just chill out.
A trip to KI is definitely not easy on the wallet so it was great that there was five of us to share the expenses. That being said, I rarely do travel domestically compared to overseas and it’s important to remember that Australia in general isn’t a cheap destination.
Here’s an idea of the cost out to Kangaroo Island.
Basic rate is around $92 for the day for an automatic. You will of course need to fill up the tank but our fuel efficient car only used half of its capacity after a whole day driving.
We had to pay the age surcharge for being under 25 and decided to go for roadside assistance and excess reduction in case of an accident (eg. kangaroo hopping in front of us!).
Only 100km’s were included in the day and we easily did double this so each kilometre extra was 0.25 cents. Overall this added up but split between 5 of us was still a manageable amount.
For our chalet we spent $200 for the night (no breakfast included..this is Australia after all but there was wifi).
The Kangaroo Sea Front was as the name suggests, right across from the sea and within walking distance to the ferry terminal, an awesome pizzeria, fish and chips, café, pub and supermarket.
National Park Entry Fees
What shocked us was having to pay for entry fees to the national parks on the island. This set us back around $11 each. You can’t pay per car and each park has its own fee, hence we only went into one. If you’re on the island for longer you can get a pass of some kind although I’m not sure how much this is.
Ferry & Bus Transfers
It was $160 for return ferry transfer and bus transfers (pick up at the bus station in Adelaide and drop off at our hotel in the city again). We booked this all through the only company you can do this with – Sea Link.