Holiday with Kids
True Blue Kangaroo
The ultimate Aussie destination for wilderness and wildlife fans, Kangaroo Island has it all, writes
A pristine natural wonderland, Kangaroo Island reminds me of all the good things spread throughout Australia wrapped into one exquisite destination.
Open for business
Australia’s third-largest and most unique island sits just off the southern coastline of South Australia and can be easily reached via a comfortable 45-minute glide across the Backstairs Passage from Cape Jervis with Sealink ferries. Bring your own car over on the ferry as self-driving is the best way to make your way around 4,500 square kilometres of the island’s interior and 500 kilometres of coastline.
Over one-third of the island is national park, and while the fires that devastated the island earlier this year did claim most of the western side, regeneration has been remarkable with Flinders Chase National Park (one of the worst-affected areas) now open for business.
Nature and nurture
Nature lovers, foodies and families alike will find Kangaroo Island really does have it all. It’s the perfect escape to reconnect with nature and to be thoroughly nurtured with great food and friendly local hospitality.
Expect to be spellbound by the island’s prolific flora and fauna; home to koalas, kangaroos, echidnas and raptors soaring over land and sea. Offshore you’ll find dolphins, sea lions and little penguins calling sandy beaches, wild surf, calm bays, wetlands and estuaries home.
For a heartwarming encounter, pay a visit to KI Wildlife Park to join experts for talks, feedings and encounters designed to inspire deeper learnings about KI’S incredibly diverse native animals.
Seal Bay is the only place in the world where you can see a full colony of Australian Sea Lions up close, and rangers are on hand to share information to aid in appreciation and conservation of these magnificent animals.
Sand and sea
Adventurous families will love Little Sahara, with its sand dunes reaching up to 70 metres above sea level. Hire a sandboard (or toboggan for little ones) but be warned, the climb back up is quite the workout, so come armed with water, a hat and sunscreen.
When it’s time to relax, head to Vivonne
Bay, regarded as one of Australia’s best beaches to indulge in a beach picnic, or stop by local favourite Vivonne Bay General
Store for a famed King George whiting burger.
If you choose to stay at Penneshaw (where the Sealink Ferry arrives), be sure to stop in to Millie Mae’s Pantry for breakfast and stock up on goodies before hitting the road to explore.
Cape Willoughby is KI’S most easterly point and its lighthouse the first built in South Australia. A daily lighthouse climb that begins at 12.15pm reveals its fascinating history.
One of Australia’s great walks, the 46-kilometre Three Capes Track leads hikers along rugged clifftops overlooking the dramatic Southern Ocean to Cape Raoul, Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy. While the entire trek would set you back around four days, those with younger kids can take an easy 30-minute walk along the Cape Raoul track for jaw-dropping views.
Doo-lishus is a cute seafood food shack located in the blowhole car park in Doo Town, a quirky collection of rickety fishing huts. Grab a cone of their award-winning fresh fried seafood and crispy chips – keeping your eyes peeled for covetous seagulls. My kids also wisely suggest saving room for a Berry Delight, a huge bucket of ice cream, fresh local berries and cream. tasmanregion.com.au