A mysterious ancient history
When explorers first discovered Kangaroo Island, there were no obvious signs of human civilization, leading them to believe it had never been inhabited by people. Stone tools were eventually excavated, dating back as far as 15,000 years. It remains a mystery as to why the inhabitants abandoned this island paradise.
The local Aborigines called the island “Karta”, meaning “Island of the Dead” in the local dialect. When Matthew Flinders first set foot on the island in 1802, he was astonished by the number of grey kangaroos, naming the island in their honour.
Being isolated from the mainland shielded the island from the pests and diseases carried by European settlers. The island remains a paradise for wildlife, with almost half of the original native bush still preserved today. Not surprisingly, the British Sunday Telegraph has called the island “the last piece of virgin land on earth”.