If you are planning your holiday to Kangaroo Island or just wondering what you can do on Kangaroo Island, then here is my list of the 10 best things to do on Kangaroo Island that I advise my guests staying at our luxury boutique retreat.
1. Admiral’s Arch
This fantastic natural feature is located in the Flinders Chase National Park at the western end of the island. Admirals Arch is not only spectacular to look at, but is also home to hundreds of long-nosed fur seals and the occasional Australian Sea Lion. This colony of seals, is one of the largest on the island and pups are often seen playing in the rockpools. During winter, whales are regular visitors. Access to the Arch is a 15 minute walk from the car park along a timber board walk that is also wheel chair friendly.When you leave the Arch, make sure you call in and have a quick look at Weir’s Cove. It’s where the first lighthouse keepers lived and is not only interesting from a historical perspective, but also offers spectacular coastal scenery.The Arch is a 2 hour drive from Sea Dragon Lodge.
2. Remarkable Rocks
This is another spectacular natural feature and is only 10 minute’s drive from Admirals’ Arch. The unusual shapes that have been formed over hundreds of millions of years of erosion are quite surreal. I describe it as being the “love child of Mother Nature and Salvador Dali”. It is fascinating to see what wind and rain can do to granite given enough time and the results are a photographer’s dream. Access to Remarkable Rocks is a 10 minute walk along a wheelchair friendly boardwalk . Please note the warning markers on the ocean side of the rocks and do not venture past these, as lives have been lost when people have slipped from the granite dome.
3. Cape Willoughby Lighthouse & Devils Kitchen
Cape Willoughby Lighthouse is the oldest in South Australia and once played an important role in the state’s shipping trade. It was built to assist the safe journey of ships passing through the treacherous stretch of water known as Backstairs Passage. The tower took over two years to construct and the workers lived in tents during this time. It was officially opened in January 1852, and manned 24 hours a day by 3 lighthouse keepers who lived there with their families. Tours that include a climb to the top of the lighthouse, are conducted on most days. The views from the top of the lighthouse are sensational.
Devil’s Kitchen is located about 150metres to the east of the lighthouse and is a spectacular formation in the granite cliffs. It is particularly awesome when large southerly swells crash into it during a storm. The Lighthouse and Devil’s Kitchen are only a 30 minute walk from Sea Dragon Lodge.
4. Wildlife Walk on Sea Dragon Lodge
Sea Dragon Lodge is a 250 acre seafront estate covered extensively by natural bushland. As a result wildlife abounds and can be seen everyday at any time of the year. There are several walkson the property, ranging from 10 minutes to an hour and guests regularly see Kangaroos, Wallabies, Echidnas, Goannas, Eagles and hundreds of smaller birds. The best time of day to see the wildlife is before breakfast or when you return home from a day touring before sunset. The wildlife on Sea Dragon Lodge estate are all wild and living in their natural environment, we do not feed the animals. There are many opportunities for the avid wildlife photographer.
5. Swim or Explore your own Private Beach
Sea Dragon Lodge is the only accommodation on Kangaroo Island with private access to its very own secluded beach called Pink Bay. Pink Bay got its name from the pink tinge given to it by the feldspar in the granite boulders. It is one on the few places where you can see kangaroos hopping on the beach and is great spot for a nice glass of wine at sunset. The very secluded and private nature of the beach has also resulted in a number of marriage proposals being made on the beach. The beach is sandy and quite safe for swimming. Abundant fish life near the rocks, make for interesting snorkelling and if you are into fishing, guests have caught whiting, mullet, tommy ruffs and salmon from the rocks and shore. The beach is about 2-3 minutes’ walk from all the accommodation at Sea Dragon Lodge.
6. Lunch at the Best Cellar Door on Kangaroo Island
Dudley Wines Cellar Door, in my view, has one of the most spectacular settings of any cellar door in South Australia and is by far the best on Kangaroo Island. They make a good range of red, white and bubbly wines and their wine tastings are free. Their meals are good quality and reasonably priced. My favourites are their gourmet pizzas and buckets of fresh South Australian prawns. Our favourite wine is the Sparkling Shiraz, very refreshing on a warm day. On the first Sunday of every month, they have their Savvy Sunday with live, easy listening music playing all afternoon. The large deck is great for al fresco dining in the warmer months and there is a large lawned area for the kids to play. Dudley Wine Cellars is a 25 minute drive from Sea Dragon Lodge and is open 7 days a week.
7. Lunch in the Best Restaurant on Kangaroo Island
The Enchanted Figtree Restaurant, operated Hannaford and Sachs, offers gourmet food in a fairy tale setting. The restaurant itself is a 150 year old figtree located near Snellings Beach. Table settings are located in amongst the limbs of this ancient tree, with the dense leafy canopy forming the roof overhead. The leaves create a beautiful dappled light that filters through and creates a surreal atmosphere. The food itself is to die for and includes a sumptuous banquet of exquisite local delicacies. High quality local wines are also available for purchase. The table service is always exceptional. The Enchanted Figtree is a 1.5 hour drive from Sea Dragon Lodge and is great spot for lunch when you are exploring the island’s north coast. Bookings well in advance are essential. It is open for lunch every day except Monday & Tuesdayand generally has 2 sittings.
8. A Stroll Along Pennington Bay
Pennington Bay, is without a doubt, my favorite surf beach on Kangaroo Island. Located about 30 minutes drive from Sea Dragon Lodge at the narrowest point on the island, it is a photographer’s dream. In fact, I would think it is the most photgraphed beach on the island. It is best viewed in the morning when the sun is at the best angle. On a bright sunny days the colours are amazing. Large Southern Ocean swells regularly frequent this beach and it is a favorite with the local surfers. If you fancy a bit of beachcombing, then this offers a great walk. After you leave Pennington Bay, try climbing nearby Prospect Hill Lookout for a 360o panaramic view that takes in the Southern Ocean to the south, through to Backstairs Passage in the North. If you like fresh Oysters, then call into the American River Oyster farm for some of these fresh local delacacies, only 5 minutes from Pennington Bay.
9. A Stroll Along Antechamber Bay & Chapman River
Antechamber Bay is a pristine 3 kilometre white sandy beach. It is generally protected from the prevailing southerly winds and is therefore a lovely peacful place for a walk. Whitebellied Sea Eagles regularly patrol the beach, along with hundreds of seabirds of all varieties. This is also a favorite spot of mine to go fishing, as we generally anchor less than 50 metres off shore and get to enjoy the beautiful scenery, as well as catching lots of fish. Chapman River and Lashmar Lagoon lie immediately behind Antechamber Bay and offer some lovely walks, as well as a huge array of birdlife, Kangaroos and Wallabies. Antechamber Bay is only a 10 minute drive from Sea Dragon Lodge
10. “Secret Seals” Tour
“Secret Seals” is a long nosed fur seal colony located on the rugged south coast of Kangaroo Island less than 30 minute drive from Sea Dragon Lodge. It is situated on private property, which means there are no other tourists to spoil the experience. Many of my guests who have visited “Secret Seals”, rate it as the best wildlife experience they have ever had. It’s as close to a Galapagos style experience that you will find in Australia. You need to be reasonably fit and able to walk down a short, but steep hill to get to the seal colony. We sit on the rocks above the colony and are able to observe the seals going about their daily business. Occasionally an inquisitive pup will come up to check us over. After watching the seals, we go for a walk along the 500 million year old coastline and then back to the top of some nearby spectacular cliffs to enjoy a glass of local KI wine. This is a private 3.5 hour tour that departs from Sea Dragon Lodge.
I hope you have a wonderful time on Kangaroo Island. These are some of my favorite things to do on Kangaroo Island. But of course there are many more places to go and things to do so make sure you allow enough time to do the things that will interest you.
Owner: Sea Dragon Lodge