By Lauren Burmaster
Kangaroo Island By Car
Taking the early ferry at 9am ensures that you are able to make the most of your first day on Kangaroo Island. Having your car on KI is essential as there are no public transportation options available.
Once you arrive into Penneshaw it is an easy drive to Cape Willoughby and the lighthouse that resides on the top end of the island. The pleasant drive takes you past Chapman River Cellar Door, where you can stop in for a tasting and if you are driving, a nice coffee with a beautiful view.
Once at Cape Willoughby, make sure to take the nature path that winds down around the cliffs, but keep you eyes peeled, as you never know with type of wildlife you will encounter.
From Cape Willoughby, make your way to Kangaroo Island’s largest town, Kingscote. On the way make sure to stop at Sunset Winery where, along with an excellent tasting, you can order a platter of nibbles, comprised of KI and Adelaide surrounds best local cheeses, meats, olives, and bread. However, save room! Just down the road is the turn off for American River were you can find oysters at a price that will make you look twice!
Once you have arrived in Kingscote for the evening there is still plenty to do. Just before 5pm be sure to head down to the docks for the nightly feeding of the pelicans. The activity is free of charge, but a small donation is greatly appreciated. Afterwards, just hop across the road to the local pub and enjoy a dinner and a pint before booking into the penguin walk with the Kangaroo Island Penguin Center. They run tours at 730 and 830pm allowing you to view the little blue penguins in their natural habitat.
Next morning make sure to wake up early and head down to the local bakery on Dauncey Street, which opens at 6am, to stock up to snacks for day. You’ll find that the further away you get from Kingscote, the higher in price for food and beverage! With a long drive ahead of you to the Flinders Range it is good to sit back and take in the scenery (keep an eye out for any kangaroos that may want to hop across the road). Once in the National Park, a cost of $10/person will give you access to all major sites. First off is Admirals Arch, a geologic wonder, which also plays host to a number of seals which is great if you don’t have the time to make your way to Seal Bay.
Next up are the amazing Remarkable Rocks, which are giant rock formations that were carved out over hundreds of years and sit atop a granite cliff. The rocks are truly a unique sight and worth spending the time exploring the giant natural sculptures.
By the time you get back into town your stomach will be growling and the locals and author suggest Kangaroo Island Fresh Seafoods and Takeaway, located right next to the CALTEX in town. This seafood joint was so popular that when it shut down for three months the local outcry and demand brought about a reopening. The whiting and flake come highly recommended!
After two jam-packed days on the island make your way back to Penneshaw the following morning for the ferry, but remember to keep your eyes out, they call it Kangaroo Island for a reason!!