A great way to see Kangaroo Island is with a tour. Whether it’s a day tour while you are on the island, a day tour from Adelaide or a multi-day tour, there are tours covering it all, I’ve taken a look at all the Kangaroo Island tours, and have come up with these ones to recommend based on my own experience of travelling to Kangaroo Island.
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- 1 Why take a Kangaroo Island Tour?
- 2 Best Kangaroo Island Day Tour When You are Already on the Island
- 3 Best Kangaroo Island Day Tour from Adelaide
- 4 Best Kangaroo Island Multi-Day Tour
Why take a Kangaroo Island Tour?
Time, lack of transport, ease of planning – all are great reasons to take a tour. For Kangaroo Island, some of these reasons are amplified making tours even more attractive for your visit.
Transport alone can be a big consideration. There is no public transport on Kangaroo Island. Taxis are limited and likely would not take passengers to the far reaches of the island – which is where some of the most popular attractions are. This means that your options are limited to your own car, a rental vehicle or a tour.
While renting a car is a good option, it’s not for everyone. It also comes with many limitations. Often they cannot be driven on unsealed roads, and some companies do not allow their cars to be brought from the mainland. So that could mean renting two cars, one to get you to the ferry and a second once on the island. Being an island, the number of cars available is limited, demand, and therefore prices, can be high.
Tours not only help with transport on Kangaroo Island, but often right from Adelaide. To get to Cape Jervis for the ferry is approximately 90-120 minutes from Adelaide, and there is very limited transport available (SeaLink do provide a shuttle once a day). Many of the tours leave right from the city so this part of the trip is taken care of too.
Some people love planning their trips, others like to leave it up to someone else. Whether you are interested in the wildlife or the food and wine (or both) there is a tour to suit, and it is all planned for you.
Best Kangaroo Island Day Tour When You are Already on the Island
When I came up with this idea I planned to just recommend one tour in each category, but there are so many great tours available that offer different things I realised I would have to make more than one suggestion.
Kangaroo Island Tour with Wildlife Focus
This tour on Kangaroo Island with Sealink covers the most popular attractions. It leaves from Penneshaw, but if you are staying elsewhere on the island, transfers can be arranged. Otherwise, it is an easy tour to meet right as your ferry arrives.
Spend the morning visiting the sea lions at Seal Bay, before travelling even further towards the western end of Kangaroo Island. A 2-course lunch at Vivonne Bay is included, Its then off into Flinders Chase National Park to see the iconic sites of Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, along with some other things to see too. On the way back to Penneshaw, there is one final stop at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Sanctuary where you will get up close to all the wildlife Kangaroo Island is known for. Here you will have the opportunity to learn from the keeper talks, and perhaps even hold a koala.
While it clearly doesn’t cover everything, this tour gives a great snapshot of the things that Kangaroo Island is famous for, and if you only have one day to experience Kangaroo Island, this is the tour for you.
Kangaroo Island Tour with Food & Drink Focus
For a Kangaroo Island tour that is all about the food and drinks made on the island, I recommend this one by Kangaroo Island Trails. You will visit a variety of places throughout the day to experience the wide range of fresh produce available. Pickups for the tour are done from Kingscote, American River and Penneshaw as part of the price, and can be arranged from other located for an extra fee.
The eight hour tour will take you to around five different locations. Start by trying some local honey and visiting the eucalyptus distillery (where you can also try the ciders). Then it’s off to the lavender farm for scones before some wine and gin tasting. All tastings and a light lunch are included in the cost.
Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Hop-on Hop-off Tour
This tour is for all those people who would like to do some food and wine tasting without the worry of driving while drinking alcohol. This hop on hop off bus is a little different to others you may have seen with only one embarkation and disembarkation time. It leaves from Kingscote at 10am and visits a honey farm and the eucalyptus distillery first, and then it’s onto the wineries, lavender farm and gin distillery, where it loops around for the remainder of the day before returning to Kingscote at 5pm.
This is perfect for those who want a cheaper option and mostly only want the transport aspect of the tour, with a little commentary along the way. Visit as many or as few of the destinations as you would like, spending more time at your favourites.
Best Kangaroo Island Day Tour from Adelaide
I’m not entirely sure that I recommend a day trip to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide. It’s a very long day – around 16 hours – and therefore exhausting, and it would be much better if you could at least spend one night on the island. But if you only have one day in your itinerary to visit Kangaroo Island and you are okay with the long day then I still think it’s a must do while you are in South Australia. Here are three different Kangaroo Island day trip options that leave from Adelaide. They all include return transport to Cape Jervis and ferry fares across to Penneshaw as well as the tour on the island.
Kangaroo Island Full Day Experience by Ferry Including Lunch
This tour is essentially an extended version of the Wildlife tour mentioned above. Instead of meeting the tour at. Penneshaw, you will be picked up from your Adelaide hotel from 6 am and return around 10pm. The tour on Kangaroo Island focuses on the big ticket attractions such as Seal Bay, Flinders Chase National Park and Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, with a 2-course lunch included.
This tour is a great option of you are short on time and still want a taste of the thing that Kangaroo Island is best known for, it’s natural attractions.
Kangaroo Island Wine and Dine Day Trip
This full day Kangaroo Island trip from Adelaide is mostly about the food! Like the tour above, it is run by SeaLink so you will be on the same catch down from Adelaide and the same ferry crossing. That’s where the similarity end though. Your tour will take you first to the Raptor Domain to see the incredible birds of prey and learn about their plight to survive. From there it’s off to the Eucalyptus Distillery where you can learn about the process and taste some of the ciders that are also made here. A 2-course lunch will be served, preparing you for an afternoon of tastings at a honey farm, gin distillery and winery.
This is a great option for the foodie who is keen to taste the Kangaroo Island produce while still getting a glimpse of the beautiful scenery as you make your way around the island.
Small-Group 4WD Tour from Adelaide
Are large groups not your thing? Try this small group tour from Adelaide instead, with a maximum of only eight people. Leave from Adelaide at around 6:45am and return about 10:45pm. This tour spends more time exploring the beaches and natural attractions that the big bus tours can’t get to. Do some bushwalking and see the Kangaroo Island animals out in the wild. Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch before taking a guided tour to see the sea lions at Seal Bay.
Best Kangaroo Island Multi-Day Tour
These are the tours I absolutely recommend! Kangaroo Island is much bigger than imagined, and one day is simply not enough. Take a multi-day tour to have the opportunity to see the nature, the food and wine and more during your Kangaroo Island holiday.
2-Day Kangaroo Island 4WD Small-Group Tour from Adelaide
This is another tour run by SeaLink, so you will be making your way to and from Kangaroo Island on the SeaLink coach and ferry, then you will join your 4WD guide once on Kangaroo Island. Spend two days exploring the spectacular natural scenery, seeing the best loved attractions such as Seal Bay and Remarkable Rocks, spotting plenty of native animals in the wild on bush walks and learning about the incredible bushfire recovery. Overnight accommodation and some meals are included.
This tour is a great option for those wanting to explore a little further on Kangaroo Island.
Kangaroo Island Regeneration Overnight Tour
This is a more relaxed tour for those who do not want to leave Adelaide at 6am! This tour leaves later in the day, arriving on Kangaroo Island in the late afternoon where you will go straight to your accommodation in American River. Have dinner and get some rest so that you are ready for a full day of sightseeing in the morning.
While the tour focuses on the regeneration of Kangaroo Island after the bushfires in Jan 2020, it does also include visits to the popular attractions such as Seal Bay and Flinders Chase National Park. The tour will finish with an evening ferry back to the mainland and transfers back to your Adelaide accommodation.
To enjoy your Kangaroo Island holiday more, you may like these posts
Best Kangaroo Island Wineries
The Ultimate List of What to do on Kangaroo Island
How to Get to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.