Our guide to Kangaroo Island

Making the most of your stay

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We want to make sure you have the best time possible on your stay so we’ve compiled a handy guide to the island’s top attractions, places to eat and other information that you may find helpful on your visit. Kangaroo Island is much bigger than most people realise, so a 3-5 night stay is recommended to fully appreciate and experience the beauty of Kangaroo Island.


Travel From Adelaide

Our Island can be reached by air or sea. A flight from Adelaide to Kingscote with either Regional Express  or Qantas (from Sydney/Melbourne via Adelaide in certain times of the year) is about 30 minutes in duration.

The ferry crossing departure point at Cape Jervis is approximately a 2 hour drive from central Adelaide. The actual crossing lasts roughly 45 minutes. You must arrive 30 minutes prior to the ferry departure time to coordinate check-in and loading. We provide a free ferry booking service to facilitate your travel to and from Kangaroo Island. Click on the button to supply the details for your booking.

Book the ferry


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Getting around Kangaroo Island

Due to the size of the island a self drive option will give you the greatest freedom to explore. Hire cars are available at the airport and the ferry docking site in Penneshaw through Hertz and Budget car hire. It is recommended to pre-book your vehicle. Cars can also be brought across from the mainland on the ferry.

A coach connection is available from Adelaide to Cape Jervis with your ferry booking. A shuttle bus runs between Penneshaw, American River and Kingscote. A shuttle bus is also available from the airport to Kingscote. Emu Bay is a 15 minute drive from Kingscote.

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View from holiday homes

Arrival day

Check in is from 2 pm daily. Travel to Emu Bay by car from the ferry takes approximately 50 minutes.

Taking the morning ferry is advisable as will allow time to explore the attractions in and around Penneshaw and the Dudley Peninsula and others on the way to Emu Bay. Notable attractions include Pennington Bay, American River and the Eucalyptus Distillery.

The Visitors Information Centre is located in Penneshaw and worth popping in.

Travel to Emu Bay will take approximately 50 minutes from the ferry. The turn off is  close to Kingscote where it is possible to stock up on fresh seafood, local honey as well as other provisions from Foodland and the Bottle shop as unfortunately we do not have any shops in Emu Bay. We suggest you stock up before heading out to Emu Bay.

Check in is from 2 pm daily.

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The local area

Some things to do within 30 minutes drive of Emu Bay.

Emu Bay Lavender Farm – Coffee, light meals and lavender products

KI Spirits – Local international award winning gin distillery; tastings and cocktails.

KI Brewery – Family friendly; open on weekends.

Islander Estate Winery – Fine French winemaking; established by Jacques Lurton.

Bay of Shoals Winery– Situated on Shoal Bay; provides a 10/10 view.

Island Pure Sheep Dairy – Local cheese and small goods production; observation of sheep milking procedure.

Island Beehive – Honey tastings; honey produced by Kangaroo Island’s unique Ligurian honey bees.

Frogs and Roses – Plant nursery; coffee and home made  pizzas.

George’s 40 000 Castle Lights – Quirky castle.

There are several art galleries in Kingscote, including Fine Art Kangaroo Island and Kangaroo Island Gallery and Shep’s Studio on the way to Emu Bay.


Local eats

Cactus – Breakfast and lunches: relaxed yet stylish atmosphere.

Mini De Lights – Pop-up stand at the entrance to Emu Bay beach; serving light meals and cocktails Friday to Monday.

Bella’s – Restaurant dining, coffee and cakes: take away pizzas.

Amadio Wines Cellar Door – Tapas bar on the main street of Kingscote.

Queenscliff Hotel – The local watering hole with pub meals.

Roger’s Deli and Café – In the main street of Kingscote.

Kangaroo Island Fresh Seafood – Take away or fresh locally caught seafood.

Ozone – Dine in meals served on the Kingscote foreshore.

Chocol’ Art and Coffee – Locally roasted coffee, truffles, cake and chocolate.

Rabbitt Warren Bakery – Locally baked goods.

Lighthouse Café – Good everyday food.

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North Coast

Stokes Bay (45 minutes from Emu Bay) is a picturesque must see beach. Make sure you follow the sign directing you through the rocks to this amazing beach. Rock Pool Café and Table 88 provide food and beverage options here.

Snellings Beach (20 minutes from Stokes Bay) has porcelain white sand that will likely see you the sole occupant as its slightly off the beaten track.

Western River is another 30 minutes drive on dirt road from Snellings Beach but well worth the trip. The Enchanted Fig Tree Restaurant provides a fine dining experience here. Making a reservation is essential.

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park near Parndana (45 minutes from Emu Bay or 15 minutes from Stokes Bay)offers the opportunity for tourist to see local wildlife.

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South Coast

To experience the south coast allow yourself a day to get the most of this experience, as it is further than most think. Attractions in order of travel down the South Coast Road.

Seal Bay – Seal colony conservation park; provides guided and self guided tours.

Raptor Domain – Reptile, arachnid and free flight bird displays; must see attraction for young and old.  Shows scheduled throughout the day.

Little Sahara – Sand dune with sand board hire available and other outdoor action activities nearby.

Vivonne Bay – White sandy beaches with aqua waters; provides quality surf and lunches at the local café, as well as outdoor action.

Kelly Hill Caves – Intricate cave system with guided walking tours to adventure caving available.

Hanson Bay Beach – Large southern waves; a stark contrast to the northern beaches.

Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary – An opportunity to see koalas up close. (if you haven’t seen them on the property at Emu Bay Holiday Homes.)

Flinders Chase National Park – Includes the star attractions of Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks as well as others;  a café serves coffee and light meals.

Cliffords Honey Farm – Honey and wax products.


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For nature lovers

Kangaroo Island’s renowned wildlife experience is a rewarding treat for everyone – it might just take a little patience, planning and some local knowledge.

Our guests, Vanessa and Graeme, took this photo of their furry neighbour during their stay at Emu Bay Holiday Homes. Echidnas, wallabies, kangaroos, goannas and a wide range of birds frequent the gardens at Emu Bay Holiday Homes.

Birdwatching is a rewarding experience and there is many great hikes on the island.

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For the adventurous around the island

Kangaroo Island Fishing Adventures – Experienced fishing charters; leaves from picturesque Western river.

Emu Bay Fishing Charters – Fishing charter from Emu Bay.

Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures – Dolphin viewing and jet boat experience.

Bush Getaway Adventures – Guided Quad bike tours and paint ball activities.

Tiger Trails Horse Riding Adventures – Guided horse riding.

Little Sahara – Dune climbing and  sand board hire.

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Final day

Check out is at 10 am. Travel time to the ferry is approximately 50 minutes from Emu Bay. You must be at the ferry 30 minutes prior to departure to allow time for boarding.

If you didn’t get an opportunity to explore Penneshaw or the Dudley Peninsula on arrival, a later ferry would give you this opportunity.

Dudley Wines – Wine tasting and meals; amazing view over Backstairs Passage.

Sunset Food and Wine – Fine dining experience; sea views over Baudin Beach.

Cape Willoughby Lighthouse – Historic lighthouse; sensational views of the coast line.

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Our Kangaroo Island accommodation

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