Kangaroo Island is Australia's third-largest island after the state of Tasmania.
It sits only 13 kilometres (8 mi) offshore from Cape Jervis, on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula in the state of South Australia. The island is 150 km (93 mi) long and between 900 m (980 yd) and 57 km (35 mi) wide, its area covering 4,405 km2 (1,701 sq mi). Its coastline is 540 kilometres (340 mi) long and highest altitude is 307 m (1,010 ft).
An unofficial community of sealers and others was set up on Kangaroo Island from 1802 to the time of South Australia's official settlement in 1836. The sealers were rough men and several kidnapped Aboriginal women from Tasmania and mainland South Australia. The women were forced to do the work of sealers, amongst other activities. Three Aboriginal women tried to escape and swim back to the mainland; one is on record as having survived the journey. The first ship to arrive was the Duke of York commanded by Captain Robert Clark Morgan (1798–1864).
The biggest town on Kangaroo Island is Kingscote. Originally established at Reeves Point on 27 July 1836, it is South Australia's first official European settlement. It was later suggested that Kingscote could serve as the capital of South Australia, but the island's resources were insufficient to support such a large community, so the settlement of Adelaide was chosen.
According to the 2006 Census, the island has a population of 4,259
Kangaroo Island is famous for its honey and for being the oldest bee sanctuary in the world.
The economy is mostly agricultural (wine, honey, wool, meat and grain). Traditionally sheep grazing has been the key element in agriculture on the Island, however in recent times, more diverse crops, such as potatoes and canola have been introduced. Cattle farming has grown as well, with good quality beef cattle being grown in the higher rainfall areas. Tourism and fishing also play significant roles, with the island experiencing over 186,000 visitors per annum
Kangaroo island also has 28 wine growers.
Because of its isolation from mainland Australia, foxes and rabbits are absent from and prohibited from entering the island.
Registration and microchipping of cats is mandatory.
The Kangaroo Island Kangaroo, Rosenberg's Sand Goanna, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Tammar Wallaby, Common Brushtail Possum, Short-beaked Echidna and New Zealand Fur Seal are native to the island, as well as six bat and frog species. The sole endemic (found nowhere else) vertebrate species is a small marsupial carnivore called the Kangaroo Island Dunnart.
Kangaroo Island Dunnart
The Koala, Common Ringtail Possum and Platypus have been introduced and still survive there.
How to Get There
Regional Express Airlines - The flight is a short 30 minutes from Adelaide Airport to Kangaroo Island Airport. The airport is located 13 km from Kingscote but Kangaroo Island has no public transport and no taxi services. Visitors are welcome to hire a car or arrange a tour with one of the island's tour providers in order to ensure you see as many of the Island's attractions as possible.
Sealink - Operates from Cape Jervis on the mainland to Penneshaw. While you can drive yourself, coach connections are available between Adelaide and Cape Jervis and Penneshaw, American River and Kingscote. Ferry travelling time is a comfortable 40 minutes.