New Zealand tour itinerary name and information

Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip

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A quintessential road trip for visitors and locals alike, jump in your rental car and head to Cape Jervis from Adelaide. Here, board the ferry, car included, and enjoy the beautiful ocean views as you travel across the Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island. The adventure really begins with a wild dolphin swim, or you may opt to ease into your exploration with a laid-back food and wine tour. Flinders Chase is your next destination in the 'wild west' of the island. This national park is a world-class sanctuary for an abundance of wildlife and local flora, and a must-see while on the island. Explore the magnificent dune systems of Vivonne Bay on a quad bike to satisfy your adventurous streak, before winding down with a visit to the wild sea lion colony and birds of prey sanctuary. It's no wonder this place is referred to as an island sanctuary for its treasured wildlife. Leave nothing but footprints, and take with you unforgettable memories of a lifetime.

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Tour summary and feature

Self Drive Tour

This suggested tour costs from AUD$2,597 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Adelaide, finishes in Adelaide

8 days/7 nights

Apartments

 Rental car included

 Viewed 6 times in the last 7 days

Tour full itinerary
ITINERARY
Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 1
Arrive into Adelaide

The vibrant heart of the Festival State, Adelaide is a beautiful and easily accessible city fringed by lush parklands, and a short distance from sandy beaches, world-renowned wine regions, and unique riverland vistas. Explore the surrounding areas, or immerse yourself in the artistic laneways, hidden gems, and highly acclaimed museums and galleries of the inner city.

Private transfer from Adelaide Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside your barrage carousel and delivered to your Adelaide accommodation.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.

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Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 2
Collect your rental car from the Adelaide City depot

Head to the Adelaide City depot today to collect your chosen rental car, and continue your journey.

Choose your style of rental vehicle

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. From economy hatchbacks to SUVs, we can help you decide on a car suitable for this leg of your trip. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Adelaide to Cape Jervis

Departing Adelaide to the south, jump on the Southern Expressway which is an easy cruise past the southern coastal suburbs. As you reach Old Noarlunga, you may wish you take a detour into the world-renowned McLaren Vale wine region and stop for a tasting and platter at one of the 80+ cellar doors showcasing premium wines. Continue south and keep an eye out for the striking Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple on the coastal side just after passing through Sellicks Beach. Myponga is a great place to stop for a rest at the local brewery or bakery before continuing on your way past Normanville & the lush forested roads of Second Valley, through to Cape Jervis. If you have time before boarding your ferry, check out the lighthouse and lookout near the marina.

Cape Jarvis to Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) on the Sealink Ferry

SeaLink Kangaroo Island’s ferry service operates between Cape Jervis (two hours south of Adelaide) and Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. The journey takes just 45 minutes for the 16km crossing.

Penneshaw to Kingscote

Setting out on a 45 minute drive you will head west on Middle terrace out of Penneshaw towards your destination Kingscote, the largest town on Kangaroo Island. Following along the coast you'll pass through Baudin Beach and Brown Beach before reaching Pelican Lagoon a protected seawater aquatic reserve. If you wish you can make a slight detour from Haines to Nepean Bay, here you will find the Kangala Kangaroo and wildlife rescue centre.

Your accommodation: Aurora Ozone Kingscote Hotel - Pier Apartments

The hotel is located in Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, it offers a choice of rooms, suites and apartments, overlooking the Ocean. Perfect for families, couples and groups.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 166 kms / 103 miles : 2.3 hours

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Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 3
Kingscote to Emu Bay

Leaving the town of Kingscote you will head west 15 minutes to Emu Bay. This short drive will take you past the Kangaroo Island Brewery, the perfect stop to hydrate and grab a bite to eat! Next up is the Sheps Studio Art Gallery, a chance to stop off and visit the real-life gallery of Neil Shepard, a local on the island. Finally, arrive in the beautiful town of Emu Bay.

Island Explorer Tour & Dolphin Swim with Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures

With over 30 years of local marine experience, KI Marine Adventures are passionate about Kangaroo Island and its untouched natural environment. This 3-hour tour is the only true wild dolphin swim experience on Kangaroo Island and is the perfect way to see some of the amazing wildlife that call the island home in the calm waters of the North Coast of Kangaroo Island. On board the custom-built vessel, the Energizer, this unforgettable marine adventure will provide the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, listen to them communicate underwater with a hydrophone, and spot other wildlife including fur seals, eagles and osprey.

Kingscote to Emu Bay

Heading south-east out of Emu Bay, you may wish to stop off at the Emu Bay Lavender Farm to explore the purple fields and try some of their hand-crafted products. On the North Coast Road you will pass the Salt Lagoon, its dreamy pink tinge making for a great photo opportunity before arriving at Kingscote.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Half Day Food and Wine Tour with Kangaroo Island Trails

Relax and enjoy tasting the Islands wines, ciders and spirits- A food lovers dream! Experience being up and close in the working environment as you sample goodies while exploring the area! See the bees, touch the lavender farm and best of all taste the local beverages!

Your accommodation: Aurora Ozone Kingscote Hotel - Pier Apartments

The hotel is located in Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, it offers a choice of rooms, suites and apartments, overlooking the Ocean. Perfect for families, couples and groups.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 35 kms / 22 miles : 0.5 hours

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Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 4
Kingscote to Hanson Bay, via Parndana

Grab yourself a coffee for the road as you depart Kingscote this morning on the Playford Highway. Heading west into the heart of Kangaroo Island you will pass through Parndana. Home to the Parndana Soldier Settlement Museum and Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park it's an ideal stop on today's journey.
Continue along the Playford Highway until you reach the North-East corner of the world-renowned Flinders Chase National Park and Ravine Des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area. From here you can either take a detour to visit Cape Borda Lightstation and gaze out over the Investigator Strait. Alternatively, turn south onto the West End Highway through the rugged and wild landscape. Now on the southern limits of the island, you will briefly travel along the South Coast Road until reaching the township of Hanson Bay.

Flinders Chase National Park - Walks and Attractions

Flinders Chase National Park is a must for anyone seeking an adventure on Kangaroo Island. This vast area of wilderness features the iconic Remarkable Rocks, Admiral Arch, and numerous short to multi-day walks. It is a protected area and a sanctuary for endangered species, including koalas, platypus, echidnas, and goannas. It is also a geologically significant place - Remark­able Rocks’ sur­re­al shapes and gold-orange colours offer breathtaking views. Admi­rals Arch at Cape du Couedic is not only an impres­sive rock arch, weath­er worn over thou­sands of years, but it’s also home to a colony of long-nosed fur seals. Flinders Chase NP was hugely affected by summer bushfires in 2019–20 and is naturally recovering from the fires. The bushfires have played an essential part in shaping the ecology of the Australian landscape for millions of years. Many native plant species are adapt­ed to sur­vive, regener­ate, and thrive after fire, and much of the park is regain­ing its green colour.
There are many short walks (easy, up to 15 minutes), such as the Remarkable Rocks Walk, Admiral Arch Walk, or Lighthouse Heritage Walk. You could go for a 2-hour return Platypus Waterholes Walk. With some patience, you might have a chance of seeing some on this walk, as well as echidnas, wallabies, kangaroos, and goannas. If you have more time and energy, there is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, which is a 5-day hike along the coastline of south-west Kangaroo Island. Or you can hike only sections of this multi-day hike, such as the Rocky River Section or Sanderson Section.

Your accommodation: Discovery Park Kangaroo Island

Discovery Park Kangaroo Island is surrounded by natural forest and offers comfortable cabins. There are BBQ facilities, camp kitchen and Wi-Fi. It is located only a 10-minute drive from Flinders Chase National Park. It provides a gateway to exploring the wilderness of the National Park and the rugged coastline of the island’s western side.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 110 kms / 68 miles : 1.3 hours

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Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 5
Vivonne Bay, SA

Just over an hour away from the ferry terminal at Penneshaw lies Vivonne Bay. Once voted as Australia's best beach this pristine stretch of ocean is framed by the jetty at the south-end and giant sand dunes to the North. Just down the road you will find Seal Bay named for the many seals that come to bask in the sun, stroll down the boardwalk and you may be lucky enough to get up close and personal with them. For the more adventurous, Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action offers quad bike adventures and kayaking down the Harriet River suitable for any member of the family.

Edge of the Earth Quad Bike Tour with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action

Depart on a quad adventure of a lifetime and discover one of Australia's Top 100 surf beaches located on the South Coast of Kangaroo Island. Accessible by quad bike only, this epic tour will take you over a variety of terrain including winding tracks through native bush, open grassland and rocky trails. Learn about the flora, fauna and history from your knowledgeable and experienced guide. With tours adapted to the ability of all riders this adventure is one you don't want to miss.

Your accommodation: Discovery Park Kangaroo Island

Discovery Park Kangaroo Island is surrounded by natural forest and offers comfortable cabins. There are BBQ facilities, camp kitchen and Wi-Fi. It is located only a 10-minute drive from Flinders Chase National Park. It provides a gateway to exploring the wilderness of the National Park and the rugged coastline of the island’s western side.

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Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 6
Hanson Bay to American River via Seal Bay

Departing Hanson Bay and heading east, you will first pass the town of Vivonne Bay, gateway to the famous Little Sahara Desert. If you're feeling adventurous, you can hire a sandboard locally and try your hand at cruising down the spectacular sand dunes.
Continuing along the South Coast Road you will pass the Raptor Domain Conservation Centre. We highly recommend stopping to see the Free Flight Birds of Prey show and learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of these incredible species.
Next, take a right on Seal Bay Road to visit the protected sea lion area and meet the local colony of endangered pinnipeds.
From Seal Bay it is another 50 minutes travel across the island to reach your destination of American River.

Seal Bay Guided Tour - suggestion

This 45 minute walking tour with National Parks and Wildlife Service will take you on a journey around Seal Bay, departing the Visitor Centre on a boardwalk path through the dunes. At the beach, remark at the sea lions as your knowledgeable guide interprets their behaviour and habits from a safe distance. On this memorable wildlife experience, occasionally spot members of the colony snoozing in the sand dunes or in the middle of the path. Seal Bay has the third largest breeding colony of Australian Sea Lions.

Raptor Domain Kangaroo Island - suggestion

Meet the passionate team at Raptor Domain and learn of their commitment to the protection and conservation of birds and reptiles through rehabilitation, education and research. Interact with their rescued wildlife with Flight Birds of Prey experiences where you will meet laughing kookaburras, wedge-tailed eagles, black kites, owls and cockatoos. Meet the resident Australian reptiles during the Reptile Presentation and get up close with snakes, lizards, scorpions and snakes.

Your accommodation: Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge

Stay in four-star accommodation with an award-winning restaurant and surrounded by trees, birdlife, animals and fronting the tranquil ocean waters of the American River…Quite simply, there is no better haven to base yourself on your visit or revisit to KI.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 127 kms / 79 miles : 1.6 hours

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Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 7
Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) to Cape Jarvis on the Sealink Ferry

SeaLink Kangaroo Island’s ferry service operates between Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island and Cape Jervis (two hours south of Adelaide). The journey takes just 45 minutes for the 16km crossing.

Cape Jervis to Adelaide

Travel along the coastline of the St Vincent Gulf to the iconic McLaren Vale wine region. Here, you can visit galleries and taste wine at some of the 45 cellar doors, including Yangarra, d’Arenberg, and Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard. McLaren Vale is also a haven for foodies.
From here, it’s an easy 45-minute drive to central Adelaide. Wander the cultural boulevard of North Terrace – home to the South Australian Museum and Adelaide Botanic Garden.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 104 kms / 65 miles : 1.5 hours

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Ultimate Kangaroo Island Roadtrip - Day 8
Return your vehicle to Adelaide Airport

Drop your vehicle at the Adelaide Airport as stipulated in your itinerary.

Farewell from Adelaide

Farewell Adelaide today. If there is more of Australia or New Zealand you would like to explore, talk to your sales consultant about planning your next stop!

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.3 hours

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