Lonely Planet Writer

You will soon be able to fly direct to Australia’s Kangaroo Island from Adelaide and Melbourne

QantasLink has announced it will launch flights to Kangaroo Island, which is great news for anyone planning to visit Australia’s third-largest island. The airline will offer flights from both Adelaide and Melbourne from December, with a schedule that sees more flights during peak seasons.

Get up close and personals with the locals on Kangaroo Island.
Get up close and personals with the locals on Kangaroo Island. Image by Dept. of Environment

The island is 150km long and between 90km and 57km wide, and has several nature reserves to protect its natural vegetation and native animals.

To celebrate the new route, QantasLink is offering special fares of $99 one-way for travel from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, and $199 one-way from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island. This applies for bookings made until 9 June 2017, for travel between 4 December 2017 and 30 April 2018. T & Cs apply.

So what can you do on Kangaroo Island?

Wilderness Trail

The Wilderness Trail opened last October and has already been touted as one of Australia’s great walks. It’s a five-day 61km trek, bringing travellers through some of the island’s most unique nature spots. You will hike through places that were previously unreachable, before coming to the incredible, remote coastline of the Southern Ocean

A panoramic shot of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.
A panoramic shot of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. Image by Dept of Environment.

The highlights of the trail include spotting some amazing wildlife such as possums, bandicoots, wallabies and, of course, kangaroos. The area is home to some of the country’s most unique plants and vegetation, and the trail also takes in popular tourist spots like Remarkable Rocks and the Kelly Hill Cave.

The trail is open all year but it is recommended to visit it during the slightly cooler months between March and November. You can do the trail as a self-guided walker or with a tour operator. Accommodation is provided by four sheltered campgrounds as well as the nearby Southern Ocean Lodge.

Seal Bay Conservation Park

No trip to Kangaroo Island is complete without a visit to Seal Bay. It has been home to an Australian sea lion population for thousands of years, and offers one of the most exceptional nature-based experiences in the world. This is the only place in the world where you can see Australian sea lions at close quarters and walk on a beach where pups play, bulls fight for supremacy and resting mothers suckle their young.

Australian sea lions playing on the beach in Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, Image: Uwe Bergwitz/Shutterstock
Australian sea lions playing on the beach in Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, Image: Uwe Bergwitz/Shutterstock

At Seal Bay, you’ll have incredible views of the coastline and sea lion colony, and will walk through an untouched dune system and on to a perfect sandy beach. You will be given unique insights into how these endangered animals fish, surf, rest, interact with their pups and defend their territory.

Flinders Chase National Park

Flinders Chase National Park is a very popular attraction on Kangaroo Island. It is a sanctuary for endangered species and home to a few geological phenomena, and it includes attractions like Remarkable Rocks, Admiral’s Arch, lighthouses at Cape Borda and Cape du Couedic, and multiple walking trails and camping areas.

The Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island. Image: Azlynn/Budget Travel
The Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island. Image: Azlynn/Budget Travel

Remarkable Rocks is a group of granite boulders on the top of the granite dome located in the western part of the island. Formation of these rocks began 500 million years ago, and the boulders were formed by the rain penetrating the upper layer of the rock, separating it into separate boulders. The sculptures of different shapes and sizes have been created by erosion and the effects of wind, ocean waves and lichen.