Why to put Kangaroo Island, Australia on your travel to do list?

Kangaroo Island is only a few minutes away from Australia’s mainland. It takes you about half an hour with the SeaLink ferry to get from Adelaide to Penneshaw (at the east side of the island). It’s the perfect place to disconnect from the world an reconnect with nature.


A cottage surrounded by kangaroos


Waves and Wildlife Cottages is a family business. Paul, Katja and their daughters Poppy and Sunny really ensure you get the best overnight experience at Kangaroo Island.

The cottages are located on the north coast of Kangaroo Island, at Stokes Bay beach. It’s a sanctuary for wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, birds and echidnas and apparently an occasional koala can be seen as well.

There are about 10 cottages – “small” ones with one bedroom and a few large cottages with 3 bedrooms. But don’t worry, the one-bedroom cottages are more than sizeable enough. Anyway, considering the views, you won’t spend much time inside anyway. The cottages stand one next to the other, with plenty of space in-between (about 20 metres), so you still can enjoy your privacy to the fullest. At the time we went, we didn’t see many of our neighbours anyway. We were really lucky with having the cottage at the far end of the “line”, which offered us to an unobstructed view from our terrace.

When checking out the website, it indeed appeared that the area was often visited by kangaroos. Nevertheless, a little sceptical as we are, we didn’t expect too much of it and would’ve been glad if we had seen an occasional kangaroo a few tens of metres from our cottage. Imagine our surprise when we were welcomed by literally a few tens of kangaroos. They were sitting on our drive way, next to the cottage, in front of the terrace – literally everywhere! This was too good to be true…

Overwhelmed by the beauty of the place and the warm welcome by our furry friends, we started loading our stuff from the car into the cottage. A nice surprise left by Paul and Katja on our table was a bottle of red wine and jelly with a little welcome note – so nice!

At dinner time, we gathered our sandwiches and drinks and put everything on our outside table, to keep enjoying the views. It was pretty obvious that the cracking noise of the bags was familiar to the kangaroos. Before we knew it, about 20 of them were coming closer, looking up at us from beneath the terrace, hoping to get some food. Of course we didn’t, as you’re not allowed to feed wildlife. It was a funny view though – and maybe a little creepy as they kept staring at us for like 15 minutes. Luckily, the days after they didn’t do that anymore – guess they learn quickly if you don’t give them anything…

Nature hikes


The island is divided in several sections. As we were only there for 3 days, we didn’t get to see the entire island. We wanted to focus on nature and that’s why Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hills Conservation Park were the areas we explored.

I’ve listed below the highlights and the names of the trails. If you want more details to plan your trip, the websites of both parks really offers you everything you need, including maps.


Black Swamp Hike (Flinders Chase National Park)


This hike incorporates parts of the Platypus Waterholes walk and is a 9km loop. We started the trail as early as we could (at 9am when the park opened), hoping to be able to see some platypus, but unfortunately we weren’t that lucky. We did see kangaroo, wallaby, echidna and goanna, though. As the trail leads you through forest and woodland, it’s an ideal morning exercise.

Heritage Walk (Flinders Chase National Park)


This 1,5km walk we mostly did because of the fact that the maps indicate that this is a great walk to view koalas. And that paid off! It also allows you to learn about the cultural heritage of the early settlers at Rocky River and the role of the Park as an island sanctuary for threatened species.

Lighthouse Heritage Walk (Flinders Chase National Park)


The 600m stroll around Cape du Couedic Lightstation is mostly about the history of the lighkeepers and the ocean views.

Remarkable Rocks Walk (Flinders Chase National Park)


Also this 1km walk is very easy and isn’t about the walk, but to gaze upon the stunning geological rock formations. It’s hard to believe that this is only nature (wind) doing its work – it’s better than most art pieces – at least that’s our opinion.

Admirals Arch Walk (Flinders Chase National Park)


This is a very easy walk, on a boardwalk. Although it’s only 1 km, it will take you some time, as you can’t resist the long-nosed fur-seals making noise on the rocks beneath. And again, the views are indescribable.

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (Kelly Hill Conservation Park)


Let’s be clear – we didn’t do the entire Wilderness Trail. That takes you about 5 days and unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury of spending that much time on the island. We only did part of it (about 15 km) – from Cape Younghusband to Grassdale and finally to the Kelly Hill Caves. We didn’t enter the caves themselves, though.