Kangaroo Island adventure, here we come. Six AM and the three of us had managed to get out of bed. We finished packing the car and started on the 1.5-hour drive to Cape Jervis from Adelaide. Meandering along the coastline past Second Valley, we watched the sunrise over the hills. Our Sealink ferry was boarding at [8:30].
One of the challenges of visiting a place like Kangaroo Island is knowing what’s worth seeing, especially when you have a time limit. Being on a tour helps you experience the best of KI in the shortest amount of time.
We had booked onto KI Adventure Tours’ 2 Day Kangaroo Island Wilderness Explorer Tour. At $445/pp leaving Adelaide, it’s fantastic value. I’ll share more on that at the end of this post.
The default tour option will pickup and return to Adelaide. We decided to take the 4WD over to continue exploring for an extra two days.
KI Adventure Tour Day 1
We jumped off the ferry in Penneshaw and met our tour guide, Kate. With as much energy as a double espresso, Kate made us feel at home from the get-go “Welcome to the KI Adventure Tour family!”. Kate ran through the house rules; we introduced ourselves and we hit the road. For two days, this would be our family.
Our first stop was Rob’s Shearing and Sheep Dogs, a small family farm on KI. Rob called his sheep dogs and ran a live mustering and sheep shearing demonstration. Talking about farm life and the process of raising sheep for wool, Rob shared some insight into the agriculture industry on KI. The highlight? When the shears came out. It’s not often that we see sheep being shorn and the group was mesmerised by the process. Rob continued to share about wool classing and even pulled out an old spinning wheel to turn raw wool into yarn.
With Rob’s stories on our minds, we jumped back on the bus to see the incredible views of Pennington Bay. We spent a few moments to take some photos then continued onto Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery.
Though Eucalyptus Oil distilling was a major industry on Kangaroo Island throughout the 1930’s, Emu Ridge only started distilling in 1991 when a drop in wool prices challenged the family business to think outside the box. While there, we learnt about the history of Eucalyptus Distilling on KI as well as the products produced from the oil. As our tour group looked around checking out all the product samples, Kate, our Kangaroo Island Adventure Tour guide was organising lunch for us. Cold meat, salads, and fresh bread. Such a good feed. With the family fed, we all helped tidy, wash up and pack away. Next stop: Seal Bay Conservation Park.
Our tour group rolled into Seal Bay after lunch. With a population of around 1,000 seals, Seal Bay supports the third largest colony of Australian sea lions and we were pretty excited about seeing them. The visitor centre has plenty of information about the seals and the environment in which they live. A touch and feel table with different kinds of seal fur is also on display so you can feel real seal fur!
To see the seals on the beach, you must be on a guided tour. A short 5-minute walk and we were on the beach with the sea lions. We wandered around on the beach for a good 30 minutes while our guide made sure that we had the chance to see the most active sea lions. We had a great time watching the little seal pups playing on the beach. What a great experience being up close to these majestic creatures!
Seeing sea lions on the beach was a pretty neat highlight but up next was the Little Sahara Sand Dunes and we were all keen beans to give sand boarding a go. The climb to the top with our boards was tough. The tallest dune stood around 70m above sea-level.
Our group made it to the top and our guide Kate broke the ice by flying down the dune at full speed. She’d obviously had plenty of practice at this! Working with Kangaroo Island Adventure tours has its perks. The rest of us stood at the top looking down on the near vertical drop with a whole world of thoughts spinning through our minds. Cleo and I both had some good crashes. We had the choice of stand up and sit down boards to accommodate every skill/adventure level and boy was it good fun!
An hour later, we finished up exhausted and with sand in places you shouldn’t get sand. A shower was required and with our tour bus heading for our accommodation, that was first up on the list.
Pulling into Vivonne Bay Lodge, located alongside one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, we had the chance to relax. This place is perfect for adventurers and offers kayaks and bikes for use during the afternoon. Cleo and Steph went for a kayak with a few others while I went for a walk to the beach and sat down to go through some photos. The lodge also offers internet access. Yay!
At the end of the day, the whole tour group came back together for a BBQ dinner and beers. What a relaxing end to a day full of great experiences and that’s just day one of the Kangaroo Island Adventure!
KI Adventure Tour Day 2
After a night sleeping in one of the most comfortable beds I’d ever been in, I was pumped for another day on the Kangaroo Island Adventure. Rested up, Steph and Cleo were ready to go too. We had breakfast and packed our gear back into the bus.
First stop of the day: Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Wow, this was the first time that I’d seen Koala’s up close in the wild and what a privilege! As our group walked through the eucalypt trees, we must have seen 15 Koala’s enjoying their life in the trees. Some of them had cute little babies as well. We even had the chance to see one on the ground finding a new tree to climb!
There’s a beauty to being in an animal’s natural environment and we had the chance to watch a male koala courting a female. There was a lot of unusual sounds made. Long story short, the poor bloke was rejected.
We had a coffee at the cafe amongst the Eucalypts before jumping back onto the bus. We were off to Flinders Chase National Park, home of the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.
The Remarkable Rocks are a beautiful natural formation of rocks on Kangaroo Island and chances are, you’ve seen photographs of it. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also a playground of climbing challenges. Our whole group had a great time capturing photos of the natural landscape as well as those “I’ve been here” selfies. Kate took this great group photo of all of us on the rocks.
As the morning moved on, loads of other tours started arriving so we raced off to get ahead of the crowd. Next destination, Admirals Arch.
Located on Cape Du Couedic on Kangaroo Island’s south-west coast, Admirals Arch is not only an iconic land formation, it’s also home to a colony of southern fur seals. Following a boardwalk from the car park, you walk over the hidden archway on the way to the viewing platform. As you follow the boardwalk, you can stop at various points to watch the seals playing in the water and on the rocks. The Admirals Arch formation is an incredible landmark and it’s topped off by the seals that you often see playing at the base of it.
With another KI landmark ticked off the list, we took a short drive to the Flinders Chase NP picnic area for lunch. Kate, our incredible tour guide prepped our meal. While other tours were eating pre-made sandwiches, we were smashing down BBQ chicken wraps. Heck yes!
Lunch was good but I probably ate way too much. With a fair bit of driving to get back to Penneshaw for the ferry, the afternoon was quite relaxing. We stopped at Stokes Bay where we had a chance to explore the beach, have more coffee and enjoy an ice cream.
Between Stokes Bay and Penneshaw, we pulled up for a few photo opportunities before getting pulling into town for dinner and drinks. A few of us stopped at the local pub for a final chat before parting ways.
Our two-day Kangaroo Island Adventure Tour had come to an end and we had such a great time. There’s always a limit on how much you can fit into a two-day tour, so we stayed an extra two nights on KI to see a few more things while we were over there. I’ll share that with you all another day!
Want to go on your own Kangaroo Island Adventure?
We had a great time with Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a short, all inclusive tour of KI. Naturally, you’re not going to see everything the island has to offer in the two days but you will definitely see the highlights and capture great photos of your adventures to write back home with.
Here’s what you get on the 2 Day Kangaroo Island Wilderness Explorer Tour:
- Return SeaLink coach and ferry travel from Adelaide
- 2 days small coach touring with an experienced guide on Kangaroo Island
- Visit Various KI Highlights: Rob’s Shearing and Sheepdogs, Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery, Seal Bay Conservation Park, Little Sahara Sand Dunes, Vivonne Bay, Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch
- Accommodation on a 206 hectare private bush property at Vivonne Bay which has 1km of beachfront access
- Free time for activities including kayaking, bike riding, bushwalking or swimming at nearby Vivonne Bay beach
- 8 person dormitory rooms with bed linen included and shared bathrooms
- Free WiFi at Vivonne Bay Lodge
- All entry fees to Kangaroo Island attractions
- Meals: Day 1 – Lunch/Dinner, Day 2 – Breakfast/Lunch