The Best things to do on Kangaroo Island


A local guide of the best places to eat, drink, stay, relax and explore in McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula. This month we feature a special on Kangaroo Island.


The Australian Sea Lion

Australian sea lions are one of the rarest species in the world and their entire population is estimated to less than 12,000. Of these, 85 percent live in South Australia and the other 15 percent in Western Australia.


KIS – Kangaroo Island Spirits

Jon and Sarah Lark’s Kangaroo Island Spirits in Cygnet River is a ‘must do’. Their spirit range is broad, in particular their Gin options which appears to be the South Australian ‘go to’ spirit at the moment.

The Gin really reflects the essence of Kangaroo Island with inclusion of various foliage from the islands bush – coastal salt bush, lemon & aniseed myrtle and native juniper to name a few.

‘Old Tom’ is a particular favourite style that appeals. It reflects Jon’s cheeky disposition but fierce passion for his business. Also, not unlike the residents of Kangaroo Island who have a healthy sensistivity to the ecology and environment that they live amongst but with a bit of wildman/ woman thrown in.

With a collection of many awards and a history now of over 10 years…..this artistry is at its peak! Support this wonderful business by purchasing a couple of bottles for your KI journey or as a wonderful momento for your liquor cabinet when you return home.


The Fat Beagle

This cafe was a welcome respite from a sudden Summer wind that had blown up with a few drops of rain. I needed my morning brew whilst waiting  for a still sleeping teenager (van life!). The menu is limited, but the value equation is good. With a family run feel, homemade cakes and lovely coffee. A great introduction to the Island in which the staff were happy to promote.

The annexe to the café is dog friendly…for those that bring their pets along…no fat beagle in sight on this particular day.


2 Nat Thomas Street
Penneshaw, South Australia 5222


Vivonne Bay General Store

Vivonne Bay General Store feels like the last place to collect any convenience goods before embarking into the wilds of the Western side of KI. It  becomes to many people, a one stop shop for petrol, coffee and convenience goods. Some lovely local lads working there kept the place jovial and friendly whilst giving out fishing tips and the highlights of Vivonne Bay.

As it turns out the take away menu is scrumptious and after learning of their infamous whiting burger, I returned for a New Years Eve whiting treat washed down with a cold beer. The blue wrens were happy to serenade from the picnic benches (hoping for a little crumb or two). Plenty of Island good feels with a little bit of bush luxury.


Raptor Domain – In flight Birds of Prey

Don’t miss the opportunity to see the ‘In Flight Birds of Prey’ show which is the only display of its kind in South Australia. Meet an array of birds including Wedge Tail Eagles, Magpies, Laughing Kookaburras and my favourite ‘Casper’ the friendly Barn Owl.

All birds have been injured or orphaned. Those that are not suitable for release are trained and lovingly become part of the show.

The hour long show is entertaining, educational and shows the genuine love all of the presenters have for these birds.

Well worth the trip…and you can always add on an extra show like the ‘Venom Pit.’

A definite highlight on Kangaroo Island.


Western Island Campground and Wildlife Reserve

The Western KI Caravan Park has well maintained and shaded powered sites, ideal for your stay on Kangaroo Island. There is also abundant  Australian wildlife in the caravan park. With a few short walks within the park – The Lagoon walk and Koala tree top walk you are guaranteed to spot koala’s, kangaroos, wallabies, ekhidnas and loads of birds.

A full camp kitchen makes meal preparations a breeze.

The Western Island campground also has self contained cabins for a little bit of extra luxury. Transfers to and from the Kangaroo Island Wilderness can be negotiated with the park managers.

Further Information

Hot Tip Special

Super special walk on fares exist on market day or on arrival of the Cruise ships. Go to link for full schedule to book a bargain ferry ride now!

Other Links



Stay tuned, the Oliver’s Taranga team will share more of our favourite places in Winter!

246 Seaview Road, McLaren Vale SA 5171

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