Sustainability of biodiversity is more than just a catch cry, it’s a reality with all the myriad delights that bring.
Environment isn’t just a word on Kangaroo Island. In every direction and on every day, you are immersed in nature.
Wherever you live on the island, even in the towns, you can have regular contact with wildlife – wallabies, echidnas, kangaroos, koalas, goannas and an abundance of birdlife (with 267 bird species attracting bird watchers to our island from all over the world).
In fact, it’s almost impossible to avoid nature on Kangaroo Island – it’s such a wild and unspoilt place. Thirty percent of the island is protected in parks and Islanders maintain careful stewardship over the remainder. The local Natural Resources Management Board works alongside the community to provide strategic leadership for the management of vegetation, water and other natural resources.
Nature is at the heart of much of what happens on Kangaroo Island. So whether you are growing a crop, farming sheep, operating a bed & breakfast, or building a house – being connected to the environment and using resources mindfully becomes second nature.
There are so many places and opportunities to enjoy the wildness here. Many and varied ecosystems thrive in its 4500 square kilometres and you can spend a lifetime exploring. Rugged coasts and cliffs line the south coast, where wind and waves that have not seen land since Antarctica will take your breath away. In a single one-hour drive along this coast you can experience coastal dunes, lush bushland and cool climate rainforest.
The calmer north coast offers a different perspective, of afternoon walks and clean, white swimming beaches.
If you’re on (or in) the water, it’s likely you will get more than a peek of migrating whales, fur seals and dolphins that thrive amidst reefs and sea meadows of global renown.
The island’s largest park, Flinders Chase National Park, was founded almost a century ago after decades of lobbying by passionate members of the Royal Society of South Australia. It became one of Australia’s first national parks and remains a spectacularly diverse place to explore, with 400 native plant species, more than half of the island’s total. National parks cover the island’s length and breadth; Seal Bay is one of Australia’s most popular visitor destinations, winning the 2016 award for best ecotourism location in South Australia and is a must-visit location on the tourist trail along with Remarkable Rocks, Admiral’s Arch, Kelly Hill Caves and the famed Cape du Couedic lighthouse. Nature is a job creator here, with parks and wildlife experiences a big employer – not surprising considering our natural assets and leadership in ecotourism.
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail was lauded by Lonely Planet as one of the best new openings in 2016. Media interest, trail and accommodation bookings and the launch of an annual marathon event demonstrate the growing appeal of adventure tourism, the merits of major investment, and the extraordinary appeal of this island named after Australia’s most famous inhabitant.
Our Mediterranean-style climate offers four distinct seasons to enjoy, each with its unique charms: bushwalking is bliss in lush and green winter (average temperatures 7-15°C); native wildflowers bring spring to life (average temperatures 10-21°C); so many beaches await you in summer (average temperatures 15-27°C); and picnicking belongs to the still and warm evenings of autumn (average temperatures 12-22°C). Easterly breezes take the edge off typical southern Australian midsummer heat and the nearby sea keeps winter temperatures steady.
All over the island, nature is so accessible. It isn’t unusual to find yourself at a deserted white beach where your only company is a pelican or a pod of dolphins loping along the shoreline; or in the bush, surrounded only by trees, the sounds of nature and wallabies foraging in the undergrowth. You will feel a million miles away from civilisation. In fact, this might be one of the few places left on Earth that you can find a space where no person has stood before.
Perhaps now is the time to make the move to Kangaroo Island and fall in love with your own place in paradise.