Why Autumn Is The Best Time To Visit Kangaroo Island

31 December 2021
Read Time: 6.6 mins
If you ask us, autumn is the perfect time of year to visit Kangaroo Island. The days are milder, the nights are cooler, and the wet season hasn’t kicked in yet. Six times the size of Singapore, Kangaroo Island is much more than a quick day-trip destination. From food and wine to stunning beaches and wildlife experiences, there’s something on Kangaroo Island for everyone. Here are some of the things you won’t want to miss on your next trip. 


Wildlife 

Often described as a ‘zoo without fences’, Kangaroo Island is a wildlife-lover's paradise. Koalas, wallabies, sea lions, penguins and, of course, kangaroos, are just some of the wonderful creatures to call this island off the coast of South Australia home.  

 

Seal Bay 

Famous for its resident colony of Australian sea lions, Seal Bay is the perfect place to witness these endangered creatures in their natural habitat. 
 
With no cages or enclosures, you can get up close and personal with the sea lions on a guided tour. Or, for those who’d rather admire from afar, Seal Bay has a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk leading to a number of well-placed viewing platforms. 
 
There’s thought to be less than 12,000 Australian sea lions left in the wild, with most of them found in South Australia. Don’t miss the chance to see them next time you’re visiting Kangaroo Island. 
Sea lions at Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island Image (c) Chris Bray

Penneshaw Penguin Centre 

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! Kangaroo Island is home to a small colony of Little Penguins, and your best chance of spotting them is on a night-time walking tour. Little Penguins are well named, standing around 30 centimetres tall and weighing just over a kilogram. 
 
Pennehaw Penguin Centre offers tours all year round and the cooler autumn nights make for perfect conditions. 

 

Fishing 

The mild weather and calm waters that are typical from March to May make autumn the perfect time of year to go fishing on Kangaroo Island. Relax and take in the scenery while you wait for a bite or, if you happen to visit over the Easter weekend, get to know the locals and take part in the annual American River Fishing Spectacular competition.  
 
Fishing on the beach Image (c) South Australian Tourism Commission
If fishing isn’t your thing, why not try boating or kayaking instead? The calm conditions make for the perfect opportunity to experience Kangaroo Island from the water. 

Nature 

The autumn scenery on Kangaroo Island is stunning and the milder temperatures make it the perfect time of year for exploring.  
 
Gumnuts, peapods, banksias and sugar gums are all on show between March and May, so it’s a great opportunity to appreciate the native vegetation found on Kangaroo Island.  
 
Make sure you pack your camera because we have a feeling you’re going to want to capture this natural beauty! 

Beaches 

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean trips to the beach are out. Autumn often means sunny skies and calm seas on Kangaroo Island, and with over 50 different beaches to choose from, there’s plenty of options. Here are some of our favourites.  

 

Vivonne Bay 

Located on the south coast of Kangaroo Island, Vivonne Bay was once voted one of Australia’s best beaches! Offering six kilometres of white sand and gentle waters, it’s not hard to see why! 
Vivonne Bay Image (c) South Australian Tourism Commission

Snelling Beach 

One of the most popular beaches on Kangaroo Island’s north coast, Snelling Beach is the place to be if surfing is your thing. Or, if you’d prefer to keep your feet on dry land, why not take in the beach views from the North Coast Road lookout? Better yet, go for an evening stroll and admire the autumn sunset. 
Snelling Beach Image (c) South Australian Tourism Commission

Emu Bay 

Also on the north coast, Emu Bay is known for its clear, blue waters and unique shale geological formation. It’s home to a fishing jetty built in 1918, and if you find yourself on the beach in the evening, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Emu Bay’s Little Penguin colony. 
Emu Bay Jetty Image (c) South Australian Tourism Commission

Stokes Bay 

An hour's drive from Kingscote, Kangaroo Island’s largest town, you’ll find Stokes Bay. If calm waters and protected beaches are more your style, you won’t want to miss this spot. Pack up a picnic and enjoy Stokes Bay’s peaceful atmosphere.  

Food and wine 

Make the most of the mild autumn temperatures and longer days by experiencing some of the best food and wine spots on the island.  

 

Dudley Wines 

If you like your wine paired with incredible views, then Dudley Wines Clifftop Cellar Door is for you. Sample the local wines on offer and enjoy a pizza lunch while you gaze out across the Backstairs Passage to South Australia’s mainland.  
Dudley Wines Image (c) South Australian Tourism Commission

False Cape Wines 

For a wine tasting among the gum trees don’t miss False Cape Wines Cellar Door on the Dudley Peninsula.  
 
Enjoy deluxe platters and home-made pies while you sip on quality wine and take in the rustic beauty around you. Complete with a kid's menu, playground and plenty of space, this is an experience for the whole family.  
False Cape Wines Image (c) Isaac Forman

The Odd Plate 

Serving up a seasonal menu year-round, The Odd Plate is dedicated to bringing the best of the local produce available on Kangaroo Island to your plate. 
 
Full of character and charm, you’ll find this restaurant in a heritage guesthouse built in the 1920s. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal and a glass of wine on a cool autumn night! 

 

Cactus Kangaroo Island 

Cactus Kangaroo Island is a fully licensed brunch spot, specialising in freshly squeezed juices, great coffee, homemade cakes and local produce. 
Cactus Kangaroo Island Image (c) Meaghan Coles

Kangaroo Island Spirits 

Home to Australia’s very first dedicated Gin Distillery, Kangaroo Island Spirits, or KIS as it’s known to the locals, is a must-visit for liqueur lovers.  
 
Why not spend an afternoon in the Gin Garden, tasting the globally recognised spirits produced by Kangaroo Island Spirits with local and native ingredients.
Kangaroo Island Spirits Image (c) Meaghan Coles