KI’s isolation makes it rich in eco-diversity; its fertile and pristine environment producing naturally spectacular fare. The island’s flourishing food and wine industry feature an array of gourmet delights, from top-shelf dairy products to sustainably harvested seafood, cold climate wines and organic olive oil.
Pop by the local Penneshaw, Parndana or Queenscliff hotels and challenge your notions of traditional pub food, or work your way through menus focused on regional flavours at Yellow Ash n Chili, Restaurant Bella or Sorrento’s. If you’ve saved some room, why not head straight to the source and embark on the culinary crusades below?
Kangaroo Islands excellent food experiences
Farm Gate & Cellar Door Trail
Meet local producers and the products at their source by adventuring along the Kangaroo Island Farm Gate & Cellar Door Trail. The self-guided driving route covers three areas – the Dudley Peninsula, Central and South Coast and Kingscote – each boasting unique flavours, eateries, and scenery. Sample “nature’s products as nature intended” with a little gourmet flair added for good measure on an indulgent day trip to KI’s distilleries, farms and cellar doors. Keep an eye out for the Eat Local signs and lend your support (and appetite!) to South Australia’s flourishing foodie scene.
The natural flavours of KI are distilled and extolled at Kangaroo Island Spirits, where boutique spirits and liqueurs are brewed with hints of natural delights such as wild fennel, honey and juniper berry. Producing a range of award-winning tipples under a traditional philosophy ensures the flavours truly shine – you can sample the likes of chilli Vodka, lime and ginger liqueur and mulberry gin at the rustic cellar door. Knowledgeable staff guiding you through free tastings and a signature affogato coffee with home-made ice cream will complete the epicurean experience.
Address: 856 Playford Highway, Cygnet River
Kangaroo Island has a sweeter than usual claim to fame as the only place in the world where purebred Ligurian bees still exist. The bees were imported from Italy in the late 1800s and are known for churning out exceptionally high-quality honey. The island is also home to Dave and Jenny Clifford’s Honey farm – an iconic site where around 300 buzzing hives produce a whopping 20 tonnes of the sticky substance each year. The crowd favourite honey ice cream is exclusively made and sold at the farm, along with honey mead, biscuits, candles and assorted honey infused by the local flora.
Address: 1157 Elsegood Road, Haines
Most visitors to the Island Pure Sheep Dairy are surprised to learn that, yes, you really can milk sheep! While most of our supermarket dairy is bovine-based, sheep’s milk lends itself perfectly to top-shelf cheese and yoghurt. Buttery manchego, silky halloumi, creamy feta and light ricotta are all handmade at Island Pure, available for you to try and buy on site. As Australia doesn’t have a distinct “milking sheep”, Island Pure’s flock has been amassed using some different breeds based on genetic traits that make them top milkers. Try to visit during the milking time (between 14:00 and 16:00) to see them in action.
Address: 127 Gum Creek Road, Cygnet River
Marron, also known as freshwater crayfish, is a KI delicacy. Originally hailing from Western Australia, marron freely inhabits creeks, dams and special growing ponds around the island. Seafood lovers can feast on the crustacean fresh from the tank to plate at the Andermel Marron Cafe and will be hard-pressed to go past the “poachers platter”: Marron served two ways with prawn skewers, scallops and bush tucker sauces from the cafe's herb orchard. The Marron Cafe boasts the complete food and wine experience where dishes are complimented by the farm’s wine label, Two Wheeler Creek.
Address: 804 Harriet Road, Heartland
Our top wine & vine recommendations
Dudley’s cliff top cellar door boasts some of the best views around, with a wooden deck opening out to the island’s edge plunging into the sea. Just 10 minutes from the Penneshaw ferry terminal, the cellar door offers tastings of the dozen varietals under the Dudley label, including Shearing Shed Red, Cape Heart Riesling and limited releases like the Savvy Sauvy. Grapes are grown over some 20 acres of vines running alongside the winery on the peninsula, producing cool-climate drops that complement the light meals on offer – you can even create your gourmet platter of fine regional cheeses, dips, meats and seafood.
Address: 1153 Willoughby Road, Dudley Peninsula
From its elevated coastal position, Sunset Winery overlooks the Eastern Cover towards the township of American River and, no surprises here, is a spectacular location to watch the sunset. Sunset's savoury tasting platter combines the label’s award-winning drops like the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and a selection of Shiraz and Chardonnay with local KI produce, including Island Pure sheep’s milk cheese and Clifford’s Farm honey. Highlighting the island’s spectacular food, wine and seascape scenery, Sunset Winery is a welcoming spot for a light lunch or morning or afternoon tea.
Address: 4564 Hog Bay Road, Dudley Peninsula
Holed up in a converted aircraft hangar in Antechamber Bay, Chapman River Wines’ cellar door is one of Kangaroo Island’s more eclectic wine experiences. The rustic charm of the tin-shed setting is matched by the classic country hospitality and the delightfully named “Happiness” wine range. From the floral Happiness Chardonnay to the oaky Happiness Cabernet Sauvignon, you can sample a selection of boutique wines with a platter or dessert (homemade mud cake, anyone?). The generously sized platters are laden with gourmet dips, freshly made biscuits, local halloumi, cold cuts, salads and fruits.
Address: 73 Allen Lashmar Road, Dudley Peninsula
Two Wheeler Creek Wines is a vineyard and cellar door run in conjunction with the Andermel Marron Cafe. Championed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, Two Wheeler Creek has more recently expanded their varieties to include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling. The cellar door at the Marron shed and the on-site cafe serve Two Wheeler wines as well as a range of “bush tucker” products including a lemon myrtle tartare sauce and aniseed salad dressing. Dine al fresco and experience everything KI is renowned for: fresh food, premium wine and stunning South Australian panoramas.
Address: 804 Harriet Road, Heartland