When Is the Best Time
Kangaroo Island is a year-round destination, although the seasons are quite different. Summer is beautiful warm therefore, Kangaroo Island is pretty busy and high priced. It's vice versa in the winter. It frequently rains, but the island is not overrun. Expect more precipitation from April to October. Continue reading to figure out which season you may prefer.
Weather and Crowds by Season
Spring ( September-November)
Goanna basking in the sun
Day temps in September are on average around 15°C. Rain decreases in October. Temps increase and reach 20°C in November. Camping is still chilly in the night with one digit temps. The wildflower season starts.
Summer (December-February) Peak Season
It's the most popular season with the best weather conditions. The downside almost everything is fully booked and high priced. The temps are on average around 25°C at daytime and 12°C in the night. These are the warmest and driest months of the year.
The crowds thin out except for Easter. The island gets its tranquility back, and wildlife can be observed. The little penguins start nesting. Rain increases already around April, instead, less wind, which causes a calm sea. Day temps in March and April are above 20°C and below in May. Nights are already cool around 10°C.
Winter (June-August) Low Season
Temps are pleasant for winter around 14°C at daytime and 7°C in the night. It frequently rains, but on the other side, clear and sunny days occur. It's the coldest and wettest time of the year. Echidnas may hibernate at this time of the year, depending on the temps. Besides, those who are visiting KI to see wildlife, winter is the best choice. There are abundant food, and the newborn kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies typically use this season to emerge from their mother's pouches. Whales can be spotted from the shore from May to September. Winter helps keep the sometimes-exorbitant prices of staying on the island much more manageable. Traveling in the off-peak season also leads to lower overall visitor numbers, which adds to the feeling of peace and solitude that can be had at any number of places on KI.
Quick Facts When to Spot Wildlife in Their Natural Habitat
- More active at dusk or they are nocturnal like the possums
- If it's hot koalas and kangaroos, prefer to rest in the shade
- Koalas are more active during the breeding season from October to March
- Goannas may be spotted basking in the sun
Echidnas can be spotted throughout the year if it's not too cold during winter
How to Get to Kangaroo Island
You can get here either by plane with Qantas from Adelaide (in 2018 flights were offered from Melbourne during summer) or by ferry from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw in the north-east. The ferry ride takes roughly 45 minutes. If traveling by plane, we recommend renting a car to explore the island independently.
Top Tip and Accommodations on Kangaroo Island
Usually, Kangaroo Island is an expensive destination to visit, especially when adding the prices for transport to the island and back to the mainland plus your accommodation for your stay. Kangaroo Island is too huge and has too many attractions, hikes, and wildlife. Staying at least two, even three nights is highly recommended. We spent here almost a week. Important is the location; you can either camp in the National Park or stay close to the entrance and visitor centre like at Western KI Caravan Park & Wildlife Reserve. Consider if you stay in Kingscote, it's a 100 km drive one way. Another option next to the Flinders Chase National Park is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat. One thing is for sure; you will experience wildlife in abundance in this remote accommodations on Kangaroo Island.
Top Tours for Kangaroo Island
Traveling to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide has to be well organized. We either recommend a guided long day trip or even better two days. It's quite a journey from Adelaide, and there is so much to explore on KI. Enjoy all the wildlife you usually won't see in such a short time. You can get to the island by return ferry or the best choice you cruise to KI and get back by plane. This saves you lots of time.
Where and Tips
Kangaroo Island is about 70 miles southwest of Adelaide and is Australia's third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island. The island caters to all kinds of travelers; adventurists, beachcombers and outdoor lovers will all enjoy visiting the island alone, with a loved one or with the family. Surfing, fishing, swimming, bushwalking, and canoeing are just a few of the popular activities on Kangaroo Island.
Peaceful and quiet beaches during autumn and winter
Self-driving around Kangaroo Island (in a campervan or car) is a great way to see the island, and a ferry service from the mainland makes it possible to bring your own car. The climate on Kangaroo Island is very similar to that of the Mediterranean, cool, mild winters with warm summers, though it never really gets too hot or too cold.
5 Hiking Trails on KI
Remarkable Rocks - Flinders Chase
It's just a 15 minutes stroll to the famous rocks. Take your time to get your perfect shot. Quite busy during summer. Enjoy the sunset here.
Admirals Arch Walk - Flinders Chase
A short 15 minutes walk to the well-known cave. Watch for seals; they may lay around.
Rocky River Wilderness Trail - Flinders Chase
Half Day Hike which takes roughly 3 hours for the 9 km long track.
Day Hike to the pristine Hanson Bay Beach
This is a full day hike which may take 7-8 hours included are photo stops. The trail is 18 km long and not a circular trail.
Two Days Hike to Cape Gantheaume
If you like to experience the sheer beauty of the island without any other hikers, this may be your trail. It's not a strenuous hike without any heights but pretty long; 36 km. It starts at the Bales Beach carpark. Several rock formations may remind you to the Great Ocean Road.
If you need more information for hiking on KI have a closer look to all available hikes on KI.
Swimming with Dolphins
Dolphin watching tours, as well as swimming with dolphins, are offered by Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures departing from Kingscote and Emu Bay. If you travel to KI in the peak season book your trip in advance.
Updated by When to be Where