Australian Wildlife Conservancy on Kangaroo Island

In a country that offers abundant wildlife experiences, Australia’s Kangaroo Island provides the opportunity to explore an unspoilt, natural environment on a scale that is rare. Kangaroo Island, known as KI by the locals, is big and surprisingly diverse; its best feature being the natural wildlife sanctuary it embraces.

KI’s wildlife is its biggest highlight, but many other scenic treasures are to be found here: The white, sandy beaches are unspoilt, uncrowded and unmissable. The soaring cliffs, dense forest and wetlands protected in the several conservation parks are testament to the island’s serious commitment to sustainable tourism and wildlife conservancy; and its limited industry keeps the island green and clean, while focusing on specialties that add to the diversity.

Over a third of the island is a Conservation or National park encompassing five Wilderness Protection areas. On your hikes on the many walking trails in the protected areas of Flinders Chase National Park and nearby Hanson Bay, you are certain to see platypus, kangaroos, wallabies, tiger snakes, dolphins, penguins, seals and a variety of birds – all in the wild and all in their most natural environment.

The Remarkable Rocks, a mass of granite boulders atop a sheer granite dome dropping 75 m to the sea, are not to be missed. At Admiral’s Arch, spot the Australian Sea Lions and New Zealand Fur Lions in great numbers.

At Seal Bay visitors can walk among the only accessible colony of hundreds of Australian Sea Lions who gather together. Seal Bay underscores the commitment to sustainable tourism in balance with environmental needs. A simple visitor center leads to a boardwalk for beachfront viewing areas where the sea lions can be observed basking, playing and returning from fishing expeditions. Access to the sand, however, is possible only with a ranger, and only on the seal’s terms. No elaborate tourism mania bedecks this area, where the animals come first.

At Kelly Hill Conservation Park. climb up the rock faces and crevasses of the magnificent caves, with their impressive stalactites, stalagmites and helictites. Kelly Hill is an ideal spot to try adventure caving.

Fairy Penguins are found living and breeding in their burrows along the coastline, with guided tours available daily in Penneshaw and Kingscote, the island’s main towns. One of the most entertaining sights is also the daily pelican feeding time in Kingscote, as well as watching the only remaining strain of pure Ligurian bees in the world at work. The honey they make is one of KI’s specialized environmentally friendly industries.

To experience KI’s history up-close, consider staying in one of the old stone lighthouse cottages dating back to the 1800’s. Found along the coastline, these cottages not only offer a history lesson and a mesmerizing coastline where marine and wildlife abounds – they also provide real adventure for youngsters!

Beyond it’s enviable position as Australia’s best natural wildlife sanctuary and it’s entrancing beauty, Kangaroo Island serves as a model of an ecologically protected, sustainable tourism destination upholding wildlife conservancy.