2 hours south of Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is a venerable ecological utopia. The third largest island in Australia, 12 K from the mainland, it has managed to have an ecologically independent growth from even the mainland of OZ. As witnessed by many of the indigenous animals, most species have evolved just a little differently. This is a truly magical place that should be cherished.
The island, since European in habitation, has been used for sheep farming, Eucalyptus Oil distilling, and ecological conservation. New industries have popped up as sheep farming has become more and more unsustainable. Lavender farming, honey production, new wineries, and ecotourism are some of the major ones. The ferry or airplane ride over is fairly expensive, but it keeps crowds small which protects this truly unique place. It is probably the best place to see a large number of the Australian animals in natural and efficient way.
There are several protected species on the island including Seal Lions, Seals, Kangaroos, the Platypus, and many others. A large portion of the island is devoted to conservation through the National Park system. Facilities and roads are good for the remoteness of the place, Do plan to come over with everything you will need for your trip unless you are only staying in the major cities. The Island is bigger than you first think. Trying to do the whole thing in one day is not advisable.
To avoid an embarrassing situation for all concerned please be prepared to purchase drinking water. While I usually reuse all of my plastic bottles, the bottles aren’t the issue here. It is the shortage of water. Most of the locals rely on collected rain water or water from a fast evaporating reservoir. They have to live on that water for an unknown amount of time. By asking for their personal water supply I was unknowingly insulting them. I brazenly asked for a refill a couple of times only to have it become quite embarrassing until I figured out what was going on. At one place I was met with open hostility when I asked. Everything on the Island must be brought over by the ferry including bottled water. This makes resources scarce, and expensive. You are the tourist, be prepared. This is an ecological haven, not Disney World (learned the hard way).
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