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Featured Wildlife Journeys

  • Tammar Wallaby

  • Australian Sea-lion

  • Short-beaked Echidna

  • Kangaroo Island Kangaroo

  • Glossy Black Cockatoo

Exceptional Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Immersion

From: $1,490 USD

Duration: 4 days/3 nights

Type: Groups, Private Charter, Shared.

Departs: Daily

This four day tour allows you to truly immerse yourself on Kangaroo Island. Discover more of the island, including it's history, ecology, landscape, lifestyle, local produce, friendly people and incredible wildlife offerings.

  • Regions visited include the Cygnet Valley, Emu Bay, American River, Pelican Lagoon, Pennington Bay, Flinders Chase National Park, the central plateau and extraordinary south coast landscapes at Seal Bay, where guests will walk on the beach with Australian Sea-lions.

  • Key species regularly encountered are Koalas, Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, endangered Glossy Black Cockatoos, Short-beaked Echidnas, Australian Sea-lions, Long-nosed Fur-seals, Rosenberg's Goanna (warmer months) and a variety of bush birds, shorebirds and seabirds. 

About Exceptional Kangaroo Island: 

Craig and Janet Wickham and their enthusiastic team have been sharing Kangaroo Island's secrets with guests since 1990 and have won numerous national and international awards for their tours. The family-owned operator specialises in deluxe wildlife tours which create an atmosphere where guests find themselves treated as friends, with tours run as a conversation not a commentary, promising good food, good wine and wildlife in the wild.

Price per person based on double occupancy, including touring, meals & accommodation. Single supplements apply. Black-out dates may apply. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (1/4/2022) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*

Itinerary

Tour day-by-day

  • Day 1: Island Life

    The day begins in the Cygnet Valley, traversing through picturesque redgum forests, narrow-leaved mallee and mixed farmland. This region provides habitat for Koalas, many parrots and bush birds. A delicious home-baked morning tea will be served along the way.

    Next up is one of the island's most famed beaches, Stokes Bay, with beautiful white stretches, ideal for spotting shorebirds and seabirds. This region also provides regular wildlife encounters include Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, with Short-beaked Echidnas, Rosenberg's Goanna (warmer months) and a vast range of woodland birds sighted often.

    KI in Style - Hero 12“Kangaroo Island was an amazing place to grow up, and a lot of things I loved as child – the outdoors, untouched nature, ridiculous freedom – are still the same today. We still have that joyful sense of freedom that a lot of places have lost. We’re able to maintain that.”

    Craig Wickham - Owner & Guide

    Travel inland through some of the island's most productive farmland, before breaking for lunch on a private property amongst the redgum forest. Lunch is an elegant seafood barbecue featuring King George whiting, halloumi, potatoes and fresh garden salad served with local wine, beer, soft drinks and spring water.

    After lunch, guests will continue south to Seal Bay, where coastal mallee transitions through coastal heath into dunes.

    This is the opportunity to encounter the third largest colony of Australian Sea-lions on a privately guided tour, where guests will learn about the feeding and breeding behaviour of these photogenic creatures.

    Overnight Accommodation: There are various levels of accomodation available (3-5 star, farmstay, B&Bs). Please enquire to find out options.

  • Day 2: Flinders Chase Focus

    Travellers will venture to the west end of the Island where Flinders Chase National Park covers nearly 75,000 hectares (almost 200,000 acres), where the landscape is dominated by coastal mallee and the "bonsai Eucalyptus”.

    Sustained winds over millenia have carved out a natural sculpture park from solid granite tors, with the highlight being the aptly named Remarkable Rocks. The high vantage point provides an opportunity to look for oceanic bird species (Pacific Gulls, Australasian Gannets and Short-tailed Shearwaters during the warmer months) as the low heath often reveals Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters, Southern Emu-wrens and seasonally, the incessant call of the Western Whipbird. Break for a delectable picnic lunch in the bush, featuring a range of locally sourced items and local wines.

    Guides - Craig Wickham“The south-west corner of the island including Cape Du Couedic and Remarkable Rocks, is really diverse and spectacular. Along with the Long-nosed Fur-seals, I’ve seen Great White Sharks from the clifftops there. Often through the winter, we’ll also see whales, so all of those wildlife encounters in a spectacular coastal setting is good fun."

    Admirals Arch provides a spectacular hangout for up to three pinnipeds, namely the Long-nosed Fur Seal, Australian Fur Seals as well as the occasional Australian Sea-lion. 

    Overnight Accommodation: There are various levels of accomodation available (3-5 star, farmstay, B&Bs). Please enquire to find out options.

  • Day 3: Fine Flavours

    Discover the Fine Flavours of Kangaroo Island! Go behind the scenes to learn about and taste the best produce Kangaroo Island has to offer, including olives, olive oil, oysters, honey, wine and gin..

    Begin the day at Kangaroo Island Olives with a tailgate tasting within the olive grove. The team here produce a range of olive products, including table olives and olive oils.

    Pass by Fryar's Free Range Eggs and learn about their fascinating egg farm. For biosecurity reasons, we cannot enter but can view from the roadside. The hens are free to roam wherever they like, under the watchful eye of their Maremma guardian dogs.

    The Oyster Farm Shop in American River produces delicious pacific oysters in the waters of Eastern Cove. We'll take a look at the production before taking some oysters with us as an appetiser for lunch. 

    Lunch is set-up at the other end of town, overlooking the oyster lease. As you sample these oysters, your guide will prepare an elegant al fresco lunch featuring smoked meats, fresh salad and a selection of local wine and beer. From the lunch location, keep an eye out for Black Swans, Pied Oystercatchers, Royal Spoonbills and Rufous Night Herons.

    After lunch, we visit Clifford's Honey Farm, who have produced delicious Kangaroo Island Ligurian honey since 1973. Take a tour before sampling some of the various honey types - including Jenny's famous honey ice cream!

    Now, time for some more wine! The Islander Estate Vineyards is one of Kangaroo Island's leading wineries. We visit their tasting room to sample their range of stunnig red and white varieties. Only a few minutes up the road is Kangaroo Island Spirits, who have won numerous awards for their gins and liqueurs around the world, including in New York and London.

    Overnight Accommodation: There are various levels of accomodation available (3-5 star, farmstay, B&Bs). Please enquire to find out options.

  • Day 4: East End Explorer

    The exploration of the Dudley Peninsula begins at Pennington Bay situated at the narrowest part of the Island. This Southern Ocean beach is a popular fishing and surf spot and is one of the world's most picturesque stretches of coast. Guests will enjoy a delicious home-baked morning tea, overlooking extensive wave-cut platforms, contrasting deep aqua water, whilst being on the lookout for endangered Hooded Plovers, that often forage at the water's edge.

    Guests will then head east to the serene marine sanctuary that is Pelican Lagoon. This is a prime opportunity to observe Kangaroo Island Kangaroos adjacent the lagoon along with adorable Tammar Wallabies living amongst the tea-tree thickets, that protect them from Australia's largest raptor, the Wedge-tailed Eagle.

    The deep alluvial soils overlying limestone along the Willson River are perfect for grapevines and serve as the group's idyllic picnic lunch spot. The team at False Cape Wines have a newly opened cellar door experience overlooking well-established wines. Guests will sample their range of wines along with delightful local produce.

    Next stop is the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, established in 1852, stands tall on an exposed headland and is the island's most easterly point. Exploring the lighthouse precinct and the granite canyon known as "Devil's Kitchen" provides us with further opportunities to spot seabirds and marine life, with the option to wander with your wildlfie guide along white sandy beaches or seeking out birds on the quiet backwaters of the Chapman River estuary.

    The day concludes in the charming town of Penneshaw, where guests can access a 4WD trail known as Binney's Track. Running adjacent to Baudin Conservation Park, this pristine stretch of coast provides habitat for a range of wildlife including Glossy Black Cockatoos, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Tammar Wallabies and Short-beaked Echidnas.

  • Tour details

    Group Size: Maximum of 12 guests, with a minimum ratio of one guide per 6 guests.
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Kingscote Airport, Accommodations in Emu Bay, Kingscote, American River.
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: Approximately 9:00am - 6:00pm.
    Languages: Translation services private tours available for French, German, Italian and Spanish (must be a private tour)

    Recent Awards

    WINNER TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2018 • 2017 • 2016 • 2015 • 2014 • 2013
    LISTED Top 5 Wildlife Guides by Outside Go Magazine 2015
    WINNER Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Export Industry 2015 by the Australian Tourism Export Council
    WINNER World's Best Specialist Guide by Wanderlust 2021

    How you'll be making a positive impact

    We have aligned our sustainability vision with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
     
    E-WEB-Goal-15Citizen Science with Exceptional Kangaroo Island

    Exceptional Kangaroo Island contributes observations of flora & fauna via iNaturalist, the world’s leading global social biodiversity network. This platform allows our team to create research-quality citizen science data that enables a more detailed picture of our national biodiversity, and assists bodies such as the CSIRO, ecologists and other decision makers to deliver better outcomes for the environment and our species.

    Our guides record observations with iNaturalist Australia by using the iNaturalist app on mobile phones or desktop computers. An observation records an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location on Kangaroo Island. We require photos to be attached to observations for them to become research grade and added to the Atlas of Living Australia.

    This is where you can greatly assist us in capturing images out in the field! Although we make broader observations that we think are valuable to the local scientific community, we have identified the following species to track when we are exploring Kangaroo Island by vehicle, e-bike or by foot.

    Key species we're looking out for include:

    • Glossy Black-Cockatoo
    • Rosenberg's Goanna
    • Hooded Plover
    • Short-beaked Echidna
    • White-bellied Sea-Eagle
    • Bush Stone-curlew
    • Osprey
    • Southern Emu-wren
    • Feral Cat
    E-WEB-Goal-04Protecting Subspecies and Iconics of Kangaroo Island

    To reinforce responsible behaviours around iconic species unique to the island, Exceptional Kangaroo Island has developed a Wildlife Code of Conduct and Guest Briefing Card referencing responsible behaviours for iconic species including the Glossy-Black Cockatoo, Hooded Plover, Australian Sea-lion, Kangaroo Island Kangaroo and Short-beaked Echidna.

    Kangaroo Island separated from mainland Australia around 10,000 years ago, due to rising sea level after the last glacial period. Due to this long isolation, the island is renowned for the number of subspecies and as a critical breeding, resting or feeding ground for rare species. To reinforce responsible behaviours around these iconic species unique to the island, Exceptional Kangaroo Island has developed a Wildlife Code of Conduct and Guest Briefing Card referencing responsible behaviours for iconic species including the Glossy-Black Cockatoo, Hooded Plover, Australian Sea-lion, Kangaroo Island Kangaroo and Short-beaked Echidna.

    This involves sharing a factsheet educating people about sensitive sites and times such as courtship or breeding season that require increased awareness of possible disturbances, such as avoiding known nest hollows of Glossy Black-Cockatoos, beach nesting sites of Hooded Plovers and breeding times for Australian Sea-lions where increased stresses in the colony can bring increased risk to observers. This also reinforces the importance of appropriate behaviour around more elusive animals on the mainland such as the Short-beaked Echidna, who can suffer from “capture myopathy”, which is death or shock due to handling stress.

    E-WEB-Goal-06Creating Feeding Habitat for the Glossy Black Cockatoo

    Exceptional Kangaroo Island’s tour base in Cygnet River includes an aerobic waste water management unit that captures and recycles water from the office, commercial kitchen, bathrooms and wash bays. That water is then used to water the surrounding plants and trees - including the primary food source for the endangered Glossy Black-Cockatoo.

    Locally-sourced plants have been established outside of the tour base, including the Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata), which is a vital food source for the endangered Glossy Black-Cockatoo. Since planting this species, the cockatoos feed regularly in front of the office.

    The planting of sheoaks by the Exceptional Kangaroo Island team, community volunteers and conservation partners such as KI Land for Wildlife and Bio·R has been critical given that 54% of sheoak feeding habitat was lost in the 2019/2020 summer bushfires. Much of this habitat will grow back from seed over 15-20 years, however, the continued commitment is required to ensure this beautiful cockatoo continues to increase in numbers.

    E-WEB-Goal-17Developing Partnerships To Meet Sustainability Goals

    Exceptional Kangaroo Island have developed a number of partnerships with key environmental organisations on Kangaroo Island and more broadly in South Australia, including Bio·R, Pelican Lagoon Research Station, Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, National Parks & Wildlife South Australia and Birdlife Australia.

    Bio·R, Pelican Lagoon Research Station and Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlfie are all supported financially via touring experiences provided by Exceptional Kangaroo Island.

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