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Wildlife Region

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is Australia's third-largest island, measuring 150 kilometres (93 miles) long and 90 km (56 miles) at its widest point, totalling 4400 square kilometres or 1700 square miles. Nearly half of the original vegetation has been retained and over one third of the land is protected across 30 National and Conservation parks. These are connected by roadside and creek-line corridors which carry excellent wildlife habitat across the landscape.

Across Kangaroo Island, visitors will experience vast areas of mallee and woodland, dominated largely by Eucalyptus and the balance shrubland, fernland and forest. This provides habitat for a rich variety of animals including Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Tammar Wallabies; Short-beaked Echidnas; Southern Brown Bandicoots; 4 species of possum; 6 bats; Long-nosed fur-seals; Australian Sea-lion, dolphins; Rosenberg’s Goannas; 6 skinks; 2 geckos; 6 frogs a dunnart and over 260 birds. 

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, many animals are local sub-species and one, the Sooty Dunnart, is unique to Kangaroo Island. Other than domestics, there are few introduced species: Koalas and Platypus (released in the 1920s), cats, goats, pigs and deer, a few rodents; Bearded Dragons, Shingleback and Blue-tongued Skinks. Notably foxes and rabbits which have had much impact elsewhere in Australia have not been established. 

When touring Kangaroo Island, visitors should also experience the remarkable marine environment. It is equally as diverse as the land offerings, with more variation in lifeforms in Island waters than along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef and much of this is now protected in a network of marine parks. Key marine species other than marine mammals include Blue Groper and the ornate Leafy Sea-Dragon.

Tours on Kangaroo Island offered by Exceptional Kangaroo Island are small group in nature, with Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Tammar Wallabies, Short-beaked Echidnas, Australian Sea-lions and Long-nosed Fur Seals common encounters, with a series of secondary encounters experienced on an opportunistic basis.

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Featured operator

  • Featured operator

    Exceptional Kangaroo Island

    After 30 years of operation, the team at Exceptional Kangaroo Island provide wildlife encounters which leverage knowledge gained through years of observation as well as published research. Guides tell stories about wildlife in a community and landscape context as they are part of the Island community and share their knowledge, sense of place and relationships with their fellow Islanders through a series of conversations and exchanges, rather than through a commentary.

    Customer interest in well interpreted wildlife encounters, warm and welcoming hosting and the emergence of a dynamic local produce...

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