Things to do on Kangaroo Island in Winter

Admirals Arch on Kangaroo Island.CREDIT:ADAM BRUZZONE

Nestled off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is the ideal winter retreat where you escape without the bustling crowds to enjoy their mild temperatures. Winter on Kangaroo Island brings out the dewy mornings and crisp, clear skies offering a unique chance to see native animals out to play, from frolicking Australian sea lions at Seal Bay to nocturnal possums that come alive at night. Local galleries and studios open their doors to show off the island’s creativity, often inspired by its natural beauty. Culinary delights are not to be missed either, with winter menus showcasing the best of local produce, including seafood freshly caught from the surrounding waters and artisan cheeses crafted at local farms. 


KI in winter


Winter transforms Kangaroo Island into a serene haven, perfect for those seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. Nestled off the coast of South Australia, this picturesque island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant wildlife, and rich cultural experiences. With dewy mornings, crisp clear skies, and mild temperatures, winter on Kangaroo Island is a time to explore, savor, and relax. Whether you're watching playful sea lions at Seal Bay, visiting local art galleries, or indulging in the island's culinary delights, there's no shortage of activities to make your winter getaway unforgettable. Here are some of the best things to do on Kangaroo Island in winter.

Witness Wildlife in the Winter

As the heat of summer disappears and makes way for the cooler months, you have a much better chance of catching the local wildlife out and about on Kangaroo Island. Here are some of the best outings you can plan during your trip.

Whale Watching

Winter brings with it whale watching season, or you might even be lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins frolicking from one of the beaches. The cold waters around Kangaroo Island become the perfect viewing spot for spotting Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales, whether you jump on one of the local tours or pack some binoculars and take off on one of the many coastal hikes in the area.

Raptors at Kangaroo Island

Seal Bay Conservation Park

If there’s one outdoor animal encounter that needs to be top of your to-do list, it’s Seal Bay Conservation Park. Here, you can settle back and watch on as the Australian sea lions lounge on the sandy beaches or frolic in the waves. You can make your way along the boardwalks and viewing platforms to watch these playful creatures.

Visit to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

A visit to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is a must. This park is home to a wide range of native animals, including kangaroos, koalas and wombats. Winter provides a unique experience, as many animals are more active during the cooler parts of the day. It’s a chance to enjoy educational talks that focus on the special care and behaviours of these animals during the winter months without the large crowds.

Nocturnal Wildlife Tours

If you’re interested in the more elusive night creatures, nocturnal wildlife tours take advantage of the early dusks and longer nights of winter to take off and observe animals like owls, possums and echidnas, which are more active during cooler temperatures. Guided by experts who know how to spot signs of nocturnal life, these tours offer a chance to see these creatures.

Culinary Exploration

If you live through food, then winter is the ideal season to settle into Kangaroo Island and hop around all the delicious menus on offer. You can rug up and escape indoors to sample local seafood, or brave the markets to catch a taste of the island’s produce. With fewer crowds there’s more the sample!

Culinary KI

Local Winter Produce: Seafood and Artisan Cheeses

The winter months are well-known for bringing in the island's seafood, with local specialities such as freshly caught King George whiting, oysters and marron. Of course, you can’t look past the island's artisan cheeses, offering a comforting treat during the chilly weather. They pair perfectly with a warming bottle of red, offering the perfect combat to the cold.

Wine and Spirit Tasting Experiences

The winter months are a great time to check out the local vineyards away from all the summer crowds. Add Dudley Wines to your list, where you will discover this family-run vineyard that provides breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and also offers a chance to taste premium wines. 

If you’re a gin lover then you can’t go past Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS), which is the island’s first and award-winning gin distillery. KIS uses native botanicals like local juniper, aniseed myrtle, and ligurian honey to create gins that are as unique as the island. 

Hiking and Nature Walks

Not a fan of getting hot and sweaty? Winter is the perfect month to test out the dewey grounds of Kangaroo Island without fighting the intense heat the region is well-known for. 

Remarkable Rocks and Flinders Chase National Park

Make time for the iconic Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park. These naturally sculpted formations provide a stunning display against the backdrop of the Southern Ocean. With fewer crowds you have the chance to capture stunning photos without interruption.

While you’re there, it’s well-worth exploring Flinders Chase National Park which offers plenty of different trails that take you through bushland and coastal areas. Enjoy the quieter trails leading to hidden coves and secluded beaches, which are great for birdwatching.

Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Koala Walk

Ever spotted a koala in the wild? Now’s your chance. Without the noise brought on by flocks of tourists, you have an opportunity to take a peaceful stroll through the eucalypt woodlands where koalas are frequently seen lounging in the trees. This walk is great for those looking for a gentler hike, as the paths are flat and well-signposted. During the winter, the koalas are often more active, and their thicker winter coats make them even more photogenic against the green trees.

Koalas at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Art and Cultural Appreciation

Kangaroo Island is not only a sanctuary for wildlife but also a vibrant hub for artists. If you want to escape the cooler weather, you can head indoors to one of the local galleries or classes to experience a different side of the island (while keeping warm!).

Local Art Galleries and Studios

The island's art scene is especially lively during the winter months, when local galleries and studios showcase a range of works from painting and sculpture to photography and crafts. Art galleries like the Kangaroo Island Gallery in Kingscote display the work of local artists, with lots of styles and mediums to explore. These spaces often host new exhibitions throughout the winter, making each visit unique. 

Workshops and Classes

Prefer something a little more hands on? Many local artists offer workshops and classes during the winter months. These sessions range from beginner to advanced levels and cover pottery, textile arts, painting and even jewellery making using local materials. They are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the creative culture of the island and take home a souvenir made by you!

Relax and Rejuvenate

Of course, winter is the perfect time of year to enjoy a little ‘you’ time and to escape the cool weather for a spot of pampering. 

Wellness Retreats

For those looking to escape the stresses of everyday life, Kangaroo Island offers several wellness retreats that provide the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. These retreats typically feature a variety of wellness activities, including yoga sessions, guided meditation and spa treatments.

Dune House KI

Scenic Spots for Meditation and Tranquility

Kangaroo Island is dotted with plenty of scenic spots that provide a peaceful setting for meditation or simply soaking in the tranquil winter atmosphere. One such place is Stokes Bay, located on the north coast of the island. This secluded beach offers a quiet retreat with its soft sand and calm waters, ideal for morning yoga or meditation. With the peak of summer over, you’re likely to find the spot nice and secluded without the regular beach-goers.

Winter Wonders on Kangaroo Island

During the cooler months, Kangaroo Island reveals its quieter side, where visitors can enjoy its natural beauty and wildlife without the crowds typical of peak tourist seasons. Whether it's walking alongside sea lions at Seal Bay or unwinding at a secluded wellness retreat, there’s so much to enjoy. It’s the perfect time and place to recharge, explore and immerse yourself in the unique charms of Kangaroo Island.


Felicity Frankish
Felicity Frankish
: 22 May 2024 (Last updated: 22 May 2024)

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