Find out which of Australia’s favourite animals you can see at the glorious Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is renowned for being one of the best spots to see wildlife in Australia. It is listed as Australia’s third largest island, with almost half of the original vegetation retained and a third protected as a national park. Animals can be found in every nook and cranny of the island, from the coastline beaches, to the lush farmland, to deep in the bush. Here are the top favourites you shouldn’t miss during your Kangaroo Island trip!

  • Kangaroos

    It comes to no surprise that the island dubbed ‘Kangaroo’ has a few of these animals strewned about. Contrary to popular belief however, the kangaroos don’t overcrowd the entire region but are typically only found in the lush grassy openings of the Island. The name was actually given to the island by Captain Matthew Flinders, who landed here in 1802 with him and his crew starving. As luck would have it, a large mob of kangaroos appeared insight, leading to the men to hunt, skin, and eat the large supply of fresh meat. Out of gratitude, the captain named the island after these creatures. The species found on this island is the Western Grey Kangaroo, with the island’s species having a shorter, stockier and a darker chocolate-brown colour.

  • Australian Sea Lions

    Australian sea lions are by far the island’s most popular attraction, home to the largest sea lion colony in the entire world! Head to the island’s stunning coastline and stroll down the beach to see the seals snooze or sunbake along the sand. The beach is the colony’s home base, so no matter what time you visit you are guaranteed to see at least a few of these friendly animals!

  • Koalas

    There is no shortage of koalas on Kangaroo Island, with over 30,000 roaming about. As they need 18 hours of sleep per day, they can typically be found snoozing in the tall tree branches of the bush. The crick in your neck will be well worth it when you spot the grey lumps of fur in the lush greenery of Kangaroo Island.

  • Birds

    With so many species of bird calling this island their home, it’s hard to choose a favourite! Birds are found in all regions of the island’s vast wilderness, making the region a birdwatcher’s paradise. Large pelicans are found at Kingscote, with daily feedings every night at 5 pm for travellers to enjoy and learn more about the birds. Many endemic sub-species of birds live on the island, different from their cousins by certain characteristics, including the Crimson Rosella and Purple-gaped Honeyeater which are both larger than the mainland bird species.

  • Little Penguins

    See the smallest penguin in the entire world at Kangaroo Island’s Kingscote. The animals spend the majority of their day out in the ocean, hunting for tasty fish, before heading back to the island to sleep. Sit along the Kingscote Harbour and watch these incredible penguin colony waddle up to shore after sunset!

Related article: How You Can Help Kangaroo Island Rebuild?

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Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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