3 Interesting Things About the Wildlife On Kangaroo Island

The Perfect Environment

With more than a third of the island conserved as National Park, Kangaroo Island also has five precious Wilderness Protection Areas. It’s combination of soils, and good supply of both rainfall and sunshine, mean that wildlife can thrive across the island in a truly unique way. Visitors come from across the globe to see plant species that can only be found on Kangaroo Island, and few will be disappointed by the huge range of wildlife living in these stunning habitats. With lots of accommodation on Kangaroo Island located in secluded and quiet areas, you’re sure to see wildlife roaming around!

You won’t be short of wildlife to enjoy on Kangaroo Island, keep your camera close and your eyes peeled. Here is a round up of the 3 most interesting things you can hope to see:

  1. Kangaroos

First things first, kangaroos. Along with koala bears, they are the animal that people across the world associate Australia with – featuring on numerous postcards and guide books. Given its name, it seems only right that Kangaroo Island has its very own subspecies of kangaroo, sometimes referred to as Sooty Kangaroo. It’s a close relative of the Western Grey although they are generally slightly shorter and with fur of a darker brown.

 

If you’re keen to spot kangaroos on Kangaroo Island, you’re most likely to see them either in the early morning or the late afternoon when the sun is less intense. Their role within the ecosystem is to graze so you’ll usually spot them in open fields. They’ll often be in larger groups and seeing them move on all “fives” is quite a sight!

western grey kangaroo island

  1. Echidnas

Kangaroo Island has it very own subspecies of echidna, which is known to be especially spiny and more short beaked than echidnas on mainland Australia. Echidnas give Kangaroo Island a real sense of history as their species goes back millions of years, possibly to the time of the dinosaurs.

Although closely related to the aquatic platypus, echidnas live on land and are sometimes referred to as spiny anteaters. Their long snouts function as both their nose and their mouth and they have no teeth at all. Instead, echidnas have tongues that can protrude over 15 cm and are capable of flicking in and out over 100 times in a minute – in this way, they eat insects and larvae, usually shoveling in a lot of dirt at the same time!

echidnas kangaroo island

  1. Penguins and Bird Life

Kangaroo Island has some of the most stunning birdlife anywhere in Australia. It’s isolated location makes the habitats peaceful and unspoilt and over 250 species can be found here. Keep your binoculars on hand as you’ll be able to spot all sorts of different birds – from a white bellied sea eagle, to a Red Wattlebird, and almost everything in between.
Many of the birds on Kangaroo Island are exceptionally colourful and there are 12 species of cockatoos and parrots best spotted in the Summer time.

Don’t forget to visit the Little Penguins too. There are a number of points around Kangaroo Island such as Penneshaw where you can park up and watch hundreds of them all year round coming in and out of the rock faces.

penguins--kangaroo-island

Kangaroo Island is truly one of the best places to find and admire wildlife in their habitat. If you usually stay in hotels, motels or resorts on your vacations, I implore you to stay in a self-contained house. Club KI specialises in great accommodation in beautiful spots on the island to suit all budgets.

A Quick Guide to Kangaroo Island Weather

Planning a trip?

140,000 people visit Kangaroo Island each year. Australia’s third largest island, it is easily reachable by ferry or by air, and is located just 70 miles South West of the city of Adelaide. The island has so much to see and do with over 1,700 square miles to explore and discover. With endless wildlife and stunning nature, you’ll want to ensure you have good weather for your trip to allow maximum time outside.Kangaroo Island

Temperatures on Kangaroo Island

The average temperature on the island is between 11-19 degrees Celsius so you can expect generally good weather all year round. In Summer (December to March), things can get pretty hot with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius and the earth becoming extremely dry. In Winter (June to September), sunny days are still frequent yet temperatures may drop to around 10 degrees Celsius.

Wet or Dry?

Winters on Kangaroo Island are generally mild yet they can be wet. August is the coolest month of the year and July often has the most rainfall. March to September is considered the wetter season however the benefit of this weather is that the greenery on the island is all at its most lush and much of the wildlife emerges to enjoy the fresh water.

Summer can be hot, hot, hot on Kangaroo Island so if you’re visiting between December and February be prepared with lots of sunscreen. Hikers and wildlife enthusiasts should ensure that they always take enough water with them during the Summer months and wear adequate clothing to protect them from the sun.

Places to see

Some of the top tourist destinations on Kangaroo Island are best enjoyed when the sun is shining. A visit to Little Sahara, Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Caves and Seal Bay are all likely to include a good amount of sunshine. However, some of the best wildlife can be spotted on rainier days especially when the rivers and lakes start to fill up with water. In the Autumnal months of March to May, you’ll see the landscape start to transform with the first rains and the vegetation is much less barren and dry – it’s also an excellent time to see the penguins on the island nesting.

Just like Autumn, Springtime on Kangaroo Island (September – November) also brings with it a great opportunity to spot wildlife and enjoy the island’s vegetation. The plentiful flower species are in bloom at this time and the Eucalyptus trees are looking their very best – just watch out for koalas!

Baby Sealion at Seal bay on Kangaroo Island

Sudden Changes

Although Kangaroo Island feels, for many months of the year, like a tropical paradise island, it’s worth bearing in mind its geographical location. The next landmass to the South of the island is in fact Antarctica. Kangaroo Island is extremely exposed to the elements and changes in the weather can occur suddenly. Visitors to the island should always be prepared and may find use for both sunscreen and a waterproof jacket in the same day. For all weather updates, latest news and events, I actually rely on the Kangaroo Island Council for information.