How do I get to Kangaroo Island when the ferry is booked out?

With all the extra media attention of late, the Sealink Ferry has been especially busy. Yes, its frustrating but we have some locals tips on how to secure a booking.

  1. Our local travel agent, Evelyn at Kingscote Travel (08) 8553 3154) specialises in the Sealink ferry and has successfully gotten both locals and visitors alike a booking with an excellent success rate. Call Evelyn and explain you are our guests, and she will get you over every time. She is amazing!
  2. If you are more flexible with your plans then you can try to get on via standby. Each sailing usually fits extra vehicles so there is an excellent chance you will get on. You need to park in lane 5 and go into the ticket office to put your name down. We do this a lot with a 90% success rate. The earlier you get there the better chance you will have.
  3. Another option is that 24 hrs before departure many sailings open up due to freight bookings being adjusted, make a booking for any day and time near your desired departure and change you booking online as sailings open up.

Should you book a stay at Stowaway Kangaroo Island and are unable to get over to KI due to the ferry we will refund your stay (waiving the cancellation fee).

5 Reasons to Visit Australia’s Best Beach on Kangaroo Island

So, our best kept (kind of) secret is out – Stokes Bay has been named Australia’s best beach. Out of all the amazing beaches in a country renowned for amazing beaches this is a real honour but no surprise to the locals.
It is now well known that one of the coolest things about Stokes Bay beach is that to reach its magical white sands you have to walk through a rock tunnel which takes you through the cliff. Yes, it is a great as it sounds. It also means that many people pull up in the car park, see an unremarkable rocky beach, turn around and leave! You need to walk about 50 metres to the tunnel entrance where the adventure begins.

1. Its the safest place to ocean swim on Kangaroo Island

If you are not a confident swimmer but want the experience of ocean swimming, the large naturally formed rockpool at the beginning of Stokes Bay beach is the best place to safely take a dip. Its shallow, protected from the waves and usually a few degrees warmer than the ‘surf’ as the locals call it outside. Its perfect for children to learn to swim and snorkel.

2. It has naturally occurring shady outcrops

We will often not take a shade to Stokes Bay as there is some great natural shade thrown by the rocky cliff and boulders on the beach. They also serve as places to hang wet towel and bathers.

3. It has great surf

Its not often that you get a super safe swimming beach coupled with a surf break. A great beach break for beginner surfers. Just note it quite squeezy getting a surfboard bigger than 6 foot through the tunnel. Bigger boards may have to be carried around the outside of the tunnel over the rocks.

4. Its home to the endangered ‘Hoodies’

Never heard of the Hooded Plover? They are a small beach dwelling bird that live and breed on Kangaroo Islands beaches and Stokes Bay is home for some of them. Locals are passionate about protecting Hoodies and you may sometimes see flagged off areas where they are nesting. Hooded Plovers lay these tiny, amazingly camouflaged eggs on the beach which makes them really vulnerable, especially to dogs, so keep dogs on a leash always.

5. You will get the best salt and pepper squid of your life at The Rockpool Café

The Rockpool Café is a favourite hang for the locals, not just because its right next to Australia’s best beach. Its vibe is cool casual, so you can rock on in with your sandy feet but the food and service is exceptional. Their signature dish is the seafood cone, with all South Australian produce it won’t disappoint. The café is licensed and a cool crisp glass of rose goes down perfectly with the view over the ocean on a summers afternoon. Just note opening hours are seasonal depending on school holidays


5 must have features of a cosy winter retreat


1. Wood Fire

It goes without saying really if its winter you need a fire. Even better if it’s a really big fire with a glass door on each side. One side for sitting in front of with a glass of red wine and the other for the bedroom to create a special ambience and warmth while you sleep. Its important to have lots of split firewood ready at hand so all you need to do is strike a match.


2. Sauna

Nothing says alpine luxe like an authentic Swedish sauna. Complete with chic bucket and ladle for pouring water to create the soothing steam that helps you detox and relax. Set the timer and take a rugged up walk down Stokes Bay beach, and the hot sauna will be ready on your return.

3. Hot tub

The perfect accompaniment to a sauna is a hot tub. Outdoors, the cool air on your face but the gloriously warm 38 degree water is the perfect warming winter activity. If you are really adventurous sitting in the spa in the rain is actually the ultimate. A quick dash inside and you can be back in the sauna. Repeat.


4. Big bath + Fluffy Robes

No matter the weather, a long soak watching the weather roll is the perfect way to while away a winters afternoon. Bubbles, a book and a fluffy robe and you are set. Even better if you have a view of the fire place from the bathroom.

5. A cosy cellar door to sip red wine and discover local food + drink

Staying in is wonderful, relaxing and rejuvenating but sometimes its nice to get dressed and head out to explore the local region. Winter stops must have a fire, it’s basically mandatory on Kangaroo Island. Do a wine tasting and bring a local bottle home to enjoy by your own fire. The Islander Estate, KI Brewery, False Cape Wines and Kangaroo Island Spirits all offer wood fires at their venues as well as the finest local tipples.


Agree with the top 5 winter retreat necessities? We have all these features and more at our boutique couples retreat Stowaway Kangaroo Island. Find us on our website or email us at [email protected] we would love to help you discover the beauty of winter on Kangaroo Island.

Kangaroo Island Wellness Retreat: Four big reasons this should be on your bucket list

1. Sauna

Spending 15 minutes in our authentic Swedish sauna will promote relaxation and increase your blood circulation (blood vessels relax and dilate in a sauna), promoting a feeling of wellbeing and invigoration. You can go for a dry heat or increase the humidity by gently ladling water over the sauna rocks to super charge the detoxification benefits.

Sit back in your fluffy white robe with a chilled glass of rainwater, close your eyes and try a mindfulness exercise. You will step out feeling renewed. The added benefit is that it’s exclusively yours, in the convenience of your ensuite. No avoiding eye contact with strangers required.

2. Day spa

Nothing is quite as relaxing as a spa treatment. Whether it be a relaxation massage, facial or full body scrub and cocoon wrap it’s hard not to surrender yourself to the urge to just fall into a deep sleep (but stay awake enough to appreciate the experience!). Stowaway offers an inhouse spa treatment service with our professional and experienced therapist, Sarah. Your generous bathroom is transformed into a day spa, where there is no need to quickly redress and schlep your way through the lobby post treatment. You pop your robe on, make a cup of herbal tea and cosy up in the window nook with a book instead. Browse the treatment menu here

3. Soak

Even a ‘non bath person’ can become a ‘bath person’ when the scene is set…huge free standing bath. Right next to a window with uninterrupted views over a national park. Complimentary magnesium relaxation bath salts at the ready. Mood lighting and bluetooth speakers playing some relaxing tunes. A view of the fire during winter. Simple, but something that seems impossible to find time for in daily life. Make sure you allow a day to relax and soak while you are on Kangaroo Island.

Really immerse yourself in the great outdoors in our outdoor spa. Set the jets going on aching muscles and be enveloped by the warm water, float back and relax. There is nothing more relaxing and decadent than a cup of tea and a simple healthy snack while you are surrounded by nature in a bubbling hot spa. We even do a very quick visit each day to clean and maintain your sparkling clean spa.

4. Nature Immersion

When you visit Kangaroo Island you don’t have to search for or ‘visit’ the nature. It is all around you. Each of our Stowaways is very purposefully placed so you get the best proximity to the wild with the most privacy. You can bushwalk the property and surrounding Lathami conservation park or just take in the kangaroos and birdlife from your private deck. Spending time in nature has been proven to boost your physical and mental wellbeing, reducing stress hormone production, improving feelings of happiness, and free up creativity. What are you waiting for?


Your wellness experience is our priority at Stowaway. We supply a range of bespoke artisan herbal teas, high quality yoga mats, nourishing local artisan produce on arrival and most importantly peace, quiet and privacy. Take care of yourself and your wellbeing at Stowaway Kangaroo Island.

To book your retreat get in touch with us via our website or [email protected] we would love to help you x


Best Places to see a Kangaroo on Kangaroo Island

A big reason you are considering visiting Kangaroo Island is for the wildlife. Especially Kangaroos. Why its in the name, it should be easy right? Yes and no…

It all depends on where you go and the time of day. Kangaroos are nocturnal, they come out to feed and do their thing at night which is not overly convenient when you want to be tucked up by the fire in your accommodation when the sun goes down.

Even though technically you need to wait until nightfall to see these gloriously unique marsupials, there are a few places Kangaroos are known to hang out during the day.


Stokes Bay

Not at the actual beach. The viral photos of kangaroos hanging on Australian beaches are a bit misleading! The paddocks surrounding Stokes bay are home to families of kangaroos that like to lounge about in the long grass during the day. You can safely pull off the road and see them in their natural habitat, having a nap a scratch or even a fight. The paddock to the left as you approach Stokes Bay nearly guarantees a sighting.


Flinders Chase National Park

Rich with native habitat Flinders Chase NP is probably where most kangaroos on Kangaroo Island live. As you enter the park there are big grassed flats that are prime for wildlife grazing and you will often see them in the day light hours along with wallabies and Cape Barren Geese.


Parndana Wildlife Park

Now this might seem like cheating, but if you are short on time or really want to feed, pat or interact with a kangaroo this is your best bet. These kangaroos have been rescued as joeys and raised around people so are tame and love a photo opportunity. They live in a big paddock at the park so they are just free ranging as if in the wild, only they will approach you not hop away when they see you.


Nocturnal sightings at your accommodation

Depending on where you are staying, there could be excellent nocturnal viewing opportunities right on your doorstep. Some places even provide special red light torches which provide the best way to observe the wildlife at night with out scaring them away. Check out Stowaway Kangaroo Island if this sounds like you jam. We provide you with the special torch and the property is teeming with kangaroos, wallabies and possums as soon as the sun goes down.



The perfect 4 day luxury Kangaroo Island Itinerary

What’s the most common question I am asked about Kangaroo Island? “Is two nights enough to see everything?” Well, um, not really. The biggest misconception about Kangaroo Island is that it is small, its actually quite big and there is seriously heaps to see and do, plus you don’t want to be running around frantically sight seeing and not relaxing enough. A holiday should not feel like work!

So if you have been dreaming of visiting this iconic South Australian location, I’m going to give you what I think would make the perfect relaxing , luxurious Kangaroo Island holiday with a touch of adventure, splash of good drink, a big helping of nature and wildlife and lots of opportunity to relax and reconnect.

Day OneFeel the stress of the mainland melt away…

Catch a morning ferry where you will arrive in the seaside town of Penneshaw, it’s also a great spot to pick up your food supplies, the local IGA is small but has lots of the premium South Australian food we love.

Brunch at the brand new Millie Mae’s Pantry next door (specialising in home grown, home made Kangaroo Island deliciousness situated in one of the oldest producing orchards on Kangaroo Island). Once you have lined your stomachs its time to hit your first winery! Dudley Wines is a 10 minute drive out of town, and the views alone are worth the visit. Stock up on wine for your stay and some to take home with you.

Once you have selected you wine, hit a few golf balls and possibly enjoyed a tapas plate its time to make your way to Stowaway, it’s a 50 minute scenic drive. Need something from the main town Kingscote? It’s a 10 minute detour and has most services.

Arrive at Stowaway, drop you bags, put on your fluffy robes, lay on the bed and relax! Your hot bread will be ready and the bubbles in the fridge will be chilled – get ready to enjoy watching the kangaroos coming out at dusk, the outdoor hot tub is the perfect viewing place.

If you have arrived on a Friday night, head down to the Rockpool Café, 5 minutes down the road and dine on fresh South Australian seafood with the loveliest hosts you could imagine (make sure you get me to book you in there prior though, it very popular with the locals!)

Day TwoSleep ins, seals and rockpool swims

Sleep in, its an order. Maybe start your day with a bath and a relax in the sauna. Today we are heading to the western end of Kangaroo Island, Flinders Chase to be exact. Home to The Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and amazing views of regenerated bushland after the 19/20 bushfires. Much of the infrastructure is still being rebuilt so plan to call into the Vivonne Bay General Store for a whiting burger for lunch.

On your way home call into Stokes Bay beach for a swim, then head back to your Stowaway and jump in the hot tub and relax with a glass of wine or a herbal tea.

Day ThreeBrunch, cocktails & indulgent spa treatments

Your last full day is for food and drink, and indulgent relaxation. Of course, first thing is a sleep in then head to Emu Bay Lavender for brunch (the hot smoked salmon dish is my personal fave). Situated in the middle of a commercial lavender farm its great food and service meets lots of pretty purple flowers.

Now its time for the famed Kangaroo Island Spirits, the internationally awarded gin distillery which will completely enchant you, do a tasting or just enjoy a unique cocktail in the gin garden.  Islander Estate Wines is just across the road and Kangaroo Island Brewery is also a stones throw away.

Just make sure you are back at your Stowaway by 3pm for your in-house couples massage. Sarah our massage therapist will transform your giant luxury bathroom into a true spa experience. After you have been pampered you can take a picnic down to Stokes Bay beach or just make up a grazing plate to be enjoyed spa side.

Day FourSleep ins and slow return to the real world

You may need to catch an early ferry home, or maybe you have the best part of the day to just relax at your Stowaway and make your way leisurely to Penneshaw. We have a late 11am check out for this very reason. The main town of Kingscote is a good place to brunch, our recommendation is Cactus (awesome coffee, pressed juices and smashed avo laden dishes) The Kangaroo Island Fine Art Gallery is also good to peruse, particularly the locally crafted jewelry ranges.

The wonderful thing about staying at Stowaway when coming to Kangaroo Island is you can come and see the sights or just do nothing at all and still feel like you have had an authentic Kangaroo Island experience. We supply our favorite Dudley wines, Kangaroo Island Spirits gins (with mixers and garnish) in the mini bar plus you get to enjoy the best local artisan foods in your welcome hamper – so if you decide to stay in bed all weekend you wont miss out on a thing!

*Side Note – Getting to Kangaroo Island

Sealink – bring your car on a 45 min ferry trip (departing Cape Jervis 2 hours south of Adelaide). Stowaway is 50 minutes away from Penneshaw where the ferry arrives. 

Fly with Regional Express or QANTAS departing from Adelaide. Be sure to hire a car at the Airport to get the most out of your stay. Stowaway is a 20 minute drive from the Airport.


5 ways to create the perfect romantic luxury Kangaroo Island getaway

So you have been hibernating all winter and now you are ready to emerge and take in the full glory that is spring, and as far as favorite seasons on Kangaroo Island go, spring is right up there. Its gorgeously green, there are kangaroos out grazing everywhere and some of our favorite foodie haunts are reopening!

Take the rush out of it

Its really hard to relax and find the romance when you have a deadline. Kangaroo Island does take a degree of effort to get to so make sure you take at least two nights and three days to really give yourselves time to sleep in, have a late gourmet breakfasts and if you can drag yourselves away from your luxurious surrounds…see some sights. If you are short on time consider flying and hiring a car QANTAS and REX fly to Kangaroo Island and car hire is available at the airport.

Indulge in an in-house spa treatment

Treat yourselves or surprise your partner with a spa treatment.

Nothing quite says relaxation and indulgence like a massage (or a facial, scrub or body wrap for that matter). Our Stowaways are equipped with huge opulent spa like bathrooms which our in-house masseuse Sarah transforms into a world class spa retreat just for you. No awkward walk through a hotel lobby or drive home to ruin the relaxation feels, just go back to bed or hop in the hot tub. Sarah is super professional and previous guests have described the spa experience as up there with some of the worlds best hotels. Just saying.

Take a walk…hand in hand (if that’s your thing)

Stowaway Kangaroo Island_Stokes Bay
Long walks on the beach…

Getting back into nature is proven to be good for your wellbeing, even better if you can share it with your partner. Kangaroo Island is FULL of brilliant walks from casual stroll to full on Bear Grylls style adventuring. We find the former is more conducive to relaxation and romance so take a stroll down Stokes Bay beach, watch for the rare White Bellied Sea Eagles over head and the dolphins chasing schools of salmon through the waves. Its magic. Its also the perfect beach for a proposal if that was something you were considering…

Gourmet delights

Brunch done right at Cactus

Is it really a luxury romantic retreat if there isn’t decadent food involved? No it is not. The great news is there is a great selection of eating out options for all tastes. Our top brunch spots are Cactus and Emu Bay Lavender Farm. If you are after seafood lunch fare with a view then look no further than The Rockpool Café and if you want to have an authentic Kangaroo Island fine dining experience then Sunset Food and Wine is your place. Just feel like a beach side cocktail and some snacks? Try Mini De Lights at Emu Bay its one of a kind.

Don’t want to venture far? In fact you don’t want to move at all? We have lots of gourmet local produce hampers for purchase prior to your stay and its all in your fridge waiting for you. We can also organise personal catering with Kangaroo Island Source, so we have you covered.

Have an experience together

Reconnect over a shared bespoke experience at KIS

Our current favorite couples experience is a gin blending class at Kangaroo Island Spirits. KIS O’Gin has just been named the world best gin so these guys are the perfect people to show you how to blend up something amazing – it is also a really fun souvenir to take home, enjoy and reminisce over. Don’t feel like doing a class? KIS also has a gorgeously eclectic gin garden where you can just sit back and enjoy a cocktail and buy a bottle of the award winning liquid to take home.

Love Carly x

The Stowaway Kangaroo Island Story – doing things differently

When I embarked on a three month whistle stop tour of the world looking at sheep (what else?!) little did I know the biggest thing I would discover was a way to create a whole new way to host guests on Kangaroo Island. Yep, before I became a purveyor of luxury couples escapes I was a sheep farmer (and still wear that hat from time to time) a job and industry I also love.

Wearing my ‘farming’ hat – a life I love sharing with Adam and the Kids

Whilst traipsing the global countryside, I found tucked away in the rolling green hills of Scottish farmland Caroline Millar, an agri-tourism entrepreneur and pioneer who showed me that sometimes it was best not to hedge your bets in business and dive into a market niche that no one really seems to ‘get’ – couples. The Hideaway Experience in Scotland has been designed and built with creating a romantic couples break at the heart of its business model and I just knew it was exactly the kind of thing that I would love to create on our own farm.

I wanted to create a destination in itself, something that transcended the generic concept of ‘accommodation’ and certainly more than a place to rest your head. It had to be super private but also accessible and close to some cool Kangaroo Island places to visit and eat (and of course surrounded by wildlife). They had to blend into the landscape but still make a statement. They had to be full of luxury features that most people don’t have in their own house. Most importantly guests needed to feel truly welcome and at home (hello walking into the smell of freshly baked bread and custom planning).

I am not going to lie, when some local tradespeople saw the glass fronted sauna in the gargantuan natural stone clad bathroom they thought I might have lost touch with reality a little. The bespoke double-sided fireplace presented a few challenges in design and installation (and probably a few silent curses from my husband and the building crew!). The sunken in deck alfresco hot tub presented some chin scratching in logistics and core strength. It was totally worth it.

We have created a truly unique space, in a really cool location on a one of a kind Island. Guests we have hosted over the past year have expressed untold gratitude for the opportunity to disconnect from the real world and actually have a decent conversation together, for the design of each Stowaway provides lots of little spaces to both relax and converse (with a glass in hand of course!) Whether it be in the window seat, the hot tub, sauna or just snuggled up with a glass of red watching the fire. The unexpected upside of our new venture is as farmers we have learned the true pleasure of making people happy not just by producing food and fibre but providing a one of a kind experience you can’t really find anywhere else.

If you are reading this and have stayed with us in this past year, thank you for being part of our beginning and we hope you come back again someday.

Love Carly (and Adam)  x