5 Best Kangaroo Island Bushwalks

Kangaroo Island rugged beauty is well known, and what better way to enjoy it than an eco friendly bushwalk (they are also free!) If you are a first time visitor it can be hard to know which walks are suited to your fitness, time schedule and interests. These are walks that I have personally done and enjoyed over the years, and happily recommend to our Stowaway Kangaroo Island guests.


Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail – 5 Days + 73Km

Now if you are a serious bushwalker and love the idea of a bucket list bushwalking experience then this one is for you. You will traverse cliffs looking out to the Southern Ocean, walk beaches, grasslands and cross rivers (small boat provided!) you will have your hair blown in a million directions and feel more at one with nature than anywhere else in the world. I would suggest an fair level of fitness, it is undulating and varying terrain. You will also need to be fully self sufficient and have appropriate hiking equipment.

The best way to do it is to book a package with Western KI Caravan Park who will transfer you to and from each day and you can be accommodated in one of their on-site cabins. There are also camping areas and facilities on the trail if you want to carry all you gear and do it the old-fashioned way.


The Ravine de Cesoars Hike – 3hrs + 7.4K return

‘The Ravine’ is my favourite hike for two reasons, its long enough to feel like you have been on a bushwalk but short enough that you don’t need to be overly prepared. It also traverses some really interesting country, has spectacular views and ends up at a beautiful remote beach with a cave formation.

Located on the far western end of the Island it is a bit of a drive to get to but well worth the effort.  We have taken our kids on this walk and it is walkable for most fitness levels.


Waterfall Creek Hike  – 2hrs + 4.2 Km return

Or as the locals call it ‘Billy Goat Falls’. A quiet secluded walk following a track to Billy Goat Waterfall. The trail winds through the shady trees and gently descends into the valley to Waterfall Creek. Crossing the creek on stepping stones, the walk ends at a lookout with views of the waterfall. Although the waterfall is high, it only flows during winter or after rains.

The walk is in Western River Wilderness Protection Area  and the trail begins at Gate 2, at a small carpark on Colmans Road, which is 9.3km off of the Playford Highway (the dirt road to Cape Borda.)


Platypus Waterholes Walk – 2 Hrs + 4.7Km

Located in Flinders Chase National Park (entry fee required) this is a getle walk through the low scrub and eucalpts to a large waterhole that is known habitat or the elusive platypus. With viewing platforms scattered around the waterholes you can sit quietly and wait to spot the appearance of a platypus. Dawn and dusk are the best times to catch a glimpse of one. Pack a picnic!

The walk begins from the Flinders Chase Visitors Centre. Birdlife, kangaroos, wallabies, geese, echidnas and goannas are regularly seen on this walk.


The Cannery Walk – 1.5hrs + 4Km Return

Located in the picturesque township of American River, we love doing the walk with our kids. Its an easy, meandering walk through the bush, with birds in abundance, and native shrubs and orchids in flowering season. Along the way Glossy-Black Cockatoos can often be seen and heard feeding. At the end of the trail the remains of a fish cannery built in the late 1890’s. Walk back along the beach then stop for a coffee at The Deck Café.






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


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.



Luxury Kangaroo Island Accommodation for Two

Kangaroo Island really is the perfect South Australian location for a couples break. The wild and rugged landscape lends itself to an escapism that seems otherworldly and allows you to set aside distractions and truly connect with your partner – and nature. If you’re looking to be far from the madding crowd, this tiny island is a safe harbour. Picturesque, isolated and absurdly beautiful – what more could you ask for in a romantic getaway, right here in South Australia’s backyard.

Indulge your loved one in some much deserved luxury accommodation and make it a memory to treasure with Stowaway Kangaroo Island lodges, where nature and luxury combine to offer the best of both worlds. Still need convincing? Here are five reasons why Stowaway Kangaroo Island is an idyllic couples retreat.


Stowaway is 100% secluded. No one can see you. Your privacy is our priority – unlike a hotel where you have to share the spa and sauna with strangers. Your amenities are yours and yours alone. Fancy a massage? No need to walk through the lobby after your massage – our masseuse comes to you. Meaning you can truly relax, without sharing your experience with strangers – indulgence at its finest.

Gorgeous amenities

Stowaway Kangaroo Island is all about luxury – made on a scale for two. This is echoed throughout the make and design of the lodges, and the products and amenities inside them. From discrete underfloor heating that keeps you warm in the cooler months, to a fireplace in the bedroom – everything is made with enhanced enjoyment in mind. Comfort and style is a mark of true luxury, and you and your partner can ease into the alfresco in-deck hot tub, after a day exploring the island. If you’re in need of further relaxation, the glass sauna offers a sultry nook to unwind. Finally, retire to your bedroom for a soak in the freestanding tub, and then recline on the enormous comfy bed, with the double-sided wood burning fireplace setting the mood lighting.

Great food and drink experiences

There is nothing that spoils a romantic getaway like a trip to the supermarket. Haggling over dinner demands and trying to set a menu can really spoil a relaxed mood. However, if you are anything like Adam and I, when travelling we like to try as much local food and drink as we can – which is not always easy to source. Stowaway Kangaroo Island has sorted that little problem for you, with our pre-ordered packages. We’ve sourced and supplied delicious and authentic food and drink hampers made up of the best local produce Kangaroo Island has to offer. Think island crayfish, local lamb and artisan cheeses (for a start). With award-winning gins and unique wines waiting for you to enjoy upon arrival, our wish is to have you relaxed and indulged as soon as possible. Arrive, pour a glass and have a nibble and unwind – it’s that easy. If you want to up the ante, then book an ultimate in-house cooking experience with our renowned local chef. Fine dining has never felt so easy or so intimate.

Remote but accessible

There is something incredibly special about going to an island. As soon as you leave the mainland behind, you get the feeling you are escaping your real life and embarking on an adventure. It’s the perfect antidote to the stressful tedium of day-to-day reality. As an added bonus, joint adventures bring you closer together as a couple. Remoteness equals fewer people, which is perfect for a romantic getaway as you are bringing the company.

With the new QANTAS route flying directly to Kangaroo Island from both Melbourne and Adelaide, it has never been easier to visit Kangaroo Island for a short staycation. With the Sealink ferry service departing Cape Jervis daily, couples are spoilt for choice on how to escape to the island.


Get back to nature. It sounds so simple, right? In our highly urbanised daily existence, nature can feel like a utopian world which seems next to impossible to access. At least not without a sturdy pair of hiking boots, a tent, and an uncomfortable air mattress. Not so at Stowaway Kangaroo Island. You can leave the tent at home and indulge in luxury accommodation, without forgoing an eco-friendly, up-close-with nature experience – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Your evenings will be surrounded by local wildlife and you won’t even have to get out of your hot tub to enjoy it – they come to you in this part of the world.

If these five reasons to book a romantic couples escape to Kangaroo Island haven’t convinced you, then take a look at some of the wonderful and unique food and dining experiences you can have on the island. You really are spoilt with what’s on offer on our gorgeous South Australian island escape – just a hop, skip, or a short flight away from Adelaide city. Spoil and indulge your loved one, and give them the wildly adventurous and indulgent luxury getaway they deserve. We can’t wait to show you.

Love Carly xx

After the fires, is Kangaroo Island really worth the visit?

**Update: As of April 2021 Kangaroo Island is getting back to its old self, there is SO much regeneration, Flinders Chase National Park is open and our local eateries and cellar doors are back to business as usual.**

Absolutely! I would be surprised if there is anyone in any country in the world that has not been horrified by the devastation to the national parks, wildlife and farming land inflicted by the December/January fires that have raged across the western end of Kangaroo Island. The extreme images published through out all forms of media are just that, the very worst parts of this event. It is certainly not a reflection of reality for large parts of Kangaroo Island or Australia for that matter.

Anyone following this fire event on mainstream and social media would be led to believe there was not a single kangaroo or koala left to see. Yes, many have perished but gosh there are SO many left, our Stowaway dams and pasture have been inundated by kangaroos and wallabies post bush fire looking for refuge and finding it. We are even trail feeding grains to supplement their diets until the green shoots start to appear.

So what is actually burned?

The biggest attraction that has been damaged by the fire is Flinders Chase National Park. Home to the famous Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, it is certainly a disappointment to not be able to currently visit. There were a series of boardwalks which protected the ecology of the site which will have to be rebuilt to provide the up close access enjoyed pre fire. Still want to see the rocks? Why not charter a flight to Flinders Chase and observe the full scale of the bushfire and Remarkable Rocks from the air? As devastating as it is, it’s a once in a lifetime sight to see. This is the third time in my lifetime I have seen bush fire burn out Flinders Chase and I am looking forward to watching it regenerate over the coming months and years. We must remember that Australian flora is adapted to bush fire and we are already observing signs of recovery among the yakka trees and eucalypts. Chinta Air and Wrights Air operate charter services from Kingscote Airport.

Kangaroo Island is well known for is very densely vegetated roadsides, some of these have been burned and actually acted as corridors to spread the fires eastwards during the bush fires. This is really the only other way the visitor experience to Kangaroo Island has been changed. Even within the marked areas burned on the CFS map there is large pockets of unburned areas, which are acting as refuges for surviving wildlife as well as livestock.

What is left to do?

EVERY Cafe, restaurant, winery, cellar door, local pub and wildlife encounter experience (including the infamous Seal Bay) is STILL OPEN, unaffected by the fire and their owners and staff are waiting to make your experience an amazing one, you might even be hugged by random strangers who know you have come to visit at a time we really need you. We have have two brand new food and drink experiences False Cape Cellar door and Millie Maes Pantry which have opened in December and they are fantastic. Even KI Outdoor Action whom offer the iconic quad bike nature tours and were in the heart of the fire activity are now open and over half of their tour routes are unaffected by fire. They are also taking tours through the fire ground showing the amazing regeneration that is already happening.

When is the best time to visit?

We are taking bookings from the 1st of February and there is still plenty of great beach going weather to be had this summer and autumn, why not book a fishing charter and see Kangaroo Island from another perspective? Autumn is also when the tuna start running on the north coast for any keen anglers reading this!

The absolute best time to visit would be in winter. You can ask any local when their favorite season is on Kangaroo Island and it would be cool winter months when the farmland is a brilliant green of rolling hills to the sea. When the paddocks are full of tiny little white lambs and the wildlife are out and about making the most of the plentiful pastures as well. Our Stowaways have been built for winter – sauna, hot tub and real wood burning fire are the trifecta for a cosy romantic getaway. The winter months are traditionally the quietest for visitation to Kangaroo Island, so post bush fire it would be so amazing to reverse this for 2020.

We are are not shying away from the fact Kangaroo Island has been bruised. Yes, there are a lot of burned trees in some areas that you will drive through, but the beauty of Kangaroo Island is more than the sum of it’s parts. It still has the amazing beaches, authentic food and drink experiences, wild and untamed landscapes and of course lots and lots of wildlife. If you are thinking about a visit in 2020 then don’t hesitate, I can personally guarantee that everything people love about Kangaroo Island is still here.




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