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


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.


Luxury Escape: Make the most of winter on Kangaroo Island

As Kangaroo Island welcomes winter, the rugged landscape is invigorated by rains that transform golden fields into luscious greenswards. It’s a time for experiencing the wild and pristine South Australian environment while creating a warm sense of sanctuary.

Stowaway lodges are nested amongst authentically Australian scenery, with 180° degree views, and elegant contemporary interiors warmed by a double sided wood fire.

Perfect for couples retreats, honeymoons, or luxury getaways, as a relaxing base for exploration, or sanctum for guiltless hibernation––there are so many ways to make your time during winter on Kangaroo Island unforgettable, rain or shine at Stowaway.

Bunker down

Our first lodge, ‘The Nest’, sits on a rise offering panoramic views of the Lathami Conservation Park, its rolling hills are covered in dense native bushland. ‘The Sleepy Hollow’ boasts expansive ocean views of the Investigator Straight and solitude as far as the eye can see. We know it will be hard to resist curling up in the window seat, with a blanket and a cuppa upon arrival, to simply watch and observe as the weather rolls through, the sun sets and rises, wildlife emerges, and stars light up the sky. Falling asleep to the sound of rain on the roof and waking to the birdcalls and sounds of Kangaroo Island fauna, will set the tone for your stay.

Absorb the surrounding nature

If the outdoors call to you, rug up in your winter woollies and explore the surrounding bushland––just be sure to carry water and make someone aware if you intend to walk off the beaten track. See if you can see the gorgeous Glossy Black Cockatoo, an endangered bird exclusive to the Island! For hiking trails, some of South Australia’s most iconic are just an hour away, making for the perfect adventurous day trip. The Snake Lagoon trail is moderately challenging but ultimately rewarding, with impeccable views leading to raw, uninhabited coast. In the winter months, fur seals come out to find sunshine on the rocks, baby joeys emerge from their mother’s pouches and Southern Right Whales breach just off of the shoreline.

Indulgent experiences

The milk and honey of vacation are what we dream of when times are tough; a professional massage in your candlelit abode, a bubble bath with panoramic views, or a hot tub under the stars. Your time with Stowaway can include all of this, allowing for a deep tranquillity that will follow you home. As the wind blows cold from the Southern Ocean, finish your day beside a crackling fireplace, wrapped up in fluffy white robes. Indulge in a steamy sauna or late-night hot chocolates on the porch before collapsing onto a cloud-like bed. Bring your face masks and favourite magazine or book the ultimate indulgence and unwind and revitalise with a relaxing massage for one or two in the privacy of your luxurious spa-like bathroom and prepare to be pampered in total privacy.

Epicurean eats

All of our guests receive a complimentary bottle of local sparkling wine and nibbles on arrival, freshly baked bread and a selection of Eden on KI fudge to begin their momentous epicurean journey.

Kangaroo Island is home to so much exquisite quality produce, particularly famous for its marron, lamb, artisanal cheese and interesting varieties of honey. These local delicacies are a must-try for all foodies that visit KI, but we understand that food shopping may not be on your holiday to-do list. That’s why, on top of our fully equipped cook’s kitchen, we provide food and drink packages offering everything you need. Choose from a wide selection of mouth-watering meals that showcase the region’s finest; from Southern Rock Lobster to Grazing Plates, Big Breakfasts and Gourmet BBQs. If that’s not enough to inspire some creativity in the kitchen, we also offer in-house cooking experiences with renowned chef, John Deer. If you have a knack for fishing and want to catch something fresh for dinner, the Stokes Bay rocks (west of the shacks) often send relaxed fishermen home with salmon, whiting, tommies, squid and the occasional flathead or snapper.

A reason to cheers

No romantic getaway or masterful meal would be complete without a glass of wine or a well-garnished gin, so we make it possible to bring gin tasting experiences from Kangaroo Island Spirits to you. We can also arrange an indulgent selection of wines from local wine producer, Dudley Wines. In accordance with some of life’s greatest pleasures, we hope that the lodge is filled with inviting aromas and that your taste buds are singing by the end of your stay with Stowaway.

Reconnecting with what matters

Sometimes it’s hard to prioritize the things we truly live for, especially when we’re distracted by work, life, and other labours of love. A stay at Stowaway is about reconnecting with yourself and the people that make you the happiest. Designed for two, it’s a place to rekindle romance and foster a new one. It’s also a time to reconnect with your passions­; a time for your inner-artist, whose talents have long been quelled, to finally paint that landscape. A time for your inner-bookworm to read through a pile of fiction beside a crackling fire, only looking up to admire breathtaking territory. It’s a time for your inner-photographer, monk, yogi, or couch potato to rediscover their practice in solitude. It’s amazing what an idyllic environment, and a little bit of time, can do for the soul.

Stowaway Kangaroo Island Fireplace

Snuggle up with your loved one by the crackling fireplace.


Should you manage to tear yourself from the comforts of your Stowaway lodge, Kangaroo Island and the surrounding Stokes Bay areas are brimming with exciting attractions. Just a 1km drive from the lodges you’ll find Table 88, a Mediterranean inspired Tapas Bar and Restaurant, dishing out premium food and drinks from 11 am to 10 pm. A visit to the Islander Estate Vineyards and their tasting room on the Cygnet River will fascinate you with their winemaking techniques and the significance that Kangaroo Island’s maritime position has on the vine grapes. If you’ve finished your Stowaway supply of Dudley Wines, you won’t regret checking out their cellar door too––in 2017 they won best Cellar Door Tourism Experience. In just an hour-and-a-half you can reach KI’s iconic Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, leaving a whole day to take photos, explore, and discover the Island’s history. Alternatively, if you prefer the dunes, a 40-minute drive will have you sliding down the sandy ridges of the Little Sahara in hysterics, without the crowds of peak season.

Curating a magical celebration

The excuse for a celebration is never bound by any particular season, in fact, a celebration in Winter on KI could be totally magical. Looking to exceed someone’s fantasies as you finally pop the question? Perhaps there’s a special birthday or occasion during winter that deserves significant attention––at Stowaway we are happy to work with you to curate an unforgettably unique experience, rose petals and all.

If you’ve been looking for a reason to relax, rekindle, celebrate, or simply explore the magic of Kangaroo Island, this is the perfect time to secure an unforgettable stay on Kangaroo Island. We can’t wait to show you. Book your luxury escape, here.

Kangaroo Island is open all year, and winter on KI is an experience not to miss. For more information on what to do on Kangaroo Island in winter click here.

Love Carly xx