Like the sound of natural wonders, succulent lobster and coastal honey? You’ll fit right in on Kangaroo Island (affectionately known as KI), a two-hour drive and a 45-minute ferry trip (or half-hour flight) from Adelaide. This eye-bogglingly beautiful patch of South Australia is incredibly untouched: half of KI has never been cleared of its native vegetation; a third is protected national parkland. Admire craggy granite boulders – the Remarkable Rocks – and Little Sahara’s milk-white sand dunes. Grains grow in abundance, perfuming the air.
Aside from eye-boggling good looks and abundant wildlife, Kangaroo Island is famous for its honey. Mr Justice Boucaut shipped the first Italian Ligurian bees to Kangaroo Island in 1884; a year later, the Ligurian Bee Act was passed by the South Australian Parliament, banning other bees from the island. KI now has the world’s only population of pure-bred, disease-free Ligurian bees and does a fine trade in exporting pure-bred queen bees.
What’s all the buzz about?
Ligurian bees are marked by three golden girdles on their back and have longer tongues for hard-to-reach pollen. They’re also renowned grafters, working longer than other bees and less likely to steal from their comrades. Work your way through different honey flavours – stringy bark; sugar gum; coastal flora; creamed honey – at the Island Beehive. Family-run Clifford’s Honey Farm is also famous, thanks to its 300 industrious hives, which gather nectar from blue gum, mallee, canola, bottlebrush and other native plants.
If you like seafood, don’t miss the island’s world-renowned southern rock lobster. KI’s cool waters from Antarctica and rugged rocks make for very happy crustaceans, who get fat on mussels, crabs and abalone. As you’d expect, this happy lifestyle translates into rich, sweet lobster meat.
When it comes to Kangaroo Island adventures, you’re spoilt for choice. To get the most out of this incredible destination, join a tour. Craig Wickham runs Exceptional Kangaroo Island, which offers small group tours or private luxury tours. Experiences vary, but you’re guaranteed plenty of wildlife-spotting and a scenic picnic.
When to go
Adelaide’s summers (December to February) are always sunny, but when the desert heat swoops down from the north, the temp can top 40°C for days. Time your visit with spring or autumn when it’s all clear skies, pleasantly warm days and plain sailing.
Where to sleep
Southern Ocean Lodge is an airily designed aerie perched on scrub-covered dunes high above eponymous ocean. Here, you’ll embrace the outdoors, whether you’re outside with the kangaroos and seals, or protected from the elements inside the hotel’s calming interiors (which come with spectacular coastal views, natch).
Begin your Australian adventure in style with Singapore Airlines. Fly one-stop to Adelaide from £660.