Kangaroo Island Travel Guide
Kangaroo Island - Getting There
Getting to Kangaroo Island by Car
Driving a car to Kangaroo Island is possible however there is no bridge or tunnel so unless you are George Jetson with a flying car you need to use the Sealink Ferry, which runs between Cape Jervis on the mainland and Penneshaw on Kangaroo island. At the time of writing (October 2010) Sealink was the only Ferry Company operating.
About the Ferry & your car.
The Sealink Ferry to Kangaroo Island is often referred to as the most expensive ferry in the world for the distance it covers, whether it's the most expensive or not, by taking a car to Kangaroo Island you are choosing an expensive travel option.
With many Ferries if you pay for a vehicle then the passengers often travel for free, not the case with Sealink, you pay a hefty amount for the car then pay some more for passengers. At the time of writing a return vehicle fare was $172 and a single person fare was $88 return, so for $260 Sealink will take you 16km and back again with your car.
For updated ferry costs go to: http://www.sealink.com.au/getting_there/fares/
If taking a vehicle on the Ferry it's a good idea to book a few days ahead, just turning up and expecting to get to the island often never works, in the slower cold months there are only 2 crossings a day and if the afternoon one is full, you will have to wait until the morning.
Driving Directions from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
Head south, when you can't go any further you are at Cape Jervis, departure point for the Ferry to Kangaroo Island.
The driving distance from Adelaide to Cape Jervis is approx 120km, about the first third is through suburbs which can be slow going, so allow around 2 hours.
Driving Directions from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island - Southern Express Way
Adelaide has a 'great' road called the Southern Express Way, when travelling to Kangaroo Island, try and get on it as it will save you a lot of time driving through the suburbs. The SEXY, as it's becoming know is actually not very sexy at all, it's the express you have when you can't afford to have an express way, basically it only travels in one direction depending on the time of day, in the mornings it travels North, and in the afternoons it travels South, (except on weekend when this swaps) in between it's closed while a little man in a high visibility orange overalls and a van drives along and make sure all the signs are turned around, this seems to take him a long time.
Officially: The Southern Expressway is open approximately 22.5 hours per day - a one-way freeway operating for over 11 hours in each direction. The northbound direction occurs on weekday mornings and weekend evenings, the southbound direction occurs on weekday evenings and weekend mornings. It is closed between approximately 12:40am - 1:10am and 12:30pm - 1:30pm, except for Saturday and Monday mornings when the direction remains unchanged. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Expressway
Places to see on the way to Kangaroo Island. - Second Valley and the Cliffs of Fear.
If you have time, drop into Second Valley, about 50km before you get to Cape Jervis, a turn off from the main road takes you to a small village with a tiny beach and Jetty. It's very picturesque and a favourite spot for divers and snorkelers, in the summer time it's awesome even if you just want to a swim!
If in the mood for some adventure, turn left off the jetty and walk along the base of the cliffs for a couple of hundred metres until you can go no further (unless you are spider man), at this point you will be at the world famous "Cliffs of Fear" and the "Death Hole"
both named in 1989 by Adventurer Michael Cheesman www.michaelcheesman.com
The Cliffs of Fear is a natural adventure park with cliffs to jump off, scary caves to swim in and a small blowhole through which it's possible to swim. All these activities are of course dangerous and contain a high element of risk, possible outcomes during a visit to the Cliffs of fear are breaking your neck after not checking how deep the water is before jumping off a cliff, breaking your head while slipping on a rock and bouncing down a cliff, being pounded to death on the rocks if the seas are a bit rough, drowning when you run out air in the death hole and being eaten by a Great White shark.
Seriously, use your common sense, on a still day when the ocean is flat and the sun is shining, it's paradise, if the ocean is rough then getting in the water is suicide unless your Grandfather was a Seal
If you are planning to hire a car on the mainland and take it to Kangaroo Island, check with your hire company first, many of the major car hire companies based on the mainland will not allow their cars to go to Kangaroo Island.
There are a number of car hire companies who operate on Kangaroo Island, so it's possible to rent a car for the time you are there.
It's a good idea to book ahead as it's often difficult to secure an island based hire car, and again be prepared for elevated prices.
If you rent a car on the island, you will need to fly to Kangaroo Island or catch the coach and Ferry connection, Sealink Ferries operate the ferry and coach so the transition is easy. If all else fails, try one of our Kangaroo Island Tours
Road Conditions on Kangaroo Island.
You can get to the popular Seal Bay and Remarkable Rocks on sealed roads, many other places, including the entire North Coast you'll need to use dirt roads.
The dirt roads on Kangaroo Island are made from marbles, seriously, get out and have a look, so they are slippery as hell and every year visitors die and have serious accidents on the dirt, so drive slow if you are unfamiliar with driving on dirt.
Hitting fluffy cute animals is also a problem, especially at night, the downside of visiting an island which is crawling with critters at every point is that loads of them end up as road kill, avoid travelling at night and if you hit a Wallaby, Kangaroo or Possum, stop and check it's pouch for babies.