An authentic and immersive five day expedition delving into the heart of South Australia’s iconic island … in style.
A five-day journey showcasing the very best of Kangaroo Island, this expedition combines private touring with insider perspectives and privileged access to the island’s diverse landscapes, creative community, iconic wildlife, and well-established producer culture. You’ll be hosted by the finest guides in Australia and fascinating characters who embody Kangaroo Island’s authentic, community driven ethos — a range of resilient locals, dedicated scientists and researchers, and creative artists whose craft is intertwined with the surrounding environment.
This is a hands-on, fully immersive experience welcoming you to see beneath the surface. You’ll connect the thread from production to consumption with tastings from tailgates, at formal settings, on outdoor picnics, and in home-hosted meals. Each day will take you through different dynamics of the island with variations of geography, lifestyle, story, and character that work together to create the tapestry of this truly iconic island.
Family-run and hosted by locals Tim and Tamsin Wendt, Oceanview Eco Villas rests upon 500 acres of clifftop farmland overlooking Nepean Bay. Located mere minutes from American River and 20 minutes’ drive from Kingscote Airport, there are two eco-luxury villas each with two bedrooms and ensuites, offering an immersive stay in comfortable solitude within the natural environment, with your hosts’ family homestead only minutes away. Guests have exclusive access to a private beach and sheep-grazing farmland, with the surrounding habitat bringing wallabies, kangaroos, and the occasional echidna ambling past your bedroom window.
Committed to self-sustainability and eco-friendly principles, Oceanview harvests rainwater and runs on a hybrid renewable power system of battery-powered solar energy. Built with locally sourced, sustainable supplies and recycled materials, the villas’ polished and timeless design combines luxury and comfort in renewable five-star accommodation. Fully hosted with fullcourse dinners, breakfasts, and drinks showcasing local produce, Oceanview has quickly established itself as the finest luxury accommodation available on Kangaroo Island.
On arrival to Kangaroo Island, your luggage is transferred straight to your villa for a headfirst dive into your odyssey in the Cygnet River Valley, the site of the first European farm in South Australia. Explore the colonial and natural history of the island, with a trek to the nearby Ropers’ Gums—a eucalyptus forest where bushland has been reinstated over former pasture. Here, you'll learn about conservation of the island's endangered, endemic subspecies of glossy black-cockatoo.
Enjoy a private bush lunch in the company of the world's leading expert on short-beaked echidnas, Dr. Peggy Rismiller. Under her guidance, delve into an afternoon of engaging conversation whilst exploring the local ecology. Following this, enjoy a cellar door tasting at Jacques Lurton’s Islander Estate Vineyard to round off your island introduction, before meeting your hosts Tim and Tamsin Wendt at your accommodation for leisurely dinner and drinks.
Day 2: Nature & Culture's Intersection
This morning, yours will be the first feet on the beach for a private guided tour of Seal Bay Conservation Park and sea lion colony. Receive an insightful introduction to the conservation of these much beloved sea mammals, and take a stroll upon the endless white sands of Bales Bay, followed by some delicious and substantial morning tea.
Next enjoy a private studio session with celebrated local assemblage artist Janine Mackintosh. Using traditional preservation techniques, her art collects natural materials which are identified, pressed, dried, sorted, and assembled into a new whole. Uniquely local, you'll become acquainted with the transfiguration of found objects into lasting, award-winning artwork. Lunch will be a highlight—envisage a gourmet camp-oven cookout in the bush, or something similar depending on season. The evening will be at leisure with a local produce plate for dinner.
Day 3: Agricultural Encounters
Enjoy a languid morning with the option of a self-guided walk before breakfast. Today, you will sample the island's quality produce. You'll enjoy a tailgate tasting of fruits and olive oil at Kangaroo Island Olives at Nepean Bay, sourced from father & son duo Dom and Michael Esposito, followed by al fresco fish and chips at Reeves Point Heritage Park, landing point of the first fleet in 1836. Visitors from April to January will enjoy oyster season, with opportunity to learn about the industry, grading process, shucking, and to taste the product.
Additional artisan produce tastings throughout the afternoon include solar-evaporated sea salt, and local honey sourced from the placid Ligurian bees. Enjoy an uninterrupted beach walk along Emu Bay’s 5km sandy stretch, with well-earned refreshments afterwards. Finish your day with a relaxed dinner that could be lamb shanks, wood-fired pizzas, or a BBQ showcasing seasonal produce.
Day 4: Fire Ecology & Nature's Resilience
This informative and emotional day will have you traverse the bushfire-afflicted Flinders Chase National Park along the western coast. Begin the day at Land for Wildlife, a nonprofit enterprise for small mammal conservation, and enjoy a picnic lunch and some environmental citizen science before delving into the fire-marked landscape. Visit the natural icons of this National Park, including Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch at Cape du Couedic. You’ll survey the landscape and learn the role of fire ecology, and be awed by the environment's incredible resilience, seeing first hand how these natural monuments continue to thrive despite nature's hardships. Today will include a few surprises... we can't give away all our secrets.
En route home, stop at Point Ellen on a peninsula at Vivonne Bay, and enjoy a lookout over the largest safe anchorage on the south coast. For dinner, enjoy a final elegant meal in the history room of your host's home.
Day 5: Departure & Conclusion
Enjoy your final breakfast at Oceanview Eco Villas before embarking on your last day of exploring. Head to Snellings Beach to visit the historical cottage of Sir James and Lady Holden of GM Holden fame, and learn the history of the early north coast settlements. Take a walk upon a hidden beach at Stokes Bay spotting abundant wildlife, and visit local farms producing fine wool, lamb, seed potatoes, and marron. Lunch will showcase much of the quality produce you've become acquainted with along your journey.
Indulge your senses and revitalise your spirit in the afternoon with a hosted gin tasting at Kangaroo Island Spirits. Time permitting, you might visit Kangaroo Island Fine Art gallery to admire and potentially purchase works from this creative community before your afternoon departure.
Upgrade Option: Deepen your Aquatic Dive
Depending on wind and sea conditions, you may join Tony Bartram, the coordinator of citizen science projects Dolphin Watch and Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures, for an immersive aquatic research experience. Dive into Kangaroo Island's sparkling, turquoise waters straight off the rigid-hulled inflatable boat, and learn about local sea-birds, coastal raptors, and other aquatic discoveries, while seeking out resident dolphin pods.
Enjoy a truly unique open ocean swim with the dolphins, which many travellers say is the best dolphin encounter they have ever experienced.
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