From wildlife to wildflowers, from September to November, spring delivers an action-packed show on Kangaroo Island. The best part is, the many walking trails give you dress circle seats. Spot dolphins from Cape Borda and migratory birds in Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park. Hike past casts of colourful wildflowers at Hanson Bay. Watch wader birds fresh from Siberia and kangaroo joeys fresh from their mother’s pouch. Get up close to nesting platypus and endangered Cape Barren geese. With mild, sunny days and energetic wildlife, spring is a great time to unveil Kangaroo Island’s secrets.
Walking is a wonderful way to get acquainted with Kangaroo island’s native animals and scenic terrain. Start with the short Clifftop Hike at Cape Borda, in the island’s north-west corner. Watch out for soaring sea-eagles, playful dolphins and whales on their annual migration. Afterwards, join a guided tour through the historic Cape Borda Lightstation and trek the path that lighthouse keepers hauled supplies up. In Flinders Chase National Park, you can take in spectacular coastal views on the Cape du Couedic Hike. Or walk to Admirals Arch to see hundreds of docile kangaroos and thousands of New Zealand fur seals playing on the rocks. Follow the Platypus Waterholes Walk to Rocky River, where in spring Cape Barren geese incubate their eggs in native iris grasses and platypuses nest in a burrow up to 20 metres long.
To put a spring in your step, tackle the six-hour Hanson Bay Hike in Kelly Hill Conservation Park, on the south coast. Walk quietly past kangaroos and wallabies feeding their newly-independent joeys. Possums, goannas, platypus and bandicoots also make their home amongst the pink gum woodlands, mallee, coastal heaths, freshwater lagoons and ancient dunes. In Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park, the Curley Creek Hike leads you past Murray Lagoon, where wader birds fly in from Siberia in late winter and early spring. You’ll also spot stilts, swans and ducks.
Whatever your trail, you’ll see the wildflowers that flood Kangaroo Island with colour from late August until mid-October. Of more than 100 varieties which bloom here, 40 are unique to the island. Wattles, bottlebrushes, small bush flowers and native orchids decorate the heathland and coast in shades of white, orange, yellow, pink and blue. Ask locals about the colourful nicknames, such as 'Jam Tart Bush' and 'Egg and Bacon' flowers. The eucalyptus plant is also in peak production, with one tonne of leaf producing up to 30 litres of oil. You can purchase some of the products from a distillery in Kingscote.
Of course you can’t miss Kangaroo Island’s most famous attractions. Head to Penneshaw and see little penguins making their nightly pilgrimage home after foraging for food in the Southern Ocean or see a colony of Australian sea-lions on the beach of Seal Bay. Meet wallabies, brush-tailed possums and kangaroos on a nocturnal tour along American River. Cuddle koalas and hand-feed lorikeets, hold a possum or get wrapped by a snake at Stokes Bay. Dive with elusive leafy sea-dragons, blue devils and harlequin from Emu Bay or Stokes Bay in the island’s north.
From wildlife to wildflowers, don’t miss the spring showcase on Kangaroo Island.