Kangaroo Island Spirits, Kangaroo Island, South Australia © Meaghan Coles
Top places to eat and drink on Kangaroo Island
Spend your days eating and drinking around Kangaroo Island and you will find plenty of reasons to return.
By Carla Grossetti
In addition to its quiet bays, where seals frolic on the sand, and the pristine pockets of nature where you will find koalas affixed to eucalyptus trees, Kangaroo Island offers visitors exceptional seafood, world-class wineries and creative culinary experiences that see first-time visitors vowing to return. Here are a few that top our list.
"Dining under the gnarled limbs of a 120-year-old fig tree is one of the most magical experiences on Kangaroo Island."
Artisan goods on offer
Kangaroo Island is celebrated for everything from its wines and cheeses to its honey, spirits and beer. At Island Beehive, visitors can buy honey produced from the purest strains of Ligurian bees on the planet.
Head to Millie Mae’s Pantry for coffee and all the inspiration you need for your chic-nic (chic picnic) such as a loaf of D’Estrees Bakery sourdough and sticky figs from The Figgery. Or visit Emu Bay Lavender Farm for lavender scones with lavender jelly and a pot of lavender tea.
Be sure to try: Porridge made from local Kangaroo Island Oats with stewed fruit from the kitchen garden at Millie Mae’s Pantry.
For craft beer and local spirits
In addition to sampling a Summer Ale at Kangaroo Island Brewery you can get a decent bite to eat (think chicken schnitzel burgers and pizza) and listen to live music.
Set your sights for Kangaroo Island Spirits, near Kingscote, where you can sit in the outdoor gin garden to enjoy a tasting of their exquisite spirits. Mead is also having a moment on KI: head to the Island Beehive to pick up a bottle of Kangaroo Island Ligurian Honey Mead.
Be sure to try: Kangaroo Island Spirit’s Wild Gin, which is distilled using Boobialla (KI’s native juniper).
Enjoy a cellar door crawl
Download the Eat Drink KI map to self-drive the KI beverage trail, which will steer you towards the spectacular cellar door at Dudley Wines, perched high on the clifftops, boasting views across Backstairs Passage. Another top producer is Islander Estate, which is responsible for a range of distinguished French-style wines.
Bay of Shoals Winery is also worth a detour: the vineyard doubles as a foreshore museum of boats and nautical memorabilia and boasts stunning views over Busby Inlet. Sit down with winemaker Joch Bosworth at Springs Roads Wine to learn about the current releases in the contemporary cellar door located in Cygnet River.
Be sure to try: The full-bodied Shearing Shed Red (a blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon) from Dudley Wines.
Quintessential Kangaroo Island
KI is known for its oysters, marron, abalone and King George whiting. The American River’s Oyster Farm Shop is a shell’s throw away from the leases where the oysters are farmed. You can book a tour or grab a platter of fresh seafood here. Vivonne Bay General Store is well-known or it's KI whiting burger, or you can expect perfectly excellent pub grub at ‘The Penny’, aka The Penneshaw Hotel, which overlooks Backstairs Passage.
While only seasonal (December to April), dining under the gnarled limbs and canopy of a 120-year-old fig tree with Gastronomo is one of the most magical and memorable experiences on Kangaroo Island.
Be sure to try: A crisp ale from KI Brewery and a ‘Harvest of the Day’ aqua platter at the Oyster Farm Shop.