A reference page for all those questions you or your clients may have about visiting South Australia, including travel times and transport, accommodation and attractions.
1. What is the best time of year to visit Kangaroo Island?
Kangaroo Island is a great holiday destination all year round. Summertime is always popular due to the warmer weather enabling visitors to swim at the stunning beaches or join a fishing charter. Autumn is a time of transition, and some rainfall brings fresh growth to the island, making it a bit greener. Although winter is quite cool, it is the best time to view the wildlife as koalas, kangaroos and wallabies emerge from their mothers' pouches, and majestic southern right whales pass by the shores. Spring is beautiful as wildflowers begin to grow and the animals are still active.
2. Where does the ferries to Kangaroo Island depart from?
The SeaLink ferry departs from Cape Jervis, approximately a two-hour drive south of Adelaide. It’s a pretty drive and a stop at McLaren Vale is recommended along the way. Passengers are required to check in 30 minutes prior to departure time for the SeaLink Ferry. SeaLink is a Passenger & Vehicle carrying ferry.
3. Do I need to book the SeaLink Ferry?
It is recommended to book the SeaLink ferry. SeaLink has four departures daily with additional services added during peak times. There is limited space for vehicles on the SeaLink ferry, so bookings are strongly recommended.
4. How many days should my clients spend on Kangaroo Island?
We recommended a minimum of three days for a self-drive holiday on Kangaroo Island. Visitors often stay up to a week and still don't manage to see the whole island. Visitors are usually surprised by the size of the island; it is 155 kilometres long and 55 kilometres wide which is roughly the same size as Bali. You wouldn’t book your clients on a day trip to Bali so perhaps don’t do it for Kangaroo Island.
5. Can I take a hire car on the ferry/island?
Most hire car companies (Europcar, Hertz) allow their vehicles onto Kangaroo Island however with restrictions. Check with the hire car company for their policy and further details. There are varying degrees of cover while on the SeaLink ferry (for example, Europcar covers the vehicle for damages while on the ferry but not if submerged in water i.e. in the extremely unlikely event that the ferry sinks). SeaLink has cover should the ferry sink and this is included in the ticket price, so customers are therefore protected. The car can be taken on every sealed road on the island, however upgrade to a four-wheel drive (4WD) if you plan to drive on dirt roads.
6. Do visitors need a four-wheel drive (4WD) on the island?
Most of the main sights on Kangaroo Island can be visited via a sealed road (including Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, and Kingscote). It is recommended you upgrade to a four-wheel drive (4WD) if you plan to take the vehicle on unsealed dirt roads.
7. Can hire cars be driven at night?
Hire care companies do not cover vehicles driven between dusk and dawn due to wildlife being most active at this time. Keep this in mind when booking later ferries to/from the mainland when it is not daylight saving.
8. Is it best to hire a car on the mainland or Kangaroo Island?
Either option is available. If your clients are seeing more of South Australia, then it is recommended to hire a vehicle on the mainland. They can then stop at McLaren Vale on the way to the ferry or further explore Fleurieu Peninsula. Hire car is available on the island with Hertz, Budget and Seafront Connect and you will be met at the arriving ferry or flight.
9. Is there mobile phone coverage on Kangaroo Island?
Telstra Next Generation coverage is widely available across the island. Optus, 3 Mobile and Telstra GSM have limited coverage on the island. Unfortunately, Vodafone has no coverage on Kangaroo Island.
10. Do people need to pay to enter National Parks in South Australia?
Most National Parks (and some Conservation Parks) require a fee upon entering which goes towards the maintenance of the park. If clients are visiting a number of National Parks on their holiday, they may wish to purchase a Holiday Park Pass, Desert Parks Pass or Kangaroo Island Tour Pass from National Parks South Australia.
11. Is a boat license required to drive a houseboat?
No, a standard driver’s licence or boat operator’s license is required. The person driving the houseboat must be over 18 or in some cases 21 (check with the hire company). Houseboat companies give full tuition before departing along with river conditions, boating rules and mooring spots.
12. What is the best time of year to go shark cage diving at Port Lincoln?
There is no ‘best’ time of year as sharks are nomadic and sightings vary from year to year. Traditionally however May to October has been a great time to view sharks. This however is wintertime so the weather can be unpredictable. December through to February is also another great time to spot sharks as this is their annual breeding season.
13. How can people visit Lake Eyre?
Lake Eyre is a massive ‘salt sink/lake’ in outback South Australia. It covers an area 144 kilometres long and 77 kilometres wide (roughly the size of The Netherlands). Some tour operators which visit Lake Eyre include Heading Bush Outback Adventures, Sacred Earth Safaris and SA Eco Tours. The best way to view Lake Eyre is from the air. Scenic flights operate from William Creek, Marree, Flinders Ranges and Coober Pedy. While the Lake has enjoyed good water levels over the past few years, it has filled to capacity only three times over the past 150 years. Please visit National Parks South Australia for the latest updates on Lake Eyre.
14. Is there free WiFi in South Australia?
The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), in partnership with Telstra, has rolled out free connectivity at some of South Australia’s most iconic and remote locations. The SA Tourism free WiFi Network will enable visitors to connect when in range to the nearest hotspot with access to unlimited data for one hour per day using their smart phone, mobile device or laptop.