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Camping on Kangaroo Island

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    I've been to KI before but didn't go camping. Now we are going camping on KI at Easter with friends and wondered if anyone else has done this and can recommend some nice sites to stay in?





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    Guest Andrew&Ren

    Aw that sounds fab!!! Cant wait to hear how it goes, we love camping x

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    I've actually never been camping before so it's going to be a love it or hate it experience!

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    Well we are back from our KI Camping extravaganza! Here is my blog:


    It was an extremely early start on Good Friday 10 April 2009. Our friends picked us up at 4.15am to make our way down to the ferry terminal at Cape Jervis. We had packed up the 4WD Land Rover Discovery the night before to save on time. The KI Ferry was booked for 6.00am but we had to check-in at 5.30am and it was at least an hours drive from Seaford. We would have got a later ferry but they were all booked out.

    The ferry took 45 minutes to get over to the island and the sea was calm. We watched the sun rise from the ferry. On arrival into Penneshaw, we thought we would stop off somewhere for breakfast but being Good Friday everything was shut in Penneshaw so we drove the 45 minute journey to the main town of Kingscote where we stopped off at the Ozone Hotel for a full breakfast which cost $15 each (although the idiot worker sweeping the floors outside the hotel should be given the sack as he was trying to put everyone off going in telling us it was $25 each for breakfast!).

    After breakfast and a stroll around the jetty at Kingscote, we then continued on our journey stopping off at the Island Beehive Honey Farm on the way. We took the North Coast Road which was a gravel road. Along here was an odd looking house built like it was a lego castle - still don't know what it was!

    We arrived at Stokes Bay where we set up camp for $5 per person. Right next to the campsite was the Rockpool Cafe although we didn't eat there, they did a good selection of alfresco type food. The campsite was basic with only toilet facilities which were a bit smelly and were leaking. You needed to roll up your trousers so that you didn't get them wet with excrement! It was fairly busy with a mixture people/families staying in tents and caravans. Stokes Bay has a lovely hidden sandy beach through a tunnel of rocks. The weather had turned out nice and it was a warm 25 degrees. We set up our tents and had lunch and then settled down for a nanny nap. There was a helicopter taking people on fun flights. When we decided to have dinner, we attempted to use the BBQ facility at the campsite’s picnic area but we couldn't get the BBQ going so we used our own camp stove to have our dinner of steak and salad Mmmmmm. As the evening drew in, the wallabies came out and were hopping around us.

    We decided one night was enough at Stokes Bay so on the Saturday morning we packed up and continued on our journey across the North Coast Road. We arrived at what we all considered KI's most beautiful beach called Snelling Beach. The weather was warm again so our friend had a swim in the sea while we all watched the pods of dolphins playing. We couldn't understand why a campsite hadn't been built there, it was such a perfect spot but unfortunately camping wasn't allowed. There was a BBQ and picnic area here.

    We drove along to Western River Cove. There is a campsite here but it was basic with only BBQ and drop toilet facilites. There wasn't any shady areas to pitch a tent so we decided we wouldn't stay here. We walked on the unsturdy footbridge over the riverbank and arrived at a hidden sandy cove. It was a picturesque area.

    We then drove up to Scott Cove on the north west peak of the island to see Cape Borda Lighthouse. We looked at Harveys Return campsite which looked ok but decided to continue down to the Flinders Chase Visitors Centre to see if we could find somewhere to camp for the night. When we got to Flinders Chase, we were advised that 2 of the campsites were closed (Rocky River and Snake Lagoon) due to the bushfires they had a couple of years ago but West Bay campsite was still open but was fully booked.

    We decided to phone ahead from the telephone box at Flinders Chase Visitors Centre and managed to get booked in to the Western KI Caravan Park and was glad we made the decision to stay here. It is situated on 550ha of natural bush and grassland and is right next door to Flinders Chase National Park. This campsite had all the amenities including hot clean showers and toilets, laundry facilities and a campers kitchen and cost only $10 each. We were allocated large plots for our tents under the shade of gum trees. All the plots were spacious so we weren't all on top of each other. We would definitely stay here again, perhaps not as campers but the Cypress Log Cabins were lovely. There was a koala walk right next to the campsite but we didn't need to go far as there were 2 koalas sitting in trees just outside the campers kitchen! We decided to stay here for the remaining 2 nights and use it as a base while we were in the National Park.

    It was cold at night and I was cold in my sleeping bag and ended up sleeping in fully clothed with my winter coat on as well as our quilt cover over me. The worst part is needing a wee in the middle of the night and having to unzip everything, put your shoes on and make your way over to the toilet block. Wallabies, possoms, geese and ducks and koalas all roamed the place and they were everywhere at night!

    Easter Sunday we went into the Flinders Chase National Park to see Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. We took a drive up to West Bay Campsite. We were glad we decided not to stay there as the blocks were partitioned off and there were only about 6 blocks. It was a basic campsite with only toilet facilities. The beach was nice here and our friend took a swim in the sea while we watched some more dolphins swimming in the surf. You could see the devastation that the bushfires have taken on Flinders Chase National Park but it was also good to see new life sprouting amongst it.

    Our last evening we made use of the BBQ facilities in the campers kitchen and had a BBQ of chicken, lamb chops and sausages with salad. It was a very well equipped kitchen.

    Easter Monday morning, we packed up our tents and continued on the journey along South Coast Road. We stopped off at Kellys Hill Caves and had a guided tour. Afterwards we continued to Vivonne Bay. The beach here is supposed to be the best beach in Australia but we personally thought Snelling Beach was better. Our friend had another swim but it was too cold and windy to sit on it but there were a fair few people in the surf.

    We called Sealink Ferry from the General Store to get booked on an earlier ferry back to Cape Jervis. We decided to have our lunch at the Vivonne Bay General Store which was nice and then left to visit Andermel Marron & Cafe/Two Wheeler Creek Wines. After here we drove along the unsealed roads back to Hog Bay Road making our way back to Penneshaw. We arrived into Penneshaw early enough to get on standby for the 4.30pm ferry. We were the last car to be accepted onto the ferry so we were pleased we would be back home before it got dark.

    This was my first official camping trip in Australia.

    Lessons learnt:

    Our tent was not adequate - the tents flyscreen should go to the ground on all sides to protect you from the weather. Ours didn't do this which was why I was cold at night and we were lucky it didn’t rain.

    My sleeping bag was not adequate - even though it was supposed to be for temperatures 0-7 degrees, I was freezing cold and had to sleep fully dressed with a coat on.

    We really did enjoy ourselves though and found it a good experience.

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