Some travellers will visit Kangaroo Island as a day trip from Adelaide. However, many will stay for 2-3 nights in the island. This blog looks at the different Kangaroo Island accommodation options that are available to visitors. Remember, the island is quite large – 150 kms wide and 55 kms height (see detailed blog on what to do and see). So, with that in mind, it is important to select the right location and style to suit you. Although many of these accommodations are self-catering, some of them to have a chef on call to cook dinner for you.
Where to stay on Kangaroo Island
As there are only 4500 locals living on Kangaroo Island, the accommodation options are limited. However, there is a good range of self-contained cottages. Plus there are lodges that provide breakfast, motels, hotels/motel, and resort style properties. But there are probably far more self-contained accommodation choices. To make it easier for you to select what you like, have a look at this overview:
Ecopia Retreat & Luxury Getaway – Middle
For the first 2 nights of our stay in Kangaroo Island we stayed at Ecopia Retreat. We liked this eco retreat for a number of reasons, not the least being its location. It is very conveniently placed in the centre of the island. At this stage, Ecopia has two villas to choose from – Villa Ada and Villa May. Ecopia is fairly new so everything is in top-notch condition. The building itself is made of rammed earth and it really does provide excellent insulation. Except for the bathroom, the interior is open-plan.
Because Ecopia has a strong eco focus, you will be expected to abide by certain environmental rules – things like waste disposal – but these are pretty much commonsense issues. As to the facilities, you will have everything you need. We thought the log burner was a wonderful feature for those cooler nights – it really creates a lovely ambiance. The interiors are very contemporary and because of the high stud roof, very spacious.
Both villas provide full kitchen facilities as well as a washing machine. And a big plus for us, is that the wifi is very good.
Food is not included in Ecopia’s tariff and is perfect for those couples who wish to self-cater. You can pick up supplies at the island’s supermarket at Kingscote. However if you prefer, food & drink packages can be pre-ordered prior to your arrival. Or a chef comes in and prepares the pre-set menu. What we loved about this accommodation, was the setting. We really felt like we were the only people on the island. We could also imagine that many travellers would love being so close to the wildlife – the Kangaroos and Wallabies that you will see most mornings and evenings.
Sea Dragon Lodge & Villas – Eastern Side
We selected Sea Dragon Lodge & Villas for our second stay on the island. The lodge and villas are the furthest in the east that you can possibly travel on the island. And that makes it a fair way from the key attractions on the western side – like Flinders Chase National Park and Remarkable Rocks. But the location is simply STUNNING! With views from the verandah overlooking the Australian mainland, how could you not be impressed.
The villas are incredibly spacious with great wifi reception and a well equiped kitchen. We are always pleased when a lounge suite like this one, is just as comfortable as it looks.
We really liked the bedroom suite and the fact that the toilet is separate to the bathroom.
We were quite impressed with the amount of inclusions at Sea Dragon. Continental breakfast provisions are provided, plus a complimentary bottle of wine and cookies. If you don’t wish to self-cater, dinner supplies can be pre-ordered. However, at a further additional cost, a chef can be bought in to prepare your meals for you. It is also handy to know that Sea Dragon offers a guiding 4WD service with a local ‘islander’ at the wheel.
Lifetime Private Retreats – Northern Coast
On the northern side of Kangaroo Island, you will find the Lifetime Private Retreats. Depending on your needs, you will have a choice of 5 very private houses and villas. They are very different from one another – some cater for honeymoon couples, and others, small family groups. When we first walked into our villa, the Beach Retreat, we immediately understood why couples must love this one.
The Beach Retreat has a large sunroom annexed to it – and thats what makes it so incredibly spacious – so perfect for enjoying those stunning beach views.
And yes, this particular villa does have a very ‘beachy’ vibe, but it also has a quite an eclectic decor – a bit of Moroccan, French Country and a touch of the contemporary. But what really sets it apart from the other villas, would have to be the beautiful porthole windows. Once again, you do have a choice of self-catering, pre-ordering meals or having your own private chef.
While in the Snelling Beach area we also visited other holiday houses belonging to the Lifetime Retreat group.
Sheoaks is higher up the hill and has stunning views over Snelling Beach. It is made of rammed earth and has a luxurious but homely feel. It has been cleverly designed to accommodate two guests or a larger family group. Sheoaks has a full kitchen with all the facilities you will need. You can either self-cater, or have a chef come in to prepare your meals.
Although the Cliff House can sleep 6 people, it is also perfect as a hideaway for couples. In the cooler months between May and September, an open fire must surely enhance a wonderful romantic experience. This one has the best views overlooking Snelling Beach. It has a private beach access and boy, those million dollar views! The Cliff House is considered the ‘jewel in the crown’ on the northern coast of Kangaroo Island.
Stowaway Luxury Retreat – Northern Coast
Stowaway is a classic honeymoon retreat cottage. There are two cottages on offer set very apart from one another. They are located just a little inland on the northern coast of Kangaroo Island. You definitely get a feeling of total privacy, being surrounded by paddocks on all sides. Plus you will see the kangaroos hopping about at certain times of the day. These cottages are very luxurious and of course, spacious. If it is a full kitchen you are after, you will have total independence to self-cater here. And it is not often you get to enjoy an in-built sauna – I guarantee it would be a pretty ‘cool’ place to stay in the winter season (May – September).
Dine Walcowrie – Eastern part
Now this has to be a very special accommodation. First of all, it is located on Browns Beach in the eastern part of Kangaroo Island. Dine Walcowrie is a high end family retreat. There are so many beautiful features throughout the building. There are five bedrooms and the large lounge and sun desk area is perfect for relaxation. We loved this property for its minimalist, yet stylish interiors. You will get the full dining service here with a comprehensive catering service provide by your local host Coreena.
One KI Retreat
Next door to Dine Walcowrie is the brand new and palatial One KI Retreat. This is a stunner! One KI belongs to the same owner as Dine Walcowrie. Both of these beautiful buildings are able to be combined for larger family gatherings. Private access to the close-by beach is a key feature as well as the tranquility and remoteness. There are some very private spaces on this large property where you can kick back and enjoy the sunset. Believe me, this accommodation is outstanding!
Resorts and Luxury Lodges
Southern Ocean Lodge – South-western area
The Southern Ocean Lodge is another high-end property. We did a site visit here while exploring the western parts of Kangaroo Island. The setting is truly spectacular. Key sites, such as the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch are close-by. Guests can walk from the lodge towards the beach and Hanson Bay. The lodge has 21 rooms and a large guest sitting and dining area. All meals are included in the tariff, plus some guided tour options. A private guide can be arranged at extra cost. All rooms face towards the views. A spa centre is on site – there is no gym or swimming pool.
Oceanview Eco Villas – Eastern side
Oceanview Eco Villas are brand-new! In fact when we arrived, they were still building these two contemporary villas. We are very excited about this one, which is due to open in August 2019. Yet again, the location is absolutely gorgeous. You will get 500 acres all to yourself on the coast across Nepean Bay towards Kingscote. The owners are locals and genuinely lovely people. They both have a very interesting background, which is perfect for their new hosting venture. The whole idea is to have the two luxury villas operating as a private guest retreat. Three-course dining and cooked breakfast is part of the package. Guests will get a night to dine with their hosts in the ‘history room’. It is a great chance to learn about the family’s history. This property is a unique experience. They have the right formula to be a huge success – location, people, endless style.
Mercure KI Lodge – American River
The tiny village of American River is half-way between the main settlement Kingscote and the eastern Dudley Peninsula. The Mercure KI Lodge is part the Accor group. Now from the outside it really didn’t look that flash, but once we stepped inside, our mood changed. First of all, The restaurant has achieved numerous awards. The standard rooms are OK. But we really loved the ‘Waterview Studio’ rooms. These rooms are in a separate area and build with mud bricks. These are larger suites to the main building. They do have a good vibe with balconies and views towards the bays.
Bed & Breakfast Stays
Molly’s Run – Northern area
Molly’s is located on the northern side of Kangaroo Island. And if you are looking for an nn old Italian Villa vibe, you will find it here. Molly’s Run is is owned and operated by locals Paul & Charmaine and they offer a true B&B experience. Dinner is provided at an extra charge. Pretty much all guest who stay at Molly’s, will dine here – there are very few restaurants in this area. Molly’s Run has three Suites – 2 with queen-bedding and one with king (plus single bed) configuration. So if you dream of ‘Tuscany’ within an intimate setting and great cookery, you’ll love it.
Stranraer B&B – Central KI
Stranraer Homestead is an historic 1920s federation homestead built from limestone gathered on the property. It has been meticulously restored to its former glory. The actual building is set on 1290 hectares of working property. Now, although Stranraer has all the mod cons, it is definitely not contemporary in any way. But that is part of its charm. The guests who stay here, enjoy a B & B owned by a’ local’ with legendary cooking skills.
Summary Kangaroo Island Accommodation
So, as you can see, selecting the right location on Kangaroo Island, is important. If you have 3+ nights on Kangaroo Island you might want to split your stay between the western and eastern parts. The key challenge on the island is getting access to suitable restaurants. There are hardly any. So if you are planning your trip here, do keep this in mind. You either go with a property where pretty much all the meals are provided or you self-cater (either shop yourself or pre-order meals).
Happy Travelling Kangaroo Island!