This week-long sojourn explores the length and breadth of Kangaroo Island, and gives insight to the underlying geology, the resultant land-forms and soils, and how this, in concert with the clean environment and Mediterranean climate, can deliver a diverse natural environment and surprising array of local produce. You will be introduced to the people behind the scenes, the stoic characters, dedicated scientists and researchers, and the creative artists who are motivated to make beautiful things by the Island that surrounds them.
Along the way you will get to sample the produce – initially as a sampler, then as the main event in a meal later in the week. Our dining options include a mix of formal restaurant settings, picnics, tailgate tastings and even some home-hosted events. This is a hands-on, muddy boots, immersive experience aiming at satisfying the enquiring minds of curious travellers.
Each day covers a different part of the Island – both in terms of geography, lifestyle, story and character. Don’t be surprised if you cross paths with the same people again – but playing a different role as we often wear different hats here.
Destination Kangaroo Island
At about 440,000 hectares or just over one million acres, Kangaroo Island is large. This is not immediately apparent when one looks at a map of Australia – of course, that is because we often underestimate the size of the country. In many ways, Kangaroo Island is a microcosm of Australia – a large landmass, surrounded by beautiful coastline and spectacular beaches and quite sparsely populated. A third of the land surface is given over to conservation reserves, and four large Marine Parks protect the coast and submarine environment.
It’s isolation, a large percentage of remnant native vegetation and few introduced pests means nature is in good shape. Many plants (more than 50) exist nowhere else, and its’ kangaroo, tammar wallaby, short-beaked echidna, goanna, brush-tailed possum and, at current classification, sixteen birds, all have local sub-species. The lack of a human population at the time of European contact in 1802, means it’s fire ecology is unique, and wildlife populations have a level of trust which allow quality observations of many species in the wild.
The Island community comprises less than 5000 people – yet they are a creative lot. There is an excellent array of local produce including beef, lamb, eggs, wild-catch and aquaculture fisheries, honey, figs, wine, gin, wool and a variety of grains and pulses. Given the isolation and freight cost, producers have to be both efficient and savvy marketers, to make a living in competitive markets. To this end, producers, artists and tourism ventures have come together under a joint brand – that being Authentic Kangaroo Island. The objective is to celebrate the best of this in a week-long visit.
The Wickham family have been operating an experiential hospitality venture on Kangaroo Island for almost thirty years. They have drawn together an experienced team of guides, travel planners, a long-term Island Chef and relationships which run deep through the community.
Please Note: Minimum 2 people required to run the tour. Fully independent tour (FIT) dates given are examples only. Please contact us with your preferred departure.
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We partner with accommodation properties in three categories: Hotels, Deluxe Farmstay and Luxury Lodges & Villas. Unless otherwise requested, any accommodation booked by Exceptional Kangaroo Island is on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
Some examples of our accommodation options:
Oceanview Eco Villas
A eco-luxury accommodation located on a 500-acre rural property nestled atop the stunning Kangaroo Island coastline known as ‘Redbanks’. Their two villas, each comprise of two bedrooms with private ensuites and generous living space, offering stunning coastal views of Nepean Bay. Their off-grid, eco design and build gives guests a personalised 5-star experience along with the good feelings that come with leaving a small footprint and an ethos that seeks to both restore and give back to the environment.
The Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge
Situated in bushland on the banks of Eastern Cove overlooking the ocean waters of American River.
The Lodge is designed to blend with its natural surroundings, 38 superb guest rooms, most with unmatched views over the bay.
Around the lodge is abundant wildlife and birdlife. (You can even borrow torches from reception to spot for wallabies and possums after dark or request to see our pelican feeding experience on the foreshore.)
Reflections, the lodges own restaurant, is sure to be a highlight of your visit. You’ll soon discover why it is one of the Island’s most-awarded and loved restaurants. The Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge is located on the eastern side of Kangaroo Island in the township of American River.