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Kangaroo Island: why now is the perfect time to visit

This idyllic Australian island is bouncing back after the recent wildfires – and now’s the time to visit

Updated July 2020

By Samantha de Haas

A flourishing must-visit destination for wilderness, wildlife, and unique sights, Australia – and specifically Kangaroo Island – boasts the kind of beauty that stops you in your tracks. With its rugged coastline and friendly wildlife, Kangaroo Island is a truly special destination. But after the devastation of January’s bushfires, it’s fallen off many people’s ‘wanderlist’. However, Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari owners Tony Coppins and Sandy Hammat-Coppins say now is the time to visit.

“It’s more important now than ever to support the local tourism economy. The majority of businesses are operational and there’s still so much to see and do.”

says Tony Coppins of Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari

January saw the launch of the #BookThemOut campaign, a bid to kick-start the state’s tourism following the bushfires on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills – and Princess listened. As a show of support, Sun Princess was the first cruise ship to return to Kangaroo Island. “This gesture is a sign of our solidarity with the local community,” said Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell. Princess’ Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison, agrees: “Princess’ visit to Kangaroo Island is symbolic of its resilience and courage.”

Princess guests arriving on Kangaroo Island


Princess guests arriving on Kangaroo Island

According to Sun Princess’ Captain Diego Perra, guests and crew understood the significance of being the first cruise ship to call at the island. Guests went ashore on tours hosted by local operators, while others visited the community market on nearby Penneshaw Oval.

Only weeks after the fires passed, there were already signs of marsupials, small vertebrates and birds. “The environment is amazing – there are new green sprouts emerging everywhere,” says Coppins. “It will take time, but the island will return to its glory.” Over half the island was untouched by the fires, so this bushland continues to support huge populations of kangaroo, koala, wallaby and other native animals. The seaside town of Penneshaw, where cruise ships dock, is your gateway to this beautiful island. Look over the vibrant green resprouting hills as kangaroos graze nearby and revel in nature’s resilience.

Kangaroo Island is nature's paradise

says Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari owner Tony Coppins

Sea views at Kangaroo Island

Robert Harding

Unique things to do in Kangaroo Island

We asked Tony and Sandy for some of their must-dos when visiting Kangaroo Island. Here's what they recommend:

Excited to explore Kangaroo Island?

Discover more Kangaroo Island experiences at princess.com

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About the Author

Samantha de Haas

Samantha de Haas

Samantha started her career at Red magazine and has been writing travel pieces for various UK titles for seven years. In addition to immersing herself in other cultures, experiencing everything from local food to art, she loves an adventure, whether it’s backpacking across Morocco or jungle-trekking in India.