Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Set out on a guided or self-guided bushwalk to explore the reserve, the most popular of which is the aptly named Koala Walk. Along the way, look out for koalas hanging out in the trees and kangaroos and Tammer wallabies hopping through the bushlands. Guided night walks are also available, offering the chance to spot nocturnal wildlife such as echidnas, possums, and bats, as well as see kangaroos and koalas at their most active. To stay longer, check into one of the sanctuary’s beachfront cabins and spend additional time hiking in the reserve, swimming and sunbathing on the beaches, or discovering the neighboring Flinders Chase National Park.
Things to know before you go
*Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a must for wildlife enthusiasts and a fun attraction for families. *Guided tours run at least five times daily and last about 45 minutes. Private tours are also possible. *The Hanson Bay Visitor Centre has restrooms, a gift shop, and a café. *Note that wild animal sightings cannot be guaranteed and visitors are not permitted to touch, feed, or interact with the animals. *Wear comfortable walking shoes and suitable outdoor clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle. It’s also a good idea to bring binoculars if you have them. *The Koala Walk is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Other trails may also be accessible depending on weather conditions.
How to get there
The Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is located along the south coast, at the western end of Kangaroo Island. It’s an about a one-hour drive from Kingscote or about a 1.5-hour drive from Penneshaw along the South Coast Road. There’s no public transport to the sanctuary, so it’s best to join a guided tour unless you have your own transport. Planes fly from Adelaide to Kingscote airport (a 30-minute journey), or you can ride the ferry (a 45-minute journey) to Penneshaw from Cape Jervis on the mainland.
When to get there
Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is open daily from 8am or 9am until 5pm or 6pm, depending on the season. The most popular time to visit is in summer (December-February), so arrive early to beat the tour groups and the midday heat. Animals tend to be most active in the early morning and around sunset, especially during the hottest months of the year. Springtime is a particularly good time to visit, when you might spot new-born or baby animals and mating season is underway.