We are an award-winning wildlife tour and destination management company on Kangaroo Island, a large island (145×55 km or 90×35 miles in size), situated just off the South Australian coast.
Adelaide is our gateway city, where you can choose to travel to Kangaroo Island with a 20-minute flight or 4-hour road and sea journey, both with daily services. Most of our guests choose to fly for convenience or due to time constraints.
We have a collaborative approach, working with a stable of accommodation houses, adventure operators, artists, hand-crafted food and wine producers and researchers to deliver an immersive experience. We see our job as connecting you to the special place which is Kangaroo Island.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island specialises in small group and private touring which Craig first offered as a one-person operation in 1990.
The focus on ‘wildlife in the wild’ with a strong ethical approach of no handling, feeding or captive animal experiences remains central to our promise. Today there is much discussion globally about responsible travel and sustainable tourism – this has always been fundamental to our operation.
Today, Kangaroo Island produces a range of artisan food and beverages which allows us to expand our nature, wildlife and landscape offering to include delicious al fresco food and wine. As a traveller with a busy itinerary, we hope you will appreciate our focus on nourishing your body as well as your mind.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island has a deep connection to the Island community. Locals Cate and Peter Telfer pioneered small-group, high-end experiential tourism with Adventure Charters of Kangaroo Island in 1986 with a marine fishing and diving operation. Family friend, now proprietor, Craig Wickham, helped out as a specialist wildlife guide when demand started for terrestrial experiences.
Unfortunately, plans for Peter and Craig to formalise their partnership ended with Peter’s sudden passing. Cate continued the business before deciding to return to her profession as a Teacher. Cate approached Craig, who was working with South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service as a Ranger, and he purchased the business. This switch to the private sector continued a family tradition in hospitality which began with accommodation in Kingscote in 1976.
Craig’s parents, Pat and Geoff Wright, operated a boutique accommodation at the time so adding a touring operation offered great synergy. Janet, Craig’s wife and business partner, joined in 1994 and added another dimension to the business. Her background as an Intensive Care nurse brought a robust systems approach and quality assurance focus.
The name Adventure Charters of Kangaroo Island changed in 2005 to Exceptional Kangaroo Island. This deliberately-broad name aimed to facilitate the expansion from a simple tour operation to a full-service destination management company.
Today, the business showcases a host of accommodation, touring, adventure, food and wine, and cultural experiences and combines them with a logistics service as a ‘one-stop-shop’ where travel advisors and travellers access an efficient, professional service.
Since 1990, the business has grown to a staff of 22, including the Wickham family as working directors. Some team members have been on staff for over 20 years, and their experience provides deep links to our community
. The next generation has come on board with Blair and Skye (Craig and Janet’s adult children) becoming involved. Skye helps out catering and guiding over busy periods. Blair runs his own business (Wickham Marketing) and makes sales trips, business development and social media, manages our website and helps out guiding.
Frequently Asked Questions about Exceptional Kangaroo Island.
We are one of Australia’s leading eco-certified tour operators.
Find out more about the fresh, local produce we use.
We also offer specialised event management.
Not ready to make a booking right now? Chat with our team.
If you would like to speak to our reservations team, please leave a couple of details and they will contact you by your preferred method as soon as possible. Please note this will only be during standard business hours.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island has recommenced private and small group touring operations, operated in a COVID-safe manner.