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EXCEPTIONAL KANGAROO ISLAND FAQS

Find answers to your questions in our Exceptional Kangaroo Island FAQs below. If your question is missing, please contact us.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Exceptional Kangaroo Island. If you cannot see your question, please ask us using the form at the bottom.

Are you looking for frequently asked questions about Kangaroo Island? Click here.

EXCEPTIONAL KANGAROO ISLAND FAQS

Yes, we can; however, it is an additional service and not included in our packages. Most people find it quite convenient to get a taxi.

Not unless you take a private tour. Time, distance and logistics mean than only those travelling by air or who stayed on the Island can join a tour that day.

Our tour schedules cater for morning airport arrivals which occur at the same time as the morning ferry arrives 60 km (38 miles) away.

MORE ABOUT OUR TOURS

After more than 30 years of touring, we have found that most of our guests want to:

  • Observe wildlife in their natural habitat;
  • Meet friendly local people and like-minded visitors;
  • Share good food and wine in a relaxed outdoor setting;
  • Get away from the crowd;
  • Learn about the Island and its’ ecology in an interactive way; and
  • Discover the social culture and history of the Island.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR RANGE OF EXPERIENCES

Yes. We have three full-day tours that you can book individually, or combined as a package with accommodation and/or travel. 

These full-day tours are: 

We operate daily except for Christmas Day, and each tour option provides some flexibility in terms of themes followed or topics interpreted, depending upon the interests of the group.

You might note that some tour operators visit more locations in a day, but we choose quality over quantity.

About half of our departures are on small group tours and half on private tours.

Private tours can focus on landscape exploration and wildlife encounters or tailored to specific interests such as photographers, birdwatchers, young families, luxe couples, active explorers, arts and culture, food and wine and wildlife conservation.

Our small-group tours operate with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 10 guests. If you are a solo traveller, we can usually accommodate you on an existing departure.

We have 4 vehicles in our fleet and often cater for private groups using several vehicles. 

Share tours are those where you will share your day with a small group. It means that the itinerary is set.

Private tours allow you or your group to tour by yourself and the opportunity to design an experience that suits your interests.

A higher price is charged for a private tour for small numbers, but it can be cheaper if you are travelling with a group of 6 or more people.

You can arrange everything yourself but check with us to ensure that your arrangements fit logistically.

We have a share tour pick-up zone which is illustrated on this map – this shows where we can collect you from. If you stay outside of this zone, you need to self-drive to meet us at a pre-determined start-point, get a transfer, or take a private tour. Private tours start from anywhere on the Island. You may find it easier for us to arrange accommodation and transfers, which saves you time, gives peace of mind and should be the same cost as booking yourself.

Given that Little Penguins work very long days and only come ashore after dark you will need to book a nocturnal tour, which we can arrange. This may mean that you will have to stay at one of our preferred accommodations, or at least at a location from which we can pick you up. Start times vary due to seasonal change in length of day, but it is always after dinner in the evening.
Little penguin numbers are not high in any of the Kangaroo Island colonies. A long-term trend of declining Little Penguin populations around the Island and elsewhere in South Australia coincided with an increase in Long-nosed fur-seal numbers which are expanding following a significant reduction in numbers through sealing in the early 1800s.
Some people put the blame entirely on fur-seals whose numbers are now stabilising following a rapid increase. Nature is complex – it is likely the penguin population change is related to a range of factors:

  • sea surface temperature changes impacting food availability
  • competition from commercial pilchard fishing
  • predation by fur-seals and other predators such as rats, feral cats and even native predators like goannas.


Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that penguin numbers are down. There are other nocturnal birds and animals you can see after dark, and if the sky is clear, the southern skies are awe-inspiring.

Please contact us for information about nocturnal tour options as they vary depending on where you stay.

We can accommodate most mobility difficulties; depending on your level of mobility, it may be necessary to take a private tour. Occupational Health and Welfare legislation limit the total weight any one of our staff can lift to 25kg (55 lb), so if substantial lifting is required, you must be travelling with an able-bodied companion. It is important to note that we use 4WD vehicles (SUV or larger) for our tours which have a higher floor level than a regular sedan and all vehicles have at least two steps you need to climb to get on board. We have included photos to show access.

About 15% of our guests make their arrangements directly with us and the balance work with travel advisors.

We have travel partners in many locations.

If you want a recommendation for someone local who can assist with your visit, advise us of your city and country, and we will link you up where we can. A local travel advisor works in the same time zone, currency and is covered by your home country consumer protection legislation.

If you are planning your travel independently, you can work directly with us.

However, if we receive an enquiry for you from one of our partners, and then you contact us directly, we would refer you back to them to complete the arrangements.

Refer to the booking and enquiry page and please click here to view all of our booking terms and conditions.

Our cancellation policy is:
a) For cancellations made more than 7 days before departure – you must pay a fee of 10% of the tour price;
b) For cancellations made more than 48 hours but less than 7 days before departure – you forfeit 50% of the tour price;
c) For cancellations made less than 48 hours or for non-appearance to commence the tour – you forfeit 100% of the tour price.

Tours operate daily except Christmas Day when some destinations are closed – this is an important family holiday for most Australians.

Regional Express, who operate several flights daily, have a luggage limit of 15 kg (33 lb) per person and excess can be stored for a fee per bag (multiple bags with a max 20 kg (45lb) each) at the Rex check-in counter. Stored bags must be tagged with your name and return flight time and date. On the Island, luggage is carried onboard tour vehicles on arrival and departure days. If space is an issue, larger bags can be stored securely at our office, which is only two minutes from the airport.

QantasLink also operate flights to Kangaroo Island with several flights per week (changing seasonally) and they have a luggage limit of 23kg (50lb) per person. They do not offer a luggage storage option and we do not have a commercial contract with them so cannot offer Qantaslink flights in our packages. If you bring excess luggage over to the Island there may be extra charges for carriage and handling if it exceeds weight and space capacity.

We have our own Chef who prides himself on providing the same high-level dining regardless of your requirements. We regularly provide vegan, no red meat, low fat, gluten-free and kosher-compatible meals. What is critical is clearly communicating your needs in advance – once we are out in the bush, we are very limited in catering for a special dietary need on the spot!

Clarity is imperative – ‘vegetarian’ is meaningless – we need to know: eggs yes/no, dairy yes/no, fish yes/no and so on.

If you are ‘flexitarian’ then make your mind up in advance what you need on tour – we do not waste great food by catering ‘just in case’.

Find out more about our food and beverage service.

Depending upon logistics on the day, we collect guests from accommodations and/or the airport.

Accommodation pick-ups are around 9.00 am and the airport by 10.00 am.

At the end of the day, we connect with departure flights and a 6.00 pm check-in.

We have a maximum of 3 pick-ups per guest per tour ie your own location plus a maximum of 2 others.

We have a trust account where money paid in advance is set aside and only transferred to our general account once services have been provided.

This means if you have to cancel, subject to applicable cancellation funds, your funds are always available.

We have responsibilities to our staff, community, environment and to you as our customer. You also have responsibilities as a traveller in being prepared for the experience.

Collectively, these responsibilities are clearly outlined in our booking terms and conditions.

We are fair-minded, so if you think some of this is unreasonable, tell us and we will review it. These conditions are meant to be just and provide clarity and protection for us both.

Our share touring price is A$496 per person (01 April 2020 – 31 March 2022).

Our private touring price starts at A$985 per person (minimum 2 people) (01 April, 2020 – 31 March, 2022)

These rates are land-only, that is, not including travel from Adelaide.

We have not listed any package pricing because it varies according to what inclusions are required. For example, an overnight tour package can include touring; flights ex Adelaide; airport transfers and accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

However, you might want accommodation on a room-only basis.

We have good accommodation rates, so you should not pay any more than if you book individual sectors yourself.

The exceptions to this are internet airfares which are non-refundable and inflexible; or last-minute stand-by accommodation rates which by definition cannot be pre-purchased.

Exceptional Kangaroo Island is a family-owned business.

We (Craig and Janet Wickham) are long-time residents of the Island with two adult children who often work in the business.

We have a passion for sharing the Island with guests and, together with our small but experienced holiday planning team and enthusiastic guides, it is our job to connect you with the best Kangaroo Island offers.

Find out more about your hosts.

DON'T SEE YOUR QUESTION? ASK US.

MORE ABOUT US

Learn more about Exceptional Kangaroo Island.

Find out more about your hosts and their team.

We are founding members of Australian Wildlife Journeys.

Read reviews from our past guests.

Keep up-to-date with news.

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.

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COVID-19 UPDATE

Exceptional Kangaroo Island has recommenced private and small group touring operations, operated in a COVID-safe manner.