Photographing Kangaroo Island offers so much – rural landscapes, diverse bush, macro opportunities of tiny terrestrial orchids, spectacular coastline, and of course, extraordinary wildlife. Explore iconic places and local gems, and be at the right place at the right time. Our long history of guiding means you access wild images, usually only possible in captive settings. Your guide will work with you to get the best from your Island visit and ensure you enjoy excellent local food and wine.
As this is a private tour, there are alternate activities which can be substituted, and we recommend setting up the priority activities in advance to ensure availability.
Begin with a visit to Duck Lagoon, a freshwater habitat for ducks (regular haunt for freckled ducks when they disperse from outback waterways), swans and a range of other species. Classic Australian landscapes abound with massive red-gums reflected in still waters. These stately gums are home to pardalotes and a range of honeyeaters, including the white-eared, white-naped and brown-headed. This is also a prime spot for Koalas, which are partial to the Eucalypts along the creek line.
Continue to a nearby private sanctuary known as Cygnet Park, where a large scale rewilding project has converted former pasture into diverse wildlife habitat. Get an orientation to the Island as your guide prepares a delicious barbecue of fresh fish, halloumi, grilled potatoes and salad, served with some choice local wines.
After lunch, board a rigid-hulled inflatable boat operated by Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures to explore the Island from the ocean. Photographic opportunities incorporate coastal landscapes, raptors (white-bellied sea-eagles are the most frequently encountered species), cormorants, long-nosed fur-seals and bottle-nosed dolphins. Seasonally this can include a “swim with” experience, which offers underwater photography opportunities in shallow water for guests with the appropriate equipment.
End the day on the north coast in the Stokes Bay valley, seeking out the opportunity to photograph Kangaroo Island kangaroos as they emerge to feed.
Begin the day in the Island’s northwest in an important private wildlife refuge with Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife. Here, gain an insight into (and take part in) the fantastic conservation work conducted by Pat, Heidi and their team to assist some of the lesser-known (and often nocturnal) native animals. On the journey west, keep an eye out for yellow-tailed black-cockatoos feeding in Banksias and Radiata pines.
Lunch is a picnic enjoyed in the bush and consists of marinated poached chicken, fresh salads, cheeses and fantastic South Australian wine, beer, soft drinks and spring water.
After lunch, travel into Flinders Chase National Park through Rocky River, where the pastures provide winter grazing and nesting sites for Cape Barren geese.
Explore the massive natural sculptures of Remarkable Rocks, set amid coastal heath grading into mallee. The rounded tors with iconic orange-red lichens are a favourite with photographers from around the globe.
Cape du Couedic provides occasional access to oceanic species such as albatross and shearwaters during southerly gales. Right on the Cape is Admiral’s Arch, a spectacular sea cave, where a boardwalk provides an excellent platform to photograph terns and a large population of long-nosed fur-seals. Territorial battles between males peaks in January during a fur-seal breeding season that runs from November through February.
At the days’ end, spend some time in the lighthouse precinct – the Lighthouse keepers cottages are fine examples of Federation architecture, and the light tower showcases excellent stonemasonry skills.
The day commences with a visit to an Australian sea-lion colony at Seal Bay. These photogenic residents bask on a white sandy beach protected by offshore reefs and headlands, which provide critical breeding areas. There are year-rounded opportunities to photograph mothers and their pups, as they have a continuous breeding cycle. The beach is also home to hooded plovers, crested and Caspian terns, sooty oystercatchers and a selection of cormorants.
Murray Lagoon, the Island’s largest wetland, is home to an array of bush and water birds and offers seasonally diverse landscapes well worth exploring.
D’Estrees Bay is a long sweeping beach graduating from a protected marine meadow with a seagrass strewn beach often frequented by hooded plovers to an exposed coast to the south. Along the way is Point Tinline, where an active eastern osprey nest was first documented in 1853. If this were a house, it would be heritage listed!
Further south is a protected lagoon, providing amazing reflections of roosting terns. November through March, it is often frequented by visiting waders such as Golden Plovers and Ruddy Turnstones. Local surfers often frequent a break at the southern end of the bay so we can check on the chance for some action shots..
The bush surrounding American River is home to glossy-black cockatoos, galahs, beautiful firetails, scarlet robins and crimson rosellas. Significant aggregations of black swans, pelicans, musk ducks and a range of waders forage on the shoreline, and late afternoon reflections of boats moored in the channel provide additional photo opportunities.