Kangaroo Island is a place apart, of unspoiled nature, deep restoring breaths and invigoration. A place of authentic products and experiences that cause you pause and reflect on the things that really matter in life.
The third largest island in Australia, it is separated from mainland South Australia by a 15 kilometre stretch of ocean named the Backstairs Passage.
Its dramatic coastline, bound by the Investigator Strait in the north and the Southern Ocean to the south, surrounds 4,500 square kilometres of sculpted natural landscapes. It is nature, in its imperfect glory, which inspires and enlivens so much that happens here.
The 4,500 people who live here are linked by their very tangible and individual connection to the natural world that is authentic Kangaroo Island.
The island’s size and distance from mainland Australia lead some to say, ‘you must be madly passionate to be a commercial food producer here!’. But these very challenges also provide the greatest opportunities.
The island’s remoteness has always demanded a self-sufficient lifestyle: mixed farms of cattle, sheep and grain provided income, while kitchen garden crops, supplemented by fish from the bountiful sea, meant island residents ate well.
This legacy of ingenuity plus the region’s relative seclusion from the Australian mainland has influenced island food producers to deliver unmistakable quality, purity and flavour. Their emphasis on ethical food production is an understandable extension of the community’s regard for the natural world.
Kangaroo Island’s sought-after produce comes from people who are committed to ensuring their bounty will be enjoyed for generations to come. It is a landscape of protected wilderness shared with fields, paddocks, vineyards, orchards, livestock and beehives.
Inland, the island’s more than 500,000 sheep raised for their prized lamb meat and wool graze happily. Free-range eggs come from humanely raised, healthy chickens with no more than 1,500 hens per hectare. The taste of this true free-range production is evident. The island’s honey is produced by the world’s purest remaining strain of Ligurian bees, brought here in the early 1880’s. Its distinct flavour is one of Kangaroo Island’s iconic food offerings. Olive oil is another emerging Kangaroo Island product. Olive trees thrive in the temperate coastal climate.
The island also provides a rich array of innovative new products such as farmed marron, heritage free-range pork, figs and lentils, iconic sheep’s milk yoghurt and cheese, samphire, fresh water barramundi and condiments that contribute to the ever-evolving island food scene.
Grape vines were planted as early as 1837 by island settlers striving to create a familiar life in unfamiliar surroundings. Grapes were grown for personal consumption until around 1990 when commercial vineyards began to appear. In 2001, Kangaroo Island was officially declared an Australian wine region acknowledging its place alongside some of the world’s best. Today 30 growers tend more than 200 hectares of vines serving 18 Kangaroo Island wine labels.
With its remarkable profusion of wildlife and its unspoilt environment, Kangaroo Island is home to a disproportionately large art community. Nearly 10% of the island’s total population identify as members of the creative community and participate in visual art mediums, sculpture, craft, drama, music and writing. Artists open their galleries and studio doors to visitors in Kingscote, Baudin Beach and in rustic bush and beach settings all around the island. Kangaroo Island art is, above all, about relevance – to the community, to the natural world and to life on an island.
Kangaroo Island: Where you will discover the things that really matter in life.
For more information please visit Authentic Kangaroo Island.