Frequently Asked Questions

A comprehensive reference page for all those questions you or your clients may have about visiting South Australia, including travel times and transport, accommodation and attractions.

Questions:

1. What is the best time of year to visit Kangaroo Island?
2. Where does the ferry to Kangaroo Island depart from?
3. Do I need to book the SeaLink ferry?
4. How many days should my clients spend on Kangaroo Island?
5. Can I take a hire car on the ferry/island?
6. Do visitors need a four wheel drive (4WD) on the island?
7. Can hire cars be driven at night?
8. Is it best to hire a car on the mainland or Kangaroo Island?
9. Is there mobile phone coverage on Kangaroo Island?
10. Do people need to pay to enter National Parks in South Australia?
11. Is a boat license required to drive a houseboat?
12. What is the best time of year to go shark cage diving at Port Lincoln?
13. How can my clients visit Lake Eyre?

Answers:

1. What is the best time of year to visit Kangaroo Island?
Kangaroo Island is a great holiday destination all year round. Summer time is always popular due to the warmer weather enabling visitors to swim at the stunning beaches or join a fishing charter. Autumn is a time of transition and some rainfall brings fresh growth to the island, making it a bit greener. Although winter is quite cool, it is the best time to view the wildlife as koalas, kangaroos and wallabies emerge from their mothers' pouches, and majestic southern right whales pass by the shores. Spring is beautiful as wildflowers begin to grow and the animals are still active.
Back to top

2. Where does the ferry to Kangaroo Island depart from?
The SeaLink ferry departs from Cape Jervis, approximately a two hour drive south of Adelaide. It’s a pretty drive and a stop at McLaren Vale is recommended along the way. Passengers are required to check in 30 minutes prior to departure time.
Back to top

3. Do I need to book the SeaLink ferry?
It is recommended to book the SeaLink ferry. There are four departures daily with additional services added during peak times. There is limited space for vehicles on the ferry so bookings are strongly recommended.
Back to top

4. How many days should my clients spend on Kangaroo Island?
We recommended a minimum of three days for a self-drive holiday on Kangaroo Island. Visitors often stay up to a week and still don't manage to see the whole island. Visitors are usually surprised by the size of the island; it is 155 kilometres long and 55 kilometres wide which is roughly the same size as Bali. You wouldn’t book your clients on a day trip to Bali so perhaps don’t do it for Kangaroo Island.
Back to top

5. Can I take a hire car on the ferry/island?
Most hire car companies (Europcar, Hertz) allow their vehicles onto Kangaroo Island however with restrictions. Check with the hire car company for their policy and further details. There are varying degrees of cover while on the SeaLink ferry (for example, Europcar covers the vehicle for damages while on the ferry but not if submerged in water i.e. in the extremely unlikely event that the ferry sinks). SeaLink has cover should the ferry sink and this is included in the ticket price, so customers are therefore protected. The car can be taken on every sealed road on the island, however upgrade to a four wheel drive (4WD) if you plan to drive on dirt roads.
Back to top

6. Do visitors need a four wheel drive (4WD) on the island?
Most of the main sights on Kangaroo Island can be visited via a sealed road (including Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, and Kingscote). It is recommended you upgrade to a four wheel drive (4WD) if you plan to take the vehicle on unsealed dirt roads.
Back to top

7. Can hire cars be driven at night?
Hire care companies do not cover vehicles driven between dusk and dawn due to wildlife being most active at this time. Keep this in mind when booking later ferries to/from the mainland when it is not daylight saving.
Back to top

8. Is it best to hire a car on the mainland or Kangaroo Island?
Either option is available. If your clients are seeing more of South Australia then it is recommended to hire a vehicle on the mainland. They can then stop at McLaren Vale on the way to the ferry or further explore Fleurieu Peninsula. Hire car is available on the island with Hertz and Budget and you will be met at the arriving ferry or flight.
Back to top

9. Is there mobile phone coverage on Kangaroo Island?
Telstra Next Generation coverage is widely available across the island. Optus, 3 Mobile and Telstra GSM have limited coverage on the island. Unfortunately Vodafone has no coverage on Kangaroo Island.
Back to top

10. Do people need to pay to enter National Parks in South Australia?
Most National Parks (and some Conservation Parks) require a fee upon entering which goes towards the maintenance of the park. If clients are visiting a number of National Parks on their holiday, they may wish to purchase a Holiday Park Pass, Desert Parks Pass or Kangaroo Island Tour Pass from National Parks South Australia.
Back to top

11. Is a boat license required to drive a houseboat?
No, a standard driver’s licence or boat operator’s license is required. The person driving the houseboat must be over 18 or in some cases 21 (check with the hire company). Houseboat companies give full tuition before departing along with river conditions, boating rules and mooring spots.
Back to top

12. What is the best time of year to go shark cage diving at Port Lincoln?
There is no ‘best’ time of year as sharks are nomadic and sightings vary from year to year. Traditionally however May to October has been a great time to view sharks. This however is winter time so the weather can be unpredictable. December through to February is also another great time to spot sharks as this is their annual breeding season.
Back to top

13. How can people visit Lake Eyre?
Lake Eyre is a massive ‘salt sink/lake’ in outback South Australia. It covers an area 144 kilometres long and 77 kilometres wide (roughly the size of The Netherlands). Some tour operators which visit Lake Eyre include Heading Bush Outback Adventures and Just Cruisin 4WD Tours. The best way to view Lake Eyre is from the air. Scenic flights operate from William Creek, Marree, Flinders Ranges and Coober Pedy.While the Lake has enjoyed good water levels over the past few years, it has filled to capacity only three times over the past 150 years. Please visit National Parks South Australia for the latest updates on Lake Eyre.
Back to top

Back to top
SA Experts Training Module Events and Packages Distance and Drive Calculator