Where to Stay in Kangaroo Island

When it comes to where to stay in Kangaroo Island, there are plenty of options. KI the third largest island in Australia and is well known for its incredible coastline and beautiful scenery. The Island features out-of-this-world beaches, a network of walking trails, and plenty of wildlife. And not only is KI an outdoor paradise, but there is also a variety of award-winning restaurants, cosy cafes, and boutique distilleries to discover. Looking at where to stay in Kangaroo Island? In this article, we help you make your decision!

What are the main towns in Kangaroo Island?

Kangaroo Island has four main towns. These towns all offer a different perspective of the island with plenty of things to see and do in each of them. Whether you are looking for stunning scenery, delicious eateries, or wildlife spotting, the towns of Kangaroo Island have something for everyone. Keep reading to discover what there is to do in each town, as well as our recommendation when it comes to where to stay in Kangaroo Island.


Kingscote is the largest town on the island and is situated on the northeast corner. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drinks with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and attractions. Head to Cliffords Honey farm to sample pure Ligurian Honey and learn all about beekeeping and the unique Ligurian bees which are only found on Kangaroo Island. If you fancy a taste of craft beers pay a visit to Kangaroo Island Brewery, the island’s first cellar-door microbrewery. If gin is more your drink of choice, check out Kangaroo Island Spirits. South Australia’s first boutique distillery offering an extensive range of unique gins and spirits.


Penneshaw is the second largest town on the Island and is also home to the ferry port. For beach relaxation take a stroll down to Hog Bay or head further down the coast to Brown beach for dreamy blue waters. Penneshaw is the ideal spot for ocean adventures, book a trip with one of the local tour operators to explore the island from the sea. They offer a variety of tours from whale watching to snorkelling and you could even be lucky enough to swim dolphins.

Pic credit: Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures // SATC


Parndana is located in the centre of the Island and is a quaint laid back town which is definitely worth a visit. The main attraction for visitors is the nearby Wildlife Park, home to over 1500 species including Koalas, wombats and Kangaroos. The sanctuary also features over 50 different species of plants you will not find anywhere else in the world.

American River

American River is ideally situated between Kingscote and Penneshaw and unlike the name suggests, it is positioned on a bay, not a river. It is a picturesque town boasting incredible views of the cove and mainland Australia and there is plenty to keep you occupied. Boating and fishing are very popular in the area due to sheltered waters, join a fishing trip or head out on a private hire to see what you can catch. A great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the American River region is by walking the Independence Trail. The route takes you along the lagoon foreshore to Remembrance reserve and onto Independence point.

Pic credit: Megan Crabb / Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

Where to Stay in Kangaroo Island

When it comes to where to stay in Kangaroo Island, SA Weekend Escapes highly recommends staying in American River. Nestled between two of the main towns Kingscote and Penneshaw, it is the ideal base to explore the Island. The town offers a variety of fantastic restaurants and cafes including the Oyster Farm shop which is a must-visit during your stay.

Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge

Searching the web for ‘where to stay in Kangaroo Island’? In the beautiful American River, Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge is the place to be. The 4-star hotel boasts an idyllic and convenient location as well as a fantastic fine-dining restaurant.

Kangaroo Island Lodge offers stylish and comfortable accommodation including superior, studio, and family rooms each with a pool or sea view. The hotel is surrounded by trees, birdlife, and animals with beautiful sea views across the bay.

Reflections is an award-winning restaurant situated onsite, open for both breakfast and dinner. The seasonal menu showcases some of the region’s finest food and wines, whilst the bar features an alfresco terrace area and an open fireplace inside. It’s the perfect place to unwind with a glass of local wine after a day of exploring the special island.

Facilities at the Kangaroo Island Lodge include an outdoor saltwater pool for cooling off after a long day, a children’s paddle pool, and a full-size tennis court. There is also a pool table and darts board for some evening fun! Guest laundry facilities and a tour desk to help with any excursions are also found on site. Make sure to check out the pelican feeding during your stay, held every other morning by the Mercure Lodge staff. This is your chance to get up close to the pelicans in their natural habitat!

Sunset views of Kangaroo Island Lodge

Mercure KI Lodge is also committed to sustainable operations. The property uses solar power, rainwater harvesting and storage, grows its own herbs and edible flowers in the garden, and much more.

To book your stay, click here.

For more information on things to do in Kangaroo Island, check out our ultimate guide.