FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Find answers to your questions about us, Exceptional Kangaroo Island, or about Kangaroo Island itself.
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for your perusal. If you cannot see your question, please ask us using the form at the bottom.
Kangaroo Island is larger than most people think. At its longest point the island is 150 kilometres or just under 100 miles long. Its widest point is 55km or 34 miles across. This makes it as large as Bali, Puerto Rico or Long Island New York.
Kangaroo Island has a Mediterranean climate: typically warm to hot dry summers (Dec/Jan/Feb) with very low humidity; and cool, mild winters (Jun/Jul/Aug). Our spring (Sep/Oct/Nov) and autumn (Mar/Apr/May) are true shoulder seasons where days can be more like winter or summer or something in between! Snow has never been recorded and slight frosts rarely occurring and then only in the central part of the Island. A majority of our rainfall occurs from April through September. Typical of islands, wind is a constant so be prepared for cool or even cold wind off the ocean any time of the year.
You can see SOME of it in a day, but we recommend longer to get a better feel for the islands. Our tours include a combination of the Island’s icons as well as places of interest only a local can show you. For a comprehensive overview of the Island take one of our package tours, which can include 1 to 3 days of touring. Package options can be found here. Most guests who visit for just one day leave disappointed that they did not allow more time. If one day is all you have available we will do the best to give you a memorable experience – our tours meet the morning flights and connect with the evening departures.
After 20 years of touring we have found that most of our guests come to Kangaroo Island seeking a similar range of experiences. That is 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;
- Participate in quality environmental interpretation; and
- Discover the social culture and history of the island.
There are several daily air services from Adelaide and a ferry service operates out of Cape Jervis. We can arrange packages including travel from Adelaide if required. A majority of our guests choose to fly. Our small group tours meet the mid-morning Regional Express flight (ZL4753) from Adelaide. If you wish to travel by sea then our recommendation is that you come over on day one and then start touring the next day. We can meet the morning ferry on private charter but not on share touring.
Regional Express operate Saab 340s (34 passenger twin engine turbo-prop) with a two pilot configuration and a flight steward in the passenger cabin.
QantasLink operate Dash8… out of Adelaide and Melbourne (seasonally)
Air South have a range of aircraft available for private charter. Regional Express have regular scheduled flights and Air South offer a reliable private charter service.
Yes we can arrange this. However, it is an additional service and not included in our usual packages as most people find it quite convenient to get a taxi.
Not unless you are taking a private tour. Time, distance and logistics mean than only those people travelling by air or who have spent the night on the island will be able to join a tour that day.
Yes – we have 3 full day tours which can be selected independently or combined as part of a package with accommodation and/or travel. Click the links for packages or full day tours. We operate these tours daily except for Christmas day and each provide 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 have chosen quality over quantity.
Yes – We have a choice of bed and breakfast, deluxe farm stay, or hotel accommodation for our share touring packages. Please visit our Accommodation page for more information.
It is possible for you to arrange everything independently but you will have to check with us to ensure that your arrangements fit logistically. You may find it easier to allow us to arrange your accommodation and transfers, which will save you time and give you peace of mind.
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 change in seasonal length of day but it is always after dinner in the evening. Numbers are not high in any of the Kangaroo Island little penguin colonies – a long-term trend of declining Little Penguin populations around the Island and elsewhere in SA seem to be coinciding with an increase in New Zealand fur-seal numbers which are expanding following a significant reduction in numbers through sealing in the early 1800’s.
The blame is being put squarely on the shoulders of the fur-seals whose numbers are now stabilizing following a rapid increase. It is likely the penguin population change is related to a range of factors – sea surface temperature changes linked to food availability; predation by fur-seals and other predators. Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that penguin numbers are down. Kangaroo Island Transfers, who have been offering extended nocturnal tours ex Kingscote, have decided to cease this service due to a lack of penguins. The implications of this for guests staying in Kingscote is that they can choose a walking tour with KI Marine Centre or a private tour with Exceptional KI – the share tour option is no longer available. Nocturnal tours from other locations are unchanged at this point in time.
There is an extraordinary array of wildlife habitats across Kangaroo Island and the surrounding coastline. Our company specialises in finding and observing wildlife in its’ natural habitat and we choose to avoid wildlife handling, feeding or captive animal encounters. Elsewhere on our website we provide a wildlife calendar, a complete birdlistfor the Island as well as all other vertebrates which have been seen here. This information is supported by information on how likely we are to encounter these species in a visit of a few days.
Our minimum group size for share tours is 2 people and the maximum is 12. If we have more than 6 people on tour a second guide joins the tour.
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 your itinerary to suit your interests. A higher price is charged for a private tour.
We can accommodate most mobility difficulties; depending on the level of mobility it may be necessary to take your tour on a private charter basis and Occupational Health and Welfare legislation limits the total weight any one person can lift to 25kg (55 lb) so if substantial lifting is required an able bodied companion must accompany anyone requiring such assistance.
Children love Kangaroo Island! However experience has shown it is difficult to run a tour that entertains small children as well as an adult group seeking a natural history experience. As a result, if any children in your party are under 6 years it will be necessary to take your tour on a private charter basis. On private charter the length of the day can be adjusted and activities designed to include more child focused activities.
We have travel partners in many locations in many countries. Please give us your city and country and we can make a recommendation if you want to deal with someone locally. This means you can plan with someone in the same time zone, currency and you are covered by consumer protection legislation which operates in your home area. If you are making all of your travel plans independently you can book with us directly however if we receive an enquiry from one of our partners and then you contact us direct 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.
Yes – our cancellation policy is:
a) For cancellations made more than 7 days prior to 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 prior to tour departure – you must pay a fee of 50% of the tour price;
c) For cancellations made less than 48 hours or for non-appearance to commence the tour – you must pay a fee of 100% of the tour price.
Tours operate every day of the year with the exception of Christmas Day as some of our destinations are closed – this is also an important family holiday for most Australians.
Regional Express have a luggage limit of 14 kg (33 lb) per person and excess can be stored for a fee per bag (multiple bags with a max 20 kg (45lb) per bag) at the Rex check-in counter. Stored bags need to be tagged with your name and return flight time and date. Once on the Island luggage is usually taken on board the tour vehicles for the arrival day and also departure day. Any larger bags are often stored securely at our office only two minutes from the airport if space becomes an issue.
We have our own Chef on the team and he prides himself on being able to provide the same high level of dining experience regardless of your requirements. We regularly provide for vegan, no red meat, low fat, gluten free and kosher meals. What is of course important is clearly communicating your needs in advance – once we are out in the bush there is a limit to how well we can dream up a special dietary solution on the spot!
Depending upon logistics on the day we usually collect guests from accommodations and often on to the airport. Generally accommodation pick-ups are around 9.00 am and to the airport by 10.00 am. At the end of the day we connect with the departure flights with a 6.00 pm check-in.
We have a dedicated trust account where your 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 the cancellation policy, your funds are always available.
Like any business we have a suite of responsibilities towards our staff, our community, the environment in which we operate and of course to you as our customer. There are also responsibilities you take on as a traveller and all of these are outlined in plain language without jargon. We are also fair-minded so if you think some of this is unreasonable please 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$399 per person land only (i.e. not including travel from Adelaide) valid until 31 March 2015. 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 some guests want accommodation on a room-only basis. We have good rates with the accommodations so you should not be paying any more than if you booked 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 2 children and a passion for sharing the Island with guests. Together with our small but experienced holiday planning team and enthusiastic guides we can put you in touch with the best the Island offers. For a little more information follow this link About your hosts.