South Australia Islands.
There are 346 South Australia islands most of which are unpopulated, the 2 notable exceptions being Kangaroo Island and Hindmarsh Island which are both popular spots for holidaymakers.
Granite Island is also a popular spot for visitors, it is next to Victor Harbour and not far from South Australia's Capital city, Adelaide.
Granite Island’s main claim to fame stems from the Little Penguins (commonly called "Fairy Penguin") which live and breed on the island and attract tourists in great numbers.
The island is accessible by road from the mainland, either on foot or by catching an antique horse drawn tram.
Kangaroo Island is Australia's third largest island - after Tasmania and Melville Island.
It is 112 kilometres southwest of Adelaide at the entrance of Gulf Saint Vincent and at its closest point to the mainland it is 13 kilometres (8 miles) offshore from Cape Jervis, on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Kangaroo Island is150 km (93 miles) long and between 900 m (980 yd) and 57 km (35 miles) wide, its area covering 4,405 km2 (1,701 sq mi).
Its coastline is 540 km long and highest altitude is 307 m (1,010 ft).
It is separated from Yorke Peninsula to the northwest by Investigator Strait and from Cape Jervis to the northeast by Backstairs Passage.
Kangaroo Island is one of South Australia's most popular tourist attractions, attracting over 140,000 visitors each year, with international visitors accounting for more than 25% of these visits.
Some of the more popular tourist spots are:
- Seal Bay with ranger guided walks among basking Australian sea lions.
- Flinders Chase National Park which includes Remarkable Rocks, Admiral's Arch, lighthouses at Cape Borda and Cape du Couedic, and multiple walking trails and camping areas.
- Cape Willoughby
- Kelly Hill Caves
- Little Sahara, huge sand dunes on the south coast.
- The lookout Mount Thisby (officially designated Prospect Hill in 2002 to honour Matthew Flinders' original naming) with a 360 degree view around the island.
- Murray Lagoon with its abundant aquatic bird life.
- Parndana Wildlife Park
Numerous ships have been wrecked on the Kangaroo Island coastline, the largest being Portland Maru at 5,865 tons, which sank at Cape Torrens on March 20th 1935.
The greatest loss of life occurred with the wreck of Loch Sloy on 24th April 1899 at Maurpetius Bay, when 31 persons were drowned, and one initial survivor subsequently perished.
28 persons were drowned at West Bay in September 1905, when the Loch Vennachar was wrecked.
The first lighthouse built in South Australia was erected at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island in 1852.
Cape Borda lighthouse was built in 1858, whilst the Cape du Couedic lighthouse was erected in 1906.
All lighthouses continue to be operational.
Safe swimming is possible on the northern beaches, such as Emu Bay, Stokes Bay or Snelling Beach, and at Island Beach on the Dudley Peninsula.
The south coast has dangerous undertows and is more suitable for stronger and experienced swimmers only.
Kangaroo Island has several organised sporting competitions, including Australian rules football, netball, lawn bowls, cricket, softball, darts, go kart racing, sailing, squash and tennis.
The winters between June and September are mild and wet, the summers usually warm and dry, tempered by the ocean, particularly on the coastline, maximum temperatures in summer rarely exceed 35 degrees Celsius.
Average temperatures in August range between 13 to 16 degrees and in February, the hottest month, between 20 and 25 degrees.
Between May and September the island receives 2/3 of its annual rainfall, varying from 450 mm in Kingscote to around 900 mm near Roo Lagoon on the top of the central plateau and the wettest month is July.
More than half of the island has never been cleared of vegetation and a quarter of it is conserved in National Parks, Conservation Parks, and five Wilderness Protection Areas.
Because of its isolation from mainland Australia there are no foxes and rabbits on the island and these are prohibited from entry (how do you tell a fox or a rabbit that it can’t go someplace? Beats me…).
Registration and micro chipping of cats is mandatory.
The Kangaroo Island Kangaroo, Short-beaked Echidna, Common Brushtail Possum, Rosenberg's Sand Goanna, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Tammar Wallaby, and New Zealand Fur Seal are all native to the island, as well as six species of frogs and bats.
The sole endemic vertebrate species is a small marsupial carnivore called the Kangaroo Island Dunnart.
The Koala, Common Ringtail Possum and Platypus have been introduced and still survive there.
Kangaroo Island had a native species of Emu, the Kangaroo Island Emu; however, it became extinct between 1802 and official European settlement in 1836, perhaps owing to bushfires or from hunting by sealers or whalers.
The introduced Koalas have flourished on the island, to the degree that their preferred food source, the Manna Gum, is currently at risk of local extinction.
Koalas have recently been forced to turn to other, less palatable, species of gum for their food source.
Management methods used to limit the koala population include surgical sterilisation and transfer to suitable empty mainland sites.
This does not appear to be keeping up with the breeding rate, though, so the only practical solution may be culling.
The government is opposed to this though, fearing an economic backlash through tourism boycotts.
Kangaroo Island is the last South Australian refuge of the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo.
Hindmarsh Island is an island in the lower Murray River near the town of Goolwa in South Australia.
Located on the The Fleurieu Peninsula, it is a popular tourist destination, which has increased in popularity since the Hindmarsh Island bridge was opened in 2001.
The majority of the island is agricultural in nature, Hereford cattle and Shropshire sheep having been imported in the mid 1860’s.
Hindmarsh Island today has fresh water on its northern shore and salt water on the southern shores, the waters being separated by a series of barrages.
As early as 1914 an experimental barrage was constructed to link Hindmarsh Island with Mundoo Island and construction of the permanent barrages took place between 1935-1940 with the aim of maintaining a consistent water level around the river Port of Goolwa and keeping salt water from the northern shore thus improving agricultural opportunities.
Mains electricity arrived on the island 1965.The area of Hindmarsh Island to the east of the Murray Mouth is the beginning of the Coorong National Park.
In November 1985 approximately 1,405 square kilometres of area around the island was designated as a wetland site of international importance to promote the conservation and sustainable use of wetland areas.
In 2001, approximately a third of the island, the 10.81 km² Wyndgate property, was added to the Coorong National Park.As of 2005 the Hindmarsh Island Marina boasts the title of the largest freshwater marina in the Southern Hemisphere.
Go and visit these wonderful South Australia Islands and enjoy them for yourself,