You already know Kangaroo Island as a top South Aussie tourist destination for adventurers, sightseers, and wildlife enthusiasts – but did you know it has the culinary quality to challenge even the most prestigious food and wine regions in the country? Prepare your taste buds, it’s going to be a delicious ride.

Though not quite top secret, the quality that Kangaroo Island produce possesses is understated. Here’s how to taste your way around the island and meet some talented locals along the way.

Tasting room

Islander Estate Vineyard – tasting room

The perfect recipe for world-class wine

Kangaroo Island may not be world famous for its wine, but a handful of Islanders and their grapes are set to change that. It’s no surprise the potential for world-class tipple is possible, with the perfect cool climate and limestone soil – it’s just a matter of time before KI becomes a tourist hot spot for wine tasting as well as adventuring.

Where to taste:

Image: Bay of Shoals by Kangaroo Island Odysseys

1)    Bay of Shoals Wines in Kingscote present their multi-award winning wines and cellar door. Easily recognised by the pelican adorned wine labels, Bay of Shoals embraces all that is Kangaroo Island, bringing the laid-back culture to the tasting experience. The cellar door, designed by local artist Bernie Walsh is something to behold so make sure you take in the whole experience as you sip and gulp your way to heaven.

2)    The Islander Estate Vineyard founded by Bordeaux born Jacques Lurton, utilises the best elements of the natural environment to create stunning wines for the ultimate indulgence. Islander Estate is excited to announce the opening of their brand new intimate tasting room with guided experiences available, or simply relax with your favourite wine on the deck. Located centrally at 78 Gum Creek Road, Cygnet River, the Tasting Room is open 6 days a week (closed Wed) from 12 noon to 6.00pm. The team also offer personalized vineyard tours for something a little more bespoke.

3)    Dudley Wines are a family owned and run winery with extensive vines and experience producing the local’s favourite red and whites. Their cellar door is located atop a cliff overlooking the ocean beyond (so don’t let the bubbly go to your head) and with gourmet dining options to accompany the tasting, you’re in for a real treat.

Kis Gin –  they say it’s the spirit of Kangaroo Island –  and we can’t argue

KIS gins

Image: Kangaroo Island Spirits

Owners of Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS) Jon and Sarah Lark have bottled the unique taste of Kangaroo Island – literally. Their award-winning Gins are concocted from combinations of local botanicals such as Coastal Daisy Bush, Samphire, Wild Rosemary, Lemon Myrtle and the Native Juniper, which give these gins their unique quality and distinctive taste. It’s no wonder Kis was recognised best Australian Gin 2016. If gin isn’t your thing you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their Samphire vodka and range of liqueurs too.

The Kis cellar door is open Wednesday – Monday, 11:00 am – 5:30 pm during the colder months and 7 days a week during the summer.

856 Playford Highway

Cygnet River, Kangaroo Island.

Microbreweries and small-batch beers with anything but a small taste

Image: Kangaroo Island Brewery

The handcrafted beers available on Kangaroo Island pack a punch, everything you’d expect from passionate brewers and beer purveyors.

If we haven’t yet reeled you in with the quality wine and gin available on this beautiful Island, perhaps the Kangaroo Island Brewery is more your style. With 8 unique and lovingly crafted beers to choose from, the island’s original cellar door microbrewery is worth a visit – and the obligatory cold one or more.

After a day of fishing, there’s nothing quite as sweet as sitting back and enjoying a pale, amber or golden nectar – though we hear the stout is rather impressive as well and the tasting boards make it possible to try multiple varieties.

Honey you’ve just got to check this out

You may have seen it on the shelves but have you tasted it right from the hive? Clifford’s Honey Farm sounds like a fairytale land, and it may as well be, with honey ice-cream and tastings of organic honey varieties, it’s enough to give anyone a sugar high – so honey, come on over!

Clifford’s Honey Farm is a family endeavour, and that family-friendly feel is at the centre of their visitor experience. Learn about the production of different types of honey and the environmental importance of bees. Get a buzz out of visiting the world’s oldest bee sanctuary, home to the only pure strain of Ligurian bee in the world – just another thing to love about KI and its locals.

Image: Drunken Drone Brewery

Whilst you’re at the farm, pick yourself up some Drunken Drone Brewery, Honey Wheat Ale – a very unique and deliciously refreshing Kangaroo Island brewed beer.

Oysters and shellfish and abalone – Oh my!

seafood platter

Image: Oyster Farm Shop

The Oyster Farm Shop at American River offers fresh Kangaroo Island Oysters as well as other irresistible shellfish and fresh fish, unique to Kangaroo Island. With two types of Oyster farming that produce two types of meat, you’ll never taste anything quite like this.

And because we know oysters are food heaven for some, and food hell for others, you might be interested in Kangaroo Island abalone, Abalini, Marron, and King George Whiting as alternatives.

Try a free tasting of heoak Smoked Oysters, tasty Kangaroo Island Kilpatrick Sauce and delectable Smoked Oyster Dip. There’s a reason those who visit rave about The Oyster Farm Shop, and for seafood lovers, it’s an absolute must.

44 Tangara Drive

American River, South Australia

Hannaford and Sachs – island food fantasy

Hannaford and Sachs’ Rachel and Sasha

Nestled in the sandhills of Snelling’s Beach you’ll discover the original beach hut that spawned the Hannaford and Sachs dining experience.

With three stunning and entirely unique locations to choose to eat in, Hannaford and Sachs adds a touch of the fanciful and pinch of intrigue at each venue.

  •      Dine underneath the Enchanted Fig Tree and taste melt-in-your-mouth Blue Swimmer Crab and fresh egg ravioli with nut brown sage butter and Island Pure aged sheep’s cheese, or tuck into the Kangaroo Island pork belly bao served in a Taiwanese steamed bun – perhaps a crispy skin aniseed tea duck is more to your liking? If you can imagine it, and it’s local, there’s a good chance it’ll be on one of the tasting menus – a real touch of class.
  •      Hire out the beach taverna for an unforgettable evening with your closest friends and family. Casual finger food and sunset cocktails will keep you happy, lubricated and entertained well into the evening.
  •      Be enchanted by the Hannaford and Sachs rustic shearing shed. 150 years of history, decorated with chandeliers, candlelight and corrugated iron. If that doesn’t titillate your senses, the food certainly will.

5997 North Coast Road

Middle River 5223

Visit Sunset Food and Wine

Sunset Food and Wine

No culinary visit to Kangaroo Island is complete without first tasting the delicious plates created by young chef and owner of Sunset Food and Wine Jack Ingram.

Although born in the UK where he learned to cook, Jack has grown fond of the Island he now calls home and has a passion and flair for taking native KI ingredients and creating beautiful, quintessentially Australian dishes for locals and tourists. The restaurant overlooks American Beach and is the perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine and appreciate every bit of this magical piece of the Australian coast.

Get hands-on

Chef Tony Nolan invites you to get your hands dirty at his Latitude 36 Farm Kitchen. Learn to prepare local seafood, make Mediterranean style dishes, or select the cooking with coals experience for that genuinely smoky taste of life. Produce is carefully selected from his farm, and transformed into true Aussie tucker, by your own hand. With an emphasis on connecting agriculture, fresh ingredients and thoughtful cooking – spend a day with Tony and learn lessons you’ll keep with you forever.

Learn about local produce –  from the Source

Gnocchi

Image: Kangaroo Island Source

If it’s the true essence of KI you want to taste and remember, Kate Sumner’s Kangaroo Island Source is a pleasure and a privilege to experience. This is cooking born out of a passion for premium Kangaroo Island produce, with a gourmet touch. Kate built her farm-based kitchen after returning from London with a desire to create quality, locally sourced Kangaroo Island food that reflects clean, sustainable living.

She offers classes in preparing simple, considered dishes that reflect the region. Have fun, learn about enjoy locally sourced produce and come away feeling refreshed and inspired.

Kangaroo Island Source feeds not only the body but also the mind’.  (Kangaroo Island Source)

Kate is excited to announce that as of Oct 1st she is offering cooking classes every Tuesday and Wednesday for $90 per head. The hands-on classes including recipes, lunch, a KI Spirits cocktail and local wine.

90 Cape Willoughby Road,

Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island

SA, 5222

 

If you’re looking for something delicious, unique, inspiring and truly unforgettable – Kangaroo Island should be on the top of your list of places to visit. Book your culinary adventure before the secret is well and truly out and beat the crowds!

For fully organised tours that take the hassle out of booking and itineraries look at the variety of options available from Kangaroo Island’s trusted tour operators, some offering flights from Melbourne for those further afield. For fully organized culinary experiences try KI Odyssey’s Food and Wine Tours.

Don’t forget to tag @DueSouthAustralia #duesouthaustralia in your Kangaroo Island photos – we’d love to see them.