Subject: Re: Kangaroo Island
Hi Candice

Following up on the discussion on macadam roads on Kangaroo Island (with bitumen) and unsealed roads or sand tracks. The first thing you will need to realise is that usually in Australia your rental car insurance will not cover you for driving on unsealed roads unless you have exemption. The exemption is not automatic. In the Northern Territory the last time we were there, we hired a four wheel drive in order to drive the roads we wanted to. The first time we had to stick to bitumen.

Kangaroo Island is famous for the penguins and also two different sorts of sea lion and fur seal colonies.

This link gives you some information and also some ideas about tours.

The penguins and seals are at the opposite ends of the island. To see the fur seals (and some stunning scenery) you will drive in excess of 150 miles (200 ks) round trip 2/3 of which will be unsealed roads. The roads can be pretty bad too and your speed needs to be correspondingly slow. It was a long day trip there and back. There are tours and you may find that a better option

At the very least when you hire a car you will need to say you are going to be on Kangaroo Island and find out their policy. I suspect if you hire a car on the Island they will be more lenient than hiring elsewhere. We took our own car to the Island so I didn't have to deal with this. My parents hired a car though and drove on the dirt. I can find out more from them if you are interested.

One more thing about penguins. As one hotel web site put it: During summer penguin watching becomes challenging as most of the adults are out at sea feeding for the next breeding season in autumn. Consequently there may be nights when no penguins can be found in summer. So just in case you were hoping for something more exciting, you may be a little disappointed.

We visited in January (I am sure in an earlier post there was some remark about Australians taking their holidays in January - shock horror!) and we saw some penguins, but only small numbers nothing like the famous penguin parades. The ones we saw were very sweet, and the seals and sea lions were terrific.

Regards Anne Canberra, Australia