Contrary to what it’s name may suggest, Kangaroo Island is not just an area covered with mobs of the hopping animal.

Although kangaroos frolic throughout the island it’s much more than just a kangaroo’s home. Rather, it is an exciting hub of thrilling activities and spectacular attractions. Home to unique wildlife, pristine nature spots, and excellent history.

Where the name kangaroo came from

A widely held belief of the name’s origin comes from when the European settlers first came to Australia. When roaming the land, they saw strange hopping creatures scattered within. When they ask the indigenous aboriginal people what these strange animals were called, the answer was ‘Kan Ghu Ru.’- which actually meant ‘we do not understand’. Despite this being quite an interesting story, it is in fact completely false.

The actual origin of the name kangaroo was from a word derived from the northeast Aboriginal tribe Guugu Yimidhirr, which had the name ‘gangurru.’

How the Island got its name

The island was dubbed Kangaroo Island in 1802 when Captain Matthew Flinders and his crew visited the island. The crew were starving from a long vogue, and once landing on the island found what they need most in the world, fresh meat. In the captain’s journal Flinders stated that the entire crew joined in on hunting, skinning, and cleaning a mob of kangaroos. Consuming as much meat as possible while there. In gratitude for ending their months of privation, Flinders dubbed the island ‘Kangaroo Island.’

What kangaroos are on the island

There are four types of kangaroo that reside in Australia. The species on Kangaroo Island are not found anywhere else in the country and are therefore named Kangaroo Island kangaroos. They are a smaller, fluffier kangaroo to the mainland species. Due to not having any natural predators on the island they are quite friendly and may not run away from you at first glance. However, they are still wild animals and therefore you should not feed or touch them. Remember to keep a safe distance away and if driving on the island be sure to keep an eye out for animals crossing roads!

What to do there

Whether you are visiting for a day, a weekend, or even a week, you are guaranteed never a dull moment in this holiday spot. The island is home to a fantastic range of wildlife. Such as the largest colony of Australian sea lions, an array of bird life, and of course the hundreds of kangaroos. Natural wonders litter the island, such as the enormous Remarkable Rocks and the iconic Admirals Arch. Simply hop on a ferry and get ready for a bucket load of adventure.

Related article: Which wildlife should you keep an eye out for at Kangaroo Island?

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