Kangaroo Island, like most of South Australia has a mediterranean climate - with a warm but rarerly uncomfortable summer days and a short wet winter. If you are coming to Kangaroo Island for wildlife, keep in mind, anything in a fur jacket (eg. Kangaroos) prefer to come out in the early morning and late afternoon and are most abundant in winter. Remeber to pack a jacket for cool evenings, year round.
SUMMER - December - February
As the summer approaches, wildlife retreat to bushland habitat to shelter during the heat of the day. The land is a contrast of golden pastures against summer wild flowers and the new growth of native trees.
- Kangaroos and Tamar wallabies are seen predominantly at dawn and dusk.
- Little penguins moult all their feathers at the end of the breeding season and can lose up to half their body weight.
- New Zealand Fur seals give birth to chocolate-brown pups.
- The Australian Sea-lion breeding season begins with pups born from January to June 2006.
- Heath goannas lay 10-17 eggs in the warm, stable, humid atmosphere of termite mounds, the perfect incubator.
- Koalas, wallabies and kangaroos give birth to tiny young, which are naked and blind.
AUTUMN - March - May
Pastures begin to green and waterways and catchments begin to flow. Autumn is a time of transition, with some rainfall gradually providing the wildlife with fresh growth to feed on.
- Glossy Black cockatoos and Little Penguins begin nesting.
- Black swans begin their courtship behaviour of wing-raising, neck-stretching and loud trumpeting.
- Fungi start to appear on damp ground and rotting wood.
WINTER - June - August
Winter is spectacular with lush green countryside, flowing rivers and abundant wildlife: it's Kangaroo Island at its most appealing. Land mammals, predominantly night, dawn and dusk feeders for most of the year, frequently come out by day.
- Koalas emerge from the mother's pouch and begin to ride on her back.
- Kangaroo and wallaby joeys start to emerge from the mother's pouch and feed by her side.
- Echidnas form 'mating trains' where up to eight males will follow a female for around four weeks.
- Waders, on their migration from Siberia, begin to arrive.
- Ospreys show off to their mates in spectacular courtship fights.
- Southern right whales pass the shores on their migration from Antarctic waters to the Great Australian Bight to calve.
SPRING - September - November
Spring is the season of rebirth. It is a wonderful time to see the spectacular array of wild flowers, birds and mammals.
- Wildflowers are in abundance. There are approximately 40 endemic floral species found on Kangaroo Island.
- Eucalyptus oil is in peak production. One tonne of leaf can produce up to 30 litres of oil.
- Cape Barren geese nest on top of the native iris grasses to incubate their eggs.
- Platypuses lay two eggs in a burrow up to 20 metres long.