Kangaroo Island is a big place, and apart from twice-daily SeaLink bus service, which connects Kingscote, Penneshaw, and American River, there is no public transport on the island. While you can get a lot out of the tours, I would heartily recommend you hire a car and spend at least 3 days here. Airport Shuttle Service (tel. 0427/887 575) meets all flights to Kangaroo Island and will take passengers to Kingscote, Emu Bay, and American River. Book the return trip from your accommodations to the airport in advance.
Major roads between Penneshaw, American River, Kingscote, and Parndana are paved, as is the road to Seal Bay and all major roads within Flinders Chase National Park. Most other roads are made of ironstone gravel and can be very slippery if the driver approaches corners too quickly. If you're in a rental car from the mainland, make sure your policy lets you drive on Kangaroo Island's roads. Avoid driving at night -- animals rarely fare best in a car collision.
Car-rental agencies on the island include Budget (tel. 08/8553 3133), FCBS 4WD Hire (tel. 08/8553 7278), and Hertz (tel. 13 30 39 in Australia). You can pick up cars at the airport or ferry terminals.
Special Value: An Island Bargain -- Get a Kangaroo Island Pass if you're going to explore the island on your own for 3 days or more and visit the national park and attractions. It costs A$61 for adults, A$36.50 for children, and A$166 for families, and includes guided tours of Seal Bay, Kelly Hill Caves, Cape Borda, and Cape Willoughby. The pass also includes access to Flinders Chase National Park. The pass doesn't cover penguin tours or camping fees. It's available at Tourism Kangaroo Island in Penneshaw and at the national parks office at 37 Dauncey St. in Kingscote (tel. 08/8553 4444).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.