Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

Chinese Name: 袋鼠岛

State: State South Australia

Area: 4,405 km2

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island. It lies in the state of South Australia 112 km (70 mi) southwest of Adelaide. Its closest point to the mainland is Snapper Point in Backstairs Passage which is 13.5 km (8.4 mi) from the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Once occupied by Aboriginal Australians, the native population disappeared from the archaeological record when the land became an island following rising sea levels several thousand years ago. It was subsequently settled intermittently by sealers and whalers in the early 19th century, and from 1836 on a permanent basis during the establishment of the colony of South Australia.

Since then the island’s economy has been principally agricultural, with a southern rock lobster fishery and with tourism growing in importance. The largest town, and the administrative centre, is Kingscote. The island has several nature reserves to protect the remnants of its natural vegetation and native animals, with the largest and best-known being Flinders Chase National Park at the western end.

The island is 145 kilometres (90 mi) long West/East and between 0.94 and 54 km (1 and 34 mi) from its narrowest to widest North/South points. Its area covers 4,405 km2 (1,701 sq mi). Its coastline is 540 km (336 mi) long and highest point is Mount MacDonnell at 299 m (981 ft) above sea level. It is separated from Yorke Peninsula to the northwest by Investigator Strait and from Fleurieu Peninsula to the northeast by Backstairs Passage. A group of islets, the Pages, lie off the eastern end of the island.

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