Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a list of most frequently asked questions from our customers. The questions have been divided into several categories. If you do not find an answer to your question, please contact us.
- Online Help
- How do I book a return trip?
- How do I book a one-way trip?
- Can I book three people one way and only two people on the way back?
- When does the online booking discount apply?
- What is a ''standard' car size?
- How do I book my vehicle if I do not know the model?
- Why am I receiving an error stating "500 - Unfortunately, a critical error occurred while processing your request."
- I am still having trouble booking online. Who can help?
- How can I amend a booking I have made online?
- Is the driver's fare included in the cost of the vehicle on the ferry?
- Is it more expensive to travel to Kangaroo Island on the weekend rather than midweek?
- Can I go on a standby list so that I can be swapped to another ferry if it becomes available?
- How much does it cost to go on the ferry?
- Can I book my child to travel unaccompanied?
- Do I need to pre-book and if so, how far in advance?
- Can we pay when we get to the ferry terminal?
- How many ferries are there and how often do they depart?
- How long does the ferry journey take?
- How long does it take to drive to Cape Jervis from Adelaide?
- What is the address of the ferry passenger terminal at Cape Jervis?
- How do I get to Cape Jervis?
- What facilities are available at the Cape Jervis Terminal?
- What facilities are available at the Penneshaw Terminal?
- If I am not taking my car on the ferry, where can I park my car at Cape Jervis?
- Checking In
- Onboard Facilities
- The Journey
- About & on Kangaroo Island
How do I book a return trip?
On the Ferry search page, select 'Return' and nominate your dates of travel and number of passengers and whether you will take a car. Click the 'Search' button to bring up the ferry departure times, optional coaches and shuttle services for the dates you've selected.
How do I book a one-way trip?
On the Ferry search page, select 'One Way', nominate your date of travel, number of passengers and whether you will take a car. Click the 'Search' button to bring up the ferry departure times, optional coaches and shuttle services for the date you selected.
Can I book three people one way and only two people on the way back? (or similar)
Not in one search. You would need to add the return trips first, then return to the Ferry search page and search for the single trip. If you struggle with this or have a more complex requirement, please send us an email booking request at [email protected].
When does the online booking discount apply?
Every time you book a 'point to point' ferry fare for passengers and/or vehicles, an online discount will apply per person and per car unless specified. Online discounts will not apply for Packages as they already comprise discounted ferry components and are also not available on non-SeaLink products such as accommodation and other operators’ tours and activities. For more details see our Ferry Fares page.
What is a 'standard' car size?
A standard vehicle is a car up to 5 metres in length (e.g. Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, Tarago, Land Cruiser or similar). The length must include any protrusions like towbars, bike racks and bull bars etc and be less than 2.3 metres in height. A standard trailer is a trailer up to 4 metres in length (e.g. a 6 x 4 trailer, small camper trailer or similar). The length must include the draw-bar and any protrusions and be less than 2.3 metres in height. You may book a car online up to 5 metres in length or a trailer up to 4 metres in length. For all vehicles, caravans, campervans or motorhomes that are greater than 5 metres in length or 2.3 metres in height or trailers that are greater than 4 metres in length or greater than 2.3 metres in height, please call our Sales Centre on 13 13 01 (within Australia) or email [email protected] for prices and availability.
If your vehicle is a Truck, freight unit or travelling for Trade, Industrial or Commercial purposes and has the ability to carry commercial goods, has a carrying capacity of over 1 tonne, or is greater than 5.4 metres in length and/or is greater than 2.5 metres in width, please call our TIPC Department on +61 8 8551 7234 Monday-Friday between 8.00 AM - 6.00 PM or Saturday-Sunday between 8.00 AM - 4.00 PM (ACST).
How do I book my vehicle if I do not know the model?
Although the model of the vehicle should always be advised prior to arrival at Cape Jervis, we can appreciate that you may be renting a vehicle and are not aware of the details when making a booking online. Given this we ask that you put in ‘To be advised’ or ‘Rental’ to proceed with the booking. On picking up your vehicle please contact us on 13 13 01 to advise the model details.
Why am I receiving an error stating "500 - Unfortunately, a critical error occurred while processing your request."
Listed below are several reasons why this error may have been encountered: You may have:
- Resubmitted a request.
- Clicked an action or submit button multiple times.
- Requested a page from a session that had completed or expired.
- Used a web-browser that is not fully compatible with this application/website.
Safe ways to avoid such an error:
- If this page was found through using a saved Bookmark, please remove this bookmark from your list as the previous session has ended.
- Please avoid using keyboard short-cut keys or browser window Back/Forward buttons for navigation- you may instead use the back button at the bottom of each page where provided.
- You may also need to upgrade your Web Browser to a newer version to support this application.
- Please ensure you do not have multiple browser windows open. Please close all but current one and continue with your transaction.
Contact Us with your Feedback:
IT Support is continually working to make this application more stable. Feedback received on this error may aid IT Support on resolving the issue quickly. Please aid us in this process by contacting us with the details of what you were doing before the error, and screenshots if possible. If this is preventing you from making a booking, please call our Sales Centre on 13 13 01 (within Australia) or email [email protected] to make your booking.
I am still having trouble booking online. Who can help?
Please contact our Sales Centre which is open 7 days a week from 7.30am to 7pm ACST or send email us at [email protected]
Can I amend or change my booking online?
Yes you can manage your booking online and perform the following functions:
- View your itinerary and booking documents
- Pay for any outstanding amount through our secure website i.e. Balance Due
- Change the time and date of a ferry booking
- Change the time and date of mainland coach transfers
- Change the time and date of on-island shuttle transfers
These functions are available regardless of whether the booking was made online, over the phone or direct with one of our travel centre offices.
Here are the steps to change your booking online:
- Click on ‘My Booking’ in the top right-hand corner of the home page
- Click on ‘Manage Your Existing Booking’
- Input the email address used when making the booking and the booking number. An email will be sent immediately to the email address entered with a link to manage your booking
- Click on the emailed link and you will be taken to your booking to make your changes
Is the driver's fare included in the cost of the vehicle on the ferry?
No it is not. The driver is required to pay the standard passenger fare available at that time.
Is it more expensive to travel to Kangaroo Island on the weekend rather than midweek?
Ferry Fares are the same on both weekends and midweek.
Can I go on a standby list so that I can be swapped to another ferry if it becomes available?
We do not operate an automated waitlist system; however you may change your booking to another sailing time if a space becomes available. Please call our Sales Centre on 13 13 01 (within Australia) or you may be able to modify your booking online. Please note that if you make a change over the phone to a booking that you made online, you will lose the online discount. If you particularly want to travel on a certain ferry departure that is fully booked, you may list yourself, prior to departure, as a stand-by passenger/vehicle at the Wharf/Terminal check-in area only. This does not guarantee you a space on this ferry departure though and you must wait with your vehicle for our instructions.
How much does it cost to go on the ferry?
We also offer regular special offers. To find out about any of these offers please visit our specials page.
Can I book my child to travel unaccompanied?
Children 5 to 14 years of age are permitted to travel unaccompanied on the SeaLink Coach Connection service between Adelaide/Cape Jervis/Adelaide on the mainland and on the SeaLink Shuttle Bus between Penneshaw/American River/Kingscote/Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. An Unaccompanied Child Travel Form must be completed by the parent/guardian prior to travel. Please call our Sales Centre on 13 13 01 (within Australia) to make the necessary arrangements.
Please note, children less than 5 years of age are not permitted to travel unaccompanied.
All children (0-14 years) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when travelling with SeaLink South Australia and cannot travel unaccompanied. One parent or guardian can travel free of charge return on the ferry to accompany the child and must return on the next available ferry. Please call our Sales Centre on 13 13 01 (within Australia) for full conditions.
Do I need to pre-book and if so, how far in advance?
Yes we definitely advise you to pre-book to avoid disappointment. Peak times are generally during Easter and School Holiday periods, Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival, Public Holiday long weekends and the Christmas period from 26th December to 8th January. See a list of upcoming events.
Can we pay when we get to the ferry terminal?
No. All online bookings must be paid in full by credit card at the time of booking. Other bookings must also be paid for prior to travel. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions page for further information.
How many ferries are there and how often do they depart?
SeaLink have two ferries operating back to back between the ports of Cape Jervis, on mainland Australia and Penneshaw, on Kangaroo Island. Generally there are 4 services each way per day; however this can increase to up to 12 services each way per day during peak periods. View our SeaLink Ferry Timetable.
How long does the ferry journey take?
The crossing is approximately 45 minutes each way.
How long does it take to drive to Cape Jervis from Adelaide?
It takes approximately 2 hours to drive from the central business district (CBD) of Adelaide to Cape Jervis. You are required to check in at least 30 minutes prior to departure, so you therefore should allow 2.5 hours if you are driving from the Adelaide CBD. For more approximate travel times please refer to our getting there and around page.
What is the address of the ferry passenger terminal at Cape Jervis?
The Cape Jervis Ferry Passenger Terminal is located at the Cape Jervis Wharf on Flinders Drive, Cape Jervis. Cape Jervis is situated at the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula overlooking the Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island. Follow the road through the township to the Wharf and Jetty area. The vehicle loading area is adjacent to the wharf and jetty in front of the Ferry Passenger Terminal. The terminal can be found on GPS devices.
How do I get to Cape Jervis?
Follow the Main South Road out of Adelaide. Allow a minimum of 2 hours driving time from Adelaide to Cape Jervis with an additional 30 minutes to check in. The distance from the Adelaide CBD to Cape Jervis is 110 kilometres with many towns and winding roads to pass through where you will need to slow down. Roadworks on your journey to Cape Jervis could hold you up. To enquire prior to your travel date please call Transport SA Eastern Region on 08 8532 8111.
What facilities are available at the Cape Jervis Terminal?
The Cape Jervis Terminal has access friendly restrooms, a café serving great coffee and fresh snacks, souvenirs, comfortable seating and Free Wi-Fi.
What facilities are available at the Penneshaw Terminal?
Penneshaw has access friendly restrooms, a lift, café & café seating, waiting lounge, Free Wi-Fi and a Kangaroo Island produce and wine store for last minute purchases.
If I am not taking my car on the ferry, where can I park my car at Cape Jervis?
Short Term: there is car parking in the upper public car park area above the car waiting area. There is no fee but there are time restrictions. There are 2 hour, 12 hour and no limit parking areas.
Lock-up Short Term or Long Term: A short walk from the Cape Jervis Terminal is a fenced, open-air car parking area which is open prior to the first sailing from Cape Jervis and locked up after the last sailing at night into Cape Jervis. A daily fee is charged and parking tickets can be purchased online when finalizing your booking, via our Sales Centre or when you arrive at the Cape Jervis Terminal.
What time do I need to check-in?
At least a half hour prior to departure time.
Do I need to show photo id?
No. We do not currently ask for photo id, however, this may be required for special offers or concession fares.
Do I drive my own car onto the ferry?
Yes, you can. When you arrive at the car waiting area, you or one of your passengers should proceed to the terminal to check in and receive your boarding passes. Each passenger will receive a boarding pass. The driver will receive a different pass which includes the vehicle and the driver. Please then return to your vehicle and await crew instructions to proceed onto the ferry. All other passengers in the car should board the ferry via the walk on boarding ramps. If you do not feel comfortable driving your car onto the ferry, please ask one of our friendly crew who will be pleased to drive your car onto the ferry and return your keys to you.
If I am first on the ferry with my car, will I be first off?
It will depend on where your car ends up being positioned on the vehicle deck of the ferry.
Can I take my dog on the ferry and is there a cost for my dog to travel?
Yes, you can take your dog or cat on the ferry at no charge. One person only is to be in charge of taking pets onto the ferry. Unless your pet is remaining in your vehicle for the duration of the crossing, you must wait with your pet to board the ferry via the car loading ramp. All pets must be on a secure lead or in an approved pet cage provided by you.
Passengers with pets are only allowed on the top deck of the vessel which has an indoor and outdoor area. Please note, passengers are not permitted to remain in their vehicles during the crossing. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animal's waste. Bag dispensers are located in the top deck lounge area. Guide dogs, hearing dogs, assistance dogs and service dogs, including those in training, are permitted throughout the terminals and vessels and containment requirements do not apply.
What is the process for boarding with my pet?
Once you have checked in, you will be asked to wait at a designated, sign posted area with your pet. You will not receive a boarding pass for your pet. When approached by our crew, you will be directed over the vehicle loading ramp, to the stairways which will lead you up to our top deck area. Your pet is welcome in the lounge area inside and the outside seating areas of the vessel’s top deck. Please ensure your pet remains on a secure lead at all times. At the conclusion of the crossing, you will make your way down the rear stairs and await the crews’ direction to disembark the vessel. It is essential for safety reasons that you wait to be directed by our crew.
It is also important to notify the Kangaroo Island Council prior to your visit on 08 8553 4500 or via email [email protected] and provide the following details – full name, contact number while visiting, breed of animal(s), council registration details (Council name, current registration tag number and microchip number) for the animal and duration of your stay.
Pets are NOT allowed at Seal Bay, Flinders Chase or any Park on Kangaroo Island (including car parks). Useful contacts for you include: KI Kennels Dog and Cat Boarding Facilities, 935 Hog Bay Road, Nepean Bay (08 8553 9032) and Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic, Playford Highway, Kingscote.
Do I need to pre-book accommodation on Kangaroo Island?
Yes, it is highly recommended that you pre-book your accommodation before arriving on Kangaroo Island. SeaLink offers over 170 accommodation choices ranging from hotels/motels, bed & breakfasts, cabins, apartments, holiday houses and lighthouse keeper's cottages. Explore our accommodation range online.
Did you know that when you book accommodation on Kangaroo Island in conjunction with your ferry fare you can save around $76 on your ferry fares? For more information on booking ferry and accommodation as a package you can visit our self-drive accommodation packages page.
What do I do with my luggage if I am not bringing my own vehicle?
SeaLink offers the service of a 'luggage van' to load your luggage into. The van is parked alongside the Cape Jervis or Penneshaw Ferry Terminals and you are responsible for placing and collecting your own luggage to/from the luggage van.
Can I take gas bottles on board?
Yes if they are secured or so they cannot roll around.
Can I take jerry cans with fuel on the ferry?
Yes, but only in approved containers and if they are secured in or to your vehicle.
Do you have facilities for wheelchairs or passengers who are mobility impaired?
Our passenger boarding ramps have wheelchair access and there is also a restroom onboard each ferry which allows wheelchair access. Should you require a wheelchair, we are able to provide an electric one and can offer assistance to help you board the ferry. Please ensure you make us aware when you make your book or when you check in. Please contact our Sales Centre on 13 13 01 (within Australia) or email [email protected] for guidelines on mobility assistance.
Are there EFTPOS facilities on board?
EFTPOS facilities are available on board both ferries and in both ferry terminal cafes. A minimum spend may be required (AUD $10), check with the cashier for full requirements. We do not offer ‘cash out facilities’.
Is Internet/Wi-Fi access available on board the ferries?
Yes complimentary Wi-Fi access is available on board our ferries and in our ferry terminals.
Will my mobile phone work during the ferry crossing?
Generally yes it will. Telstra Next Generation coverage is widely available across Kangaroo Island. Limited Optus, Vodafone and Telstra GSM digital coverage is available from Kingscote to Penneshaw and adjacent areas. Please note that some remote areas receive patchy or no coverage at all. For more information, consult your mobile telephone provider directly.
Can I collect information about Kangaroo Island onboard the ferries?
There is some general tourist information and maps available onboard the ferries and within our ferry terminals; however we suggest if you are visiting Kangaroo Island for the first time that you visit the Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre on the outskirts of Penneshaw.
Can I stay in my car during the crossing?
Due to safety considerations you must not stay in your vehicle during a ferry crossing. If you have a physical disability or serious illness that limits your ability to climb the stairs from the vehicle deck to the passenger deck and you need to remain in your vehicle during the ferry crossing, please inform us at the time of booking or at check-in. We will then make arrangements to assist you as best we can but please note that your request cannot be guaranteed and will be at the discretion of the Ship's Master on the day of travel.
If you need to get access to your vehicle during a ferry crossing, please contact a crew member for permission and assistance. For your safety and the safety of all on board, it is vital that you adhere to crew instructions and travel in the allocated passenger areas/lounges of the ferry.
Can the ship's captain marry us?
No, however if you do wish to get married on board, you will need to organise your own celebrant and please advise us when making your booking.
What can't I take to Kangaroo Island?
Please help protect Kangaroo Island and keep it safe from pests and diseases. Do not bring any bee or honey products, unwashed potatoes, vine cuttings, foxes or rabbits onto the Island. Penalties may apply. More information can be found at Caring for Kangaroo Island.
When is the best time to go to the Island?
Naturally we would say at any time of the year. Kangaroo Island tends to have cooler summers and milder winters than the mainland.
Summer (Dec-Feb) – Average Temperature 27 degrees celsius. As the summer approaches, wildlife retreats to bushland habitat to shelter during the heat of the day. The land is a contrast of golden pastures against summer wildflowers and the new growth of native trees. The beaches are spectacular in the summer time.
- Early December is the annual American River Gala Day including boot sale, merry-go-round, pony rides, market stalls, face painting, cook-off competition, tug-o-war, food & drink
- Kangaroo Island Gourmet Gallop in late January is an opportunity to taste the best of the island’s food and wine while enjoying a top day of country racing on the banks of the Cygnet River
- Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival in min-February is spread over two huge days of racing with horses and spectators from around Australia and is the island’s biggest party
- In late February, the Kangaroo Island Field Day includes an evening concert
- Sparkling marine waters yield a summer feast of southern rock lobster, giant king crab, snapper, nannygai, southern garfish, flathead and scallops
- Oyster season continues to the end of summer
- Vineyards are a sea of green while the warmth of summer sees grapes fill out and colour as they ripen
- The blossoms of stringy bark and sugar gum trees attract the island’s placid Ligurian bees
- Fig trees are filled with fragrant figs ripe for the picking
- Leaves of narrow leaf mallee trees are harvested for distillation
- Native juniper berries ripen
- Wildlife shelter from the dry heat of the day in bush habitat
- Kangaroos, Tammar wallabies and koalas give birth to offspring that live int heir mother’s pouch for the next 6-12 months
- Large numbers of black swans move to sheltered waters around American River
- Numbers peak in the Australian and New Zealand fur seal colonies at Admiral’s Arch in January
- The threatened Rosenberg goannas, the island’s largest terrestrial predator, lay their eggs in the warm environment of termite mounds. They are very active, so look out for them crossing the roads.
- Little Penguins moult all their feathers at the end of the breeding season and can lose up to half their body weight
Autumn (Mar-May) – Average Temperature 22 degrees Celsius. 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.
- Pastures begin to green as waterways and catchments flow with welcome rainfall
- The annual Easter Art Exhibition at Penneshaw is a highlight, with exhibitions across the island
- Glossy black cockatoos and Little penguins begin preparations for nesting
- Cape Barren geese choose their nesting territories at Black Swamp in Flinders National Park
- The colour and scent of summer lingers as food producers bottle, dry and preserve the bounty of the season
- Squid, also known as southern calamari is plentiful with many a line cast from jetties and piers to reel in this plum seafood
- Grape harvest is in full swing, with picking crews dotted through the green vineyards
- The celebratory atmosphere of FEASTival, the island’s unique paddock to plate food festival, gives the island a buzz
Winter (June-Aug) – Average Temperature 15 degrees Celsius. 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.
- The countryside is lush and green, the rivers flow strongly and the wildlife is abundant
- Kangaroo, wallaby and koala young joeys emerge from their mother’s pouch
- Echidnas form mating trains of eight to ten males following a single female for about four weeks
- Majestic southern right whales visit the protected ocean around the island on their annual migration from Antarctic waters to the Great Australian Bight
- Black swans sit on their large, elaborate nests in wetlands and along rivers
- Waders, migrating from Siberia, begin to arrive in August for their summer breeding. Spot them at American River, Murray Lagoon and Reeves Point
- King George whiting are plentiful in the surrounding ocean and fishing boats take full advantage of the season
- Flowering cup gum trees attract active bees
- The aromas of indoor wood fires fill the air
- The countryside is covered in verdant green
- Canola’s bright yellow blooms light up pastures across the island
- The bare vineyards are dotted with workers pruning each vine by hand
Spring (Sept - Nov) – Average Temperature 21 degrees celsius. Spring is the season of rebirth. It is a wonderful time to see the spectacular array of wildflowers, birds and mammals.
- Art Feast, a weeklong celebration of the island’s art, food and wine, is staged in venues across the island in October
- Kangaroo Island Speed Shears, Australia’s richest shearing contest, is held in Parndana biennially
- Kingscote and Parndana Agricultural Shows are held in November
- An abundance of wildflowers including striking white or pink-tinged Centenary Starburst dominate roadsides along the island’s eastern end
- Marron, our fresh water crayfish, grow fatter and more flavorsome
- Tiny terrestrial orchids flower in deep leaf litter across the island
- Platypus lay two eggs in a burrow up to 20 metres long in the banks of fresh water creeks or streams in remote parts of the island
- Cape Barren geese nest in native iris grasses to incubate their eggs
- Acres of vibrant blue linseed blooms roll into the horizon
- Ligurian bees are busy converting the nectar of flowering coastal vegetation into honey
- Perfect time to harvest plump oysters
- Ewe’s milk is pressed into the new season sheep cheeses
- Vineyards burst into life, with young green tendrils growing quickly
- Flocks of sheep enjoy the lush, green pastures
- Acres of vibrant blue linseed blossoms roll into the horizon
- Paddocks of flowering broad beans grow tall and strong
How long should we spend on Kangaroo Island to see everything?
Kangaroo Island attractions are easily reached and three days will allow you to see the highlights. To truly discover the magic of this nature wonderland, give yourself seven days. It'll be a week you will never forget.
Which tour do you think we should go on?
If you only have one day to spare, the Kangaroo Island One Day Experience visits many of the iconic attractions of Kangaroo Island including Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks, Admiral's Arch and Flinders Chase National Park. If you have two days to spare, then the 2 Day Best of Kangaroo Island Tour is a more comprehensive tour taking in more of the coastal regions and local produce industries and attractions but also includes the major highlights that Kangaroo Island is so famous for. SeaLink offers a variety of touring packages, we also have some suggestions on self-drive packages.
We also offer personalized 4x4 day and longer stay tours from our company, Kangaroo Island Odysseys. Tours are also offered with foreign language guides who speak German, French, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin.
If adventure and wildlife is what you are after, Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours offers small group two day tours.
Where can I collect National Park Passes from when on Kangaroo Island?
Family Parks Passes can be purchased at the SeaLink Terminals at Cape Jervis and Penneshaw. A Family Parks Pass is valid for 2 adults and 2 children (4 – 15 years). Individual Parks Passes can be purchased from the Kangaroo Island Gateway Visitor Information Centre in Penneshaw, from any of the National Park Visitor Centres or the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources office in Kingscote.