Welcome to Hanson Bay wildlife sanctuary

The 5000 acre Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the western end of Kangaroo Island, between the Kelly Hill Caves Conservation Park and the Flinders Chase National Park. It is bordered by over 100,000 acres of protected wilderness lands which have never been cleared and the Great Southern Ocean. It is the gateway to South Australia's most iconic wilderness area. Pristine beaches,spectacular coastline,old growth maritime bushland and forest plus abundant wildlife combine to make this area one of Australia's most awe inspiring places. 

We are pleased to offer you six self contained cabins, four log  and two modern , with truly spectacular views of the beautiful turquoise waters of Hanson Bay.

The Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its abundant native bird and animal wildlife. Australian wildlife is predominantly nocturnal so it is most active between dusk and dawn.During your visit  you will encounter  Australian native animals such as Koalas, Kangaroos, Tammar Wallabies, Possums and Echidnas. It has possibly the worlds most prolific populations of Rosenburg Goanna, Short beaked Echidna (the world oldest mammal) and Bush Stone Curlew. Our Koala Walk is open every day for Koala viewing and is recognised as the best place on Kangaroo Island to see a sustainable population of Koalas in the wild.

We offer guided nocturnal tours and guided and unguided daytime walks of the Sanctuary so you can experience Australian native marsupials up "close and personal". The Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is also a bird watchers paradise - with resident Blue Wrens, Scarlet Robins, Lorikeets, Crimson Rosellas, Black Cockatoos, Scrub Wrens, Bush Stone-Curlews, Crescent Honey-eaters, Banded Plovers, and Cape Barren Geese.

The Story of the Sanctuary

Originally called KB Downs the sanctuary was a 10,000 acre grazing property developed by Mr Kaye Gibbs in the 1960's. He could be considered KI's last pioneer. Only 15% of the land was cleared in his lifetime.In 1983 he diversified away from grazing by adding cabins on the coast. In 1997 the property was sold,renamed Hanson Bay and became a protected area where all native animals and vegetation are conserved. The Sanctuary is now 2000 hectares in size and comprises good quality mallee woodlands and remanant grassland. It is bordered by Flinders Chase National Park on 3 sides and also by the Souther Ocean Lodge and the ocean.

Income for the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is now primarily derived from tourism through providing holiday accommodation in six beachfront holiday cabins, Koala Walks, tours and nocturnal wildlife tours.


The introduction of the domestic cat to Kangaroo Island has resulted in some of our smaller species of native Australian mammals being threatened. It is estimated that feral cats consume 1500kg of native animal flesh a day. A fully fenced feral-free area of 250 acres has been set aside to protect these native animals from extinction. The fenced area has a variety of good vegetation and open grasslands where native animals can thrive in their natural habitat and environment without the pressures of introduced feral animals. 

Hanson Bay Sanctuary is recognised as one of the most biodiverse and pristine ecosystems that remains in Australia.  In 1998 it was added to the register of the National Estate. Over 190 native plant species have been recorded on the property and 400 in this area. The Sanctuary is now well recognised and attracts many thousands of visitors each year.

Visitor Centre Information

Our own visitor centre completed in 2011 offers information, meals and snacks, drinks, souvenirs, barista made coffee. Open from 8am until 5.30pm/ 6pm, Spring/Summer and 9am until 5pm Autumn/Winter. We also stock provisions such as milk and bread plus a large selection of Local Produce and Artwork. The visitor centre is at the Koala Walk.

You will never run out of things to do during your holiday at the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounds. You can swim in the bay, fish from the sandy beaches, dive for crayfish, surf the waves, or go for a nature hike in the bush. You will also discover numerous other sightseeing opportunities and interesting places to visit within easy reach of your holiday accommodation at the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

The western end of Kangaroo Island abounds in large tracts of natural bush, many varieties of native animals, plants and birds, as well as spectacular coastlines and sandy beaches. Whatever your interest, you will find plenty to do on your next holiday at the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy!