Kangaroo Island, Australia

Southern Ocean Lodge

Price per night from$1,586.50

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD2,472.73), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Wonder-walled coastal lair

Setting

High on Hanson Bay

Treading lightly on scrub-covered dunes above the sea, luxe Kangaroo Island retreat Southern Ocean Lodge is an exquisite designer haven. Solitude, serenity and privacy are what you’re signing up for – staying here you get the feeling there’s no one else within miles (and there probably isn’t). Wow-factor architecture frames the hotel’s coastal wilds, while  all-inclusive food, drinks and activities tame them a little. Beyond your luxurious lodgings, Australia’s Galapagos awaits: expect everything from kangaroos to seals, to wild beaches and jaw-dropping geology.

Smith Extra

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Private dinner for two in the wine cellar

Facilities

Photos Southern Ocean Lodge facilities

Need to know

Rooms

25 suites.

Check–Out

10.30am; check-in is at 2pm. Both are flexible, on request and subject to availability.

Prices

Double rooms from £1410.91 (AU$2,720), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include all meals, open bar with premium wines and spirits (and in-suite bar), signature experiences and return airport transfers. There’s a two-night minimum stay.

Also

There are paved paths around the lodge’s grounds, and one of the Flinders Suites has been adapted (with an aided bathroom and level floors) for guests with limited mobility. But please note that although cars taking guests to excursions have ample room inside, they aren’t equipped with ramps and require a small step up.

At the hotel

Walk-in wine cellar and free WiFi throughout. In suites: Bluetooth speaker, minibar, tea- and coffee-making kit, free bottled water and bespoke bath products. Some suites also have in-room bars with free drinks and snacks.

Our favourite rooms

There are four types to pick from here and unsurprisingly, top dog, the super-private Baillie Pavillion, is the pick of the bunch. Jaw-dropping views from a curvaceous infinity pool, panoramic glass walls and freestanding oval bath tubs are a tough act to beat; but if you’re travelling as a duo and want something that’s more romantic than roomy, you’ll be besotted with the Flinders Suite’s cosy fireside spots.

Poolside

There’s no shared pool, but all suites except the Flinders Suite have their own private ocean-gazing plunge pools; and a short walk away, Hanson Bay has consistent surf for a rough-and-tumble swim.

Spa

The Southern Spa follows a similarly minimalist style to the rest of the hotel’s interiors, with warm wood panelling, limestone accents and light-welcoming window walls. Inside, there’s a sauna and three treatment rooms, where masseurs use locally made and herb-infused oils for restorative scrubs and refreshing facials; and just outside, hot and cold plunge pools ogle the Southern Ocean.

Packing tips

All clothes casual and unfussed: management takes a first-name-basis approach here, so don’t expect to hear any distancing ‘sirs’ or ‘ma’ms’.

Also

The wrought iron Kangaroo that stands proud in reception is the only part of the original Southern Ocean Lodge that survived South Australia’s 2020 bushfires – they now call him ‘Sunshine’.

Children

Over-10s are welcome to join; the Remarkable Suite has two bedrooms and the Baillie Pavilion has four for those travelling with little Smiths.

Sustainability efforts

Eco-friendly practices guide everything Southern Ocean Lodge does. As you’d expect, single-use plastic has been replaced with natural materials and refillable bottles; rainwater is harvested and reused; energy consumption has been cut by 25 per cent courtesy of LED lighting, insulated windows and walls, solar panelling and efficient design. The restaurant also exclusively uses locally sourced produce that changes with the seasons, and comes from nearby farmers, communities and education initiatives such as the Community Education’s Parndana Campus programme, that teaches school children how to grow produce. The land surrounding the hotel also has a 20-metre wilderness buffer, where owners have planted over 45,000 native plants to bolster conservation efforts.

Food and Drink

Photos Southern Ocean Lodge food and drink

Top Table

Any of the window-side seats lets you soak up that unfettered view. On a warm night, try the sea-air-kissed terrace.

Dress Code

Organic linen separates in soothing neutrals will blend well with the photoshoot-fit lodge backdropped by nature.

Hotel restaurant

The hotel’s restaurant champions local produce meaning menus change with the season, but standouts tend to include marinated marron and line-caught whiting finished with foraged herbs. Dine indoors in the soothing restaurant, characterised by its oak-wood accents and vast coastal vistas, or take your fare alfresco on the deck. Anglers – if you manage to snare something yourself from Hanson Bay, kitchen staff will gladly fillet and cook your catch.

Hotel bar

The open-plan bar in the Great Room is a guests’ gathering spot, where ocean scenery is paired with a lengthy offering of South Australian wines to sample. Mixologists also shake up craft cocktails, including a few with the hotel’s homemade honey liqueur. 

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 10am; lunch from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, and dinner from 7pm to 9pm.

Location

Photos Southern Ocean Lodge location
Address
Southern Ocean Lodge
Hanson Bay Road Kingscote
Kangaroo Island
5223
Australia

Southern Ocean Lodge is located on Kangaroo Island’s south-west coast at Hanson Bay, 15 kilometres off the mainland of South Australia.

Planes

Fly to Adelaide Airport then catch a 30-minute connection to Kangaroo Island’s Kingscote Airport, where the hotel even has its own sumptuous lounge. Arriving guests should note that there is a 15-kilogramme luggage limit a person on flights into Kangaroo Island, however excess baggage can be stored at Adelaide Airport for a small fee. Private charter flights are also available from the General Aviation Terminal at Adelaide Airport to Kingscote Airport or Snug Cove Airfield. From the airport on Kangaroo Island, it's a 30-minute drive to the Lodge, and shared transfers are included in rates.

Automobiles

Many mainland car hire companies have restrictions regarding their vehicles being driven on Kangaroo Island and/or boarding the ferry, so it’s best to hire a car when you arrive. There are rental desks at the airport and the ferry terminal, but there’s no parking at the hotel so you’ll have to find a spot just before.

Other

Sealink operates regular 45-minute ferry transfers between Cape Jervis on the mainland and Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. Opting to take the ferry means guests can choose to take their own wheels. Cape Jervis is a scenic two-hour drive from Adelaide and once you land at Penneshaw it’s a 90-minute drive to the Lodge. Private transfers can be arranged from the ferry terminal for an extra charge.

Worth getting out of bed for

Kangaroo Island’s wildlife is world class; Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Conservation Park offer a wealth of animal-watching activities. Try a trip to nearby Seal Bay to see its sea lion colony before joining a Kangas & Kanapés sunset session. Go for a private, guided wild walk, or a self-guided tour on the network of hiking trails around the island; options range from a seven kilometre loop to a half-day trek. If you'd rather just chill out nearer to home, then head for the in-house Southern Spa for meditative massages, traditional treatments and a stint in the sauna.

Local restaurants

Southern Ocean Lodge's restaurant is the island's top dining spot, and with all meals included you may not want to venture elsewhere. If you're en route to or from the hotel, though, it's worth checking out the local seafood, and Sunset Food and Wine – just off Hog Bay Road – is the place to try.

Local cafés

The casual, open-sided Rock Pool Café might be open when you visit, or it might not – it runs on a bit of a whim, and is usually closed in winter, but when it is open you can bet the cheery chef will be reworking whatever happens to be in season for lunch (seafood more often than not).

Local bars

Penneshaw Pub on the corner of North Terrace and Thomas Wilson Street is a traditional fishermen’s boozer that’s had a makeover. It’s reliable for a pub lunch, a low-key dinner of crispy fish tacos or pork belly bites, or a quick beer while you wait for the ferry to Cape Jervis.

Reviews

Photos Southern Ocean Lodge reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Earth-kind retreat in South Australia and unpacked their binoculars and bikinis, a full account of their secluded stay will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island…

Australia’s scarring Black Summer burnt out most of Kangaroo Island’s lush landscapes, but the legendary duo behind eco-hideaway Southern Ocean Lodge have rebuilt with a bang. Suites have been designed to make the most of the south-west’s coastal setting, with widescreen-windowed walls that strikingly backdrop floating fireplaces and cosy curved sofas, and some with private ocean-ogling infinity pools that preside over craggy cliffscapes. But where this sanctuary really shines is in its sustainably focused fare, which brings in locally loved flavours (King George whiting, marron, oysters and abalone) from the island’s ethical suppliers and pairs them with sommelier-selected South Australian bottles from the onsite cellar. Plus, it’s all-inclusive, so you’re free to wine and dine till your head hits the plush pillows. Add in an awe-inspirng spa and tailormade excursions, and you’ll realise this retreat is the most finessed of phoenixes.

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Price per night from $1,586.50