Heartland, Kangaroo Island
The rural heart of Kangaroo Island.
The heart and soul of the island, Kangaroo Island's Heartland is home to farmers and quaint country towns. It is a laid-back area that is renowned for its wildlife and wild flowers and make for a great base for exploring the rest of the island, as its central location makes it accessible to the south and north coasts.
Parndana is the main and largest town in the Heartland. It was established in 1948 to support Australia's Soldier Settlement after the Second World War. Today the town has a very small population of around 150 people that mostly work in agriculture and farming. Visitors can learn more about the history of the town at the Soldier Settlement Museum.
Wildlife is the main attraction in the Heartland, with the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park being a great place to start. This sanctuary sits just north of Parndana and is home to some unique wildlife. Lizards, koalas, pythons, kangaroos, wombats and possum are just some of the animals that call the park home.
A great time to visit the Heartland is in November during the annual Speed Shears contest. This is the largest and most impressive shearing competition in the country and it attracts Australia’s best sheep shearers and those that want to watch them in action. It is also a good time for enjoying great food and wine, with the event starting off with a wine auction and ending with a fantastic barbeque. It truly is a great showcase of the Heartland’s country hospitality.