Located just off the South Australian coast, the island is a 45 minute ferry ride from the mainland or a 30-minute flight from Adelaide.
The destination was ranked second on Lonely Planet’s list, which is curated through nominations from Lonely Planet staff, writers and publishing partners, which are then voted on by a panel of travel experts.
“Kangaroo Island provides such a quintessential Australian travel experience,” said Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet’s senior director of trade sales and marketing.
“It is blessed with amazing beaches, offers delicious food, wine, and spirits experiences, and delivers on the drama when it comes to outdoor adventures.
“It’s been much lauded of late but 2024 is the year that Kangaroo Island will be set to capitalise on all of the accolades,” said Zeiher.
The award comes nearly four years after Kangaroo Island was badly burnt in the bushfires in the 2019-2020 summer.
The island continues to bounce back from the devastation of the fires, which burnt around 38 per cent of the island. In the year to June 2023, the island recorded its highest ever visitor spend, at $294 million. The region had a $199 million visitor spend target set for 2025.
The island is also about to get a major business events boost, with the reopening of Southern Ocean Lodge in December on the cliffs of Kangaroo Island.
The lodge was destroyed in the 2019-2020 bushfires and has undergone a $55 million rebuild.
A member of Tourism Australia’s Luxury Lodges of Australia collective, the lodge includes 25 luxury suites, a restaurant and bar, public spaces The Great Room and Baudin Lounge, a spa and infinity pool.
The resort is owned Baillie Lodges, which owns other iconic luxury properties in Australia, including Longitude 131 at Uluru, Silky Oaks Lodge at Mosman Gorge outside Port Douglas and The Louise in the Barossa Valley.
“With new major attractions on their way such as the rebirth of Southern Ocean Lodge and The Cliffs Kangaroo Island golf course, it is the perfect time for the region to get this global recognition and for visitors worldwide to start planning their trip,” said South Australia’s tourism minister Zoe Bettison of the Lonely Planet nod.