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Car hire

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London, United...
posts: 4,171
reviews: 26
Car hire


We're struggling a bit with booking a car for our 3 night visit in January, so hope someone can advise.

Firstly, is a 'Bush track' the same as an 'Unsealed road'? The reason I ask is that the Hertz conditions say that you can't take a car onto a Bush Track unless it's a 4 wheel drive. I've read on here that 4WD isn't necessary on KI, but also that there aren't many sealed roads.

We haven't yet sorted out exactly where we'll be going, but we'd like to try to see Koalas and Platypus in the wild as well as Kangaroos.

Would this involve us driving on roads not covered by this Hertz conditions (hope that makes sense!)?

Also, can anyone recommend which firm would be best to hire from? We only want something small.

Thanks in advance


Wisanger, South...
posts: 3
1. Re: Car hire


Contact Evelyn at Kingscote Travel on 0885533154 or email kingscotetravel@bigpond.com for further information in relation to car hire. Evelyn will take care of it all for you. She is our local travel agent here on Kangaroo Island.



Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
posts: 3,093
reviews: 43
2. Re: Car hire

Generally speaking you can hire a car on KI ( I generally hire through hertz or budget direct) and the main restrictions are not to drive after dark and not to drive off-road bush tracks as you say..

It would be impossible to access many of the main tourist spots if one was required to stay on the bitumen because the roads to access most places off the main highway and outside the main towns are unsealed. These roads are considered fine to drive in good conditions (ie the road to Vivonne Bay) and the hire car companies do understand that some places are only accessed by unsealed tracks. Use caution and common sense,: if the road is in relatively good condition (no potholes and mainly flat) and wide enough that trees and bushes won't scratch the car you would be fine GENERALLY speaking.

if you are looking for wildlife then do base yourself down the western end at least for a night. Flinders Chase is a must (remarkable rocks etc)

London, United...
posts: 4,171
reviews: 26
3. Re: Car hire

Thank you very much for your reply. After many emails etc(!) we've finally managed to get the same info from Budget, and have booked with them. Hertz on the other hand were less than helpful and kept trying to push a 4WD onto us, even though you can't purchase protection to reduce your liability on these cars, and they still state that you can't drive other vehicles on unsealed roads. They also told us that people do, of course. Not helpful when we wanted to reduce our liability as far as possible! Thought that might be useful for other posters to know.

Thanks again for the advise. We definitely visit Flinders Chase


Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
posts: 27,372
reviews: 615
4. Re: Car hire

As mentioned use budget ....for additional tips on KI my KI Trip report may assist you.


posts: 12
reviews: 52
5. Re: Car hire

I know this probably comes up loads of times and yes I have read some of the past reports, but 2 car hire questions:

1. Did anyone find a car hire company in Adelaide that not only lets you go to KI but lets you drive on unsealed roads?

2. If only going over for a few days (3) does it work out simpler and/or cheaper to take the sealink bus to and from the ferry and hire a car on the island (we are aware that budget lets you drive on unsealed roads but is $75 per day from the ferry)?

Lastly, what are the best options for budget (we won't have our camping gear) accommodation near Flinders NP?

Appreciate the advice,


Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
posts: 3,093
reviews: 43
6. Re: Car hire

Amost impossible to tell you what option is "cheaper" as seasonal specials and holiday season loadings will always be a factor. (Charges for December/ January will be generally more expensive than in, say, June)

It also depends on the size of car... many like a wagon or 4WD on the island while others who might stick mainly to the highways can opt for cheaper alternatives

1. Thrifty and Hertz will allow you to take a car on the Ferry but I recommend that you book directly with the hire office. Sometimes people are told by the national call centres that they cannot, yet a simple direct call reveals that they often can. As many roads are "unsealed" on KI it's almost impossible to not drive one if you want to visit the main tourist areas and beaches.

2, Depends on time of year. Peak season prices will make one far more expensive than the other . Your choices are to

1. Fly direct from Adelaide Airport and hire car from the airport

2. Sealink Bus from Adelaide and hire a car at Penneshaw (but if time is an option remember to factor in the time for bus to drive down and ferry across -v- 30 minutes in a plane

3. Hire from Adelaide (factor in time and cost of car on ferry -v- Sealink bus as passenger charge + hire car on island)

3 Again, time of year is a huge factor when it comes to budget but some of the closest options to Flinders Chase would be the KI Wilderness Retreat http://www.kiwr.com/price_list and perhaps a cabin at the Western KI Caravan Park. http://www.westernki.com.au/

7. Re: Car hire

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