The kids were absolutely squealing with delight in the backseat as we heading towards Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action.
After loading up on a full breakfast to fuel our day’s adventures, we hopped in the car for the quick ten-minute ride to our morning’s destination. However, this journey might as well have been an hour-long to our son and daughter. They were SO excited…they just couldn’t contain themselves. After all, out of our entire, month-long Australian adventure, this morning’s activity ranked number one on their list.
What were they so excited about? We were about to spend the morning on a quad bike adventure tour of Kangaroo Island!
Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action
After the quick ten-minute drive from our Vivonne Bay Holiday House, we arrived at the basecamp for our day’s adventure: Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action. Known as the premier adventure outfitters on Kangaroo Island, the company offers all sorts of amazing activities, including sandboarding, kayaking, fat bike rentals, walking tours, and so much more.
Of course, we were there for their crowning glory: the quad bike tour.
This quad bike tour of Kangaroo Island is one of the most incredible eco-tours I have ever participated in anywhere on the globe. Because over 33% of the island is protected wildlife reserves, quad bikes allow access to parts of this majestic land that cannot be seen any other way. And before the day was done, we would definitely get our fill of Australian wildlife and backcountry.
Meeting Our Guide Sam at Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action
Before we could hit the trails, we had to get to know our quads, as well as our incredible guide Sam.
With no hyperbole, I can say that Sam is one of the best guides I have ever had for any type of tour. With over 400 guided trips under his belt, Sam not only knows the equipment and the terrain, but he also knows people. Meaning that he makes you and your companions feel at home and at ease.
The reason our family chose Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action was because of its stellar reputation working with kids. Often times kids are relegated to invisible passengers on these types of excursions, but not here. Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action offers mini quad bikes for riders as small as six years old, meaning that both of our kids got to pilot their own quad and become an active participant in the adventure.
Of course, having your kids drive their own vehicle raises a few concerns, however, Sam started our tour with an incredible tutorial to make sure both the kids, as well as mom and dad, felt comfortable before we set off. Sam had two rules for the day: 1. Be Safe, and 2. Have Fun! And we began by ensuring that all of us had the tools and training we needed to satisfy rule #1.
Gearing Up and Practicing with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action
After being outfitted with all the gear we needed for the day, Sam took us over to Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action’s practice track, which is a private, rubber tire-lined track that allows riders to safely get comfortable on their quads.
Sam explained how each quad bike worked and then had us running through a series of drills to get comfortable with accelerating, braking, and going through turns. At the start, I could tell that the kids were a bit nervous. They have never been allowed to pilot a quad out on a trail quite like this, and so needless to say there were a few butterflies in their tummies. However, with Sam’s instruction and drills on the practice track, these nerves melted away quickly, and it was only a matter of time before they found their comfort level on the quad bike.
Hitting the Trail with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action
Now comfortable on our quads, it was time to hit the trail. Sam took us on an amazing tour of Kangaroo Island spanning several hours. As we cruised through the bush, we got a close-up look at the local ecosystem. Amongst the lush eucalyptus trees, we saw plenty of koalas hanging in the shade. Underneath, there were kangaroo trails and tracks everywhere, and Sam made sure that a kept an eye out for these quick hoppers so that we could say hello.
Throughout our trek, Sam stopped at a variety of amazing photo op locations, as well as key spots to provide us with some knowledge on the local wildlife. While I was always quick to bring out my own camera, Sam was kind enough to take my phone for the day and snap freely so we could enjoy our time together as a family.
One of the highlights of the day came during one of these photo pitstops when a kangaroo literally photobombed our family. How cool is that!!
As we continued on, we raced our way through a variety of trails, from open grasslands to narrow single track stretches in the brush. With our daughter being the most hesitant rider in the group, Sam made a point to have her lead throughout all of this, ensuring that we would never go faster than the speed at which she was comfortable. I thought this was an especially nice touch and a pro move from this veteran tour guide that many outfitters might have ignored.
Of course, the excursion was an amazingly fun adventure. But it was so much more than just an adrenaline-fueled morning on a quad bike.
Throughout my time as a travel writer, I have learned that there is a huge difference between “travelling” to a place and actually “visiting” a place. When you visit, you really immerse yourself in the local environment. This quad bike tour with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action was a true immersion in the local ecosystem. We saw and experienced nature in a way that we could never do in the local zoo, and consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have had such an experience.
Even more important than this immersion in our local environment were the life benefits and skills my children received from this style of adventure. By being able to pilot their own quad bike, they took control of their journey. And with that, they also experienced a variety of life lessons. They learned about responsibility and trust. They learned to conquer their nerves and fear, take and manage risks, and ask for help when needed. They were truly independent travellers on this excursion, and the skills acquired through this journey will last them a lifetime.
And like proud parents, we are forever grateful that they had such an opportunity.
What to Know Before You Go
While Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action does a great job in making this excursion is truly all-inclusive, there are some things you need to know before hitting the trail.
Be sure to come prepared with appropriate clothing. You travel through several types of terrain, and as such, as the climate around you is apt to change. It’s recommended that you dress in layers. I also carried a small backpack, so that when the kids and I shed our layers, we had a place to put them.
While the adventure was completed by lunchtime, the kids were definitely famished from all the fun, so I was happy to have also packed a few granola bars. In addition, there were plenty of wonderful photo ops, so bringing a camera or your phone with you is recommended. And of course, as with any adventure where you’re on heavy-duty machinery, be sure to arrive with closed-toe shoes.
Other than that, Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action has got you covered. Not only do they provide you with a well-maintained quad bike, but they also give riders helmets, goggles, and riding gloves as well, ensuring everyone has a safe journey.
Immerse Yourself with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action
I cannot stress enough how important immersion travel really is. We live in an incredible day and age where travelling somewhere isn’t nearly as difficult as it used to be. Most anyone can book a ticket, catch a place, and show up somewhere. But it’s what you do once you’re there that really makes the journey.
Finding ways to really immerse yourself in the local environment is what creates life-changing travel experiences. Our quad bike tour on Kangaroo Island was such an experience. Not only did we see some incredible parts of this amazing country, but we also challenged ourselves and gained new skills too, meaning we’re walking away from this adventure having grown together as a family. And really, what more could you ask for from travel?
If you want to learn more about the different types of quad bike tours offered by Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action or see all the other types of fun activities they offer, be sure to check out their website.