Known locally as ‘The River’, Kangaroo Island’s American River region sits on the western shore of Eastern Cove and also includes the Pelican Lagoon. The region is named after American sealers that stayed on this part of the island for four months in 1803 and there is a memorial plaque in the main town to commemorate this.
The main village – American River – sits on a hillside surrounded by bush land and boasting spectacular views of the cove and mainland Australia. The channel houses Kangaroo Island’s most protected harbour where numerous yachts, sailboats and fishing boats dock.
The outer bay offers some superb sailing and fishing, while the 2.5 mile long Island Beach is a great place for swimming and sunbaking.
The inner bay, also known as Pelican Lagoon, is a protected Aquatic Reserve thanks to its natural fish nursery. It is here where visitors will find the Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park, a 397 hectare nature reserve just south of the region’s main town.
The park is spread across the island and includes five small inlets that provide habitat for woodland and wetland birds.
American River also has a strong oyster industry and oysters are available seasonally in restaurants along the harbour and in the town itself.
There are also plenty of barbie and picnic areas that make it possible for visitors to buy their own fresh fish and oysters and cook them as they like.
Where to stay at American River
American River has a number of self-contained establishments ranging from seaside holiday homes to bushland cottages – a perfect spot to explore Kangaroo Island.