Kangaroo Island is worth a visit except for the ferry cost.

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 10:46
ThreadID: 108887 Views:2771 Replies:4 FollowUps:19
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Enjoyed a soft holiday on Kangaroo Island a few weeks ago. Took our elderly mother and found the accommodation prices reasonable, however the ferry is a rip off. Nearly $400 for 3 people and a car to do a return trip 13 Klms each way. Did enjoy the island though. Great time to go in winter as hardly anyone there. Am I a scunge or do people agree.
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Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:09

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:09
Yes, quite a pricey trip, with a car especially.

If anyone wants to do it as a day trip on foot, one a month there is a Sunday KI market, on the foreshore parklands at Penneshaw (or sometimes the oval . . . sometimes stalls at both).
Numerous times you can travel, the markets have some decent local produce / goods, take a picnic lunch, or the pub is nice for lunch, you can walk around the beach (south) to the site of Frenchmans Rock (replica in place), or a short walk to the Tourism KI building to view the actual Frenchmans Rock (we made the display case for this !!) and for great info, interpretative displays, etc.

See that info here . . . KI Sunday Market ferry info
Adults $40 return vs normal $98 return, still a little high, but just bite tongue and enjoy 5 or 6 hours there.

Lots of cottage crafts walking about this small township too.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 21:05

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 21:05
"however the ferry is a rip off. Nearly $400 for 3 people and a car to do a return trip 13 Klms each way"

Why is a "RIP OFF"?
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 22:30

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 22:30
It is probably the most expensive short ferry ride to be found, but it's a private company, no GOVCO subsidies (like Tas ferry), and the market will bear it, due o the fact most visitors are from overseas and cashed up.

3 adults and a car actually works out to $462, and that is with booking online discounts.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 23:42

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 23:42
If they got government subsidies I am sure the price would be a lot cheaper..... it is 1700% more expensive to travel on the KI Sealink per kilometre then the Spirit of Tasmania.

So really the real rip off is the federal government wasting my tax payers money on the Spirit of Tasmania subsidies.

It makes it very hard for private businesses to compete with government run businesses.

For years Kangaroo Island have been trying for subsidies but it has fallen on deaf ears.
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 08:27

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 08:27
Yeah, I suppose it comes down to Tassie being a state, and KI being a small island with mostly dirt roads.
Sealink would make a killing in Summer / part shoulder seasons, and probably lose money quite badly in Winter.

Tassie has the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme.
A couple of years ago, it was mooted to make it a National Sea Highway.

Ah, found some news links from last year . . .

Tasmania Times
The Mercury
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:08

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:08
i'd hazard a guess the ferry across the Jardine River up at Cape York works out more expensive if going on ride distance over KI, and going to Fraser Island would likely be more expensive also. They cost what they cost sadly, nobody is forcing us to go on them, there's plenty of other beautiful places to visit in this country if you don't like paying the fair.
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:19

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:19
KI vehicle and 3 x passengers = $462 peak ~ 13km
Fraser as above .. .. .. .. = $175 peak ~ 11km

Jardine, not sure re '14, but still around $130 for vehicle, and passengers ?
Only 100m or so though :)
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Follow Up By: Member - KBAD - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:45

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:45
Don't forget this is the Winter (low season price) try it in summer and see...
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:48

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:48
As far as I could see priced same peak season ?

Anyway, have been to Fraser (although by private boat) and KI a couple of times, not one to complain about prices . . . As said, plan a bit of time in these places to make the most of charges getting there, and enjoy :)
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 11:55

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 11:55
Olcoolone

Definitely a ripoff. Obviously your original follow-up was to entice the subsidy sub-item, but a ripoff remains a ripoff
KI ferry is almost the same per person if you get a single walk-on ticket, than other ferries per vehicle.
CJ
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 12:50

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 12:50
Hey Les PK Ranger...where did you get the 11klm distance for Fraser Island out of curiosity? I was thinking of the ferry trip over from Inskip Point when I made that comment, I'd be surprised if it's that far across. I honestly have no idea what distance it actually is, so was wondering if that distance is correct or not for where I'm referring to?
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 12:59

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 12:59
Where we lobbed Kingfisher Bay, but we did Urangan boat ramp to there in brothers boat.
That ferry is from River Heads to KF.

Inskip is only a couple of k's, and that's still $150 on Fraser Venture (inc 3 pax), or $110 on Manta Ray (inc pax).
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 15:29

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 15:29
A rip off is when company X charges more the company Y who is either cheaper or offers more for the same price...... If company X is KI Sealink then who is company Y.

You can not compare services offered in different states run by different organisationally structures and say honestly one is a rip off to another.

So many arm chair forum experts who are financial geniuses..... Oh thats right a company is not allowed to make an operating profit and should be doing it for love.

If it wasn't profitable you would be flying or swimming the KI.

There have been other operators who thought they could make a profit by offering a similar service but from Adelaide metro waters...... The last one lasted less then 12 months and ended up moving their ferry to Asia....... Some thing about losing money.

Everyone in business has the right to make an industry acceptable profit.

It's hard to know what subsidies other ferry operators are getting considering some are run by indigenous groups and local councils who I would happily say a picking up some of the running costs somewhere.

For years kangaroo Islanders have been complaining and trying to get government help in transportation costs, but it has fallen on deaf ears.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 15:43

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 15:43
Being ripped off doesn't necessarily mean company x is dearer than company y. 2 years ago in Gove I could take my motorbike return trip to Darwin for $440.00. 1 year later the return trip was $1240.00 That is a rip off. The company had a monopoly and had made huge profits from the mine. Just greedy mongrels, thats all. Every company needs profit...again, most people know a rip off when it appears. Only a small example of the rip offs that occurred due to a company having a monopoly! Local IGA charged in excess of $600.00 for cheap $99.00 1kva petrol generators that failed within days!!

No more or less armchair financial genius's than mechanical, electrical or caravan genius's on the forum. I think most people on here know how companies work and many know when you are being ripped off. I also own a Harley Davidson so you do not need to explain to me about being ripped off!! Auto spare parts are also a huge ripoff....but lets not go down that path.

The trip to KI would be a lot lore justifiable to your hip pocket if you did stay for at least a week to get to know the place..
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 15:51

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 15:51
Don't let a thread upset you mate, no one here is saying private enterprise can't make a profit, heaven knows they must or fail . . . just interesting comparing ferries around the country.

The other venture to KI (KI Ferries) failed for a number of reasons, but I recall mostly Sealink cut prices heaps in the lead up and start up, forced the other to compete at a loss (which eventually brought the failure on rapidly), and keep the market monopoly.

A rip off isn't when 'company X charges more the company Y who is either cheaper or offers more for the same price' . . . company X would be out of biz then due to market choice.

A rip off is where someone has a monopoly on a market and charges what they like (what the market will bear), or if there's a bit of collusion going on, ah la fuel company price monitoring / matching, and same thing in major duopoly supermarkets.

A rip off is often where a company is driven to make ever higher profits, to ensure CEOs / execs get big salaries, shareholders get increasing returns, and share prices maintain upwards trend.

KI ferry operator Sealink is listed on the ASX.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 23:13

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 23:13
Hi Chris and Lindsay

Regardless of the price of the ferry, Kangaroo Island is a fantastic place to visit and glad you enjoyed your visit there. People always complain about the ferry price, but when you compare the price with other crossings, it is still not too bad.

Most people make the very big mistake of only going for a few days, thinking thats all the time they will need to see and explorer the Island.

My advice for anyone wanting to see all that the Island has to offer, from great scenery, fantastic National Parks, great beaches and very friendly locals, then spend at least two weeks there, and then you will still not see it all.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 07:18

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 07:18
G'day Stephen,
Totally agree with your comments.
We spent 2 weeks there staying in the National park in a cottage & loved the place.
Grabbed a walks book for the Island & did every bushwalk. Rarely saw others doing the same & got to see the elusive Glossy black Cockatoo & photograph many different species of orchids. Also took the time to sit by the river & spotted a Platypus.
Rushed travel plans seem to be the norm for a lot of people "Take the time to smell the roses" I reckon.

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris and Lindsay - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 16:50

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 16:50
We went for a week and got stuck for an extra night due to gale force winds. Definitely worth a week's visit. Part of my agenda is that the price puts us off going back again for a return visit which must have an effect on Island businesses if others think the same way. Talking to locals they are also frustrated by the ferry price.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 17:58

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 17:58
Glad you enjoyed your trip to K.I. despite the cost.
I guess I was trying to say it's not that bad if you amortise the ferry cost over a longer time period.
It is pricey but the operator has made a huge financial commitment & has to expect to get a reasonable return otherwise he might as well bank his money & use the interest to earn an income.
Like someone said if the ferry company makes a loss & pulls out then we have to swim or get a plane flight.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 20:11

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 20:11
The price is an issue, not to just the tourists, but locals as well.

When Sealink did their sums, they put in a very rigid legal contract which makes it impossible for other carriers to get into the market.

Locals do get a subsidies fare for coming and going, but had been told by a few locals that it is not that much cheaper.

Locals would sure love to see a cheaper option, but that will be a very long way off.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - P and JM - Monday, Jul 28, 2014 at 19:23

Monday, Jul 28, 2014 at 19:23
This is correct Stephen. Our son in-law has a lot of relations on the island and they do not get it much cheaper.

The islanders all keep fighting for a larger reduction but have been told they will not get it because the route is not classed as part of one of the road route Highways in S. Aust .

This may sound silly or what ever one wishes to call it, but it's true.

I think $200-00 on way for a family of 3 and a motor vehicle is reasonable considering the cost involved to run the ferry.

Cheers P&J
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Reply By: Robyn R4 - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 09:34

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 09:34
Yes, KI is a great trip to be had and I agree that they probably don't do a great trade over the winter months...
We did 7 days in the late 90s and loved it.
Like a lot of these boats, transfers, higher fuel prices in the outback...we just regard them as a part of the trip (painful as they are to the hip pocket) and the only alternative is not paying and not going.
We try to think about their running costs and the quieter months and appreciate their side of things.
Hope you didn't have those horrendous winds that were wreaking havoc on Adelaide a few weeks ago!!
:)

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Follow Up By: Member - Chris and Lindsay - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 16:52

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 16:52
Yes we did!!!
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