National

Seal Bay reopens after SA island bushfires

By AAP Newswire

Top Kangaroo Island tourism destination Seal Bay has reopened to the public after devastating bushfires ripped through the area earlier this month.

Fire danger on the South Australian island has now eased sufficiently to allow access to the bay, which is home to the third largest colony of Australian sea lions.

Environment Minister David Speirs said Seal Bay, on the eastern end of the island's south coast, is a natural attraction that has evolved to become a world-class tourist destination.

"It is one of the only places in the world where visitors are able to enter a wild colony of about 1000 Australian sea lions - one of the rarest species in the world," he said on Thursday.

Mr Speirs said the government will focus on developing tourism on the eastern side of the island after bushfires ravaged the western end.

"As a major tourism operator on Kangaroo Island, the department (for tourism and water) and I know first-hand how important tourism is to regional communities and that the support of visitors and tourists will be vital now more than ever," he said.

"During my visit to the island this week, local tourism operators were keen to reinforce that the great majority of them are still open for business."

The government will create a corridor, allowing visitors to travel throughout Kangaroo Island.

Mr Speirs said other tourism destinations would be opened when it's safe to do so.

"We view this disaster as an opportunity to re-imagine facilities in our damaged parks, so that park services and facilities are even better in the future," he said.