Eucalyptus Oil harvest and production at Emu Ridge


Eucalyptus Oil harvest and production at Emu Ridge

We are very excited to announce that the new harvest and oil production at Emu Ridge has begun! For the past 24 years its been harvested by hand with a chainsaw, the process is so much faster now. It takes 1 man 10 minutes in the harvester to gather crop, whereas it used to take 2 men 2 hours! It definitely makes Larry’s life easier, which is great for all of us at Emu Ridge.

We produce a Eucalyptus oil that is unique to the world. The leaves that we use to make our oil from is called the Kangaroo Island Narrow Leaf Mallee or Eucalyptus cneorifolia. It grows predominantly on the eastern side of the island. There are over 1000 species of Eucalypts, among those, there are only around 10 which have enough oil in the leaf to be of commercial value, ours is one of the top three and you will only find it on Kangaroo Island.

Emu Ridge is a unique attraction where you can find out how a traditional Aussie bush product is made. They will show you the past and present process of eucalyptus oil distilling. Eucalyptus oil was Australia’s first true export overseas and one of Kangaroo Island’s major industries that employed more than 600 people in the 1930s. Emu Ridge is now the only remaining commercial eucalyptus oil distillery in South Australia, and is proud to have preserved a major part of KI’s heritage and produce a eucalyptus oil that is unique to the world.

The Process…


1. The bushes are grown in rows and every second row is harvested each year.

The harvester has been revamped to suit Larry’s needs as you cannot buy something that is specifically made for what we do. There isn’t many of us around! The pots and still have all been made by Larry! Really the whole premises has been built by Larry and staff! Here’s a link to more harvest photo’s from our talented Workaway volunteer Marcus!

Mechanical Harvester

2. The harvester blades, have been adapted to cut the bushes more efficiently.

Filling the steel pots

3. The galvanized pots are then filled up to the top and taken back to the still.

The Still

4. The fire is then lit using timber from the property and the stainless steel pot is filled with water  the lids is sealed and clamped into place like a pressure cooker.

Raw Oil

5. This is the raw oil being collected from the first distillation, to be distilled again to give a clear, pure oil.

Leaf before and after

6. The leaf before and after distillation. The end product is used to light the fire and also used as mulch back on the plantations.

Our oil then goes through a second process to remove any impurities and bring it up to standard. The pot is cleaned out and the raw oil and water go into the pot and its distilled a second time. Then its ready to be bottled and sold.

Bottling the oil

7. The oil is then bottled by hand.


8. The oil is also labelled by hand and stored in the workshop ready to be sold or bought back to the shop.

Oil in the shop

9. The finished product!


Below is a video of the harvester in action, enjoy!

The First Harvest for 2015


We are very proud to make a product from start to finish completely on the Emu Ridge property, and we hope you enjoyed seeing the process!

If you would like to order our Eucalyptus Oil, please click here.

This video is how it was made when harvested with the chainsaw. We hope to have a new video to show everyone very soon.

Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery - Kangaroo Island