Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

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Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby jobell » Mon 14 May, 2018 8:07 pm

With a few extra days on my hands before I could start the Heysen Trail I took advantage of the proximity and spent five days walking on the KIWT.

I had read the discussion on here about this trail when it was first being opened (a year or two ago? Not long anyway). I thought I would share a few thoughts here in case it us helpful to someone else.

Getting there: I hopped on the ferry as a walk on passenger after bussing from Adelaide. On the ferry I got cheeky and put a sign on my backpack reading "lift needed to Western KI pls" and wandered around smiling a lot. It worked....and my lift dropped me at the Western KI Caravan Park. I could have equally gone straight to the trail but I had left an extra day in my schedule in case I took a while to get my lift. If you arrived late there is a great little backpackers in Penneshaw where the ferry arrives and where I hapoen to be now - single room tiny but super clean and $38 a night. Plenty of new tourists arriving on ferry's to potentially hitch with. There's a well stocked IGA here too but no gas canisters that I could find.

The Western KI Caravan Park people offer trail transfers ($20 each way) which I used to be dropped at the trail start and picked up at the end. They also do sell gas canisters but don't have many so best to ring in advance I think and ask them to hold one for you if needed. They were also handy for me as they were prepared to receive and hold my resupply package for my next walk. They also offer daily trail transfers for those who prefer to day walk the trail or even pack transfers from campsite to campsite for those who choose that option.

I started on a Wednesday and had the trail and campsites to myself which helped up the "wilderness" factor for me. No independent walkers or tour groups. The ranger said a mid week start was more likely to avoid crowds. Walking in May possibly helped too.

Distances aren't huge. 5 says: 12km, 14km, 14km, 13km, 7km. I just took it easy, slept in, mooched around and enjoyed the serenity. But if you wanted to speed it up you could start late on Day 1, Day 2 add a 9km side trip to lighthouse and historic stuff at Cape de Couedic, Day 3...read a book in the avo? There's also a couple of little side trips that day to add interest that could be stretched a bit. Days 4 and 5 would easily combine inyo one plus there's a little side trip or two there as well.

Campgrounds: Well thought out and designed, easily the best I have experienced. And they were MINE, all mine for each night. LEVEL tent pads carefully framed and crafted, camping platforms with seats, bush furniture galore, cooking shelters with water on tap and sinks and lighting in the evening, good bathroom facilities. Can you tell how highly I rate a level tent pad? The number of paid campsites I have had where it's a rare, rare thing.

The booking fee (currently $161) included a map, an infomative but smidgen heavy guidebook and a tour of the show cave at Kelly Hill Caves at the finish.

Overall very scenic, pleasant and cruisy walking. Possibly the perfect walk for introducing that non walking partner to the sport.

If you'd like a bit more of a blow by blow story and more pics you'll find that on my FB page facebook.com/ratherbebushwalking.

Cheers Joanne ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby eggs » Tue 15 May, 2018 11:00 am

Thanks for the report.
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby GregR » Tue 15 May, 2018 4:58 pm

Thanks Jo

Great report. I have to admit my total ignorance of this walk until today, and now I'm looking at seeing if my Adelaide based daughter wants to join me next year -looks fabulous and certainly not too demanding either.
Cheers
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby Lizzy » Sat 19 May, 2018 6:35 pm

Nice one! Thanks for the report. Looks very civilised. Mid week in May or winter sound like the plan.
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby contiki30 » Sun 20 May, 2018 7:40 am

That's a very detailed report Joanne. My family and I are looking at doing a multiday hike and this trail is on the list so a big thank you for the detail. And stunning pics :)

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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby scoha » Tue 22 May, 2018 8:25 pm

Excellent report JoBell - its now on my list
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby jobell » Tue 29 May, 2018 9:46 pm

Happy to see it was useful. Cheers!

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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby dagsands » Sun 10 Jun, 2018 10:00 am

Thanks Jo. Planning to do this in November. Your report was great - and the facilities look great too!
A couple of dags and their pooch who live by the beach in their home named 'Dag Sands', of course.
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 20 Jun, 2018 2:16 pm

Great report, looks excellent. Look forward to reading a Heysen report when its done too
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby jobell » Fri 22 Jun, 2018 10:01 pm

How does a Cape Jervis to Tanunda Heysen report sound? I could probably rustle one of those up given I decided to beat a strategic retreat from winter in South Australia once I reached Tanunda.... that was about two weeks ago now!
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby Eremophila » Mon 25 Jun, 2018 8:28 pm

Yes please !!
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby jobell » Sun 01 Jul, 2018 1:42 pm

Done! See thread under trip reports in SA/WA section. [SMILING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 04 Jul, 2018 9:08 pm

jobell wrote:How does a Cape Jervis to Tanunda Heysen report sound? I could probably rustle one of those up given I decided to beat a strategic retreat from winter in South Australia once I reached Tanunda.... that was about two weeks ago now!


sounds like it would be a great read too :wink: Oh goody by the time I have seen this you have already written it. Will make a cuppa and settle in to read
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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Postby dagsands » Tue 04 Dec, 2018 10:12 pm

My partner and I did the KIWT last month and loved it. Amazing scenery, Quite easy in terms of elevation, world class facilities, hardly anybody on the trail, great wildlife experiences.
Only downside was a couple of days of really, really rocky path. If you looked up to check out the views while still walking during those times there's a high likelihood of stubbing a toe or mis-steps. Just got a bit tedious through those sections.

Totally unique experience, highly recommended to go do it before people catch on and it gets busier.
Tour of Kelly caves is included in the KIWT price. Our timing was lucky and it was just the two of us on the cave tour with our guide. Highly recommend checking out the birds of prey show at raptor domain while you are on the island.

For planning info - we left our car at Western KI caravan park and got then to shuttle us to the start and they picked us up at the end, same price as the tourist office charges but your vehicle is secure. And great service.
A couple of dags and their pooch who live by the beach in their home named 'Dag Sands', of course.
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