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.
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