Walked the KIWT at the end of May with 2 girlfriends, loved it. Would like to return and re-do in a different season, probably spring. Definitely a good trail to introduce walkers to multi-day trips.
Weather was good, plenty of light rain but not enough to need our waterproof pants as the wind was drying things out pretty quickly! Temps were just right for walking, coldest night I think was 7C, coldest day 12C. My 2 co-walkers were from Central Australia and the Top End and they didn't get too cold.
Days 2 and 3 were pretty windy, Day 2 is very exposed for pretty much the whole day. If the tide is too high for the beach section, you have to find your own way along the dunes.
On Day 3 after we got past Remarkable Rocks we were having trouble staying upright for a couple of hours. No complaints though - seeing the Southern Ocean at its most spectacular was a real treat. That day there was a 6.5m swell and winds of 60km/h, I suspect maybe a bit more.
The seaspray was being funnelled up over the clifftop (and over us) and there were pieces of seaweed scattered along the clifftop, I was expecting to find fish flapping around at one stage! We could see the next day's clifftop walking and the spray showering over it from a distance, breathtaking.
Campsites are pretty luxurious with running water - filtered and unfiltered taps on the sinks in the camp shelter, plus 2 handbasins at the WC's. Lights in the shelter come on at dusk until 8pm, lights in the WC's until a bit later. Lovely level sand tent pads.
We didn't see much wildlife at all after the first day, wrong weather/season I guess. A good amount of birdlife when we were in the forest and away from the wind. It was nice though to NOT see wildlife hanging around the campsites - the only creature we saw was a possum which cruised through the shelter area on night 4 but didn't hang around.
Couple of grumbles:
The lovely young lady who checked us in at the Visitor Centre, didn't seem to have much first-hand knowledge of the trail. She didn't know the difference between "beach walking" and "coastal walking" and caused some brief concern when she told us we would be walking on the beach for most of Day 2.
Despite all the website information to the contrary, the limit of 12 self-guided walkers departing per day has been opened up to 24, except when there are guided groups departing. Thus we had a total of 18 self-guided walkers which included one party of 11.
We ended up using the tour group tent sites for a bit of privacy, apparently this should have been passed on that it was ok to do so.
And we didn't get to try the timber tent platforms as the large group took them all - being the slowest and last into camp each day, we just had to suck it up. Mind you, I reckon the platforms would have been colder anyway, and the "pop-up tent pegs" were not suited to our tents. (After I read about these I had left all the cup hooks at home) Some platforms were available in the group area on Day 2, but they were up high and exposed to the strong winds.
The large group were a nice bunch on the whole, although their camp etiquette could use some refining. Yelling across the campsite to one another at 5.30am is not my idea of good manners.
Anyhow, as I said to my friends, if those guys hadn't been there, we would have been the noisy ones! And we did score a free minibus trip to Admiral's Arch courtesy of their support driver. (who also gave us a bottle of port
Could've saved my friends $25 each by only paying one bus fare from Kelly Hill Caves back to the carpark, and me then collecting them from the Caves. Would we have bothered? Probably not, but it would have been nice to have the option. The aforementioned Parks staff member advised, "If you speak to Xxxx, she'll give you all the tips and tricks". Interesting comment when online bookings are encouraged over phone bookings!
Perhaps next time I would check numbers closer to the departure date - apparently there were no walkers departing the day after us.
All in all we had a terrific time and I'd love to return to see some wildflowers in bloom. Nice part of the world.