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Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Mon 14 May, 2018 8:07 pm
by jobell
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

PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2018 11:00 am
by eggs
Thanks for the report.

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2018 4:58 pm
by GregR
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
Greg

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Sat 19 May, 2018 6:35 pm
by Lizzy
Nice one! Thanks for the report. Looks very civilised. Mid week in May or winter sound like the plan.

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Sun 20 May, 2018 7:40 am
by contiki30
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

PostPosted: Tue 22 May, 2018 8:25 pm
by scoha
Excellent report JoBell - its now on my list

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2018 9:46 pm
by jobell
Happy to see it was useful. Cheers!

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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jun, 2018 10:00 am
by dagsands
Thanks Jo. Planning to do this in November. Your report was great - and the facilities look great too!

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jun, 2018 2:16 pm
by Ms_Mudd
Great report, looks excellent. Look forward to reading a Heysen report when its done too

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jun, 2018 10:01 pm
by jobell
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!

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2018 8:28 pm
by Eremophila
Yes please !!

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2018 1:42 pm
by jobell
Done! See thread under trip reports in SA/WA section. [SMILING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

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Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Wed 04 Jul, 2018 9:08 pm
by Ms_Mudd
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

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2018 10:12 pm
by dagsands
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.

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2019 2:58 am
by Ms_Mudd
I just remembered you said you were going to do it dagsands and looked for the thread to see what you thought. Seems like a successful trip! What were the numbers of walkers like? Was it at the daily maximum? Did you drive all the way from NSW? Impressive! I do have a fuel card that could fund the petrol, but driving solo, or with my daughter seems like a big leap to take. Although airfares are pretty scary if flying direct to Kingscote.

I have a few multiday walks planned this year outside of my local neighbourhood (Barrington Tops) and KIWT is actually a thought for Septemberish. I would be going on my own, or taking my 11yo with me, depending on how she feels about bush walking after walking Light to Light with me in the next month or two ;-) For the walk I take in September, I am looking for low stress, not too technical terrain and some different landscapes to what I am used to. This walk seems to meet most of what I am looking for.

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2019 8:49 pm
by Eremophila
Booked in for late May with 2 girlfriends, can't wait :D

Re: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb, 2019 9:28 pm
by Ms_Mudd
Eremophila wrote:Booked in for late May with 2 girlfriends, can't wait :D

enjoy!