3 to 5 Day Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (Self-Drive with Accommodation at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat)

from
$930pp*

Choose to walk the magnificent Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail over 3, 4 or 5 days, and enjoy the luxury of a hot shower and comfortable bed each night.

Uncover the nature and magic of the trail through some of the most unique landscapes in South Australia. Drive to Cape Jervis, take the ferry to Kangaroo Island and head down to your accommodation at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat. After a quick bite to eat, change into your walking boots, and transfer down to Flinders Chase National Park, to register and receive your safety instructions, before setting off. On the walk enjoy encounters with some of the island’s most unique wildlife, and see the rugged, remote and spectacular coastline of the Southern Ocean. At the end of each day take you will be transferred back to your accommodation for dinner and a good night's sleep, before setting off again the next day.

Essential Information and FAQs - 3 Day Itinerary 

Essential Information and FAQs - 4 Day Itinerary

Essential Information and FAQs - 5 Day Itinerary

3 Day / 3 Night

  • Return SeaLink Ferry transfers including a standard size vehicle from/to Cape Jervis
  • 3 nights' accommodation at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, including continental breakfast each morning
  • 3 day walk on the KI Wilderness Trail
    • Section 1: Flinders Chase Visitor Centre to Cup Gum Campsite at Snake Lagoon
    • Section 2: Snake Lagoon to Hakea Campsite at Cape du Couedic
    • Section 3: Cape du Couedic to Banksia campsite at Sanderson Bay
  • Receive a KI Wilderness Trail Walking Pass, map and guide
  • Transfers to/from the start/finish point each day of the walk
  • Packed picnic lunch for full days of walking (for sections 2 & 3)
  • 2-course dinner each night at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat Restaurant

4 Day / 4 Night

  • Return SeaLink Ferry transfers including a standard size vehicle from/to Cape Jervis
  • 4 nights' accommodation at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, including continental breakfast each morning
  • 4 days walk on KI Wilderness Trail
    • Section 1: Flinders Chase Visitor Centre to Cup Gum Campsite at Snake Lagoon
    • Section 2: Snake Lagoon to Hakea Campsite at Cape du Couedic
    • Section 3: Cape du Couedic to Banksia campsite at Sanderson Bay
    • Section 4: Sanderson Bay to Tea Tree campsite at Grassdale
  • Receive a KI Wilderness Trail Walking Pass, map and guide
  • Transfers to/from the start/finish point each day of the walk
  • Packed picnic lunch for full days of walking (for sections 2, 3 & 4)
  • 2-course dinner each night at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat Restaurant

5 Day / 4 Night

  • Return SeaLink Ferry transfers including a standard size vehicle from/to Cape Jervis
  • 4 nights' accommodation at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, including continental breakfast each morning
  • 5 day walk on the KI Wilderness Trail
    • Section 1: Flinders Chase Visitor Centre to Cup Gum Campsite at Snake Lagoon
    • Section 2: Snake Lagoon to Hakea Campsite at Cape du Couedic
    • Section 3: Cape du Couedic to Banksia campsite at Sanderson Bay
    • Section 4: Sanderson Bay to Tea Tree campsite at Grassdale
    • Section 5: Grassdale to Kelly Hill Caves 
  • Receive a KI Wilderness Trail Walking Pass, map and guide
  • Transfers to/from the start/finish point each day of the walk
  • Packed picnic lunch for full days of walking (for sections 2, 3 & 4)
  • 2-course dinner each night at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat Restaurant

 

Day 1

Cape Jervis is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is a 2 hour drive from Adelaide and is the location of the SeaLink ferry terminal. Enjoy the 45 minute crossing to Penneshaw and then make your way to the western end of the Island and your accommodation at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat. After a quick lunch (own expense), you will be transferred to Flinders Chase Visitor Centre, where you will be welcomed by staff and provided with your walking pass, map and trail guide. You will then be shown a short safety video. Once the video is complete you are ready to start the walk.

Section 1 of Trail: Flinders Chase Visitor Centre to Cup Gum Campsite at Snake Lagoon.

Approx. transfer times: 1.00pm / 5.00pm. Distance: 12kms  Time: 4hrs

Section One commences at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre and takes you to the famous Platypus Waterholes where you may encounter the rare and elusive platypus. This shared section of the trail has plenty of interpretation and offers a great introduction to the park. When the path joins up with the Rocky River Trail you'll be immersed in dense eucalypt woodland that is home to a diversity of bird life and native animals. Reaching the Pardalote Lookout you will see the meandering Rocky River far below you as it flows out towards the Southern Ocean. You will then pass through riverbank and mallee habitats where wildflowers provide stunning arrays of colour all year around, along with orchids and fungi in the cooler months. Traversing your way down from the ridge towards the river you will come across the spectacular sight of the Rocky River Cascades. The day comes to a close at the Cup Gum Campground, where you will be collected and transferred back to KI Wilderness Retreat for dinner and your nights accommodation.

Day 2

After breakfast this morning, collect your picnic lunch and be transferred to Cup Gum Campsite for your day’s walk.

Section 2 of Trail: Snake Lagoon to Hakea Campsite at Cape du Couedic

Approx. transfer times: 8.15am / 4.00pm. Distance: 14kms  Time: 7hrs

Section Two takes you along the Rocky River towards its mouth at the coast. Not long into the walk you'll be rewarded with your first breathtaking view of the mighty Southern Ocean. Here at the edge of the world there is nothing but the deep blue sea between you and Antarctica. The trail then heads south along the island's wild and rugged coastline where birds of prey may be seen flying over the land and sea, while on the water bottlenosed dolphins often surface as they hunt for fish. If you're visiting between June and early October, you may even by treated to the majestic sight of Southern Right Whales on their annual migration to the Great Australian Bight.

Upon reaching Maupertuis Bay head down from the clifftop onto the bone white beach below. Seafarers found this wild coastline unforgiving, with the remnants of shipwrecks that cost the lives of many still visible today. The trail eventually winds its way back up to the rocky clifftop, bringing you ever closer to the famous Cape du Couedic Lighthouse that sits atop the headland in the distance. Pause for a final look back on your day's journey along the spectacularly beautiful coastline of Maupertuis Bay. When the trail turns inland you'll be treated to softer conditions underfoot for the final stretch to camp. Tucked away in a swale, the Hakea Campground offers you protection from the relentless coastal winds and is where you will be collected for your transfer back to KI Wilderness Retreat. If time permits, you may want to venture to nearby Admirals Arch to finish the day with a spectacular sunset.

Day 3

After breakfast this morning, collect your picnic lunch and be transferred to Hakea Campsite for your next day of walking.

Section 3 of Trail: Cape du Couedic to Banksia campsite at Sanderson Bay

Approx. transfer times: 8.15am / 4.00pm. Distance: 13kms  Time: 6.5hrs

An early start is required if you wish to complete the optional side trip off the Wilderness Trail to view the popular sites of historic Weirs Cove, Cape du Couedic lighthouse and Admirals Arch. Walkers taking this option will also be able to view the enchanting antics of Australian and long-nosed fur seals and Australian sea lions that visit this section of the coast. Back on the Wilderness Trail the track heads east towards Sanderson Bay and enters dense coastal mallee before breaking out to the awesome sight of the Remarkable Rocks. 

Here walkers are offered another side trip off the Wilderness Trail to visit these incredible geological formations. Continuing on, the trail hugs the coastline and offers cinematic views that inspire both awe and contemplation – be sure to glance back from time to time for an ever changing view of the captivating Remarkable Rocks. At the end of the day’s walk you’ll find the Banksia Campground located in a sheltered area close to Sanderson Bay. Drop your pack at camp and take a short walk down to the small secluded beach to cool your tired feet while you wait for your transfer back to KI Wilderness Retreat.

Day 4

Following breakfast this morning, those that are doing the 4/5 day package will be transferred to Banksia Campground to continue. For those that have completed their walk, check out of your accommodation and enjoy free time exploring the island before departing on a ferry back to Cape Jervis at a time suitable. 

Section 4 of Trail: Sanderson Bay to Tea Tree campsite at Grassdale

Approx. transfer times: 8.15am / 4.00pm. Distance: 13.5kms  Time: 6.5hrs

Section Four offers high energy coastal trekking at its best, with massive swells, towering cliffs and extended views along the coast all the way from Sanderson Bay to the spectacular Cape Younghusband. Looking back you’ll continue to see Remarkable Rocks as it is rarely seen, framed by the surrounding wild landscape. When the trail meanders inland as it heads towards Hanson Bay you’ll be treated to a dramatic change in vegetation from low coastal heath to tall, dense mallee and tea tree.

Upon reaching the South West River use a punt to cross the river; a novel experience not to be missed. The river crossing marks the gateway to the Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area and the most untouched area on the trail. An optional side trip off the wilderness trail to the nearby Hanson Bay headland and the small settlement of Hanson Bay offers walkers another opportunity to dip their toes in the crystal clear water.

Back on the Wilderness Trail you’ll follow the winding river to Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the Tea Tree Campground, located adjacent to the historic Grassdale property, the original cottage that housed the Edwards family who were pioneers in the early settlement of the western end of the island. Late this afternoon you will be collected from the Tea Tree Campground and transferred back to your accommodation.

Day 5

Following breakfast this morning, those that are doing the 5th day of the walk will be transferred back to Tea Tree Campground do complete their final part of the Trail. For those that have completed their walk, check out of your accommodation and enjoy free time exploring the island before departing on a ferry back to Cape Jervis at a time suitable.

Section 5 of Trail: Grassdale to Kelly Hill Caves

Approx. transfer times: 8.15am / 11.00am. Distance: 7.5kms  Time: 2.5hrs

The final day’s walk is somewhat more leisurely, but no less spectacular and beautiful. The trail passes through a diversity of habitats, from recovering woodlands to freshwater lakes and ‘karst’ cave systems. Reaching the stunning Wilderness and Grassdale Lagoons, birdwatchers will be rewarded with sightings of local and visiting woodland and wading birds. The Wilderness Lagoon provides vital habitat even in dry years when other water bodies dry out. A relatively short walk through beautiful sugar gum woodland, rich with orchids and fungi in the wetter months, brings the trail to its conclusion at the famous Kelly Hill Caves. Here you can take a guided tour of the limestone caves and discover how the spectacular decorations are formed (own expense).

At the end of your walk, you will be transferred back to your car at KI Wilderness Retreat. From here you may like to take in some last minute sightseeing before making your way back to Penneshaw for your return ferry journey to the mainland. 

 

PLEASE NOTE:
•    Itinerary above is based on the 5 day/4 night package, and is subject to change.  The 3 day/3 night package finishes on the morning of Day 4, and the 4 day/4 night
package finishes on the morning of Day 5. Transfer times each day are approximate, and can be changed by contacting KI Wilderness Retreat directly. 
With enough notice, the daily walking trail can also be swapped. 
•    This tour is not recommended for children under the age of 10.
•    This package is based on a minimum of 2 people travelling
•    Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is categorised as a Grade 4 walking trail – some sections are long, rough and very steep. Bushwalking experience and a good level of
fitness is recommended.

 

Activity Options

Price from ($AUD)

3 Night / 3 Day Walk

Staying in an Eco Lodge Room at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat

From Cape Jervis with return Ferry for a standard vehicle. Tour Code: KIWT3KIWR.

$930/Adult*  $1389 /Single
Enquire now

 

4 Night / 4 Day Walk

Staying in an Eco Lodge Room at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat

From Cape Jervis with return Ferry for a standard vehicle. Tour Code: KIWT4KIWR.

$1025/Adult*  $1484 /Single
Enquire now

 

4 Night / 5 Day Walk

Staying in an Eco Lodge Room at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat

From Cape Jervis with return Ferry for a standard vehicle. Tour Code: KIWT5KIWR.

$1060/Adult*  $1484 /Single
Enquire now

 

Conditions: *Prices based on per person, twin share. Prices valid for travel from 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020. A booking deposit of AU$200 per person is payable at time of booking with full payment due 30 days prior to travel. Cancellation fees apply if booking is cancelled inside 30 days prior to departure. An amendment fee of AU$22 will apply to modifications made after the original booking has been confirmed. 
Children (3-14 years): The trail is not recommended for children under the age of 10 due to the distances travelled, exposed coastal environment and often adverse weather conditions.