Women’s Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT)



Women’s Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail trip walking the KIWT from end to end


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Women’s Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT)

KIWT Fire Recovery Experience

Join Wise Women Walking as we share with you a Kangaroo Island tour for women, walking the KIWT in Karta Pintingga Country.

In this fully supported adventure for women, we walk pack-free along all five sections of the modified Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT).  We witness and feel the regrowth and rebirth in varying ecosystems from woodlands and mallee scrub to the fragile coastal dune systems. With two leaders and a maximum of 10 walkers, this is an opportunity to walk the trail in a safe and sustainable small group experience.

Walking reflectively and mindfully, we deeply immerse you in the natural rebuild of these recovering landscapes.

You will have time to explore Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks during our walk. You will also have close up wildlife encounters in their natural environment. Plus we finish our time on the Island with some fresh and authentic Kangaroo Island food and beverage experiences.

All meals, trail snacks and comfortable accommodation next to the trail is included.

Our Leaders will be with you to guide and navigate through the undefined sections of trail and take care of all the detail, so you can relax and absorb the ever-changing surroundings.

Bring your comfortable walking boots and an open heart for this unique and iconic recovering Island Trail.

If you choose to fly direct to and from Kangaroo Island, we can arrange a transfer to Penneshaw on Day 1 and drop you off at Kingscote Airport on Day 6. *See Important Information


Day 1 | Depart Adelaide - Arrive at Kangaroo Island

We depart from Adelaide at lunch for a scenic private drive through the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis.

We board the ferry and cross to Penneshaw where our island adventure begins! On the ferry journey we will keep our eyes out for whales known for passing through the Backstairs Passage as well as dolphins and sea birds.

After we disembark we drive our private vehicle to our accommodation for the night. For those preferring to fly to Kangaroo Island today we can arrange a transfer from Kingscote Airport to Penneshaw.

Once we are settled into our cosy accommodation we will relax with grazing platters and a glass of something special. Then we will walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Tonight we also experience a taste of Kangaroo Islands abundant wildlife, as we take you on a penguin colony tour.

Meals Included: Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: –

Day 2 | Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT) - Rocky River Section

This morning we drive our private vehicle to the western side of the island. We will have a briefing before we head into Flinders Chase National Park where our KIWT Fire Recovery Experience will commence.

The evidence of regrowth here is inspiring – gums trees look like giant bonsai with green leafy shoots clumping along branches, grass trees aim their seed pods to the sky and lichen offer orange hues against the backdrop of blackened trunks.

We may spot rosellas, pardalotes and wrens as we cover a 10km section along Rocky River including a visit to Pardalote lookout and the soothing sounds of the Cascades where water flows through rocky chutes and pools.  If we are lucky enough, we may spot platypus.

We take a side trip today and visit the mouth of the river where white sandy surf beach awaits.  The rock formations here are incredible as well as seeing the numerous baby waterfalls of the terraced river rock pools.  This rocky trail adds an element of adventure to our day!

We then return back towards the old campground of Snake Lagoon and our finish spot. Our transport will be waiting to take us to our comfortable accommodation next to the trail.  Then its time to unwind and relax with grazing platters while we prepare a delicious 2 course dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 13km

Day 3 | Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT) - Maupertuis Section

Today we head back to Snake Lagoon where we pick up from where we left off yesterday on the Fire Recovery Experience.

The trail winds its way back down to Rocky River where we have one more opportunity to spot platypus in the morning light.

We then make our way up and over the headland to huge views of the mighty Southern Ocean below.  This section is exposed and offers perfect 180 degree views of the coastline.

Then down on to Maupertuis beach for a soft sand walk.  This section was known to test those doing the full trail as overnight hikers pre bushfire but with light day packs, this section is less daunting.  Endangered hooded plovers nest in the dunes here and pied oyster catchers are often spotted on the shore along with seals who stray away from the Arch down the coast.

The dunes have been slow to recover with widespread damage evident. Being such a fragile ecosystem, the trail on this section is hard to navigate at times and we will take this section slow to ensure we protect the delicate plants and shrubs re-establishing.

We finish our days walk at the lighthouse where our private transport will return us to our accommodation for sundowners and a freshly prepared 2 course dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 16km

Day 4 | Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT) - Sanderson Section

After a good nights rest and delicious breakfast, today we conquer a longer section of the KIWT Fire Recovery Experience with approx 18km including side trips.

We start our walk from Admirals Arch where we have the seals to ourselves with an early morning moment before the park opens to the public.  Seals raise their young and breed here, so it’s a busy spot with young ones sparring or learning to swim in the safety of the rock pools.  Tired mums sleep after doing long haul feeding missions while babies play nearby.  It’s a feast for the senses and a great way to start our day.

We make our way to Weirs Cove for a visit to a site where three lighthouse families lived and worked the lighthouse during times where the only way to receive goods on this side of the island was by boat and pulley.

The views of the dramatic coastline are amazing from this side and with Remarkable Rocks in the distance, the next landmark sits on the horizon.   Our journey takes us inland on a meandering and at times disorientating journey through what used to be thick coastal mallee scrub.

With the coastline offering incredibly wild conditions for the afternoon, we make our way towards the feisty Sanderson Beach which we can see in the far distance as we leave the Rocks.  Walking on limestone trail with plenty of hard terrain underfoot, you can see the regrowth of salt loving succulents and even fungi.

Relax back at our accommodation with gourmet platters at sunset followed by a delicious 2 course dinner with us.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 18km

Day 5 | Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT) - Grassdale and Kelly Hill Sections

Today is our longest day of walking but it also offers landscape and trail variance not yet seen before.  Our day starts on the original trail as we follow the stony recovering section to Cape Younghusband.  You can see parts of native bush here untouched by fire while sections right to the cliff edge were singed.

Just past Cape Younghusband the inland trails are littered with diggings so we will keep our eyes peeled for echidna and goanna.

We visit Hanson Bay with views across the bay and beach, stunning turquoise waters (a great swimming beach if a warm day!).  Then its up and over the dunes as we follow the brackish river towards the open plains of Grassdale and then Kelly Hill Conservation Park.  With just 10 km to go, the trail will climb over small hilly sections past the lake and lagoon, with fast regrowth seen amongst gums, acacia and grass trees.

Walking the trail with us means you have contributed not just to funding conservation programs on the island but also keeping the regrowth at bay and defining the trail for future walkers.

Tonight we enjoy our final dinner together and a restful evening with the chance to unwind and relax with a beautiful sunset behind the gum trees.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 23km

Day 6 | Food Wine and Spirits (or Swim with Dolphins!) - Return to Adelaide

Today, we celebrate our way back to Adelaide!  Our day starts by choosing your own adventure.

You can enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading to a distillery where we enjoy gin and liqueur flights (or vodka) with uniquely KI infusions. We then head to a winery for tastings and amazing views over the Bay.

Or, for an additional wildlife experience, you can skip the alcohol and take a cruise and a swim in the wild with dolphins who rest in the shallow waters near a secluded shore. This is an incredible once in a lifetime experience offered nowhere else in Australia – note this is optional extra outside of our itinerary and conditions and additional costs apply.

We all reunite before heading out for a celebration lunch together in Kingscote.  Our destination has rave reviews and a brilliant global menu with delicious meals to choose from.  After lunch we make our way to Penneshaw for our ferry journey back to the mainland. For those preferring to fly, we will drop you off at the airport.

At Cape Jervis our private vehicle will be waiting for us where we enjoy the 90 minute journey in comfort back to Adelaide feeling accomplished and rewarded by this incredible wilderness experience.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Walking Distance: –

Need To Know


  • Comfortable private vehicle transport
  • Return ferry to Kangaroo Island
  • All meals and snacks as per the itinerary
  • 2 course dinners
  • Gourmet café celebration lunch
  • B x 5 | L x 5 | D x 5
  • 1 night hotel accommodation (twin share)
  • 4 nights single room (queen bed)
  • Professionally guided walks by our female Leaders
  • Hike the full length of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
  • Penguin colony tour
  • Distillery visit and tasting flight
  • Winery visit and tastings
  • Optional dolphin swim
  • Group First Aid kit and emergency communication device
  • Leaders certified in Remote Area/Wilderness First Aid
  • Qualified Bushwalking Leaders
  • Small group guided experience
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • Invitations to connect with nature
  • Reduce waste through recycling, reusing and composting
  • National Park entry fees
Big Heart Extras
  • Big Heart Adventures designed ioMerino hiking top
  • Big Heart Adventures designed head sock
  • Big Heart Adventures journal
  • Guided pre-departure training walks and or program (trip specific)
  • Discount card for pre-departure purchases at Exurbia
  • A charity contribution to our Give Back program


  • Optional dolphin cruise and swim excursion on Day 6 – note this must be booked prior to trip departure and is subject to group numbers, sea and weather conditions – starts from $250pp
  • Optional flights to and from Kangaroo Island in lieu of ferry (small discount will apply)
  • Transfer from Kingscote Airport to Penneshaw on Day 1
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Meals and drinks not stated on itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature

Packing List

A detailed packing list is provided prior to travel

  • Gear you will need:
  • Rainproof jacket and pants
  • Daypack (35 litre approx.)
  • Water bottles/hydration kit (min 3Ltrs)
  • Personal medications
  • Clothing suitable for bushwalking that is quick drying, warm layers if chilly – consider merino/synthetic clothing
  • Sun protection such as hat, sunglasses and suncream, insect repellent (if joining us in warmer months consider a head net for the flies)
  • Sleeping attire
  • Suitable casual attire to dine out at times
  • Swimwear and towel if swimming
  • Walking poles (optional and recommended) – we can assist with hiring if needed


  • Type: Wise Women Walking Trip
  • Adventure: Women’s Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
  • Destination: Kangaroo Island, South Australia
  • Traditional Country: Karta Pintingga
  • Group Size: Max 10 plus leaders

Fitness Requirement

  • A good level of fitness is required to walk the trails on this trip
  • You will be walking pack free (day packs only)
  • You will walk on a variety of surfaces including undulating trails, rocky limestone paths, uneven terrain and soft sand
  • Our longest walking day is 23km and we walk 4 consecutive days on this adventure
  • Trail rating: Moderate-hard

Important Information

  • Read terms and conditions before booking
  • Itinerary and price subject to change at any time
  • Travel Insurance is recommended – get a quote from Covermore
  • Note weather, group member welfare and a range of circumstances outside our control can mean last minute changes to our itinerary are necessary once on tour
  • A limited number of single rooms (for night 1) are available on a first-come basis
  • Please contact us before booking any flights. Depending on flight arrival and departure times extra nights accommodation may be required at own expense. Airport transfer cost not included
  • A minimum of 6 travellers are required for this trip to depart. If minimum numbers aren’t reached, we may decide to still go or we will provide a full refund
  • If this trip departs during Fire Ban Season – last minute changes to our itinerary or walking days may be required for safety reasons
  • Accommodation – single room with queen size bed (excluding night 1)
  • Private transport to and from Cape Jervis is included from Adelaide
  • Private transport on Kangaroo Island plus daily trail transfers is included

Adventure Leaders

Our team is qualified, experienced and super friendly. We will ensure you have a fun and connecting adventure. Leaders are certified in Remote or Wilderness First-Aid. All leaders carry a group first-aid kit, emergency communications device, emergency documentation and equipment.


“If you are looking for an achievable challenge, with amazing scenery, great food and awesome people, this trip is for you! Big Heart Adventures takes you into the bushfire area, for a unique insight into the way the ecosystem is recovering from such a devastating event”
Cath W
Canberra, ACT