SA | Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail Fire Recovery Experience
Join Big Heart Adventures as we share with you a Women’s Fire Recovery Experience on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.
In this fully supported adventure for women, we walk with daypacks along all five sections of the modified Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. We witness and feel the regrowth and rebirth in varying ecosystems from woodlands and mallee scrub to the fragile coastal dune systems. The trail can only be completed with a commercial tour operator during the recovery period and with two leaders and a maximum of 9 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.
We include all meals, trail snacks and comfortable accommodation each night plus we finish our time on the Island with some fresh and authentic Kangaroo Island food and beverage experiences.
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.
Small group, guided and pack free walking tour with all meals and trail snacks included.
- Date: 1/4/21 – 5/4/21
- Destination: KIWT Trail – Kangaroo Island South Australia
- Type: WWW Trip for Women
- Group Size: Max 9 plus leaders
- Investment: $2294 incl GST per person
- 5% Discount for Wise Women Walking Gold and Silver Members JOIN HERE
- A good to moderate level of fitness is required to walk on the trails on this trip.
- We will be walking with day packs carrying up to 5kg.
- You should be able to walk on a variety of surfaces: undulating trails, rocky limestone paths, uneven terrain and soft sand.
- Our longest walking day is 25km and we walk 4 consecutive days on this adventure.
We depart from Adelaide early this morning for a scenic drive through the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis. From here we take the ferry across 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 and journey to the western side of the island. We will have a leisurely lunch and 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.
Once we navigate the final section of limestone trail we turn off towards the old campground of Snake Lagoon to our finish spot where our transport will be waiting to take us to our accommodation for the next 4 nights at Western KI Caravan Park. Depending on accommodation chosen either your single ensuite accommodation, cabin, or large glamping tent will be waiting for you. Unwind and relax with grazing platters and a glass of something special while we prepare a delicious 2 course welcome dinner.
The Western KI Caravan Park is home to wildlife who visit daily, including koalas, Cape Barron geese, kangaroos and wallabies.
Included: Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
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 cross the bridges to the other side of the river and we take the additional sidetrip down to 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 return along the banks of the river before making 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. We follow the trail parallel to the coast before making our way 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 than half an hour. 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. We use the opportunity to enjoy lunch in the only sheltered spot on our days walk before heading up on to the dunes.
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 – you will notice pigface and samphire offering colour and life to the sand. We can see our finish line for today in the distance – Cape de Couedic lighthouse. The trail does not often lose sight of this landmark for most of the afternoon. Installed after disastrous shipwrecks occurred along this section of coastline, we pass the cairn of Loch Sloy, which is just one of the many stories of loss and survival from ships that went down here.
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
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 ability to now see across the rolling hills and dunes, after a few hours we find ourselves near the Rocks where we break for lunch.
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. We pass a dense section of inland regrowth, passing Reflection Rocks (a great spot for a mindful moment) before the turn off to Sanderson Beach. We visit the beach before making our way to our pick up point.
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
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 we take a trail directly inland where the newest section of the Trail is here. While this section is recovering, we avoid private land to make a wide detour on established tracks directly inland and out to Hanson Bay Road. The terrain is littered with diggings so we will keep our eyes peeled for echidna and goanna.
After we complete the detour to Hanson Bay Road, the Grassdale section is complete and so we connect the two sections together by walking a couple of kilometres to Hanson Bay. We lunch here 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.
We meander through bush that is speedily trying to recreate a habitat for the birds and animals that used to call this place home before the fire. The old finish line sign awaits and after a big day of walking we have much to celebrate. 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
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 KI Spirits where we enjoy gin and liqueur flights (or vodka) with uniquely KI infusions. We then head to Bay of Shoals Winery for tastings with 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 at Bay of Shoals before heading out for a celebration lunch together in Kingscote. The Cactus Cafe 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.
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, Cafe Lunch, Wine and Spirits/liqueur Tastings
- Read terms and conditions before booking
- Itinerary and price subject to change at any time
- Travel Insurance is recommended – click here for a quote from Covermore
- If this trip departs during Fire Ban Season – last minute changes to our itinerary or walking days may be required for safety reasons
- Single ensuite accommodation is private and includes a queen size bed
- Twin share rooming applies for themed glamping tents – Glamping tents are large and include above ground cozy bedding, furniture and comforts
- Twin share rooming applies for cabins (separate rooms)
- Single accommodation options for glamping and cabins (surcharge up to $500 dependant on type – subject to availability)
- 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
- Private transport to and from Cape Jervis is included from Adelaide
- Private transport on Kangaroo Island plus daily trail transfers is included
- Please contact us before booking flights if you are joining us from interstate
Gear you will need:
- Rainproof jacket and pants
- Backpack 35 litre (approx)
- Water bottle/hydration kit
- 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
A minimum of 4 travellers are required for this trip to depart.
Comfortable private transport, return ferry journeys
All meals as per the itinerary
B x 4 | L x 5 | D x 4
4 nights comfortable single ensuite accommodation
Guided Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail Fire Recovery Experience plus spirits, winery and tasting local produce. Optional dolphin swim.
- Big Heart Adventures ioMerino hiking top and head sock
- Big Heart Adventures trip specific training sessions and or program
- Big Heart Adventures discount card for pre-departure purchases at Scouts Outdoor Centre (15% off)
- Big Heart Adventures journal
- 4 nights comfortable single ensuite accommodation
- Comfortable private transport for the duration of the tour
- Return ferry journey to and from Kangaroo Island
- All meals and snacks as mentioned on the itinerary inc gourmet grazing platters and 2 course dinners nightly
- Professionally led walks by our leaders qualified in Bushwalking Leadership and Remote Area First Aid
- Winery and spirit tastings
- Cafe style celebration lunch
- Group First Aid kit and emergency communication device
- National Park entry fees
- A charity contribution to our Give Back program
- Optional dolphin cruise and swim excursion on Day 5 – note this must be booked prior to trip departure and is subject to group numbers, sea and weather conditions – starts from $250pp
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance
- Meals and drinks not stated on itinerary
- Items of a personal nature