Frequently asked questions
What is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail?
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a world class, 66 kilometre, 5‑day walking experience giving visitors access to some of the most rugged, remote and spectacular coastlines in South Australia. The trail is located in the south west of Kangaroo Island and encompasses new and upgraded trails through Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area. Along with encounters with some of the island’s most unique wildlife, the trail provides access to the iconic attractions of Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Weirs Cove, Hanson Bay and Kelly Hill Caves.
What are my walk options?
You can walk the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail as:
- a self-guided walker using the campgrounds provided (you will need to carry your own equipment).
- a self-guided walker using the campgrounds provided and a commercial operator will transport your personal equipment from one campground to the next.
- a customer of a commercial tourism operator either using the campgrounds provided or staying in private accommodation off of the trail.
Why do I need to book my walk?
The booking system regulates the number of walkers departing each day. This is to avoid overcrowding, to preserve the wilderness experience for everyone, to reduce our environmental impact and to ensure sustainable management of the track and campground facilities.
How many people are allowed to depart each day?
A maximum of 12 independent walkers and 36 walkers guided by commercial tour operators, totaling 48 walkers (including guides) are permitted to depart each day. These will be a mix of independent and guided walkers with some camping along the trail (campgrounds cater for 24 walkers) and some staying in off-trail accommodation. Of the commercial tour operator walkers, only 12 are permitted to camp overnight, meaning there are a maximum of 24 campers at each campground per night.
How much does it cost to walk the trail, what is included and why is there a fee?
Child (4 – 15)
Included in this cost is your park entry fee, car parking at Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre, Trail Guide and Trail Map. A bus transfer from Kelly Hill Caves to Flinders Chase Visitor Centre is available and can be paid when booking for the walk.
Our licensed tour operators offer a range of packages, from basic drop off/pick up services to fully guided tours. Prices will depend on the package you select.
Maintaining a long-distance walking trail in a remote area is expensive. Your fee contributes to maintaining and servicing the trail to ensure it remains an exceptional world-class tourism experience.
Do I need to pay a separate park entry fee?
If you wish to visit the attractions of Flinders Chase National Park before or after your walk, you will need to pay a separate visitor fee. Please book online. Alternatively, your tour operator may offer a package that includes access to Flinders Chase National Park.
What level of walking experience do I need?
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is categorised as a Grade 4 walking trail under the Australian Walking Track Grading System, meaning that some sections are long, rough and very steep and directional signage is at times limited. Bushwalking experience is recommended. For more information on Grade 4 walking trail guidelines see the Users Guide to the Australian Walking Track Grading System.
How fit do I need to be to walk the trail?
A good level of fitness is required to walk the trail. You can expect to walk between 3.5 and 6.5 hours a day not including time for side trips. Walk durations will also depend on your fitness level, weather conditions, how much weight you are carrying, and how long you stop for wildlife viewing and rest breaks. If you need to build up your level of fitness prior to the walk, we recommend starting with a 30 minute daily walk and building up to 6.5 hours. Be sure to trial walking with the pack you intend to take so that you feel fully prepared.
Is the trail suitable for children?
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.
When is the best time to walk?
The best time to go is March to November however every season on Kangaroo Island offers something different, so you’re sure to have an amazing experience whenever you visit. Kangaroo Island’s weather is variable year round and changes in temperature and conditions can occur suddenly and without much warning given the island’s exposed location. You’re likely to experience a bit of everything on your walk – sunshine, wind and rain. Walkers should be aware that on catastrophic fire days the park will be closed and walkers will be required to leave the trail. For more information on seasonal highlights and challenges view the Seasonal Highlight’s fact sheet.
What do I need to take with me?
Packing the right equipment will help you have a great experience on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. We’ve made things easy by preparing a packing listwith all of your essentials.
Can I stay more than one night at each campground?
No. Walkers are only permitted to stay one night at each campground to ensure the next group of walkers have access to their booked sites and that there are adequate facilities available for all walkers on the trail.
What type of accommodation is provided on the trail?
Each campground offers pad or platform based tent camping, unisex toilets, shelter for food preparation and cooking, filtered rainwater, boot cleaning stations to reduce the risk of spreading Pc, and basic camp furniture.
If you choose to book with a tour operator your package may include accommodation outside of the trail.
If you need to organise your own accommodation, keep in mind that the trail is located at the western end of the island, approximately 1.5 to 2 hours from the ferry and airport arrival/departure points. If you are doing multiple sections of the trail, we recommend booking accommodation close to the trail. That way you can kick things off with plenty of daylight hours ahead of you and finish the walk with time to explore the wonders of Flinders Chase National Park before indulging in the luxury of a hot shower and soft bed.
Visit Tour Kangaroo Island for accommodation options close to the trail. Advance bookings are essential.
Are GPX, ESRI, KML, KMZ files available for the trail?
Yes. The following files of the trail are available for download:
- Google Earth file (KML/KMZ).
- GPX file for GPS units.
- ESRI Shape file for GIS users.
Visit Data.SA Recreation Trails page to download GPX, ESRI, KML, KMZ files.
Is drinking water available along the trail?
No, water is only available at each campground. Ensure you have enough water for each day. We suggest a minimum of 3 litres per person per day.
Is there mobile phone reception on the trail?
Mobile phone reception may be possible on the Telstra network at some of the higher points along the trail, but it is not guaranteed. You should anticipate being out of contact with the outside world for the duration of the walk unless you are carrying a satellite phone or a personal locator device such as an EPIRB.
Are there guided walks?
A number of tour operators offer guided walks along the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.
Can I walk just one section of the trail?
Yes. You may walk one or more sections of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail – Fire Recovery Experience. The tour operators that provide access to the trail also have a range of packages.
Can I take a group walking on the trail? (schools, community groups and incorporated clubs)
Yes, plan your trip in advance and contact the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre on (+61 8) 8553 4410 for further details.
How do I get to Kangaroo Island and where can I stay?
Planning your trip Kangaroo Island is essential. It can transform your experience from a great walk to a trip of a lifetime. You can discover more about the Kangaroo Island experiences on offer, including where to stay, eat and play by visiting Tour Kangaroo Island or by calling 1800 811 080.