To experience your walk of a lifetime on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail — Fire Recovery Experience, you will need to do a little research and planning. Our tourism partners are helping you undertake this walk during the trail’s recovery.
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail – Fire Recovery Experience does not include on-trail camping or accommodation.
Depending on the licensed tour operator you book with, your package may include accommodation.
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.
Know before you go
It is important to plan and prepare for your trip so that your Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail walk is safe and enjoyable. Here are a few guidelines that will help you to make the most of your experience:
- Plan your trip – book your trip well in advance, including your accommodation, transport and transfers to and from the start and end of the trail. Study maps and route guides ahead of the walk. A Wilderness Trail induction is provided by your licensed tour operator and will include an update on weather conditions prior to departing. The Wilderness Trail is a Class 4 hike and allows you to explore and discover natural environments along defined and distinct tracks. You need to be self-reliant, particularly in regards to emergency first aid and possible weather hazards which may affect your navigation and safety.
- Know your limits – 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. This 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. For your own safety, be willing to seek assistance if the walk is more difficult than expected.
- Be prepared – take clothing and equipment to suit changeable weather and track conditions. Pack plenty of snacks and water.
- Safety in numbers – walk with a companion or a number of friends wherever possible.
- Be aware of the weather – weather on the trail is changeable and certain times of the year have a higher risk of bushfire and dangerous ocean conditions. Be aware of the dangers and check the forecast and weather warnings before you go. Depending on the conditions, you may need to change or adapt your itinerary. Visit the Bureau of Meteorology for the latest weather updates.
The best time to go is March to November but every season offers something different on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, so no matter what time of year you visit you’re sure to have an amazing experience. Why not plan your trip around some of these seasonal highlights:
- Spring (September — November): the season of rebirth and a wonderful time to see the island’s spectacular array of wildflowers, birds and mammals, including Cape Barren Geese nesting in native grasses to incubate their eggs.
- Summer (December – February): wildlife retreats to bushland habitat to shelter during the heat of the day, summer wildflowers and the new growth of native trees add colour to the landscape, fur seals start to breed and cool sea breezes provide relief on hot days.
- Autumn (March – May): a time of transition with modest rainfall bringing waterways back to life and providing new growth for wildlife to feed on, newborn seal pups make their debut in the colonies along the coast and sea winds are calmer.
- Winter (June – August): orchids and fungi are prolific, rivers are flowing, winter swells crash into towering cliffs providing a breathtaking spectacle, echidnas form ‘mating trains’ where up to eight males follow a female around, majestic Southern Right Whales pass the shores and high rainfall produces lush, green vegetation. The months of October through to March also offer the longest daylight hours. For more information on seasonal highlights (and challenges!) refer to our Seasonal Highlights fact sheet.
The weather on Kangaroo Island 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 the walk – sunshine, wind and rain. Hot conditions can be experienced over summer.
A good level of fitness is required to walk the trail. 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.
By travelling with a tour operator you can travel light! Check with your tour operator about what you should pack. Packing the right equipment will help you to have a great experience on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. When deciding what gear to take remember that you are likely to experience a variety of weather conditions on the trail, so you’ll need to be prepared for both sunny and calm conditions as well as wet and windy weather. Opt for high quality, lightweight options wherever possible as the lighter you pack, the more comfortable your walking experience will be.
Download our audio tour app
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail Audio Tours mobile application includes over thirty guided audio tours to enjoy while you walk. Each tour is rich in immersive soundscapes and narration making the stories of the trail come to life. For each day, there is a geo-enabled map which offers walkers the ability to track your location even without an internet connection. Be sure to download the app and each of the five tours before starting your walk as internet connectivity is severely limited on the island.
Note: the app has not been updated for the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail – Fire Recovery Experience.
Ways to get here
Kangaroo Island is just 35 minutes by air from Adelaide Airport to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, or 2.5 hours by coach plus 1 hour by ferry from Adelaide. It’s then a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to the start of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail in Flinders Chase National Park.
Check with your tour operator regarding start times to ensure you leave plenty of time for travel.
Getting to and from the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
All walkers need to book with a licensed tour operator to access the trail.
Getting to and around Kangaroo Island
You can find out all about how to get to and around Kangaroo Island by visiting the Tour Kangaroo Island website.