Trip essentials

Trip essentials

Trip prepa­ra­tion

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.

National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia


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.

National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Be pre­pared – take cloth­ing and equip­ment to suit change­able weath­er and track con­di­tions. Pack plen­ty of snacks and water.
  4. Safe­ty in num­bers – walk with a com­pan­ion or a num­ber of friends wher­ev­er possible.
  5. 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.
National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

Trip prepa­ra­tion


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.

Equip­ment checklist

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.

National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

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.