Review of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT)

Day 2, Maupertuis Section, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

The Cape du Couedic lighthouse sits tantalizingly on the horizon as the KIWT follows the cliffs south towards Hakea Campsite

The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a five day hiking trail along the spectacular coastline of the south-west corner of Kangaroo Island. The trail opened in October 2016. There are campgrounds along the way. The first day in the Rocky River Section (as the Rocky River Hike), and the 5th day in the Kelly Hill Section (as the Hanson Bay Hike) can be hiked by anyone, but the middle 3 days are only accessible to people who have paid the $161 trail fee. In the Suggested Itineraries section we review shorter ways to walk the trail, including how to hike the sections as day walks.

We walked the trail in December 2016, offering the following review. Although we had earlier received an invitation, we were not guests of National Parks SA on this hike trip.

This review was originally published on the Notes from a Trailhead blog, and is reproduced here with permission.

Details about each day’s walk appears in our Find a Place to Walk directory listing for the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

The trail is referred to using the acronym of KIWT on some trail signage, and when using hashtags on social media (#KIWT).

Contents of this Review

Jeremy Carter, author of this review, has hiked many multi-days throughout Australia and New Zealand, including South Australia's Heysen Trail. He undertakes volunteer work and professional work with Walking SA, although this article is unpaid. He has contributed over 200 walks and trails to our Find a Place to Walk directory.

Jeremy Carter, author of this review, has hiked many multi-days throughout Australia and New Zealand, including South Australia’s Heysen Trail. He undertakes volunteer work and professional work with Walking SA, although this article is unpaid. He has contributed over 200 walks and trails to our Find a Place to Walk directory.

Our review covers the following topics, which you can jump to directly or read the whole article below:

  1. Trail Comparison
  2. Choose this trail if you like
  3. Starting the Hike
  4. Trail Conditions Underfoot
  5. Trail Signage
  6. Campgrounds
    • Large communal kitchen and dining shelter
    • The Bathroom Block
    • Campsites
    • Campground Signage
    • Extra Campground Facilities
    • Food in Campgrounds
  7. Maps
  8. Audio Tour App
  9. When to Walk
  10. Suggested Itineraries
    • 5 Day hike plan
    • 4 Day hike plan #1
    • 4 Day hike plan #2
  11. Packing List
  12. Wildlife
  13. Beaches & Swimming
  14. Bushfires
  15. Drinking Water
  16. Mobile Reception
  17. Details of each Trail Section

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Hiking Expo, Opening of the Bushwalking Season, 23 April 2017

Hiking Expo, Opening of the South Australian Bushwalking Season, 23 April 2017 at Belair National ParkSunday 23rd April 2017
Belair National Park

An expo to celebrate the start of the South Australian bushwalking season. With the arrival of cooler autumn weather, hiking is an ideal outdoor activity. South Australia’s bushwalking clubs and Walking SA are coming together to celebrate the occasion with a unique day in Belair National Park.

  • Expo of walking clubs, walking tour companies and outdoor retailers
  • Come-and-try bushwalks ranging from 30mins to 3 hours
  • Free park entry on the day

Find out more at walkingsa.org.au/expo


Supported by Walking SA, ARPA, Friends of the Heysen Trail, South Australian Recreation Trails Inc (SARTI), and Adelaide Bushwalkers.

Walking SA is inviting walking clubs, outdoor retailers and walking tour companies to display stands at the expo, and operate come-and-try walks on the day. Get in touch with Greg Boundy via office@walkingsa.org.au or 0457 006 620.

Advocacy for Walking update

Over the last two months Walking SA has been engaged with the following in regard to representing the walking community: –

  • Adelaide City Council – Bike Summit
  • Dept. of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) – 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide
  • Burnside Council – Recreation Trails Strategy
  • Unley Council – Unley Integrated Transport Strategy
  • Office for Recreation and Sport – Trails usage – walkers and mountain bike riders
  • DPTI – Motorbike lane filtering
  • Local Government – a range of local government engagement is underway
  • Wirraparinga Trails project – see separate item below
  • Dept. of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DENWR) – “I share my Trail” campaign development

As well as they we have met with Minister Mullighan to raise awareness of Walking SA, the needs of the walking community and our desire to be part of the planning process for all projects impacting upon walking. The Minster was totally supportive of that and we have since been consulted on a number of issues.

If you have issues or concerns, please advise us at Walking SA so we can add that into our information bank for advocacy purposes to the relevant authorities.

Wirraparinga Trails Project

Map of potential Wirraparinga Trails

Map of proposed Wirraparinga Trails

An essentially no-through stick-to-the-road creek walk is being expanded as a recreational and heritage trail. Ron Bellchambers of the Brownhill Creek Association, as a walker, a retired history teacher and a neighbour of a local landowner of Springwood park, had a vision. Ron was aware of the potential of the extensive Springwood Park for its indigenous and historical heritage and for linking walking routes with Brownhill Creek, the Yurebilla Trail and Carrick Hill. The land owner was conducive to making strategic parts of his property publicly accessible.

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Bushwalking Australia 2016 Hobart Conference

Walking SA participated in the recent Bushwalking Australia conference held in Hobart. Of significant interest was the new insurance arrangements, together with the reduction in rates, and the insurance broker presented as also responded to questions from the attendees. Overall Bushwalking Australia is well pleased with the new brokers that were selected earlier in the year. For member clubs with insurance through Walking SA there is a significant resource on the Bushwalking Australia website that details information about insurance cover.

Also a matter that took up considerable time was the ongoing development of the Australian Adventure Activity Standards. The Bushwalking Australia position statement clearly states that it is our view that they not be required for our organisations. There is some concern that this may not be the case although the draft standards state clearly that they do not apply, and Bushwalking Australia and all states including Walking SA, will maintain robust opposition to any change in that regard.

Walktober 2016 Report

walktoberSA, WSA email 1000pxWalking SA was delighted to receive financial support from the Office for Recreation and Sport to conduct our Walktober 2016 project in October. We carried out a range of activities and events all with the intention of fulfilling our organisation vision of “getting more people to walk more often”. We would like to thank all of those actively engaged during October. A significant effort went into our social media engagement as well as providing a range of resources on our ever expanding web site. For more details of what we did please refer to walkingsa.org.au/walktober

Of particular note was our “Trails Less Travelled” event where we focussed on promoting walking other trails to the summit of Mount Lofty. This event was extremely well supported but suffered due to the atrocious weather on the day. We would like to thank all our volunteers and participants who supported the event and despite the weather had a great time. Read about the 8 Ways to Hike Up Mt Lofty.

As Walktober ends there’s never been a better time to walk more often

We’ve been celebrating walking throughout October with #WalktoberSA.

Whether walking for leisure, health or transport, there are always great places to go walking.

With longer warm evenings there’s never been a better time to walk more often:

See where other people have been hiking throughout #WalktoberSA in our gallery of social media snaps people have taken on their walks.

Throughout summer the Friends of the Heysen Trail undertake a 2-hour walk each Wednesday evening.

Interest In The Adelaide100 Grows

Proposed Adelaide100 Trail RouteIn April, the Adelaide100 was enthusiastically tested by Board members Alan Bundy, Ian Budenberg and me, and Rosie Budenberg. The Adelaide100 is a local long distance loop walk of over 100 kilometres. The Adelaide100 takes in the metropolitan sea front, the Adelaide Hills, and the River Torrens Linear Park. The best parts of nine parks feature. Extensive panoramic views and intimate remote bush settings are special.

We enjoyed the coast, watercourses and Hills over 9 days and 8 nights. At the end of the day there was a warm bed in a holiday park at Belair, a bed and breakfast at Stirling, or a hotel at Newton. On the menu was a bacon and egg breakfast from Jaspers at platform level in the Adelaide Railway Station, a pasty from the award winning Orange Spot Bakery at Glenelg, or a three course feast in the medieval decored Camelot Castle at Basket Range.

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Best Walks for Kids 7-12yo

There are loads of great hikes around South Australia for kids aged 7 to 12, with opportunities to explore rock formations, big trees, caves, creeks, waterfalls and see wildlife. We’ve listed some of the best ones below.

Throughout October we’re celebrating walking with #WalktoberSA.

This article builds on the 12 Great Walks for Kids we published during last year’s WalktoberSA.

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Walk the trails from Sunday’s Trails Less Travelled, Hike Mt Lofty from a different direction event

Despite the morning’s rain and wind over 120 people participated in the six hikes for Sunday 16th October’s Trails Less Travelled event, exploring the different walking trails up to Mt Lofty summit.

The walkers were welcomed at the summit by our two intrepid explorers with goody bags and competition entry forms (congratulations Emily Young from Unley for winning a Mountain Designs day pack and a set of walking poles valued at $300.)

You can walk these trails yourself anytime. We’ve outlined the best ones below with maps and details.

Thanks to all our volunteers for making the event happening, including Heart Foundation Walking for packing the goody bags, for our walk leaders including volunteers from the Friends of the Heysen Trail, ARPA Bushwalkers, Adelaide Happy Wanderers, Heart Foundation Walking and Walking SA volunteers, for our stall holders including ARPA Bushwalkers, Murray River Walk, the Friends of the Heysen Trail, ARPA Bushwalkers and Mountain Designs.
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EVENT UPDATE Trails Less Travelled, 24 hours to go

Trails Less Travelled: Hike Mt Lofty from a different direction
8am Sunday 16 October

We’ve had lots of volunteers helping out to bring you tomorrow’s event and show people the many different ways to hike up to Mt Lofty summit. Register now, it’s free!

  1. Recent days have been fabulously sunny but the weather forecast for tomorrow is for some showers. Bring a rain jacket, umbrella or cheap plastic poncho (available from Coles, some servos, camping stores, travel stores, Harvey Norman, Spotlight).

    We also recommend:

    • wear some runners or hiking boots
    • wear a hat and sunblock
    • bring something warm to wear at the summit
    • bring 1-2L of water (water can be refilled at Mt Lofty summit)
    • avoid wearing jeans (if they get wet they stay wet for a long time and can make you feel very cold)
  2. The following walks are all good to go:

    Regretably we’ve had to cancel these hike options:

    • Botanical Gardens
    • Measdays Lookout
    • Adventure Trail
  3. All hikes start at 8am. The meeting location for each hike is listed on the hike’s event page, see:
  4. The summit expo is open from 9am to 1pm, free entry. Thanks to Mountain Designs you could win a Mountain Designs day pack and some walking poles in our event competition. Refresh yourself at The Summit Cafe, stroll among the stall holders in the summit courtyard and enter the competition.
  5. You can grab a detailed map of the event hikes
  6. Getting back afterwards
    • Some host clubs will offer to also walk back via the same route or another route.
    • You may choose to walk your own route to return, or retrace your steps.
    • If you’re hiking with a friend you could park a second car at the top before the hike, and drive back to the start in your first car. Then when you reach the top you have a car to drive down in, back to collect the first car.
    • Adelaide Metro bus service 823 stops at Mt Lofty Summit at 10:42am, 1:42pm and 4:42pm. The bus service originates in Cleland Wildlife Park and goes to Crafers Park N Ride stop 24 (by the freeway), with connections to the city and hills.