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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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.

Report on Presidents’ Forum

Walking SA presided over the Presidents Forum which followed our AGM on 13th October 2016. There were four main items addressed including the chance for member feedback.

  1. Strategic Direction
    Wendy Keech presented the framework of the Strategic Plan Walking SA is developing for 2017-19 that builds upon the achievements of the 2014-16 plan. This included the promotion and marketing of walking; advocacy and growth of walking and developing infrastructure and services to support walking. Further, Walking SA is to raise its profile by promotion and marketing; partnership development and demonstrating strong governance and achieving financial sustainability.
  2. Adelaide100
    Jim Mclean presented an update of the Adelaide100 project and we had on display a large map of the Adelaide100 trail which drew strongly favourable responses
  3. Advocacy
    Executive Officer Greg Boundy presented on the increased advocacy role that Walking SA was taking and will further develop
  4. Member feedback
    There was support for Walking SA taking the stronger advocacy role particularly with specific concerns expressed re mountain bikes on walking trails.

The 2016 inaugural annual awards to recognise contributions to walking in South Australia

2016 walking award winners at the award presentation, 13 October 2016

2016 walking award winners at the award presentation, 13 October 2016

Many volunteers and others have contributed to South Australia’s great walking trails, waling clubs, and walking promotion and opportunities for health, wellbeing, recreation and tourism.

We’ve initiated annual awards to recognise sustained and outstanding contribution to walking at all levels throughout SA. This year’s winners were announced at our Walking Awards & Forum on Thursday 13th October 2016. If you know of someone who should be considered for 2017’s awards please do consider nominating them, we’re accepting nominations throughout the year.

2016 Inaugural Annual Walking Award Winners

2016 Award Winner: Paul Di Iulio (CEO), Campbelltown City Council

Paul Di Iulio (CEO), Campbelltown City Council

2016 Local Government Individual

Walkability is embedded in Campbelltown City Council‘s Environmental Management Plan (2020), one of four strategic plans of Council, as part of sustainable management and enjoyment of Campbelltown’s natural environment. Council is committed to improving the connection of existing …

2016 Award Winner: Jim Binder, City of Salisbury

Jim Binder, City of Salisbury

2016 Local Government Award – Individual

The City of Salisbury were one of the first Local Government areas in SA to register with the Heart Foundation’s Just Walk It (now known as Heart Foundation Walking) program in 2005. Jim Binder was identified as the Local Coordinator and established numerous groups across the council …

2016 Award Winner: Coorong District Council

Coorong District Council

2016 Local Government Award – Organisation

Development and construction of the Murray Coorong Trail is the largest of Coorong District Council‘s long term walking initiatives. Coorong District Council is one of three regional Councils involved in developing the 450km walking/cycling trail – and at the end of 2016-17 (when stage …

2016 Award Winner: City of Mitcham

City of Mitcham

2016 Local Government Award – Organisation

The City of Mitcham is setting a South Australian benchmark for purpose built, sustainable trail development in local government reserves. Open Space within metropolitan areas is limited and reserves on the perimeter of urban areas are often used for informal sporting pursuits. The growing …

2016 Award Winner: District Council of Barunga West

District Council of Barunga West

2016 Local Government Award – Organisation

The District Council of Barunga West is part of a region known for its high level of community connectedness. However, some of the challenges facing the region include older people living in smaller communities, who are at risk of isolation and with reduced access to infrastructure and …

2016 Award Winner: City of Mount Gambier

City of Mount Gambier

2016 Local Government Award – Organisation

The City of Mount Gambier has recently completed a large scale walking project, developing the Mount Gambier Rail Trail. This has consisted of 3.1km of derelict rail corridor being transformed into a shared walking and cycling path from the west to east across Mount Gambier. The 3m wide asphalt …

2016 Award Winner: Yorke Peninsula Council

Yorke Peninsula Council

2016 Local Government Award – Organisation

Walk the Yorke is a continuous shared walking and cycling trail taking in over 500km of Yorke Peninsula coastline. Walk the Yorke offers users the chance to experience spectacular rugged cliffs, amazing views, pristine beaches, secluded coves, rocky reefs and tidal pools, windswept sand dunes, …

2016 Award Winner: Keith Herbig, Adelaide Happy Wanderers

Keith Herbig, Adelaide Happy Wanderers

2016 Special Recognition Award – Individual

Keith started the Adelaide Happy Wanderers together with Bart van der Wel in 1982. His introduction to bushwalking was originally at Mannum Area School in the early 1960s. Keith was in active service during the Vietnam War. This experience would have prepared him for the hardships associated …

2016 Award Winner: Helen Tassell, Retired Teachers Association Walking Group / ARPA Bushwalkers

Helen Tassell, Retired Teachers Association Walking Group / ARPA Bushwalkers

2016 Special Recognition Award – Individual

Helen joined the Retired Teachers Walking Group and ARPA Bushwalkers in 1994. She has been heavily involved in the planning and leading of many camps and walks for both groups over that time. She has been the Treasurer of Retired Teachers Walking Group for many years and supportive of others …

2016 Award Winner: David Tassell, Retired Teachers Association Walking Group / ARPA Bushwalkers

David Tassell, Retired Teachers Association Walking Group / ARPA Bushwalkers

2016 Special Recognition Award – Individual

David joined the Retired Teachers Association Walking Group in 1994 at a time when his eyesight was failing due to Macular Degeneration. He also became a member of ARPA Bushwalkers about the same time and despite his disability has contributed to both groups through the planning and leading of …

2016 Award Winner: Michelle Wilson, Heart Foundation

Michelle Wilson, Heart Foundation

2016 Special Recognition Award – Individual

Michelle joined the Heart Foundation in 2004 as the manager of “Just Walk It” a South Australian community walking program that assisted councils, health services and community organisations to establish free walking programs in their community. Due to Michelle’s foresight and the leadership of …

2016 Award Winner: Friends of the Heysen Trail

Friends of the Heysen Trail

2016 Special Recognition Award – Group/Organisation

The Friends of the Heysen Trail were formed in 1986 to undertake the development and maintenance of the Heysen Trail and other walking trails which they have steadfastly done for over 25 years. Current membership is approximately 1,000. The Friends of the Heysen Trail coordinate many groups and …

2016 Award Winner: Heart Foundation – South Australian Division

Heart Foundation – South Australian Division

2016 Special Recognition Award – Group / Organisation

The Heart Foundation is a charity dedicated to fighting the single biggest killer of Australians – heart disease. For over 50 years we have worked to save lives and improve the heart health of all Australians. The Heart Foundation is committed to actively promoting walking to the general public …

2016 Award Winner: Julian Monfries, Friends of the Heysen Trail

Julian Monfries, Friends of the Heysen Trail

2016 Longstanding Contribution/Distinguished Service Award – Individual

Julian has a long history of advocating walking as a beneficial healthy activity. He has always walked the talk. Julian walked with Keep Fit SA walking group prior to doing first Heysen Trail traverse in the early 90s. He joined the Friends of the Heysen Trail (the Friends) in 1991 and …

2016 Award Winner: Colin Edwards, Friends of the Heysen Trail

Colin Edwards, Friends of the Heysen Trail

2016 Longstanding Contribution / Distinguished Service Award – Individual

Colin joined the Friends of the Heysen Trail (the Friends) in 1989. Colin has given many years to assisting the management of the Friends, both with leading walks and trail development and maintenance. Not only management, Colin is very hands on, being one to lead the way. The Friends are very …

2016 Award Winner: Bill Gehling, Walking SA

Bill Gehling, Walking SA

2016 Longstanding Contribution / Distinguished Service Award – Individual

In 1991 Bill became involved in the establishment of an organisation of bushwalking clubs as the representative of Adelaide Bushwalkers, of which he had been a member since 1975. He became the foundation president of the new bushwalking federation (now Walking SA), and served two full terms of …