SeaLink South Australia has launched new, all-inclusive Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail packages. The three- to five-day accommodated self-drive packages allow walkers to explore all, or parts of, the 61-kilometre trail by day, and by night enjoy the comforts of a hot shower, delicious dinner and a king bed at KI Wilderness Retreat.
SeaLink’s Wilderness Trail accommodated self-drive packages include the three-day/three-night, four-day/four-night and five-day/four-night options. Each morning SeaLink’s guests are transferred to the trail to continue their walk and after the day’s walk is complete, guests are transferred to KI Wilderness Retreat for the evening.
The Wilderness Trail is located south-west of Kangaroo Island and not only explores the island’s most rugged, remote and spectacular coastline, but encounters some of the island’s unique wildlife and provides access to iconic attractions.
Day One is a 12-kilometre walk starting from Flinders Chase Visitor Centre to Cup Gum Campsite at Snake Lagoon. Walkers are provided with a walking pass, map and trail guide and shown a short safety video before heading off.
The first leg visits the famous Platypus Waterholes to see the elusive platypus, before the path joins up with the Rocky River Trail becoming immersed in dense eucalypt woodland, home to a diversity of birdlife and native animals. Once reaching the Pardalote Lookout, enjoy the magnificent views of the meandering Rocky River before the path passes through riverbank and mallee habitats, where wildflowers provide stunning arrays of colour. Then, traverse towards the spectacular Rocky River Cascades along the way to Cup Gum Campsite.
On Day Two of the walk, encounter 14 kilometres of amazing views, from Snake Lagoon to Hakea Campsite at Cape du Couedic. The walk starts along Rocky River heading towards the river’s mouth at the coast. Take in the breathtaking view of the mighty Southern Ocean before heading South along the island’s wild and rugged coastline, where birds of prey can be seen flying over the land and sea. On the water, bottlenose dolphins often surface as they hunt for fish, and Southern Right Whales may even be spotted between June and early October.
At Maupertuis Bay, head down from the clifftop onto the bone-white beach below and see the remnants of shipwrecks before following the trail back up to the rocky clifftop, seeing the famous Cape du Couedic Lighthouse in the distance. Then, the trail turns inland for the final stretch to Hakea Campsite.
On Day Three, experience the 13-kilometre Wilderness Trail between Cape du Couedic to Banksia campsite at Sanderson Bay. Visit the popular sites of historic Weirs Cove, Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. See the rugged wilderness of the island’s south coast, as the trail hugs the coastline and offers cinematic views.
Day Four is spent walking 13.5 kilometres between Sanderson Bay to Tea Tree campsite at Grassdale and offers high-energy coastal trekking, with spectacular coastal views and towering cliffs from Sanderson Bay to the spectacular Cape Younghusband. At Hanson Bay, be treated to changing inland vegetation from low coastal heath to tall, dense mallee and tea tree. Upon reaching South West River, punt to the other side, which marks the gateway to the Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area and the most untouched area on the trail. Then, follow the winding river to Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the Historic Grassdale property.
The fifth day of the Wilderness trail walks a further 7.5 kilometres from Grassdale to Kelly Hill Caves and, although leisurely, is no less spectacular and beautiful. The trail passes through a diversity of habitats, from recovering woodlands to freshwater lakes and ‘karst’ cave systems. Reaching the Wilderness and Grassdale Lagoons, birdwatchers will be rewarded with sightings of local and visiting woodland and wading birds. After a short walk through beautiful sugar gum woodland, the trail concludes at the famous Kelly Hill Caves.
The Wilderness Trail accommodated self-drive packages start from $845 per person, twin share for the three-day/three-night package; from $927 per person, twin share for the four-day/four-night package; and from $951 per person, twin share for the five-day/four-night package.
All packages are all-inclusive and include return SeaLink Ferry transfers including a standard size vehicle from/to Cape Jervis; accommodation at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, with continental breakfast each morning; packed picnic lunch for full days of walking; a two-course dinner each night at the Nicolas Baudin Restaurant, KI Wilderness Retreat; transfers to and from the start and finish point each day of the walk; a KI Wilderness Trail Walking Pass, map and guide; and a three-, four- or five-day KI Wilderness Trail walk.
Children’s pricing is available, but the trail is not recommended for children under the age of 10.