Wishlist of the Week – Kangaroo Island

The QLD Family Road Trip
The QLD Family Road Trip

Growing up in the eastern states of Australia meant that most of my childhood holidays were taken as road-trips around NSW and QLD. It wasn’t until I was over 18 that I found my way over to South Australia for the first time… Hmmm… now I’m sure that didn’t have anything to do with the fact that we were heading to the winelands of the Barossa and Clare Valleys!

3 sisters at the 3 Sisters. Can you guess which one is me?
Road tripping 3 Sisters style. Can you guess which one is me?

However, outside of that memorable winey trip and a conference in Adelaide for business, I’ve never been to South Australia for adventures… Can you see where this is going?

In fact, when you start thinking about it, there are loads of options for great things to do in South Australia, but for me, I’m always going to be looking for a holiday with bushwalking options and opportunities to connect with nature. Oh and if there’s great food and local produce thrown in, I’m going to be packing my backpack in the next 5 mins.

So is it any wonder, that Kangaroo Island is top of my wishlist for a road trip in South Australia?

I just love this recent video which shows some of the amazing scenery down there.

YouTube video

So imagining that I had 4 days to spare, I’ve written my perfect Kangaroo Island wishlist itinerary and it is a bit of a bushwalking challenge. I set myself 3 days to try and complete as many of the tourist walks in the western end of the island listed in the local Kangaroo Island Tourism booklet. There are 18 of them and as I’m going to be travelling by myself, I want to be able to stick to well marked tracks. The other benefit of doing these types of walks, is that there is a whole range of different terrain and environments that I’ll go through, along with amazing views.

One thing that surprises many people who visit KI, is how big it actually is. This is the type of trip that definitely needs a car to get around, with driving time from west to east being over 3.5 hrs!

Kangaroo Island - Bigger than you think!
Kangaroo Island – Bigger than you think!

Day 1

  • Take an early flight from Sydney to Adelaide and grab a rental car from Europcar at the airport.
  • Drive to Cape Jervis (about 1.5 hrs) and take the car onto the 10 am ferry to Kangaroo Island.
  • Grab a takeaway lunch, snacks, pre-dinner nibbles and brekkie supplies at Penneshaw.
  • Drive out to Flinders Chase National Park and begin to knock off walks 10-14 which takes in some of the key spots of Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, before driving towards Rocky River for walk 15, the Platypus Waterholes walk.
  • Check in to the cute heritage stone cottage accommodation at Rocky River Heritage Accommodation.
  • Eat waaay too much local Kangaroo Island cheese and nibbles that I can’t fit any dinner in.
Remarkable Rocks
Remarkable Rocks

Day 2

  • Get a super early start with yummy breakfast of muesli and amazing local Island Pure Sheep’s yoghurt
  • Jump out onto the trails for walks number 16-20 which sees me travelling west through Flinders Chase NP towards Breakneck River.
  • Drive north along Shackle Road and then west towards Cape Borda and live out a dream to stay in an old Lighthouse Keepers Cottage.
  • Treat myself to a slap up dinner by consulting the Eat Local guide for Kangaroo Island.  I’m going to need all the energy I can get for tomorrow!

Day 3

  • Today is a MASSIVE one, so I will need to get going just after sunrise. Starting with Walk 21 in Ravine des Casoars with it’s stunning views and a variety of environments.
  • Then I’ll head back to the coast for picking up walks 22-25, which are shorter trips all with great coastal views and history of the island included.
  • Collapse back into bed at the Cape Borda Lighthouse Keepers Cottage and sleep the sleep of the exhilarated!
Always wanted to stay in a Lighthouse Keepers Cottage!
Always wanted to stay in a Lighthouse Keepers Cottage!

Day 4

  • Sleep in (just a tad) before driving back to Penneshaw (just under 3 hrs)
  • Walk lazily around Penneshaw and have lunch at Fish.
  • Grab the 2.30pm ferry back to Cape Jervis, arriving back to Adelaide airport around 5pm
  • Drop off the car (Ah, she served me well!)
  • Grab a flight back to Sydney and think about how I can return to enjoy the eastern part of the island!

Q: Have you ever been bushwalking on Kangaroo Island? If so, what’s your advice to me in my challenge?

Disclaimer: This post is part of a competition by Europcar as part of their Detours destinations campaign. I have not received any money to write this post, but I will hopefully win a trip to Kangaroo Island to live out my itinerary wish… I did!

Writer, producer and content creator by trade, search and rescue volunteer by passion, Caro Ryan started LotsaFreshAir.com to inspire, teach and encourage people to get into hiking and the outdoors safely.

It’s all about connecting people to wild places in meaningful ways, so they can look after themselves, their mates and these precious places we visit.

She teaches wilderness navigation, authored the book, ‘How to Navigate’ and hosts, ‘Rescued - an Outdoor Podcast for Hikers and Adventurers.

In the bottom of her pack you'll find coffee grounds, instant noodles past their used by date and an insatiable curiosity.

Bushwalking & Hiking Tips from an Unexpected Outdoors Chick

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