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 Barron 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, platypus sightings are easier to come by 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, echidna’s 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. You can expect to walk between 3.5 and 6.5 hours a day not including time for side trips. Walk durations 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. 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. Be sure to trial walking with the pack you intend to take so that you feel fully prepared.
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. We’ve made things easy by preparing a packing list with all of your essentials but don't forget to take extra water if the weather is hot.
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.