A world-class walking trail on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island is drawing new visitors to the region, and providing opportunities for local businesses to tap into public assets.

Story + Photos Mark Muller   

The wind blowing in off the Southern Ocean is crisp and salty, mixed with the faint but unmistakable tang of a healthy seal colony far below. Gazing back across the cliff tops towards Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail manager Alison Buck smiles. “Not many people would ever have had this view of the rocks before the trail opened,” she says. The four-night, five-day walk opened in October 2016 and has since had more than 2500 people sign up to traverse its 61 kilometres. Small wrinkles were ironed out in 2017, and the 2018 season is expected to pick up even more interest as the main March-November walking season gets underway. The trail, which was ranked third in Lonely Planet’s list of top new global destinations last year, runs along the south-west of Kangaroo Island, and takes walkers through Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area. Kangaroo Island spans 4405 square kilometres. It is globally renowned for its rare biodiversity, natural beauty, and – particularly in its western reaches – magnificent isolation. “I love the trail; I love the diversity and the opportunity it presents for people to get out into the environment,” Alison says. “For a small island there’s a really big range of habitats. The wilderness trail takes you through quite a few of these. The riverine environments, tall sugar-gum forests, lagoons, inland heaths, beaches and coves – there’s a good range along the walk.” Walkers are also able to access attractions such as Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Cape du Couedic lighthouse, Weirs Cove, Hanson Bay and Kelly Hill Caves.

This story excerpt is from Issue #118

Outback Magazine: April/May 2018