Image: SA Department of Environment And Water
Why this Hike
This hike on the southern side of Kangaroo Island takes you along a piece of rugged and sublime coastline with sawing cliffs and stunning beaches. This hike is a five day adventure with an optional extra day and takes you along the coast from Rocky River all the way to Kelly Hill Caves. This adventure is relatively straight forward but some experience should be required before attempting simply due to its length.
Track Notes & Overview
5-6 Days, 4-5 Nights - 70KM
Day One – Rocky River to Cup Gum Campsite (12KM)
Starting at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre the wilderness walk starts by going north to Rocky River Waterhole before turning towards the south and following Rocky River on Rocky River Trail. Continue to follow this trail as it passes by Pardalot Lookout, along eucalypt woodland and through to the Rocky River Cascades (a good photo opportunity) before reaching Cup Gum Campsite where you will stay the night.
Day Two – Cup Gum Campsite to Hakea Campsite (14KM)
On the second day of your hike you will leave Cup Gum Campsite and continue to follow the Rocky River Trail for about 1.5 Kilometres before arriving at the coast near Parlko River. Follow the trail as it sticks to the Coast for about 11 kilometres, after this stretch along the coast the trail peels off to a short climb to get to Hakea Campsite.
Optional Day – Hakea Campsite to Admirals Arch and Return (9KM)
This optional day of hiking is a return day trip from your overnight stay at Hakea Campsite to Admirals Arch and starts on Cape du Couedic Spur Trail before reaching Weirs Cove where you can stop to explore. To continue, walk along the Admirals Arch Walk Past the lighthouse until reaching Admirals Arch. To finish this day of hiking return back along the same track back to Hakea Campsite where you will spend the night.
Day Three – Hakea Campsite to Banksia Campsite (13KM)
Setting off from Hakea Campsite cross Cape du Couedic Road to join Sanderson Track, follow this track straight through the junction with Yacca Flat Drive. A few hundred metres further will be another junction which you can take for an extra little day trip (about 700 metres) by taking a right instead of a left at the junction. Once back on the main trail keep following the track passing by a turn off onto Sanderson Beach until turning left into Banksia Campsite where you will spend the night.
Day Four – Banksia Campsite to Tea Tree Campsite (13.5KM)
From Banksia Campsite re-join the trail you were following the previous day which is now Grassdale Track as it winds around the coast. Keep Following this trail as it crosses South-West River and after crossing take a left along the Hanson Bay Hike Track. Stick to this track as it follows the South-West River and then take a left near the intersection with Grassdale Track to reach Tea Tree Campsite where you will spend the night.
Day Five – Tea Tree Campsite to Kelly Hill Caves (7.5KM)
From Tea Tree Campsite walk back to the junction with Hanson Bay Hike Trail and re-join it. Shortly after re-joining this track you will pass by two large lagoons, the first (the smaller one) being the wilderness lagoon and the second (the much larger one) being Grassdale Lagoon. Past these lagoons you will continue to walk along the Hanson Bay Hike Trail until reaching the conclusion of your hike at Kelly Hill Caves.
*Please note that a trail fee must be paid to walk some parts of this trail. It's also important to note that this walk is best done in either Spring or Autumn.
Packing for a Multi-day Walk
Packing is an important part of any multi-day adventure, the long list of things needed can be hard to remember but this free packing list aims to make it easy and includes everything you need for when you're packing.
Food for a Multi-Day Walk
Creating a menu for a hike can seem challenging at first especially if it is an multi-day hike. Your menu should be nutritious, delicious and lightweight which can limit some of the meals you can create.
Our recipe hub includes great suggestions for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and even dessert, covering all the ingredients you will need and how to make them.
Leave No Trace
A Hikers Friend fully endorses the 7 principles of ‘leave no trace’ hiking which aim to protect our natural spaces and encourages you to apply them on your next adventure.
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