Kangaroo Island Birds and Wildlife Walk
Journey to remote Kangaroo Island. Walk with lightweight day packs and enjoy a special focus on the Island's incredible natural history. Return each evening to chef-inspired meals paired with local beer and wine, in the comfort and ambience of the newly restored Cape du Couedic Lightkeeper Cottages.
This all-inclusive four-day walk is for groups of no more than 12 walkers. Each day, you will venture out to walk and learn, accompanied by an expert Inala Nature Tours leader who will draw upon years of field experience to share their in-depth knowledge of Kangaroo Island birds, wildlife and plants, ensuring an exceptional birding and wildlife tour.
Kangaroo Island is located 20 kilometres off the South Australian coast and is home to an abundance of native wildlife. You’ll be sharing the Island with koalas, sea lions, diverse bird species and, of course, kangaroos. Immerse yourself in the unique landscape of wild and raw beauty featuring towering sea cliffs and sweeping sunsets of an evening. You'll feel completely at peace in the remote wilderness of Kangaroo Island.
For over 30 years, Inala Nature Tours, a family-owned and operated company, has been designing and leading birding and wildlife tours across Australia. From their 1,500-acre private reserve at ‘Inala’ on Bruny Island, Tasmania, their tours extend across Australia from the lush rainforests of Queensland to the rugged landscapes of the Kimberley and beyond. They have all 1e endemic bird species living at Inala amongst the rich and diverse conservation habitats.
Their tours are designed and led by Dr Tonia Cochran and her expert team. Among them exists a diversity of talents, from qualified scientists to travel experts. They are united by their passion for wild Australia.
Image credit: Glossy Black Cockatoo by Jenny Thynne
Your Inala guides
Dr Tonia Cochran has over 30 years of experience in ecotourism in Australia and she designs most of the birding and wildlife itineraries for Inala Nature Tours’ guests. She is a qualified Biologist with a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology, and Honors and PhD degrees in Zoology, with a broad knowledge of Australian marine and terrestrial fauna and flora. She draws on her years of field experience and her wide-ranging academic and teaching background to design and lead exceptional birding and wildlife tours throughout Australia.
Tonia's team of Inala guides possess the patience, the experience, and the knowledge to craft the right birding or wildlife experience for you. They have a diversity of talents, from qualified scientists to travel experts and are united by their passion for wild Australia.
Kangaroo Island Birding and Wildlife Walk(4 Days)
Our intimate groups of no more than 12 walkers will stay in heritage-listed Cape du Couedic Cottages, explore the numerous short walks of Flinders Chase National Park and enjoy sumptuous meals prepared by our naturalist guides.
With an extra specialist naturalist guide, there is ample time and opportunities to pause on the track and discuss the geology, flora, birds and wildlife of the island.
Kangaroo Island has no endemic birds, but it does have seventeen endemic sub-species who have diverged from their mainland counterparts during the ten thousand years that the island has been isolated. These subspecies look very similar but have slight differences in certain physical features. For example, the Glossy Black-cockatoo on Kangaroo Island is smaller but has a heavier bill, Crimson Rosellas and Purple-gaped Honeyeaters here are larger and darker, the New Holland Honeyeater has a smaller bill and wings, and the Southern Emu-wren on Kangaroo Island is also larger than its Australian counterpart. This island is also home to a variety of special mammals, including the Kangaroo Island subspecies of Western Grey Kangaroo, Short-beaked Echidna and the endemic and endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart. It is also one of the only places that you can easily see Australian Sealions and Tammar Wallabies (the latter is extinct on the South Australian mainland). Both Australian and Long-nosed (New Zealand) Fur Seal and several other possum species can also be found here.
Day 1: Adelaide to Flinders Chase National Park and Cape du Couedic
Approximately 3 hours walking | Distance: 7.9km
Make sure you come fuelled up, dressed and ready to walk on the morning of day one. Guests will be picked up in Adelaide, ready to travel to Kangaroo Island on the Sealink ferry and onto the Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre.
Shortly after arriving on the Island, you will start a three-hour hike with your lightweight day pack along the Black Swamp Hiking Trail connecting to the Platypus Waterholes Walking Trail. Learn the history of Gondwana and its mega-fauna from our knowledgeable guides as you pass through a mixture of scrubland and low-lying country that follows the Rocky River. Passing through forest and woodland offers excellent chances to observe birds and spring orchids. Take a break mid-venture and enjoy a secluded lunch on the trail, prepared by your guides.
The destination for the day is your accommodation for the next three nights, the Cape du Couedic Cottages. Thoughtfully restored, these historic quarters feature twin-share rooms and newly renovated bathrooms for a very comfortable stay. Upon arrival at Cape du Couedic, explore the historic lighthouse, Admirals Arch and the nearby Fur Seal colony. Our communal pavilion — Wickies Lounge — is where we’ll share good wine and a barbeque featuring locally sourced produce. Watch the sun sink over the sea while you enjoy fireside chats with a glass of wine.
Birds that we may spot here include the Southern Emu-wren, Spotted Scrubwren, Shy Heathwren, Purple-gaped, Tawny-crowned, White-eared and Crescent Honeyeaters. Offshore birds include the chance of White-bellied Sea-eagle, Caspian Tern and various albatross species, as well as rarer species like Brown Skua or even the ultra-rare Antarctic Tern. In spring-summer, thousands of Short-tailed Shearwaters are present offshore as well.
Photo Credits: Left - Cape du Couedic Lighthouse by Sana Thakore.
Day 2: Snake Lagoon to Cape du Couedic
Approximately 7-8 hours walking | Distance: up to 14km
Breakfast and coffee prepared by your hosts launches day two to a great start! Then it’s time to lace up your boots. You’ll be shuttled one hour to the start of our walk from Snake Lagoon where you will follow the Snake Lagoon Trail along the Rocky River, through eucalypt forest, followed by a 5km walk along Maupertuis Bay beach, a southwest-facing stretch of stunning coastline. Learn about Loch Sloy, wrecked in 1899 when it crashed en route to Adelaide, along with other historic stories. You may even see seals on the beach and frolicking in the waves here. Soak up the views of crashing waves and breathe in the crispy salt air before a brief climb that will take you along the edge of some spectacular limestone cliffs. With the lighthouse coming in and out of view, home base is within your sights.
With a bit of luck today we’ll pick up the coastal-dependent Rock Parrot, as well as Hooded Plover, Sooty Oystercatcher, Crimson Rosella, Beautiful Firetail and Cape Barren Goose. Also in the heathlands along the way, we may be fortunate enough to see the rare and skulking White-bellied Whipbird or maybe even a Heath Monitor.
Day 3: Remarkable Rocks to Sanderson Bay
Approximately 7-8 hours walking | Distance: 7km
Our stunning day of walking and birding today includes spectacular scenery, coastal heath, and mallee forest habitats.
You can begin your day with an optional early morning independent hike to Weirs Cove where fresh supplies were offloaded by boat for the lighthouse keepers and their families. Walking out you might catch glimpses of Remarkable Rocks, and on your return, you will see the Cape du Couedic lighthouse on the horizon.
Our guided hike begins at the iconic granite formations of Remarkable Rocks. Shaped by the forces of wild weather over millions of years, it’s the perfect spot to capture your iconic Kangaroo Island photo in front of the orange lichen-covered rocks. We walk the cliff-hugging trail ahead, delivering unobstructed views along the southern coast of Kangaroo Island. The day's walking concludes at Sanderson Bay where the Southern Ocean dumps huge waves across the shore. Birds today include Scarlet Robin, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, Striated Thornbill, Red and Little Wattlebirds, Brown-headed Honeyeater and Grey Currawong.
After a day of epic coastline vistas, we’ll retire to the cottages for another evening shared with like-minded naturalists, local wine, beer, cheese and seafood.
Photo Credit: Isaac Forman
Day 4: Cape du Couedic Cottages to Hanson Bay and Adelaide
Approximately 4 hours birding and walking | Distance: up to 4km
This small, secluded bay sits along the south coast of Kangaroo Island just west of the famous Kelly Hill Conservation Park. It is accessible via West River Road, off South Coast Road. West River Road is an unsealed road, but like many places the harder it is to get to the more beautiful it is. The views are expansive and stunning. This last morning is a final chance to witness the incredible combination of landscape, colour and light that is Kangaroo Island. We also have the chance to see echidnas, koalas, kangaroos and even Tammar Wallabies here.
The return morning walk is flexible and depends upon the birding opportunities and speed of the group. It travels through coastal heathland and low-lying forest, possibly as far as an inland large lagoon system that holds water permanently with abundant opportunities for viewing waterbird species. Here we may see large numbers of Australian Shelduck, as well as Musk Duck, Australasian Shoveler and Chestnut Teal. Wading birds include Banded Stilt and Pied Stilt, and in spring-summer migratory shorebirds such as Sharp-tailed Sandpiper or Red-necked Stint.
Guests are treated to a celebratory drink before and nibbles as we debrief at Kangaroo Island Spirits before being collected for the return bus and ferry journey back to Adelaide. A scheduled stop at a local distillery provides the opportunity for guests to freshen up, share a celebratory drink and purchase local produce prior to their departure.
Cape du Couedic Lighthouse Keepers Cottages
Kangaroo Island Birding and Wildlife Walk
Price per person for departures (inc. GST)
- April 24-27, 2024 | Price AU$3,550 per person
- Each trip requires a minimum of 8 guests (Twin Share). The maximum is 11.
Direct bookings only
- For all enquiries and bookings please email Bookings@auswalkingco.com.au.
- or complete the below enquiry form
- All accommodation is twin share. Single travellers may be required to share a twin room with another walker of the same gender if departure fills to capacity. To guarantee a single room for the duration of the walk a supplementary price will apply. This must be requested at the time of booking.
Special Interest Walks - Terms and Conditions
Our standard booking terms and conditions apply to all bookings. In addition:
- more than 90 days from the scheduled departure date, a fee of $350 per person will be charged with the balance payment refunded;
- within 90 days of departure, no refund is available. Bookings can be transferred to another person.
- Minimum numbers are required four months before departure.
- Return transfers from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
- 3 nights accommodation in the Cape du Couedic Cottages with linen and towels
- 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners
- Daily morning and afternoon tea
- Non-alcoholic drinks and a selection of house wines and beer (oh... and we may have a secret stash of Kangaroo Island Gin!)
- Quality day pack (Osprey Kestrel 32 litre), Waterproof jacket, Lunch Container and cutlery and Basic toiletries (sunscreen, after sun care, insect repellent)
- Daily guided walks, with 2 qualified guides for the duration of the walk
- Trip host at each nights accommodation
- All entrance and national park fees
- One specialist Inala Nature guide