Frequently asked questions
Following are a few frequently asked questions about the Kangaroo Island Lodge Walk that you may find useful.
- What is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail?
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a world-class, 61 kilometre, 5-day walking experience giving visitors access to some of the most rugged, remote and spectacular coastlines in South Australia. The trail is located in the south west of Kangaroo Island and encompasses new and upgraded trails through Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area. Along with encounters with some of the island's most unique wildlife, the trail provides access to the iconic attractions of Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Weirs Cove, Hanson Bay and Kelly Hill Caves.
- Who is Australian Walking Company?
Australian Walking Company (AWC) was formed in August 2015 and brings together the expertise of award-winning market leader Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC), and owners Geoff Dixon, Brett Godfrey, Rob Sherrard and Scott Malcolm. One of AWC’s six core values is “Environmental and Cultural Integrity” - aiming to have a positive impact on the local environment and community, engaging in relevant environmental, conservation and community projects.
The consortium has 30 years’ experience in operating high quality, multi-day wilderness walks, including Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk, Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, Cradle Mountain Huts Walk, Wineglass Bay Sail Walk and Three Capes Lodge Walk. AWC's partner TWC is a recognised leader in environmental tourism practices winning numerous national tourism awards. Earlier this year, TWC was inducted into the hall of fame at the Qantas National Tourism Awards as Australia’s best eco-tourism operator for the third year running.
- What is the planning and development process for the project?
In January 2017 the State Government called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) then a Request for Proposal (RFP) to develop accommodation facilities and services associated with the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT).
In February 2018, the State Government announced The Australian Walking Company (AWC) as the successful proponent.
AWC lodged their Development Application for consideration by the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) on 19 November 2018. As per the requirements of the Development Regulations 2008, SCAP will seek expert input on various aspects of the development from the Coast Protection Board, Native Vegetation Council, Kangaroo Island Council and the Country Fire Service.
- What contribution did the South Australian State Government make towards the project?
In February 2018 the South Australian Government committed to provide a Future Jobs Fund grant of $832,889 towards the $4.8 million project cost to develop eco-sensitive accommodation and other facilities, along the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.
- Has AWC been given exclusive access to build accommodation in Flinders Chase National Park?
The Australian Walking Company was selected to partner with the South Australian Government to build eco-sensitive accommodation along the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail following a competitive process.
- Is there a lease arrangement
The Crown remains the owner of the land and AWC will fund the infrastructure. At conclusion of the lease, the infrastructure becomes the property of The Crown, or will be dismantled and removed by AWC under the direction of The Crown.
Flinders Chase National Park will remain accessible to members of the public and commercial tour operators (CTOs). The KIWT will continue to be run and managed by DEW.
The inclusion of AWC’s eco-sensitive accommodation will provide another option to trail walkers.
A commercial lease arrangement has been negotiated between DEW and AWC and does involve payment of annual fees.
- How will the impact on other Park users be managed?
Independent walkers, who have booked, will continue to enjoy access to the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail and the associated camping facilities. Likewise, Commercial Tourism Operators (CTOs), who currently offer services along the trail, will continue as normal.
AWC operate with professional, experienced guides who will be chaperoning a maximum of 14 walkers throughout their stay. The addition of AWC’s product to the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail will provide an opportunity for the public who are not confident enough to visit the wilderness without guides or require greater convenience to access the park.
Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) has operated commercial accommodation on the Overland Track in Tasmania successfully alongside independent public walkers for the past 30 years.
The Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse keepers’ cottages, which will be included in AWC’s accommodation package for trail walkers, will be restored over a three-month period. When re-opened, the cottages will again be available for bookings from the public.
- What renovation work will take place on Cape du Couedic cottages?
How long will the cottages be closed for, and what provisions are in place for existing bookings?
All works carried out at the cottages will comply with the relevant legislation and regulations covering heritage building works.
Scope of works
- Removal of the existing BBQ shelter (circa 2002) plus addition of one new external pavilion (The Commons) that sits discreetly between two of the cottages.
- “The Commons”, will provide a new small outdoor kitchen and dining area for AWC groups that can also be used by non-walking guests booking accommodation at the Cape du Couedic cottages when available. Some external landscape works will also occur.
- Internal refurbishments of cottages - minimal and sympathetic to the heritage nature of the buildings - including bathroom upgrades, painting and minor restoration works. No internal walls or original features/fixtures to be removed or modified. What renovation work will take place on Cape du Coudic cottages?
Proposed Construction works April 2019
- Possession date - early March (1 lodge will still be available until early June, then all unavailable
for a 3-month period from June to September 2019)
- DEW will administer current bookings and any re-accommodation options that are required.
- Once AWC walks commence, 2 out of 3 Cottages will still be available to the public.
- AWC walkers will have priority booking of the cottages, but any vacant dates will be offered to
the general public via a booking system.
- What sustainable technologies will be used at the new lodges?
The new eco-sensitive lodges at Sandy Cape and Sanderson Bay will have the following:
- completely off-grid power - solar power supply (panels and battery);
- all rainwater collected on site;
- natural ventilation and daylighting maximised and moderated through clever use of operable walls and screens;
- water-saving technologies (low volume/high pressure showers, low-volume flush toilets);
- performance glazing and screen/sliding door systems;
- greywater treated on site (possibly an encapsulated, worm-based system);
- blackwater (sewage) completely removed from site;
- all waste streams will be sorted, separated, and removed from site (compost, recycling, rubbish);
- external finishes will be low reflectance, low-toxicity and natural materials and finishes that complement the surrounding environment.
Low site impact:
- preserving site features and protecting existing vegetation
- small building footprint,
- fragmented building form to permit siting of buildings around natural features maintaining natural drainage patterns,
- minimal removal of vegetation
Prefabrication and modular design
- minimal site disturbance during construction,
- lightweight construction,
- efficient use of building materials,
- high quality workshop build and prototyping.
- Local builder and modular builder partnership.
- What is the lodge construction timeline
- January to February 2019, and April to June 2019
- March to August 2019 (6 month) including off-site prototype and building works
Cape du Couedic renovation and development of "The Commons"
- April to June 2019 (12 weeks)
- How will the Kangaroo Island Lodge Walk impact on local economy?
Local Kangaroo Island jobs
- contractors (builders, plumber, electrical, maintenance etc)
- guides, hosts and experience manager, bookings and support staff (i.e. trip coordinator)
- Local liaison/Project/Experience Manager (we need to discuss this role with HG and NL)
Local Kangaroo Island suppliers
- food, beverage, art/craft/design, services - linen, fresh and bulk dry food supply, etc.
Raising the profile of Kangaroo Island
- Raise overall profile of Kangaroo Island as a premium walking destination - (i.e. via our marketing strategies and worldwide client database)
- What are the development concepts and guest experiences?
- Four distinctly different days of walking and three distinctly different accommodation types, that complement each day's walking experience. See itinerary.
- Daypack walking on a through-walk (daily baggage transfer)
- Little luxuries - Foot spas and a cold beer /glass of wine at the end of a long days walk, sumptuous meals.
Three distinctly different experiences for each overnight node:
- Sandy Creek longhouse with twin-share pod-style accommodation (on the edge - a high clifftop eyrie - first view of the broad and wind beaten coastline, tucked into the wind- pruned vegetation);
- Cape du Couedic - immersion into the lighthouse keepers narrative - staying in the heritage listed Lighthouse keepers lodges, experience the remote and unique lifestyle of the people that lived here until the late 1950s. coming together as a group in the Commons a specially designed communal facility
- Sanderson Bay - high energy coastline and a building design that responds to the dramatic and exposed location by huddling the guest spaces together for protection against the elements. The longhouse is nestled into the dune with a canonic view to the Southern Ocean, and the guest lodge is perched back in the hind-dune to create a sheltered, sundrenched refuge from the hard salt-laden winds.
- Will there be Community Information Sessions?
AWC has commenced a public information process. An initial three and a half hour community drop-in session was held at the KI Yacht Club on Tuesday 20 November and a further public information session is planned as the company’s development assessment progresses.
AWC has also commenced discussions with key stakeholders and representative groups.
Please download the following media releases for futher information: