Kangaroo Island Inala Birding Walk
Journey to remote Kangaroo Island. Walk to beautiful, remote places with Inala's celebrated birding guides, and discover Kangaroo Island's endemic birds. Improve your knowledge of birds, fieldcraft and photography.
This all-inclusive four-day walk is for intimate groups of no more than 14 walkers and includes a stay in architect-designed private accommodation with sumptuous meals prepared by our naturalist guides.
Each day, you will venture out to birdwatch accompanied by an extra expert bird guide. Discover a diverse range of habitats, from the ocean to rocky shores, remote beaches and coastal heath.
Nine thousand years ago, Kangaroo Island separated from mainland Australia forming a unique landscape of wild and raw beauty. This wild outpost is located 20 kilometres off the South Australian coast. Gondwandan megafauna, abundant wildlife, towering sea cliffs and broad sunsets with a glass of red in hand form part of your discovery of the Kangaroo Island's tracks.
Direct bookings only. For all enquiries and bookings please contact the Australian Walking Company on +61 3 5237 4276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Remarkable Rocks by Elliot Grafton
For over 27 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. The Inala conservation reserve is 1,500 acres. They have all twelve 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: Hooded Plover - Alfred Schulte
Your Inala Nature Tours’ 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 (Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology, with Honors and PhD degrees in Zoology) with a broad knowledge of Australian marine and terrestrial fauna and flora and 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 our passion for wild Australia.
Kangaroo Island Bird Walk (4 Days)
Our intimate groups of no more than 14 walkers will stay in architect-designed Cape du Couedic Cottages, explore the numerous short walks of Flinders-Chase National Park and enjoy sumptuous meals prepared by our naturalist guides.
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 KI is smaller but has a heavier bill, the Crimson Rosella is slightly bigger and darker, the Purple-gaped Honeyeater is larger and darker, the New Holland Honeyeater has a smaller bill and wings, and the Southern Emu-wren on KI is the largest of any of the Australian subspecies.
Kangaroo Island's Endemic Subspecies:
Glossy Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus
Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans melanopterus
Australian Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae halmaturina
Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus ashbyi
Southern Emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus halmaturinus
Spotted Scrubwren Sericornis maculatus ashbyi
Shy Heathwren Calamanthus cauta halmaturina
Striated Thornbill Acanthiza lineata whitei
Brown Thornbill Acanthiza pusilla zietzi
White-eared Honeyeater Lichenostomus leucotis thomasi
Purple-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus cratitius cratitius
Little Wattlebird Anthochaera chrysoptera halmaturina
Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata clelandi
New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae campbelli
Brown-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus brevirostris magnirostris
White-bellied Whipbird Psophodes leucogaster lashmari
Grey Currawong Strepera versicolor halmaturina
Day 1: Adelaide to Flinders Chase National Park and Cape du Couedic
Approximately 3 hours walking | Distance: 7.9km
Our bus collects guests in Adelaide and travels via the Sealink ferry to the Flinders Chase National Park - details are yet to be confirmed.
Our first walk on Kangaroo Island is a 3-hour walk plus birding pauses through the diverse habitats of Rocky River. Passing through forest and woodland offers excellent chances to observe honeyeaters and spring orchids. The trail is even and enables us to complete both the Platypus waterholes Walk and Black Swamp hike.
Our final destination is the Cape du Couedic Cottages, an hour on from our first walk. We'll settle into three heritage-listed Light Keeper residences, built from hand-carved limestone back in 1907. Thoughtfully restored, these historic quarters feature twin-share rooms and sensitively designed new bathrooms. Our communal pavilion - The Commons - is where we'll share good wine and a barbeque bounty featuring local Kangaroo Island sourced lamb.
Evening independent walks are short and easily accessed from the cottages.
A short stroll from the cottage, down the headland to reveal Admirals Arch, a significant geological formation. View the pounding waves of the Southern Ocean. As you walk down, watch out for long-nosed fur seals basking in the sun on the rocks. The boardwalk descends stairs down into a bay before emerging in Admirals Arch, where viewing platforms allow you to watch the seals closer. 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.
The hike is 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. Birds in this area we may find, include the Southern Emu-wren, Spotted Scrubwren, Shy Heathwren, Purple-gaped, Tawny-crowned, White-eared & Crescent Honeyeaters.
Tonight, watch the sun sink over the sea as guides prepare a three-course meal. Enjoy a glass of wine as you chat about birding. These informal sessions enable lots of discussion about the day’s habitats and wherever such conversations lead. The open fire and a glass of wine make it an excellent way to end the day.
Photo Credits: Left - Cape du Couedic Lighthouse by Sana Thakore. Above: New Holland Honeyeater by Brent Thompson, Superb Fairy-wren by Alfred Schulte, Remarkable Rocks by Isaac Forman, Admirals Arch by Michael Waterhouse Photography, Remarkable Rocks by Isaac Forman, Cape du Couedic Lighthouse by Gab Rivera
Day 2: Snake Lagoon to Cape du Couedic
Approximately 7 hours walking and birding | Distance: up to 14km
After a rejuvenating sleep, breakfast and coffee or tea, we pack our lunches into light daypacks and drive one hour to the start of our walk at Snake Lagoon.
The first 2 km walk is through eucalypt forest, followed by a 5 km walk along Maupertuis Bay beach and then a brief climb that winds along the edge of some spectacular limestone cliff formations. It is a most remote section of the one-way trail, with some sections of high exposure to the prevailing Westerly and South-westerly winds. With the lighthouse coming in and out of view, the track skirts imposing coastal cliffs and returns us back to the cottages.
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.
At Cape du Couedic the historic Light Station, Lighthouse and Light Keeper residences and associated buildings provide an interesting historical narrative. This area is an iconic site with the opportunity to visit the nearby New Zealand Fur Seal colony as a side trip either at the end of the day or early the following morning.
Day 3: Remarkable Rocks to Sanderson Bay
Approximately 7 hours birding and walking | Distance: 7km
Our stunning day of walking and birding today includes spectacular scenery, coastal heath and mallee forest habitats.
Our trail begins at the iconic granite formations of Remarkable 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 & 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 east 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.
The morning walk is flexible and depends upon the birding opportunities and speed of the group. It travels through coastal heathland and low lying forest, followed by a return walk of up to 4 km, 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 & 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 collected for the return bus and ferry journey back to Adelaide. A scheduled stop at a local distiller provides the opportunity for guests to freshen up, share a celebratory drink and have the opportunity to purchase local produce prior to their departure.
Cape du Couedic Lighthouse Keeper's Cottages
Kangaroo Island Inala Birding Walk
Price per person for departures (inc. GST) (Non-commissionable)
- Friday to Monday, October 28-31, 2022 | Price $3,295 per person
- Each trip requires a minimum of 7 guests (Twin Share). The maximum is 14.
Direct bookings only:
- Phone: +61 3 5237 4276
- Email: email@example.com
- 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 of 75% of the full fee will apply. This must be requested at the time of booking.
Special Interest Walks - Terms and Conditions
These are in addition to our standard booking terms and conditions.
- All prices are quoted per person in $AUD including GST
- A deposit of $500 per person and the Guest Information Form are due within five days of booking
- The final payment is due 90 days before departure. For reservations made three months or less from the departure date, full payment, the Indemnity Form and Health Declaration are due at the time of booking.
- more than 90 days from the scheduled departure date, a fee of $350 per person will be charged with the balance of payment refunded;
- between 90 and 60 days prior to departure, you will be charged 50% of the full trip cost with the balance refunded; or
- within 60 days of departure, no refund is available. Bookings are transferable.
- Travel and pre- and post-trip accommodation expenses are not included.
- This walk cannot be booked in conjunction with any other offers and discounts.
- Return ftransfers from Adelaide walker base to Kangaroo Island
- 3 nights accommodation, all linen and towels
- 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
- Daily morning and afternoon tea
- Non-alcoholic drinks and a selection of house wines (oh... and we may have a secret stash of Kangaroo Island Gin!)
- Use of daypack, water proof jacket, poles, ankle gaiters and water bottles
- Daily guided walks, with two qualified guides for the duration of the walk
- Trip host at each night's accommodation
- All entrance & national park fees
- One specialist birding guide