Contained within Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area, in which it rises, and Flinders Chase National Park, where it meets the sea, Rocky River snakes through Kangaroo Island‘s rocky western reaches. Following its last kilometre from Snake Lagoon to the Southern Ocean is great family fun. And not just because it feels like you are miles from everywhere. This short walk is part of the new 5-day Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, which is becoming a bushwalking South Australia standard.
From unsealed access road, the 3km-return track descends for several hundred metres through sugar gum forest dotted with flame robins to where the Rocky River pools in a rock-paved ravine. The river’s golden water reflects fringing shrubs, sky, sand hills and treed rocky rises along its banks, and people treading the boardwalk zigzagging across it.
On the far bank you head down the river, which becomes a golden ribbon thread through grey stone embroidered with orange lichen. Rocky River meets the sea in a bay squeezed between a honeycomb cliff and a rock pile, where peppermint water washes white sand.
The sign here warning about freak waves is not just for show. Take care!