Rain can put a dampener on many walks but not those in the far north “beyond the Heysen”. A small cadre of Friends have been attempting to emulate the feat of our patron Warren Bonython, and follow the spine of the Flinders Ranges to Mt Hopeless. This has been planned in weekly stages, over the last three years and at first we didn’t realise the blessing bestowed by torrential rains.
No, I would never walk the whole Heysen Trail! Think of all those long boring road sections! Yes, I had said that several times. So how is it that I have just completed the very last step of the 1200km Trail?
My friend, Sallie and I, regular long distance trail walkers, set out at the beginning of July to make an assault on the first 250 km of the Heysen Trail. The intent was to do the first 5 days and the last day on full packs with the rest done on day packs staying at local facilities and having our big packs moved in between.
To start our final year on the trail we had an easy one-day walk – a catch-up for the postponed last walk in 2014. Our numbers had reduced due to a couple of our walkers suffering injuries in the ‘off’ season. So it was down to The Woods of Mount Crawford with a random assortment of teddy bears and a screaming baboon called Super Morris Major!!!
It is now 18 years since the Heysen Trail was conceived; the first 9, under the State Planning Authority, were a period of enthusiastic planning changing to frustration; the second 9, under the Department of Recreation & Sport, have been a period of steady building of the trail and further promotion of the idea behind it.
The Hooded Plover is a small bird found on Australia’s southern ocean beaches, including the Fleurieu Peninsula. Walking along the beautiful beaches of the Heysen Trail: Waitpinga, Parsons, Sheepies (Shannon’s Gully), Coolawang, Tunkalilla and Lands End, you have probably walked right past these well-camouflaged birds.
The origin of the Pathfinders Walking Program and its connection to The Friends.