2023-24 Fire Danger Season closes the Heysen Trail early.

The Country Fire Service has announced the early commencement of 2023-24 Fire Danger Season across all sections of the Heysen Trail.

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared the Fire Danger Season ha started early in the Flinders, Mid North district and in the Mount Lofty district.

The Heysen Trail are closed during the Fire Danger Season: as the trail passes through several fire ban districts, please adhere to dates for the following districts:

Flinders district Fire Danger Season  is 16 October 2023 to 15 April 2024.

The Flinders District covers the Trail north of Wirrabara (near Laura) to Parachilna Gorge.

Mid North Fire Danger Season is 1 November 2023 to 30 April 2024.

The Mid North District includes the Trail between north of Tanunda  and south of Wirrabara.

Mount Lofty Fire Ban Season is 15 November 2023 to 30 April 2024.

This region covers the southern section of the trail from Cape Jervis through to Tanunda.

Heysen Trail Closures do not apply to the following:

The Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail (between Cape Jervis and Victor Harbor) is open all year round, except on days of catastrophic fire danger. Walking Trails in National/Conservation Parks, Forestry SA forests and SA Water Reservoirs are also open all year round.

Walkers are responsible for checking walking trail advice as these areas may be closed locally on days of Catastrophic or Total Fire Bans, for prescribed burns or forest.

Details of the Fire Ban Districts can be found  Interactive Map on the Friends website.

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2024

The 37th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails Inc will be held at 6.30pm Wednesday 17 April 2024 at the Torrens Rowing Club Functions Centre, Victoria Drive, Adelaide.

Call for Council Nominations

Seeking nominations from our members, for election to the following Council positions:

  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Ordinary Council Members

To nominate, please complete the nomination form (page 3 of AGM notice) and provide to The Secretary by 8 April 2024.
Forms may be submitted via email: heysentrail@heysentrail.asn.au; or deliver/post to Friends of the Heysen Trail, Suite 203, Epworth House, 33 Pirie Street Adelaide, 5000.

AGM Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Acceptance of Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 5 April 2023
  3. President’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Motion: To amend the wording in clause 11 of the current Constitution to provide clarification in relation to members positions and lengths of service before “standing down”. (for more detail refer to page 2 of AGM notice)
  6. Election of Returning Officer
  7. Election of Councillors
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    • Council Members
  8. Appointment of Auditor
  9. Report from Honorary Members Committee
  10. Other Business
  11. Close of Meeting

Registration

Members must register to attend the AGM via our website walk/events program.

Bookings for the next ‘End to End’ walk from Cape Jervis open at 7.00am on Monday 25th March 2024

Feedback sought on Heysen Trail South Coast Proposed Upgrade

The next series of the Friends ‘End to End’ walks along the Heysen Trail is scheduled to commence from Cape Jervis on Sunday May 26th  2024.

Registrations can be made from 7.00am sharp on Monday March 25th 2024.

You can find out more information about the walk by reading the description in our walk calendar.

The End to End walk program section of our website provides further information about the ‘E2E’ program.

Registration is open to members of the Friends, so to save time, make sure you have created a membership account before registrations open. You will need to log into your account to register. You can then navigate to the walk page via the walks calendar.

The Friends Office holiday closure – 2.30pm Friday December 8th 2023

Office Closure

The Friends of the Heysen Trail office will close for the Christmas and New Year period at 2.30pm on Friday, December 8th 2023.

Office Volunteers will return for an Information Day on Monday, February 5th 2024 with normal office operations commencing the following day, Tuesday, February 6th 2024 from 10.30am.

If you contact the office (by email or telephone) over the closure period, it is unlikely that we will respond to your enquiry until the Office reopens. We recommend that you refer to the website for any information you may need.

The 2024 Heysen Trail calendars are still available for purchase on-line or for collection at the office. If you want to save the shipping cost and can get into the Office, don’t forget to pick one up before the Office closes.

Online Shop Sales

While the office is closed, the online shop will remain open for business and we will endeavour to despatch shop orders within 5 working days of being received. If you want to shop for last minute Christmas purchases, we undertake to dispatch any orders received by midday on Wednesday, December 14th on that day.

Please note that Australia Post has advised that for parcel delivery by Christmas (within Australia, excluding WA / NT) the following time frames will apply:

  • Send Parcel Post by Tuesday, 19th December 2023 (WA / NT – send by Friday, 15th December 2023)
  • For Regular Post (cards / letters) within SA, send by Monday, 18th December 2023 (interstate – send by Thursday, 14th December 2023).

Walk Registrations

Although the office is closed you can still register for Summer and other walks online during the closure period.

Merry Christmas

The Office Volunteers wish all members and supporters a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

Final announcement of the 2023-24 Fire Danger Season dates affecting the Heysen Trail.

The Country Fire Service has announced the early commencement of 2023-24 Fire Danger Season across all sections of the Heysen Trail.

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared the Fire Danger Season has started early in the Flinders  and Mid North district and will start early in the Mount Lofty district.

Many sections of the Heysen Trail are closed during the Fire Danger Season. As the trail passes through several fire ban districts, please note the dates for the following districts:

Flinders district Fire Danger Season commenced on October 16, 2023

The Flinders District covers the Heysen Trail north of Wirrabara (near Laura).  Many sections of the trail in this region will be closed until April 15, 2024.

Mid North Fire Danger Season commenced on November 1, 2023.

The Mid North District includes the trail between north of Tanunda  and south of Wirrabara. Affected sections of the Heysen Trail between these locations are now closed until

Mount Lofty Fire Ban Season to start on November 15, 2023.

This region covers the southern section of the trail from Cape Jervis through to Tanunda. The closure of affect sections of the trail in that district will commence on November 15 through to April 30, 2024.

Some other sections of the trail remain open over the Fire Danger Season

During the declared fire danger season some sections of the Heysen Trail remain open to walkers. They are principally the sections of the trail that are not on private land. These include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land.

Please note that Conservation Parks and Reserves and Forests are closed on days of Total Fire Ban. The CFS publishes these bans, as does the Bureau of Meteorology. In addition, the media also broadcast weather reports including fire ban information.

Although located in the Mt Lofty district, the Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail between Cape Jervis and Victor Harbor will remain open during the Fire Danger Season. However it will be closed on days of Catastrophic fire danger.

If you want to walk on the trail, check which Fire District you will be in. The Fire Districts and closure dates are listed on the Fire Danger Season page of the Friends website.

We strongly advise you to respect the rights of landholders. Please restrict any activity which may increase the risk of fire in this period.

Details of the Fire Ban Districts can be found  Interactive Map on the Friends website.

Closure of Southern Flinders Ranges Parks – November 4th to 10th 2023

Walkers are advised that the following parks in the Southern Flinders Ranges will be temporarily closed while pest control programs are undertaken:

  • Mt Brown Conservation Park and
  • Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park

The closures will operate from 6.00am Saturday, 4th November 2023 until 2.00pm Friday, 10th November 2023.

The parks are shown on Heysen Trail Map sheets 6C and 6D.

For more information about these pest control programs or park closures, contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service on (08) 8841 3400. You can also view a full list of park closures and alerts on the Parks SA Alerts page.

Note: Many sections of the Heysen Trail are closed over the Fire Danger Season. The Country Fire Service has already announced the early commencement of the Fire Danger Season for the Flinders and Mid North regions.

However, walkers can still use some sections of the trail – the sections that are not on private land.
Those sections include National Parks, Conservation Parks and Reserves, forests and public roads, provided access to these areas isn’t closed and it is not a Declared Total Fire Ban day.

The Heysen Trail 2024 calendars have arrived. Now available for immediate delivery. Only $12!

The Friends of the Heysen Trail 2024 calendar is now in the Office.

We have taken delivery of the calendar and we have them ready for immediate despatch. Buy yours now for only $12.00.

Get one for your wall at home or work or buy some as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

Order from our On-line shop for delivery by post.

By ordering the calendar from our On-line shop you can request postage to an address in Australia or overseas.

Standard postage to any address within Australia (for a single copy) will be an additional $5.10.

Save postage  – pick your copy from our Office or the End of Year Bash.

If you can get into the Office, you can take delivery yourself. Simply visit the Office during business hours – 10.30am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday.

If you are attending the Friend’s End of Year Bash at Belair National Park on November 26th, you can also pick up your copy there.

To order a ‘pick up’ copy without paying postage, visit or phone the Office on (08) 8212 6299 to order and pay.

Some sections of the Heysen Trail to close early due to changes to the Fire Danger Season.

Earlier start to the 2023-2024 Fire Danger Season restricts access to the Heysen Trail between Tanunda and Parachilna.

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared the Fire Danger Season will start early in the Flinders and Mid North districts.

Many sections of the Heysen Trail are closed during the Fire Danger Season. As the trail passes through several fire ban districts, the trail closures will now commence progressively from Monday October 16, 2023.

A drier winter and increased temperatures for spring have brought the fire season forward in these areas.

This means that access to many sections of the Heysen Trail north of Tanunda will be closed to walkers earlier than expected.

At this stage there has been no announcement for the Mt Lofty District so the trail south of Tanunda remains open for the present. However you should check the CFS website for any further announcements.

Flinders District Fire Danger Season commenced on October 16, 2023.

The Flinders District covers the Heysen Trail north of Wirrabara (near Laura).  The trail in this section includes Melrose, Wilmington, Quorn, Hawker, Wilpena Pound, the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park through to the northern end of the trail at Parachilna Gorge.

Many sections of the trail in this region will now be closed between October 16, 2023 and April 15, 2024.

Mid North District Fire Ban Season to start on November 1, 2023.

The Mid North District includes the trail between north of Tanunda  and south of Wirrabara. Affected sections of the Heysen Trail between these locations will close on November 1, 2023 and reopen on April 30, 2024.

Some sections of the trail remain open over the Fire Danger Season

During the declared fire danger season some sections of the Heysen Trail remain open to walkers. They are principally the sections of the trail that are not on private land. These include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land.

The Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail between Cape Jervis and Victor Harbor will remain open during the Fire Danger Season for the Mt Lofty Ranges region, but will be closed on days of Catastrophic fire danger.

Please note that Conservation Parks and Reserves and Forests are closed on days of Total Fire Ban. The CFS publishes these bans, as does the Bureau of Meteorology. In addition, the media also broadcast weather reports including fire ban information.

If you want to walk on the trail, check which Fire District you will be in. The Fire Districts and closure dates are listed on the Fire Danger Season page of the Friends website.

We strongly advise you to respect the rights of landholders. Please restrict any activity which may increase the risk of fire in this period.

Details of the Fire Ban Districts can be found  Interactive Map on the Friends website.

Friends of the Heysen Trail 2024 calendar available for order now. Only $12!

The Friends of the Heysen Trail 2024 calendar will be available soon. Order it now.

Make sure you order your copies of the calendar early to get in on the low price of $12.00.

Get one for your wall at home or work or buy some as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

We expect to have copies available at the Office in early November.

Order from our On-line shop for delivery by post.

By ordering the calendar from our On-line shop you can request postage to an address in Australia or overseas.

Standard postage to any address within Australia (for a single copy) will be an additional $5.10.

Save postage  – pick your copy from our Office or the End of Year Bash.

You can also order the calendar for pick up from the Office.  If you can get into the Office you can take delivery yourself – we will let you know when they’ve arrived.

If you are attending the Friend’s End of Year Bash at Belair National Park on November 26th, you can also pick up your copy there.

To order a ‘pick up’ copy without paying postage, it is best to pre-order your copy by phoning the Office  to order and pay.

Extra Christmas special – price reduction for Heysen Highlights – Companion Guide to the Heysen Trail

If you haven’t yet got a copy of Simon Cameron’s authoritative guide to the Heysen Trail now is the time.

Secure your copy at the new super low prices. We’ve reduced the price to $25.00, with a discounted rate of $20.00 for Members.

Respectful conversation in Australia – a First Nation’s Voice to Parliament

A contribution from the Friends of the Heysen Trail Reconciliation Committee.

We encourage all members to be informed on the Voice from all perspectives and to respect all individuals and their positions in relation to the Voice.

Uncle Lewis O’Brien, a significant Kaurna Elder teaches that when non-Aboriginal people look at a proposition or a problem they tend to divide into camps with a Yes or No response.

The Kaurna people were the teachers and knowledge keepers. They looked at the brain and called it muka muka because it appeared in two halves.

What that means for decision making in the Aboriginal community is that we should think both ways. In other words, look at a problem from all sides before resolving which direction to take.

The Referendum on October 14th 2023

Australians are being asked if they support Aboriginal recognition and an Aboriginal Voice to Parliament at the Referendum on the Australian Constitution that will be held on October 14th 2023.

A Referendum is the people’s choice. We should hold respectful conversations as it is beholden upon us to be informed. We need to look at this question in principle from all angles.

All perspectives are relevant; all questions are legitimate; all positions are respected.

The 1967 Referendum with a 91% Yes vote resolved to count Aboriginal people in the census for the first time. It was a campaign that supported Aboriginal rights.

Yet, up to that time, Aboriginal people had been named in the Australian Constitution solely by exception. The powers that enabled the Australian Government to make laws on the basis of race previously read, “……….except for Aboriginal people……” as it was the States that made laws for Aboriginal people. Those words were removed and since then the Constitution has remained totally silent upon Aboriginal people; not a single mention.

A bi-partisan approach to recognition in the Constitution

In 2015, Tony Abbott, as the Liberal Prime Minister, met with 40 Aboriginal leaders at Kirribili House and Bill Shorten, the Opposition leader, joined him. It was resolved in a bi-partisan way to establish a Referendum Council that would consult with Aboriginal people as to their views on recognition.

The Referendum Council held twelve Regional dialogues right across the country. From these, delegates were appointed to go to Uluru. Six years ago the Uluru Statement from the Heart was developed as a result of the meeting at Uluru.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart

243 people at Uluru agreed by consensus that not only did they want Constitutional Recognition, they wanted something more substantive by having a Voice to Parliament.

Click on this link to read the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

This remarkable statement, which is full of grace and meaning, is clear and invites us to join the people’s movement across the country to unite for change.

“In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”.

Follow this link to read the full statement prepared by FOHT Reconciliation Committee.