The threat of bushfire affects large areas of south eastern Australia.
Many areas along the 1200km Heysen Trail are closed during times of high fire risk – referred to as “Fire Danger Season”.
The dates are declared annually by the SA Country Fire Service (CFS): dates are generally between November and April, but vary as the Heysen Trail traverses several Fire Ban Districts. The fire danger season closure dates declared by the CFS take precedence over any dates on printed maps or local Heysen Trail signage.
Parts of the Heysen Trail, principally the sections of the trail that are not on private land may be walked subject to specific closures for high fire risk or other reasons. These include public roads, within Parks SA [National Parks and Conservation Parks], Forestry SA Reserves and SA Water Reservoirs.
The Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail (the Heysen between Cape Jervis and Victor Harbor) is open for walking all year round – except that closures apply on days declared as Catastrophic fire danger – and only gas or liquid fuel is allowed at walk-in sites: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/wild-south-coast-way/accommodation
Walkers are responsible for checking the fire danger season and other trail closure advices issued by CFS, Parks SA, ForestrySA and/or SA Water prior to commencing a trail/hike.
It is important to be aware that Parks SA, ForestrySA and SA Water may have different rules in place for fire danger closures and also when camping or fires are allowed.
- Parks SA states closures occur on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/know-before-you-go/fires-and-bbqs
- Forestry SA states closures occur on days of Total Fire Ban: https://www.forestrysa.com.au/before-you-visit/forest-closures-and-alerts/
- SA Water states closures occur on days of Total Fire Ban: https://www.reservoirs.sa.gov.au/conditions-of-entry
Note that camping & fires are not permitted in ForestrySA campsites or huts during the fire danger season and may also be prohibited in Parks.
Ultimately, the viability of the Heysen Trail is dependent on the continuing co-operation of private landholders and support from Parks SA, ForestrySA and SA Water so it’s essential to adhere to the trail closure times.
ForestrySA reserves fire restrictions
You cannot light any fires on Forestry land, including Forest Reserves, between 1 November and 30 April in any year. Accommodation in forestry huts and camping grounds is also closed over this period.
For further information contact Ranger staff on 08 8521 1700.
Normal Fire Danger Season Dates
The dates given below are the Fire Danger Season dates announced by the CFS on 27 October 2022. As already stated, the Fire Danger Season may be extended, so please check the actual dates that may be in place on the SA Country Fire Service (CFS) website: www.cfs.sa.gov.au or by calling the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline on 1300 362 361.
|Fire Ban District||Fire Danger Season|
|Mount Lofty Ranges||1 December 2022||30 April 2023|
|Adelaide Metropolitan||1 December 2022||30 April 2023|
|Mid North||15 November 2022||30 April 2023|
|Flinders||1 November 2022||15 April 2023|
Out of the fifteen Fire Ban Districts, only the relevant ones have been listed.
Prescribed burns are often undertaken across the State in the lead up to the Fire Danger Season, near the end of the walk season. These are controlled fires designed to reduce fuel load. Details of prescribed burns can be viewed on the CFS website: www.cfs.sa.gov.au or by calling the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline on 1300 362 361.
Access to huts on the trail is also restricted
A number of the huts along the trail are on private property and are therefore not accessible to the public (including walkers) during the Fire Danger Season.
Huts in National and Conservation Parks are accessible during the Fire Danger Season, provided it is not a day of Extreme or Catastrophic fire danger.
Some sections of the Heysen Trail remain open year round, principally those sections not on private land. These sections include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land.
National and Conservation Parks and Forests are closed on days of Total Fire Ban. The CFS publishes these bans, as does the Bureau of Meteorology, in addition to broadcasted weather reports issued by the media.
Many of these sections are too small to be of much consequence, but some of the longer sections are noted in the table below.
The walk numbers are those given in the Heysen Trail Walk Selector.
|The Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail
Start of walk 1
(Kings Beach is in walk 5)
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 1A-1B
Southern Guidebook Maps 1.1-2.1
|Blackfellows Creek Road
GR 888 908
In walk 9
GR 950 138
In walk 11
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 1D-2A
Southern Guidebook Maps 2.8-3.1
|Heysen Trail Map Sheet 2B
Southern Guidebook Map 3.4
|Horsnell Gully Conservation Park
GR 909 307
(access via Coach Road)
In walk 13
GR 008 420
End of walk 14
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 2B-2C
Southern Guidebook Maps 3.4-3.7
|The Nugget Road
GR 090 518
Start of walk 16
GR 130 618
In walk 17
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 2C-2D
Southern Guidebook Maps 3.8-4.1
GR 152 660
In walk 17
|Rifle Range Road
GR 154 744
In walk 18
|Heysen Trail Map Sheet 2D
Southern Guidebook Maps 4.2-4.4
GR 148 759
In walk 18
(Albert Glatz Rd)
GR 089 880
In walk 19
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 2D-3A
Southern Guidebook Maps 4.4-4.6
GR 090 946
In walk 19
GR 028 049
In walk 20
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 3A-3B
Southern Guidebook Maps 4.7-5.2
|Peters Hill Road
GR 026 166
Start of walk 22
|Gerkie Gap Road
GR 123 253
Just in walk 23
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 3B-3C
Southern Guidebook Maps 5.3-5.5
GR 040 061
Near end of walk 37
|Block 9 Road
GR 352 435
End of walk 40
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 5B-6A
Northern Guidebook Maps 1.8-2.7
|cnr White Park Road
Yellow Cutting Road
GR 348 457
In walk 41
GR 385 596
In walk 42
|Heysen Trail Map Sheet 6A
Northern Guidebook Maps 2.8-2.10
GR 362 607
In walk 42
GR 221 846
End of walk 44
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 6A-6C
Northern Guidebook Maps 2.10-3.5
|Mount Brown Conservation Park
GR 189 995
In walk 46
|Pichi Richi Pass
GR 798 057
End of walk 46
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 6C-6D
Northern Guidebook Maps 3.7-3.8
(from boundary at Bridle Gap)
GR 572 033
In walk 57
(Access via Visitor Centre)
GR 695 372
End of walk 60
(access via Aroona Valley Rd)
|Heysen Trail Map Sheets 8B-8C
Northern Guidebook Maps 5.7-6.6
Clarification of the above information and maps showing smaller open sections can be found at Atlas of South Australia (activate the land use and Heysen Trail layers).
View or print higher resolution version of map.
The Interactive Map has a layer showing the Fire Ban Districts, if more accurate information is required of the district boundaries.
View other available maps.