Start the New Year with a Downhill Walk?

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A downhill walk or run on the George Driscoll Sea to Summit Trail, Mt Lofty to Brighton Beach. On the public holiday Monday, 2 January, 7.00am. Three distance options – 34km, 18.5km or 14km. Run or walk. No cost, no registration required.

Organised by SARRC (South Australian Road Runners and Walkers Club). Unlike their mid-year annual uphill run, there are no support crews available along the way. Bus available from Brighton to Mt Lofty for $10. Finish with a swim.

More info on the SARRC website.

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Four new shelters and water tanks erected

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Work has begun on four of ten new water tanks and shelters. The frames for the shelters were erected over the weekend, they will be completed in the new year.

The four water tanks and shelters have been erected at four new campsites:

  • Balquhidder campsite (photos | map), a campsite which is marked in the recent 2010 published guidebook
  • Robinson Hill campsite (photos | map), located between Waitpinga and Inman Valley
  • Mt Cone campsite (photos | map), between Myponga and Mt Compass
  • Finniss River campsite (photos | map), between Mt Compass and Kuitpo Forest

These new shelters and water tanks close up some of the longer gaps between camp sites and water supplies:

  • Newland Hill campsite to Robinson Hill campsite – 17.7km
  • Robinson Hill campsite to Myponga – 23km (or 18.8km to Heysen’s Rest B&B)
  • Myponga to Mt Cone campsite – 14km (or 16.2km from Heysen’s Rest B&B)
  • Mt Cone campsite to Finniss River campsite – 17.3km

Thanks to Bronte Leak from DENR, Colin Edwards, John Potter, Bob Gentle, Albert Schmidke, Peter Solomon, Simon Cameron and Julian Monfries for their work in the construction effort.

Six more shelters and water tanks have been fabricated and will be erected in the new year.

New Zealand’s 3,000km Walking Trail Opens

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This morning three ceremonies in New Zealand officially opened the 3,000km Te Araroa walking trail. Te Araroa, meaning ‘the long pathway’, is a national foot trail running the length of country.

A ceremony was held at the north trailhead, south trailhead and the midway point at Wellington, coinciding with the release of the a trail guide, The Walking Guide to Te Araroa, written by Geoff Chapple (the Te Araroa Trust chief) and published by Random House.

The trail explores New Zealand’s unique landscape, its volcanoes, its range and mountain uplift, its rivers, lakes and valleys. From Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island it traverses the length of the country down to Stirling Pt in Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. Envisionaged in 1975, it was not until the late 90s that material progress was acheived. Some 45% of the trail consists of smaller trails linked together, the remaining 55% consists of new trails. Just 13.5% is along roads.

By the mid-2000s and well ahead of the trail’s completion, eager walkers were already hitting the trail – up to 10 a year, using roads as by-passes where necessary. It is predicted that about 100 people will walk the length of the trail annually, 7000 people will walk overnight sections and 350,000 people will use the trail for day walks.

Anyone have three or four months to spare next year?

Further info can be found on the Te Araroa website:

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Upgrade of Waterfall Gully track completed

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The $1.2 million upgrade of the popular Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty track has been completed, says South Australian Environment Minister Paul Caica.

The four kilometre upgrade has been completed in stages over the past three years. The trail alignment, surface, drainage and signage has been upgraded. More rest areas, including an area safe for children to play and explore, have also been included.

An estimated 400,000 walkers enjoy the trail each year.

Read more in Paul Caica’s press release.

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Walking SA Newsletter

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The peak body for recreational walkers in South Australia, Walking SA, release a regular newsletter. Download their newsletter, released this week.

In this edition, they discuss:

  • walking and local government
  • trails update
  • give a view inside their Trails Technical Unit and Walking Access Committee
  • celebrate a national bushwalking pioneer
  • and as always, there is news about walking and walking trails around SA.

More information about Walking SA can be found on their website.

Current Bushfire Info on the Trail from CFS Smartphone App

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Whilst we wouldn’t normally email you with technology news about smartphones, this news might be of particular interest to late season bushwalkers who have a smartphone and are walking the Heysen Trail or other trails.

Yesterday the CFS released a smartphone app which may be a better offering than third party bushfire information apps. It provides users with the location and status of current bushfires, current wind direction and prescribed burn details, which can be viewed on an interactive map with your current location. This is particularly useful for bushfires that have started during the day within the landscape you are walking.

You will need mobile phone reception from your carrier to access data with this app.

Late season walkers should be highly aware of bushfire conditions. Several bushfires have already occurred throughout the state and in areas where the Heysen Trail passes through.

View further more information about this smartphone app on the CFS website, or search for CFS FireApp.

Nature Foundation SA’s Walk for Nature

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On Sunday our president, Robert Alcock, donned a bandanna and joined over 300 walkers on the Heysen Trail from Bridgewater to Woodhouse. The walk raised money and awareness for the work of the Nature Foundation of SA, a group dedicated to saving native wildlife and protecting our natural environment.

For more info on the Nature Foundation visit

Read more about the walk at

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Saturday’s 25th birthday party a big success

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80 or so guests and members celebrated 25 years of volunteer service on the Heysen Trail with bushwalks, Irish jigs, koalas, all with the sun shining on our picnic.

Irish band ‘Inesheer’ provided the music, while red and white balloons on Karka Pavilion were the colourful backdrop to speeches (short ones!) by our President, Robert Alcock, Chief Executive of the Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Alan Holmes, and guest speaker John Kenneally of radio 5AA.

A new Memorandum of Understanding between DENR and the Friends of the Heysen Trail was signed, then our Patron, Warren C Bonython AO, resplendent in his bright orange shirt and yellow short shorts, cut the birthday cake.

Many thanks go to the organisers, Jeanette Clarke and Chris Porter, for the well organised celebrationary day.

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