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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Christmas Office Closure

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The Friends of the Heysen Trail office and shop will be closed from 2.30pm Friday 16 December and reopen on Tuesday 17 January. The volunteer staff will be taking a well-earned break over the Christmas period.

Bookings for Twilight walks during this period can still be made online.

From all at the Friends we wish you a merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

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Heysen Trail closes over the Fire Danger Season

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With today’s commencement of the Fire Danger Season in the Mt Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District the Heysen Trail is closed. It will reopen in April when the Fire Danger Season ends in the three Fire Ban Districts the Trail passes through.

Some sections of the Heysen Trail remain open year round, including National Parks, Conservation Parks, Forests and Reserves – although they are closed on days of Total Fire Ban – and public roads.

More information.

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