Kangaroo Island Long Weekend FoHT Trip, October

Rocky River beach

Come hike Kangaroo Island with a fun-filled bus of hikers, over the October long weekend. Three walks in different areas of the island show off the varied scenery, flora and fauna of this special island.

Three days of hiking:

  • Rocky River Hike, stage 1 of 63km Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. Following platypus pools on the Rocky River
  • Kelly Caves to Hanson Bay Hike, walking through coastal heath, woodlands, alongside freshwater lagoons, and over dunes to Hanson Bay
  • Murray Lagoon, see aquatic birdlife

Book via the website or office.

Heysen Trail returns to Wirrabara Forest & Sampson Flat Fireground

Heysen Trail returns to Wirrabara ForestWirrabara Forest Trail Open

Following on from our earlier update, we’ve been negotiating with stakeholders and can now announce that the Heysen Trail has been restored and re-marked to the original route through Wirrabara Forest. This removes the 44km temporary re-route which went around the entire forest and via the town of Wirrabara.

There are two small re-routes in the northern section of the forest.

Sampson Flat Fireground Re-Opening and Re-Routes

Following the January 2015 Sampson Flat Bushfire the Heysen Trail has been re-marked through the fireground, from Nugget Road to near Kersbrook.

A temporary re-route is in place from Chain of Ponds to Kersbook.

View re-routes:

Proposed Heysen Trail Realignment in Flinders Ranges Draft Management Plan – Have Your Say

Aroona-Valley-and-Heysen-RangeThe Flinders Ranges National Park Draft Management Plan has been released for public consultation. It sets out objectives and strategies for the ongoing protection and conservation of the natural and cultural values of the Park.

Our Concerns

We at the Friends of the Heysen Trail consider that the plan is well presented and a valuable addition to strategic planning for the region. We wholeheartedly agree with the investment in upgrading the hiking opportunities in the Park.

We would suggest the plan provide the vision of a diverse trail network of well managed trails covering the many diverse landforms, plus the natural and cultural features of the park. And as such we would have to disagree on the suggestion to re-align the Heysen Trail.

On page 18, “Developing a world class multi-day walk (with minimal impact hiker accommodation) based on a realignment of the Heysen Trail along the foothills of the Heysen Range between Bunyeroo Gorge and Aroona Campground.”

The most cited comment on hikers completing the Heysen Trail is that it provides such a variety of experiences. The countryside, vistas, flora and the fauna.

The proposal has the Heysen Trail continuing along the valley floor (mostly accessible by vehicle), rather than climbing to seeing the breathtaking vistas, trekking through geological ages, and through Sir Hans Heysen painting landscapes.

The proposed re-alignment of this section of the Heysen Trail:

  • miss out on some great vistas back to the Heysen Range and from walking through the Three Sisters from Sir Hans’s paintings. It misses the diversity of this country.
  • miss the magnificent vistas looking across the ABC Range to the rugged profile of Wilpena Pound and the Heysen Range, are one of the great iconic features of the Heysen Trail and we recommend this be retained.
  • Importantly it misses the Golden Spike at Trezona – Enorama Creek – Australia’s most significant geological feature, a world renown feature. Walkers on the Heysen Trail currently walk past the defining point, the ‘Golden Spike’. Other features such as the glacier rock are also passed on the Trail.
  • The current alignment takes the hikers through historic landscapes and includes two hiker huts. These old shepherd huts have been converted to hiker shelter and accommodation. They retain the original architecture and rustic character of the original construction. These would be by-passed with the proposed re-route. Hiker accommodation is currently available at these two huts.
  • The proposed re-alignment would require significant investment on trail construction and hiker accommodation. We consider this an unnecessary expense.

Working with the Government

The Friends are happy to provide ongoing assistance with the management of the trail within the park, working with Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resource (DEWNR) to enhance and improve trail and walker experiences.

We are finalising our fuller submission to respond to the draft plan. Review the plan yourself and share your views and any concerns at environment.sa.gov.au/haveyoursay

Responses close July 31, 2015.

End-to-End 5 group to finish Heysen Trail in August

End-to-End 5 group to finish Heysen Trail in August

The End-to-End 5 group is about to embark on its final walks during the last week of August. Walking from the Leigh Creek Road near Old Wonoka to the Parachilna Trailhead will see many members of the Friends achieve their ambition to complete the Heysen trail on Saturday 29 August. The End-to-End 5 group began walking in 2010 and has had to contend with the after effects of bushfires on two occasions in the State’s mid north and the cancellation of walks last year as a result of unexpectedly high temperatures early in October. Being just ‘a stone throw’ away from finishing the Trail has seen the group’s numbers increase this year and a heightening of excitement as August nears.

Registration will open to all-comers next Monday 6 July for anyone who would like to join the End-to-End 5 group in the Flinders Ranges as it takes its final walks and celebrates with dinner on Saturday evening at the Woolshed Restaurant (Rawnsley Park).

The event cost is $340 for the week’s hiking, with an additional $48 for dinner on the Saturday evening. If you wish to participate in the whole week, you can register online or via our office. To participate in just the weekend, or just the dinner, please contact the office to register.