Heysen Highlights book released

Book: Heysen Highlights. A companion guide to the Heysen Trail. 264 pages, RRP $39.95

In this companion guide The Heysen Trail is broken into 58 sections, each comfortably walked in one day. For each day there is a overview of what to expect and what to look out for when hiking the Heysen Trail, this companion guide offers a wealth of discovery on every journey along the Trail, with no shortage of historical, geological and environmental highlights along the way.

By explaining the historical context, of the Aboriginal people, European explorers and settlers and the development of the trail, walkers can enrich their experience of the trail and its landscape.

Author Simon Cameron joined the Friends of the Heysen Trail in 2001, the same year that he started walking the Trail. He has never stopped walking it. As anyone who has had the joy of walking with Simon will known, there is so much to see and so much to discover along the Trail that there never will be a reason to stop.

Buy online for $39.95, with postage from $13.05.

About the book

In his companion guide to the Heysen Trail, Simon Cameron offers a personal perspective, gathered over nearly 20 years of walking the Heysen Trail. “Over time I have gathered a multitude of stories that have enriched my experience of the Heysen Trail and I have tried to share them in this book.”

Heysen Highlights is broken into 58 sections, based on the Friends’ End-to-End walk programme that carries groups from Cape Jervis to Parachilna Gorge over a series of 60-day walks. “I have combined and adjusted some of the shorter walks to provide 58 sections.” For each day’s walk there is a brief overview of what to expect and what to look out for.

The book begins with Cape Jervis so the format favours the south- to-north walker, but the short chapters are intended to be a ‘pre- walk briefing’ and not an ‘in hand’ walking guide.

Simon reminds us that the Heysen Trail runs through a diversity of South Australian terrain, varying from granite coast, bushland reserves, plantation forest, marshy meadows, broad acre farms, rolling hills, stone ridges and rocky creeks. “The trail was designed to follow the most scenic and challenging routes possible, providing memorable vistas and showcasing iconic landscapes.”

It also passes through a cultural heritage spanning tens of thousands of years of occupation and nearly two centuries of colonial settlement. Even more unique is a geological landscape that spans the origin of animal life itself. “All of this offers a wealth of discovery on every journey along the Heysen Trail and there are no shortage of highlights along the way.

“Inescapably the book reflects my interests and many chance discoveries, and I know this book is only the beginning of an ongoing process of compilation, updates and corrections.”

The maps in the book will only orientate the reader with the sections in the local region. Detailed Heysen maps are readily available and they are an essential part of any walk because they provide the geographic framework for the experiences that you will gather along the way. “The ‘walk briefing’ offers my personal guide of points of interest for each section and I am sure you will add your own.”

In section one, for example, we are told that the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula is difficult to see other than on the Heysen Trail because there is very little vehicle access. It is one of the great coastal walks with rugged cliffs, granite bluffs, untamed ocean,  tucked inlets, and wild beaches. All of this is offered with endless seascapes, and nature’s proudest displays of flora and fauna. Dolphins cruise the surf, and sea birds ply the skies while kangaroos and echidnas share the path. The luckiest walkers might see migrating Southern Right Whales.

Tapanappa, in section two, is reputed to mean ‘pathway’ or ‘stick to the path,’ which is essential on this coastline. Any attempt to move cross-country is dangerous. A distressing number of rescues and even fatalities have occurred in the Deep Creek Conservation Park. Deep Creek is a true wilderness, to be treated with respect as well as awe. A short detour to the Tapanappa lookout, at the end of the section, captures the natural majesty, and a glance to the east provides a tantalising view of Tunkalilla Beach – another jewel on the Trail.

Heysen Trail at Cape Jervis – A Focus for Revegetation and Weed Control by the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation

The southern gateway to South Australia’s iconic Heysen Trail is located at Cape Jervis. The opening section of the Trail runs adjacent to the coast for approximately 10 kilometres before ascending to the Deep Creek Conservation Park at Blowhole Beach. Along this section walkers experience magnificent views across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island, access to small rocky coves and patches of native scrub.

Significant flora include Eucalyptus porosa and Melaleuca lanceolata. Birds of conservation significance are the Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis), Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) and the Elegant Parrot (Neophema rubricollis).

Unfortunately, it is also the case that the coastal strip is severely degraded due to soil erosion, the activity of off-road vehicles and infestation by invasive plant species. There is a need to remediate this area to provide an attractive and welcoming experience for walkers that highlights the natural attributes of this area.

The Southern Fleurieu Coastal Action Plan and Conservation Priority Study, 2007 concluded that the beaches and lower slopes of Cape Jervis, Lands End and Fishery Beach were areas of high conservation value and were also facing a high level of threat.

It was identified that the area from Deep Creek CP to Morgans Beach (to the north of Cape Jervis) includes coastal reserves that have been successfully improved by community groups. Actions that would improve connection between vegetation blocks would greatly enhance the value of the area.

The section between Cape Jervis and Fishery Beach is the responsibility of a number of land management agencies including the District Council of Yankalilla, the Coastal Protection Board, community organisations and private land holders. The Council, under the auspices of its Coastal, Estuary and Marine Officer Corey Jackson and others, has made significant improvements including the establishment of an environmental hotspot between Lands End and Fishery Beach.

The gateway section is managed by the Council and the initial section from Cape Jervis to Lands End is managed by the Coastal Protection Board. Maintenance and re-vegetation activities have also been undertaken by group of dedicated volunteers led by Dr Carolyn Schultz, the Cape Jervis Coastal Community Group. COOTS (Conservation of our Threatened Species) a subgroup of the Australia Plant Society, manage the public lands just inland from the Heysen Trail, between Lands End and Fishery Beach.

The Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation has identified the Heysen Trail gateway at Cape Jervis as a focus for greening activity and will allocate volunteer resources and grant funding, where successful, to facilitate this activity.

If you are interested in further information please contact Richard Trembath on 0438 762 122 or info@WBHeysenTrailFoundation.org.au.

Biodiversity threats in the area of interest are:

  • Western Coastal Wattle (Acacia cyclops)
  • Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)
  • Creeping Saltbush (Atriplex prostrata)
  • Wild Oat (Avena barbata)
  • Perennial Veldt Grass (Ehrharta calycina)
  • False Caper (Euphorbia terracina)
  • African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum)
  • Soursob (Oxalis pescaprae)
  • Onion Weed (Asphodelus fistulosus)
  • Pincushion (Scabiosa atropurpurea)
  • Gazania (Gazania linearis)
  • Olive (Olea europaea)
  • Blue / sand lupin (Lupinus cosentinii)
  • Tufted Honey Flower (Melianthus comosus)
  • Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
  • Apple of Soddom (Solanum linnaeanum)

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park and the Napperby Block of Mount Remarkable National Park

PARK CLOSURE – Telowie Gorge Conservation Park and Napperby Block

(Mount Remarkable National Park)

across the Gulf

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park and Napperby Block (Mount Remarkable National Park) will be closed from 6am Saturday, 24 November 2018 until 11.30pm Friday, 30 November 2018.

The Park closure is for the purpose of undertaking a pest control program.

As the fire danger season has  commenced, walkers should be aware that most sections of the Heysen Trail are already closed. However, as this section of the Trail passes through a National Park and a Conservation Park, walkers would normally still have access unless a total fire ban has been announced for the day.

Therefore walkers intending to use these Parks in the near future need to be aware of this closure.

For more information about the control program or park closure, please contact the Natural Resources Centre Northern and Yorke on (08) 8841 3400.

Introduction to Walk Leader Training Night. Tuesday 2nd Oct 2018.

Have you ever thought you’d like to become a Walk Leader with the Friends of the Heysen Trail?

Well, here’s your chance to see what goes on, on and off the trail.

In a low key evening we will run through the basics of being a leader and how you can get involved.

Being a walk leader is a rewarding way of sharing your favourite walks with others and a great way to get involved with the Friends.

So if this is something you’d like to hear more about, we’d love to see you on the night.

The evening is the first step in joining our team of walk leaders. We will offer further support and assistance and help you plan and lead walks.

If you are interested come on and give it a try.

Just go to the walks calendar on the website and register as you would for a normal walk.

Woodville Bowling Club, Oval Avenue,  Woodville South.

Time-7.00 to 9:30pm, including a Tea Break.

If you have any questions, please send an email to the Office and one of the leaders will contact you.

Leave only footprints, take only photographs

Leave only footprints ….

Heysen Trail walkers are well aware of the general principles related to walking which are captured by the expression “leave only footprints, take only photos”.

Many sections of the trail traverse National and Conservation Parks. It is therefore a useful reminder that the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 includes regulations about activities in parks that the general public must comply with.

Disregarding these regulations may result in park users being issued a fine.

The following extracts of these regulations are particularly relevant to us:

15 – Fires

  1. A person must not, without the permission of the relevant authority, light, maintain or use a fire in a reserve in contravention of a ban or restriction imposed by the relevant authority.

16 – Possession and use of chainsaws

  1. a person must not, without the permission of the relevant authority, have control of, carry or use a chainsaw in a reserve.

26 – Bringing animals into reserve

  1. Subject to this regulation, a person who has control of an animal must not, without the permission of the relevant authority, bring it into a reserve or permit it to enter a reserve.

30 – Interference with earth etc

A person must not, without the permission of the relevant authority—

  1. remove from a reserve any-
    1. soil, rock, mineral or similar material; or
    2. wood, mulch or other dead vegetation; or
    3. fossil or archaeological remains; or
  2. dig or otherwise intentionally disturb any soil or similar material in a reserve; or
  3. intentionally disturb any-
    1. wood, mulch or other dead vegetation in a reserve; or
    2. fossil or archaeological remains in a reserve.

Need more information?

Before you head off to a park, you can find further information about at the What you need to know section of the Department for Environment & Water website.

Of particular interest to walkers are the sections outlining the rules about the use of BBQs and lighting campfires and which parks dogs are permitted.

Installation of Trail Counters to Improve Data on Number of Walkers

Illustration of trackside placement

A disguised tracker unit

The Friends will be installing 3 TRAFx infrared trail counters along key sections of the Heysen Trail.

The devices count the number of trail uses giving us comprehensive data about trail use.

The TRAFx device is very compact with an unobtrusive design, which reduces risk of vandalism. They will be concealed to further prevent them being stolen or vandalised. It only uses standard AA alkaline batteries and has very long battery life.

Their placement location is yet to be decided, we’ll provide updates as we progress the planning and rollout.

In addition, there are similar trail counter in Warren Conservation Park, at the Watts Gully trailhead, which is monitored by the Walking Trails Support Group with data collated by Walking SA.

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 15th June to Monday 18th 2018

The Buckaringa Sanctuary will be temporarily closed this weekend. As the Heysen Trail passes through the sanctuary, we advise walkers to consider the closure if planning to walk in the area.

The planned closure is:

  • Friday evening 15 June  to Monday morning 18 June 2018.

The closure is because the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) will be undertaking feral animal control in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to many Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies.

The sanctuary is located between Quorn and Hawker. You can find it on map 6, chapter 4, of the Heysen Trail Northern Guidebook and on Sheet Map 7b – Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park to Mernmerna Creek.

AWC will place closure signs at all entry points to the sanctuary to warn walkers of the danger.

Walk for the Heysen 2018.


Walk for the Heysen

Sunday 29 April 2018
Bridgewater Oval, Mount Barker Road, Bridgewater
Walk on the Heysen Trail and BBQ picnic

Walk for the Heysen – experience local parks and native scrub and have fun while supporting the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation’s 2018 fundraising efforts. The foundation supports the improvement of facilities and the environment on the Heysen Trail & other walking trails.

  • Four walk options from 5km to 17km.
  • Walks depart from 9.00 am. Arrive in time to register before your walk.
  • All walks depart from and arrive back to the Bridgewater Oval. Walks are designed to suit all ages and standards of walking fitness.
  • Bring the family for a great day out in the Adelaide Hills.

After the walk grab a BBQ meal (included in registration fee) at the Bridgewater Oval, or bring your own picnic. The picnic area includes the football club rooms, toilets and parking.

In keeping with the tradition of the Warren Bonython Memorial Walk conducted by the Friends of the Heysen Trail in 2013, the theme for the day will be yellow.
A prize consisting of a Heysen Trail merchandise pack (value $100) is up for grabs to the best yellow sartorial costuming on the day.


$30 for adults, $5 for children, $60 for families

Book online here.

Download the event flyer

You may also choose to make a one-off donation to the Foundation through the Foundation’s web site: Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation

The Foundation is registered as an environmental charity and donations are tax deductible.

Honorary Membership – know someone who has served the Friends well?

Jamie Shephard, Honorary Member.

Do you know someone who warrants Honorary Membership of the Friends?

Have they made an outstanding contribution to the Friends or to the Heysen Trail?

Now is the time for you to make sure their efforts are recognised.

You can nominate them for Honorary Membership of the Friends of the Heysen Trail & Other Walking Trails Inc.

Please email your nominations to Julian Monfries, Chair, Honorary Membership sub-committee of the Council.

In your nomination please include the following information:

  • The name of your nominee,
  • The classification of the award you are nominating them for,
  • A summary of their contribution to the Trail or the Friends and how they qualify for the award,
  • Your name and contact information

The sub-committee will consider all submissions and then make recommendations to Council. Succesful candidates will be presented to the full membership at the next Annual General Meeting to be held on 23rd March 2018.

Please submit your nominations by the end of January, 2018.

Guidelines for Honorary Membership (Distinguished Service)

  • normally at least 10 years of paid membership as an ordinary, Family or life member;


  • at least 6 years of substantial voluntary contributions to the Association,
  • Including especially one or more of:
    • Membership of Council
    • Chair of the various sub-committees
    • Regular Walker Leadership roles
    • Maintenance Section Leader or Volunteer
    • Office Volunteer

Guidelines for Honorary Membership (Exceptional)

Substantial and sustained contribution to promotion, development and/or maintenance of the Heysen Trail, or the Association other than as a paid member or volunteer though, for example, public service support, media support etc.