Heysen Trail closing early due to 2019-2020 Fire Danger Season being brought forward

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared the Fire Danger Season will start early in the Mt Lofty Ranges, Mid North and Flinders Fire Ban Districts.

This means that access to most sections of the Heysen Trail have closed to walkers earlier than expected. A dry winter and increased temperatures for spring has brought the fire season forward in these areas.

Mt Lofty Ranges Fire Ban Season commences on November 15

The Mt Lofty Ranges District includes the trail between Cape Jervis and Tanunda. The Heysen Trail between these locations will close on November 15, 2019 and is set to reopen on April 30, 2020 (to be confirmed).

Mid North District Fire Ban Season commenced on November 1

The Mid North District includes the trail between north of Tanunda and south of Wirrabara. The Heysen Trail between these locations closed on November 1, 2019 and is set to reopen on April 30, 2020 (to be confirmed).

Flinders District Fire Danger Season commenced on October 21

The Flinders District covers the Heysen Trail north of Wirrabara (near Laura). The trail in this section includes Melrose, Wilmington, Quorn, Hawker, Wilpena Pound, the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park through to the northern end of the trail at Parachilna Gorge. This section of the trail closed on October 21, 2019 and is set to reopen on April 15, 2020 (to be confirmed).

Some sections of the trail remain open over the Fire Danger Season

During the declared fire danger season some sections of the Heysen Trail remain open to walkers. They are principally the sections of the trail that are not on private land. These include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land.

Please note that Conservation Parks and Reserves and Forests are closed on days of Total Fire Ban. The CFS publishes these bans, as does the Bureau of Meteorology. In addition, the media also broadcast weather reports including fire ban information.

If you want to walk on the trail, check which Fire District you will be in. Details of the Fire Ban Districts can be found Google map on the Friends website.

We strongly advise you to respect the rights of landholders. Please restrict any activity which may increase the risk of fire in this period.

Our Twilight Walks Have Commenced

As the walking season has come to a close, the arrival of warmer evenings and daylight saving has heralded the beginning of our Twilight Walks. There is a 1.5-2 hour walk on most Wednesday or Thursday nights until March.

The full programme is listed on our walk calendar but here are the details for the next four walks:

Wed 13th November 6pm: Springfield

A reasonably challenging uphill walk in leafy Springfield with rewarding views of the city  and some stunning architecture. Dinner (optional) at the Edinburgh Hotel (Beer garden if weather permits) at the end of the walk.

Wed 20th November 6pm: Mount George

Details to be advised

Wed 27th November 6pm: Semaphore South

A 10km walk taking in what we hope will be a stunning sunset.

Thursday 5 December 6pm: The Pat

Enjoy the cool sanctuary of Chambers Gully as we follow the track fringed with ferns. Cockatoos, butterflies, koalas and bandicoots love this gully.

Golden Boots passes are accepted for Twilight walks

Walk fees are $5.00 ($1.00 for walkers under 18 years of age). Remember that Golden Boots passes are accepted for Twilight walks.

Register online or via the office

If you don’t have a Golden Boots pass, you can purchase one when you register for the walk. Just click on the Golden Boots pass payment option.

Further details of our walks and walker registration can be found on our website at www.heysentrail.asn.au/walks

Trail Development News, Bulletin 13, October 2019

The new platform at Stony Creek. Sept 2019

We welcome new volunteers to help us undertake installation of infrastructure and trail maintenance work.

All equipment, including personal protection equipment, is provided by The Friends. Volunteers will be allocated tasks to match their level of competence and confidence. If required, specific training can be arranged.

Refer to the Volunteer Support Policy for information on recognition of volunteers as well as reimbursement of expenses.

Below is a schedule of maintenance events.  To register your interest in any of these events, please click on the hyper link in the Calendar of Maintenance events below or look for Maintenance events listed in the Walk Calendar on our website.

Calendar of Maintenance Events

Regular Shed Maintenance days are held on Thursdays at our Cobbler Creek facility, off Bridge Road Salisbury East in Cobbler Creek Recreation Park.

You don’t have to be an expert handy person to join in.

Much of our work for the coming months will be manufacturing steelwork items requiring a different skill set including welding light steel sections. Much of our efforts will be learning and welding.

The training day on Nov 3rd is open to all who are interested in site work and camp locations.

October
Thurs 31st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
November
Sun 3rd Training for TDC members, Section Leaders and volunteers to erect platform and tank shelter at Black Joes Road, Kapunda
Thurs 7th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 14th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 21st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 28th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
December
Thurs 5th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 12th Xmas breakup lunch for our hard working shed volunteers.

SECTION NEWS:

 

Re-route at Mt. Crawford – Colin Edwards

A new re-route at Mount Crawford, Chalks Road has been mapped and is being marked by Forestry. This will go on our website when completed.

Water tanks – Colin Edwards

This year’s dry weather has caused many tanks to run dry or get contaminated (stagnant) especially north of Spalding. Several tanks are replaced and brought back for cleaning and sterilizing. Please let the Office know of any problems and water levels.

Trail Development Committee Chairman comment – Colin Edwards

The following article by Julian Monfries illustrates the large amount of work and planning that is needed for some of our more extensive site trips. Much of the work to be done requires a fair amount of travel, which consequently means planning for material and equipment is essential.

Flinders Ranges maintenance Trip September 2019 – Julian Monfries

Early in September a small crew, consisting of Carl Greenstreet, Adrian Rodgers and Julian Monfries headed off to the Southern Flinders to undertake remedial work at Stony Creek, investigate a possible placement for a platform at Wilmington, and repair the roof at Mount Elm Campsite.

Thursday morning saw us at Cobblers Creek, where Colin and his team had loaded the trailer with the makings of two platforms and a new tank for Stony Creek. The existing tank had been reported as contaminated.

The team arrived at Wilmington, via the obligatory bakery, and met local farmer and E2E 10 walker, Peter Noll. They proceeded to Stony Creek campsite which lies at the northern end of Mount Remarkable National Park.

Fixing the tank

Installing the new platform at Wilmington

The tank was indeed foul, so disappointingly we had to drain a tank that was over 50% full.   As it was draining the team proceeded to dig the

holes for the platform and install that quickly.

The old tank was removed, but in the process the rusted gutter and downpipe were destroyed.

That left a new tank, however with no gutter or downpipe to facilitate filling! Damn.

A through walker happened by, heading south unfortunately he’d missed the turn up towards Lavender Peak. We put him right and relieved him of the 3 litres of water he was carrying in shopping bags (he had heard the water at Stoney Creek to be bad). We promised to deliver it just off Alligator Gorge Road after our work was done. And this we did.

New tank at Stony Creek

With Peter Noll in tow, we then moved on to survey a site on his land for another platform, choosing one that had a great view towards Horrocks Pass.

Again, this went in pretty quickly, as the hole digging was relatively easy!

Time now getting on, we farewelled Peter and headed to Hawker, our digs for the night, a pub meal and a beer.

Heading further north

On Friday, we went out to Mount Elm, via the Oaks to say hello to John Rowe. Here a sheet of iron had parted company with the roof and simply disappeared. Carl, our tallest volunteer fitted the new tin and stabilised other sheets that were trying to make an escape. Another north/south through walker came past as we were at work. She confessed to missing human company, which prompted Adrian to give her a hug. It was much appreciated – well at least by Adrian!

With that job complete, we were off to Arkaba Station to meet the new managers Bradley and Charlie. Both are strapping young men, who listened to our Red Range toilet options with interest.

Then out to Red Range to check the toilet, which though not foul was full!! Exploratory digs suggested the ground may be suitable for a 10 metre sullage trench.

That task complete, we headed off to Wilpena to investigate a realignment of the Trail past the Information Centre and shop, rather than its current route circuiting around the campground, effectively missing both. Currently, there are marked trails linking to Info Centre and the Heysen as it exits Wilpena Pound, so it should be a no-brainer really. We simply await approval from the local managers.

Mayo Hut was then checked and found to be in good condition and the tanks about 50% full, however one is getting a bit old and rust is getting into the water. This is a job for another time.

Back to Stony Creek

Saturday, we headed home, however disappointed at our inability to complete the tank install at Stony Creek, and gutter. We called into Wilmington Hardware and managed to procure the readies to redeem ourselves, partly.

Subsequently, we managed to install a gutter and downpipe on the tank, however missed the overnight rain, and the piece we were given, free, was only 75% the length we needed! Otherwise we would have had to buy a 3 metre length!

A broken stile near Horrocks Pass was inspected and repaired as best we could, considering the limited materials available to us.

On our way south, we called into Melrose and undertook a realignment of the Trail, now taking it past the LARGE gum and the old brewery.  Additionally, at Kapunda we also did some tweaking to the Trail though the town.

With all that done, the trailer went back to Cobblers Creek, and another successful trip was had –  thanks to Adrian, Rodger and Carl Greenstreet.

Temporary gutter on the tank at Stony Creek.

Repaired stile at Horrocks Pass

A through walker gets a hug from Adrian, whilst Carl looks on enviously.

Future Training Opportunities – Paul Bond

Paul Bond is currently investigating training opportunities for early next year with the aim of providing more information in the next issue. Watch this space.

Thanks,
Trail Development Committee

Heysen Trail Closure – Southern Flinders Ranges

Walkers are advised that access to the Heysen Trail in the Southern Flinders Ranges will be restricted  from 6 am  Saturday, 23 November 2019 until 6pm Friday, 29 November 2019.

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park, The Napperby Block of Mount Remarkable National Park, Spaniards Gully Conservation Park and Wirrabara Range Conservation Park  will be closed for the purpose of undertaking a pest control program.

So walkers need to take note of this closure and avoid that section of the trail during those dates.

The Country Fire Service has already announced the commencement of the Fire Danger Season for the Mid North & Flinders Districts. As a result, much of the Heysen Trail is now closed in those areas.

The sections that remain open are principally those not on private land. These include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land.

For more information about the control program or park closure, please contact the Natural Resources Centre on (08) 8841 3400. Further information can be found on the Parks SA Alerts page.

The Friends End of Year Bash is on again at Karka – December 1st 2019

The Friend’s End of Year Bash – a family affair.

All Friends of the Heysen Trail are invited, with their families.

The Friends will provide: Pre-lunch Nibbles, BBQ meat and artisan bread.

Please bring a Salad or Dessert to share.

BYO – wine, beer or soft drink.

Don’t forget a chair or rug, a glass, plates & cutlery.

It all happens on Sunday 1st of December, 12.00 – 4.30pm

The Band – The Jugglers

Our favourite band Raunchy Sugar have a new line-up and new name “The Jugglers” – with the same foot-tapping Rock & Roll music.

So this year don’t miss out on this special event. Get your End to End group and/or walking friends organised and be there.

Come along to Rock and Roll, or maybe just relax with friends, amongst the lush green grass and trees that surround Karka Pavilion.

Have you got your copy of Heysen Highlights?

We will also have copies of  ‘Heysen Highlights‘ – Simon Cameron’s companion guide to the Heysen Trail for sale. Pick one up and save on postage.

Bookings

Book early! $20 per person. No refunds! Book at: heysentrail.asn.au/invite or via the office.

To assist with catering, bookings close on Thursday November 29th.

Park entry fees are waived for attending members and guests. On entry, just mention you’re with Friends of the Heysen Trail.

We will have Friend’s 2020 Calendars at the Bash for sale at the discounted price of $12. If you’ve already ordered a copy for collection, you will be able to pick it there.

Remember the venue: Karka Pavilion, Belair National Park. Upper Sturt Road, Belair

Friends of the Heysen Trail 2020 calendar available for order now. Only $12!

The Friends of the Heysen Trail 2020 calendar is currently being printed and will be available soon.

Make sure you order your copies of the calendar early to get in on the low promotional price of $12.00.

Get one for your wall at home or work or buy some as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

We expect to have copies available at the office on Monday October 28th. That means .

Order from our On-line shop for delivery by post.

By ordering the calendar from our On-line shop you can request postage to an address in Australia or overseas. We will be posting out the first orders by the end of October.

Postage charges to any address within Australia (for a single copy) will be an additional $4.50.

Pick your copy from our Office or at the End of Year Bash.

You can also order the calendar for pick up from the Office.  Contact us either by phone or email.

If you can get into the office you can take delivery yourself. Alternatively, we will have the calendar available for pick up at our End of Year Bash at Belair National Park on Sunday December 1st.

However, if you can’t pick up the calendar, the Office volunteers can also arrange to have it posted.

 

 

Trail Development News, Bulletin 12, September 2019

Walker’s Platform, installed at Marschalls Hut, September 2019.

An update on recent new trail infrastructure and trail maintenance work undertaken by our vital volunteers. Below is a schedule of maintenance events – new volunteers welcome,

Our volunteers undertake installation of infrastructure and trail maintenance work. All equipment, including personal protection equipment, is provided by The Friends. Volunteers will be allocated tasks to match their level of competence and confidence. If required, specific training can be arranged.

Refer to the Volunteer Support Policy for information on recognition of volunteers as well as reimbursement of expenses. To register your interest in any of these events, please click on the hyper link in the Calendar of Maintenance events below or look for Maintenance events listed in the Walk Calendar on our website.

Calendar of Maintenance Events

Regular Shed Maintenance days are held on Thursdays at our Cobbler Creek facility, off Bridge Road Salisbury East in Cobbler Creek Recreation Park.

You don’t have to be an expert handy person to join in.

With the completion of the Black Jack Hut project, Colin is now restocking our timber supplies and cutting lengths to make marker posts and stile steps and uprights. We are also testing the production of a new metal stile design. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to weld – now is your chance.

Please register by clicking on the link for the event below or by contacting the Office. Registration helps us anticipate numbers and also to plan jobs.

October
Thurs 3rd The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 10th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 17th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 24th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Fri 25th – Sun 27th E2E Maintenance Greenock to Huppatz Hut

The major work will be to install and upgrade stiles across recently installed fencing between Greenock & Kapunda. We will also be marking a minor reroute of the trail through the township of Kapunda. Other jobs will include installing assist poles at a series of stiles along a road reserve between Gerkie & Webb Gaps.

Volunteers able to attend on only some days are welcome. The event will be based at Riverton. An accommodation subsidy for Friday and Saturday night and a fuel subsidy will be provided by the Friends. See further information in the item below.

Thurs 31st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
November
Thurs 7th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 14th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 21st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 28th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek

End to End Maintenance – Greenock to Huppatz Hut

Please note the change of date – Friday October 25 to Sunday October 27.

Dom Henschke will be leading the next event on our End to End Trail Maintenance program and is looking for volunteers to assist.  All volunteers will be welcome.

The event continues the work on this section that was commenced in October last year – keeping the trail in good nick is a never-ending job, so we need help for this trip. The major work will be to install and upgrade stiles across recently erected fencing between Greenock & Kapunda that was identified by the E2E13 walking group. Other jobs will include installing assist poles at a series of stiles along a road reserve between Gerkie & Webb Gaps.

We expect that the work will be completed by early afternoon on Sunday. Volunteers able to attend on only some days are welcome.

The event will be based at Riverton. The Friends will be hiring a 4WD vehicle, but you will need transport to get to Greenock/Riverton. However, if that is a problem, we may be able to arrange transport as well.

Suggested accommodation options are the Riverton Caravan Park (bookings have been made for 2 cabins), or the Riverton Hotel. There is no cost to attend an E2EM event and there will be a complimentary dinner arranged for Saturday night. An accommodation subsidy for Friday and Saturday night and a fuel subsidy will be provided by the Friends.

If you register, Dom will contact you via email with details of accommodation reservations, the meeting location and times for each day.

SECTION NEWS

Grandpa’s Camp gets a platform – Julian Monfries

Following the recent realignment of the Trail over Little Mount Crawford, the crew moved south to Grandpa’s Camp, near Cudlee Creek.

The new platform at Grandpa’s August 2019.

The team, consisting of apprentices, Colin Edwards, Dom Henschke, Paul Bond and Julian Monfries and true workers, Adam Matthews, Mark Curtis, Neil Rivett, Peter Fosdike and Robin Sharland. After some faffing around to get levels correct, installed the platform beside the existing shelter.

The team also examined the water tank. They found the water to be good, however the gutter was desperately in need of a clean, the gutter guard having failed gloriously.To top it off, they submitted a new report about the tank on the Cudlee Creek North/Grandpas camp site listing on the Accommodation page.

More platform rollouts are programmed with two to be installed very soon at Stony Creek and Wilmington, along with a replacement of the tank at Stony Creek, due to the water being fouled.

Platform installed at Marschalls Hut – Dom Henschke

Walker’s Platform, installed at Marschalls Hut, September 2019.

As part of the preparation for the October End to End Maintenance trip, a small team of volunteers visited Marschall’s Hut last week.

As well as checking on the rainwater tank, the team installed a walker’s platform in front of the hut – see the picture to the right.

Thanks to Colin Rozman, Rick Price and Martin Chapman who did most of the work on the day. You can see they had sloping ground to contend with, but the assistance of our dumpy level , they made sure you won’t roll off the edge. Well done, team.

 

Updating the Heysen Trail Google map & the website gpx file – Dom Henschke

The Department of Environment & Water has advised us that the stock of Heysen Trail Sheet Maps is running low. So the maps are being revised and will be reprinted soon.

We would like the new maps to be as accurate and as up to date as possible, so we are working on a project to update the HT Google map and the website gpx file. This were last revised on 7 July 2016 there are a number of new re-routes to be catalogued. We have collated most of them but we are missing a gpx file for the following section:

  • Walk 40 – Wirrabara to Block 9 Road. This walk contains a minor reroute along the Sheep yard Track that was established in July 2015.

If you have a track of your walk along that section, please send it by email to the Trail Development Committee at the Office

Thanks to walkers submitting campsite & tank reports – Dom Henschke

In late July we published a website news item ‘Tanks – an unreliable water source for walkers’ (and sent an email to Trail Development subscribers) asking for your help.

Thanks to the many walkers who have responded to the call. We have received nearly 50 comments on a wide range of campsites and tanks, particularly those in the more remote northern section of the trail. These comments have been published on the website Accommodation list and form a valuable resource to intending walkers and our Office volunteers.

Check the More info including Google map section at the bottom of each location.

Do you have the time to help keep our website up to date?

As you can see from the last 2 items, not all of the Trail Development work is done ‘out on the trail’.

The Friends website provides a great deal of information for our members doing End to End walks as well as walkers from interstate and overseas. The Office often gets news of trail closures,  re-routes, changes to fire danger seasons and requests for updates to the accommodation list.  It takes a bit of effort to keep this information up to date.

If you have an interest in helping us in this work, there are a number of jobs that you can do at home in your own time.  If you would like to help, we’d like to hear from you. Simply send an email to the Office and we will find a job to suit you. We can provide training in WordPress, the publishing software that we use on the website. It isn’t too difficult to use.

Our next issue

The next meeting of the Trail Development Committee will be held on October 14th. Keep your eye out for the next issue of the Trail Development News sometime after that. Remember – if you have ideas or comments please send them through to the Office.

Introduction to Walk Leader Training Night. Tuesday 8th Oct 2019.

A Friends Trailstarter walk at Hallett Cove Conservation Park

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

Have you got a favourite short walk that you would like to share with others?

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. With an increasing number of members, we have more walkers keen to ‘get out on a trail’. We need new leaders prepared to show others the way.

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. The Walk Committee will offer you further support and assistance and help you plan and lead walks. An experienced leader will accompany you on your first walk.

If you are interested come on and give it a try. There is no pressure – attending does not oblige you to lead walks.

How

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

Where

Woodville Bowling Club, Oval Avenue,  Woodville South.

When

Time-7.00 to 9:00pm, including a Tea Break.

If you have any questions, please send an email to the Office and one of the leaders will contact you. You can also use the red text hyper link on the walk description to email the leaders directly..

Access to off-track walking may be under threat in the Flinders Ranges and beyond – Pastoral Act Review

Maybe a slightly alarmist subject line, but possibly the case. Walkers ability to access pastoral leases may change, with changes to the way pastoral leaseholders are allowed to manage the land, read on.

The info below has been provided by Walking SA, and is being sent to members of the Friends of the Heysen Trail so they have the information, and can then completed the survey if they have the interest. (many sections of the survey will not be applicable to walkers, so answer “no comment” where applicable). A thorough survey response might take 20-30mins. At the bottom of this email is a table of relevant questions from the survey. The closing date for comments has been extended to 5pm Monday 30 September 2019.

This is of keen interest to FoHT members who undertake extra-circular walks further north, and for any planned FoHT northern trips away. The Friends are with Walking SA in wanting to retain the right to walk through the pastoral country as has been our right since settlement. Sure there will likely be some areas with no, or restricted, access to allow for tourism, cultural sensitivities, or mining activities, yet this should not restrict activity outside those limited, defined areas.

Review of Pastoral Act may impact access for recreational bushwalkers in the Flinders Ranges

What is the issue?

The State Government is seeking input in order to review the Pastoral Act.

Much of the land in the Flinders Ranges north of Hawker is not private freehold land but instead is leased from the State Government to pastoralists to undertake grazing ventures[i], and recognises the rights of Aboriginal people.

As the land is leased, people can undertake recreational off-trail bushwalking in these remote locations. They must notify the lessee of their intentions to walk, and the lessee can only deny access in certain scenarios.

To clarify, by “off-trail bushwalking” we often mean following old vehicle tracks, or walking in a low impact environment, and can include camping for a few nights.

The Act also provides what are called Public Access Routes (PARs), which are often used by 4WDers for recreational use. They will likely probably remain, but our concerns are for access to other lands not part of PARs.

How could changes to Pastoral Act impact on recreational bushwalking? What are our concerns?

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 13th September to Monday 16th September 2019.

Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby at Buckaringa Wildlife Sanctuary in the Flinders Ranges.

The Buckaringa Sanctuary will be temporarily closed during the second weekend in mid September . 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 13th September to Monday morning 16th September 2019.

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.