Mt Lofty Ranges Fire Danger Season extended to May 12, 2019.

Walkers are asked to observe extension of the fire danger season.

Closure of the Heysen Trail between Cape Jervis & Tanunda extended until 13 May 2019.

The Country Fire Service (CFS) has extended the Fire Danger Season for the Mount Lofty Ranges. This is due to lower than average rainfalls combined with higher than average temperatures.

This means that most sections of the Heysen Trail south of Tanunda will not be open until May 13, 2019.

There is also a 4-day closure in Deep Creek Conservation Park that will extend the opening of the Heysen Trail in the park to May 17, 2019 – this closure is from May 13 to 12.00am Friday 17 May, 2019 and is to protect public safety during an Aerial feral animal control program.

You are required to defer walks in these areas until further notice. You can find information about the extension of the fire danger season in the Mt Lofty Ranges District on the CFS website.

Mid North District Fire Danger Season to end after 30 April 30 2019.

The CFS has confirmed that fire restrictions affecting the section of the trail north of Tanunda  and south of the Wirrabara Forest will be lifted on  May 1 2019.

Flinders Fire Danger Season continues through to 15 April 2019.

Fire restrictions in the Flinders District continue until April 15 2019. This means that walkers will be able to use the Heysen Trail north of Wirrabara Forest on 16 April 2019 .

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.

Limited access to the Heysen Trail continues through the Fire Danger Season

Some sections of the Heysen Trail may still be open to walkers prior to the cessation of the fire danger periods.

The sections that remain open are principally those 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.

As a result, if you want to walk on the trail, check which Fire District you will be in. The Fire Districts are listed on the Fire Danger Season page of the Friends website and on the Google map.

We strongly advise you to respect the rights of landholders. Please restrict any activity which may increase the risk of fire in this period and potentially inhibit continued walker access to the trail.

Hearing about Reconciliation from E2E8 walker Mark Waters

We were privileged at the December meeting of Council to have the opportunity to hear a presentation about Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people from one of our members. Mark Waters completed the trail with E2E8 in August and worked within Reconciliation SA for eight years. The presentation initially arose from members of E2E8 asking questions about what Aboriginal country we cross as we walk along the trail. This led the group to decide to commence its walks with an Acknowledgement of Country. It seems awareness was growing among Friends as similar discussions had occurred during a couple of other E2E walks I joined last year. Mark took the initiative to write to the Friends about generating a broader discussion.

The Reconciliation SA website outlines the following information:

‘Reconciliation’ is about Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians talking, walking and working together to overcome the reasons that there is division and inequality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Reconciliation has both symbolic and practical elements. A spirit of goodwill, mutual respect and recognition of the effects of colonisation on Australia’s first people are the symbolic cornerstones of reconciliation effort.

In South Australia, an Acknowledgement of Country is a way of showing respect and awareness of Aboriginal owners of the land on which a meeting or event is being held, and of recognising the continuing connection of Aboriginal peoples to their Country. It is a demonstration of respect dedicated to the traditional custodians of the land or sea where the gathering of participants is being conducted. Government agencies and community organisations are adopting the practice of acknowledging the traditional custodians of Country at events, ceremonies, meetings and functions.

Awareness about Aboriginal history in SA and connection to country has grown since the Heysen Trail was developed 30 years ago. Council members were very interested and receptive to the discussion and felt that it was a good opportunity for the Friends to consider how we can understand more about the deep history of the areas we traverse. This is likely to be an ongoing conversation within the Friends and will also be raised at our next meeting with senior officers from the Department for Environment and Water, as owners of the trail.

Our new book Heysen Highlights includes a map identifying Aboriginal language groups along the Heysen Trail. Members are strongly encouraged to find out more and to consider showing respect through an Acknowledgement of Country at relevant times during the walk season. Council will provide further information about the Aboriginal lands that the trail traverses and a guide for appropriate words that may be used by walking groups.

Melanie Sjoberg
President, Friends of the Heysen trail

Friends of the Heysen Trail – Walk Fee increase 2019

For well over 10 years the Friends has maintained a standard walk fee for its End to End, Trail Walker and Trail Starter walks.

Despite extensive commitment by so many of our volunteers, the broader cost of living is having an impact and costs of running the organisation are growing: office rent, administration & insurance.

New fees for walks conducted after 1 May 2019.

On that basis, the Friends Council has determined an increase to walk fees will apply for the 2019 walk season as follows:

  • Casual walk fee – new rate of $10 will apply to walks scheduled on or after 1 May 2019.
  • Golden Boots Card – new fee of $75 will apply to any purchase on or after 1 May 2019. 

The changes have been made administratively on the website. Members won’t need to do anything different when registering for a walk.

Twilight walk fees will not change.

Members with a current Golden Boots card will be able to continue to use that until it reaches the expiry date.  In other words, any Golden Boots card purchased on or before 29 April 2019 will apply until the relevant expiry date during 2019 – 20.

Friends’ Volunteers will continue to be issued with a Golden Boots card to use during the walk season in recognition of the time and commitment given to the Friends and the Heysen Trail.

Join the Friends before May 31, 2019

Join the Friends of the Heysen Trail before 31st May and win.

Financial members of the Friends of the Heysen Trail support the ongoing maintenance and greening of South Australia’s premier walking trail; participate in an extensive 2019 walks programme and receive the quarterly full-colour 32-page Trailwalker magazine.

If you join the Friends of the Heysen Trail between 1st March and 31st May 2019 your name goes into the draw to win a 2-day guided walk on the Heysen Trail and overnight accommodation at Heysen’s Rest B&B, Myponga*. The accommodation includes complimentary beer and wine, and provisions for a cooked breakfast; drop off at the end of your guided walk and pick up next morning from your accommodation.

One year’s membership costs only $25 single, $40 family and $10 student. The easiest way is to join on-line. Simply go to the membership page of the Friends of the Heysen Trail website for more information and to join.

Our website also has more information about the Heysen Trail, Friends activities and our walking program.

*The prize must be redeemed in the 12-month period following the closing date of the competition. Accommodation is limited to two adults, although the winners can bring family and guests on the guided walk. Competition closes Friday 31st May 2019. The winner will be notified after the draw in the Friends of the Heysen Trail office at Suite 212 Epworth Building, 33 Pirie Street, Adelaide 5000.

Bookings for End-to-End 14 open on Monday March 18th 2019.

Our End-to-End 14 walks commence on Sunday May 5th 2019.

The Friends’ 14th End-to-End group (E2E14) will set out from Cape Jervis on Sunday 5th May. If you want to join the group in its 1,200 km trek along South Australia’s iconic walking trail, here is your chance.

How to register for the first walk.

Bookings for the first walk will be via the online registration system  and will open at 12.01am on Monday 18 March.

The number of walkers who can join the group is limited by the number of leaders and the capacity of the buses we use: approximately 75 walkers, including leaders.

Due to the anticipated high demand for joining the group, bookings are taken on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. We expect bookings will fill very quickly.  Our online registration system is set to switch over to an overflow list once the number of bookings nears capacity.

Apart from the overflow list, we do not maintain an early registration/waiting list. In fairness to all, bookings are taken only using the on-line registration system. This means if you want to make sure of joining the group, you and your friends need to stay up late on Sunday night and register for the walk as soon as possible after midnight. If you have created a family membership, you can book for all members of your family simultaneously.

If you are thinking of joining the first walk, the best advice is to become familiar with the walk booking process before March 18th. You will find it quicker to book onto the walk if you have already joined the Friends, either as a financial or a guest member. You can find out more information about membership of the Friends here.

If you have questions about our End to End walks you can find the answers here.

Introductory walk on Sunday March 31.

To give everyone joining E2E14 a taste of what lies ahead, the walk leaders have organised a preliminary walk on Sunday March 31.

Walkers who register for the May 5th walk from Cape Jervis will receive an email invitation to register for the Introductory walk. The location of the will be the Cleland Conservation Park.

This walk will be a good opportunity to meet the leaders and also ask any questions you may have about E2E walks. With a distance of about 10 kms, the walk will be a bit shorter than the first official walk. However it will still give a taste of what lies ahead with sections of narrow paths on hillsides and some challenging hill climbs.

It is a loop walk so you will be starting and finishing at your cars.

Good luck to intending walkers. The leadership team look forward to joining you on the trail.

Announcement of the Friends’ AGM

To be held on Friday March 22nd 2019

The 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails Inc. will be held at 7.30 pm on Friday March 22nd 2019. The venue will be the Woodville Lawn Bowling Club, Oval Avenue, Woodville.

Nominations are sought from you, our members, for election to the Friends Council at the AGM, for positions including Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and half the remaining members. Our Constitution calls for not less than four and no more than ten non office-bearing members.

Briony Ankor who through-walked the Heysen Trail to raise awareness and funds for narcolepsyOur guest speaker will be Briony Ankor, who, in 2018 hiked the Heysen Trail solo using this challenge to raise funds and awareness of Narcolepsy.

Hear about our Association’s activities in 2018 and plans for 2019.

Meet your council (they are the people who make the decisions) and find out what we intend to do to further develop, maintain and promote the use of the Heysen and other walking trails.

View further information about when Council meetings are held and the role of a Councilor. Download the Nomination Form for Council.

AGM Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Acceptance of Minutes of the previous AGM held on March 23rd 2018.
  3. President’s Report
  4. Financial Report
  5. Trail Development Report
  6. Election of Officers
    6.1 Vice President
    6.2 Treasurer
    6.3 Secretary
    6.4 Council Members
  7. Appointment of Auditor
  8. Appointment of Honorary Members
  9. Any  Other Business
  10. Close of Meeting

Any member wishing to move a motion at the AGM should be aware of the Constitutional requirements:

‘Notice of any such motion proposed to be moved at a General Meeting by any member not being a member of the Council shall be signed by the proposer and seconder and shall be delivered to the Secretary at least seven days before the meeting. No motion moved by any member other than a member of the Council shall be entertained by the meeting unless notice thereof has been given as aforesaid.’

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park closure affects access for Heysen Trail walkers.

Heysen Trail access affected by temporary closure of  Telowie Gorge Conservation Park

across the Gulf

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park will be closed from 6am Saturday, 16 February 2019 until 6:00 pm on Friday 22 February 2019. Walkers will not be able to use the Heysen Trail in this area.

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 Conservation Park, walkers would normally still have access unless a total fire ban has been announced for the day.

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

The Telowie Gorge Conservation Park is found on Heysen Trail Sheet Map 6A and Map 2.7 of the Heysen Trail Northern Guide.

Walkers intending to use the Heysen Trail in that area in the next week need to be aware of this closure.

For more information about the control program or park closure, please contact the Clare Natural Resources Centre on phone: (08) 8841 3400

Closures of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park to affect Heysen Trail walkers.

Feral animal control continues in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.

The Department for Environment & Water has advised that there will be a series of closures affecting the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park over the coming months.

The Park closures are for the purpose of undertaking and monitoring a pest control program.  The first closure will occur next week and will affect Heysen Trail walkers.

As we are now in the fire danger season, walkers should be aware that most sections of the Heysen Trail are closed. However, as the Trail passes through the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, walkers would normally still have access, unless a total fire ban has been announced for the day.

The list of closures that will affect Heysen Trail walkers are as follows:

  • 6.00am Monday February 18 to 9.00pm Saturday February 23rd 2019

During the closure, there some areas of the park will remain open. Refer to the Parks Alert page for further information about this closure.

  • 6.00am Tuesday March 19 to 9.00pm Thursday March 21st 2019

Again there will be some areas of the park that will remain open. Refer to this Parks Alert page for further information about the March closure

  • Evening/night time closures will continue through to Monday, 30 September 2019.

A number of tracks within the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, will remain closed each night until the end of September 2019. The current feral animal control program has been extended, so walkers are advised to exercise caution in the area.

The purpose of the extended closures is to ensure the safety of the public during a feral cat control program to be conducted after dark. The aim is to protect the populations of recently reintroduced Western Quolls and Brushtail Possums.

Closure times

As daylight hours vary over the period of the night time control program, there are a range of closure times. They are:

  • Thursday 31 January 2018 to Thursday, 28 February 2018                         8.30pm to 5.00am
  • Thursday, 28 February 2018  to Tuesday, 30 April 2018                              8.00pm to 5.00am
  • Tuesday, 30 April 2018 to Wednesday, 31 July 2018                                     6.00pm to 5.00am
  • Wednesday, 31 July 2018 to Monday, 30 September 2018                          6.30pm to 5.00am

The list of trails and tracks that will be closed can be found here. The tracks and walking trails will remain open outside of these times.

During the period of the evening/night closures, the Heysen Trail will remain open.  However walkers must:

  • remain in designated campgrounds and huts, or
  • camp within 20 metres of the Heysen Trail within the park after dark.

If you are camping in the park, you may see spotlights and occasionally hear firearms in the distance at night. The Rangers have advised that the control program will not take place in the vicinity of campgrounds or huts.

Further information

You can get further information on the feral animal control program and these trail closures from the Natural Resource Centre – Port Augusta.

Phone: (+61 8) 8648 5300

Email:  DEW.SAALParksAccommodation@sa.gov.au