Heysen Trail Closure – Southern Flinders Ranges – 22nd to 28th February 2020.

Heysen Trail walkers are advised that the following parks in the Southern Flinders Ranges will be closed from 6am Saturday, 22 February 2020 until 6pm Friday, 28 February 2020:

  • Telowie Gorge Conservation Park,
  • The Napperby Block of Mount Remarkable National Park,
  • Spaniards Gully Conservation Park and
  • Wirrabara Range Conservation Park

Walkers will not be able to access the Heysen Trail in these parks during this period.

The parks will be closed for the purpose of undertaking a pest control program. Walkers need to take note of this closure and avoid that section of the trail during those dates.

Heysen Trail closure during the Fire Danger Season

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 already closed.

Some sections of the Heysen Trail may be open during the Fire Danger Season – principally those not on private land. The areas that are open (other than on total fire ban days) include Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests, public roads and vacant land.

The closure of these conservation parks later this week therefore places additional restrictions on walkers.

Telowie Gorge Conservation park

You can get a further explanation about access to the Heysen Trail during the fire season from our Fire Danger Season webpage.

Please that the Friend’s website will be undergoing maintenance for a few days from early on Tuesday February 18th 2020. If you want to read about the fire danger season but the webpage is not available, please try again later.

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.

Announcement of the Friends’ 33rd AGM

To be held on Friday March 20th 2020

You are invited to attend the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails Inc. The meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on Friday March 20th 2020. The venue will be the Woodville Lawn Bowling Club, Oval Avenue, Woodville.

We are seeking nominations from you, our members, for election to the Friends Council at the AGM. There are vacancies in the following positions:

  • Vice President,
  • Secretary,
  • Treasurer and
  • half of the remaining members.

Our Constitution calls for not less than four and no more than ten non office-bearing members.

Our guest speaker will be a double act this year, Paul Nicholas and Eric Felgate. They managed the restoration and renovation of many of the iconic huts along the Trail including Mayo, Marschalls and Curnows with the help of men from Uniting Communities men’s shelters. This is their story!

You will also hear about our Association’s activities in 2019 and plans for 2020.

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

If you are thinking of becoming more involved please check the information and nomination form that you find in the Autumn issue of the Trailwalker which will be issuing shortly.

Please bring a plate. The bar will be open for drinks. Coffee and tea will be available.

AGM Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Acceptance of Minutes of the previous AGM held on March 22nd 2019.
  3. President’s Report
  4. Financial Report
  5. Election of Officers
    1. Vice President
    2. Secretary
    3. Treasurer
    4. Council Members
  6.  Appointment of the Auditor
  7.  Election of Honorary Members
  8.  Other Business
  9.  Close 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.’

Trail Development News, No. 14 – Feb. 2020

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.

See the Volunteer Support policy at https://heysentrail.asn.au/friends/policy/volunteer-support-policy/ for information on recognition of volunteers as well as reimbursement of expenses.  For more information, and to register your interest in any of these events, please see the Walks Page on the Friends of the Heysen Trail web site.

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.

Thurs 20th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 27th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 5th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 12th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 19th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 26th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 2nd The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 9th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 16th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 16th to Sun 19th Eyre Depot Arden Creek Maintenance Trip
Fri 17th to Sun 19th Marschalls Hut project supported by E2E11
Thurs 23rd The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 30th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Mon 11th to Fri 15th Hiskey Hut
Fri 15th to Sat 16th Remark trail – Buckaringa North to Willochra Creek

Date to be confirmed – Black Jack toilet rebuild


Eyre Depot Recce – Julian Monfries

With a trip looming in April to install a toilet, replace a tank and realign the route around the notorious Mt Arden waterfall, a group of volunteers ventured to Eyre Depot on February 7th and 8th to undertake a recce.

Lead by Simon Cameron, the section leader for the area, along with Colin Edwards and Julian Monfries a hurried trip north was undertaken.

Heavy rain the previous week made the drive to Wilkatana a bit hairy, with deep washaways, mud and clay to contend with.

Luckily, despite some damage to the access tracks on the drive from the Old Leigh Creek Road and the good graces of Andrew Smart, the manager of Wilkatana, in grading the roads, we got into Eyre Depot without too much anxiety.

The first task was to assess the route around the waterfall up Mount Arden Creek to avoid the steep, slippery descent above the waterfall heading north.

It was decided that a better alignment of the track higher up the ridge with a safer descent into the creek, beyond the waterfall, would be suitable for north walkers and the current route be used for south walkers.

The plan is to mark this in April this year with a team of volunteers (see following item).

Having established a plan to realign the Trail there, it was back to Eyre Depot to sort out access to the current tank and campsite for trailer and vehicles. The problem has been a deep washaway between the Eyre Depot gate and the current tank/campsite. Luckily, a short walk towards the range, a suitable path for vehicles and loaded trailers was found, requiring minimal effort to get to the worksite.

The tank at Eyre Depot had been reported as empty an inspection proved this was correct, and the culprit was determined to be a 2 cm hole in the base. This was especially disappointing as inspection in April last year showed it was full and the heavy rain the previous week which should have topped it up.

A site for the toilet was located and preparatory digging started as the soil was soft. It was remarkable how far the moisture has penetrated auguring well for final installation in April.

Having completed the recce the team headed home.


Mt Arden waterfall

Mt Arden waterfall

Mt Arden waterfall bypass, heading south

Mt Arden waterfall bypass, heading south

Simon digs a hole – Colin looks on.

Eyre Depot Arden Creek Maintenance Trip April 16th to 19th 2020  – Julian Monfries

Team Leader – Simon Cameron

Where – Eyre Depot staying at Wilkatana Shearers Quarters  – will need sleeping bags.

When – Thursday 16th April to Sunday 19th April

Inclusions – Evening meals each night

Exclusions – breakfast, lunches, nibbles and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and international air travel.


Thursday        Drive up with two vehicles and two trailers carrying the new toilet, a replacement tank and a platform.  The loaded trailers will be collected from Cobblers Creek that morning.

Drive into Eyre Depot and deliver the trailers to the work site and if possible, install the tank, or the platform, or both. Some track work may be needed to access the site.

Friday            Split into track realignment team, and infrastructure team

The track realignment will take one 4WD to access the Trail up Arden Creek and walk in.

They will remark the Trail over the waterfall, with a new northern alignment, retaining the current route for southern walkers and mark appropriately.

The infrastructure team will complete the site work for installation of  the toilet, which includes completing the long drop excavation and installing the toilet frame etc.

Saturday          Complete the installation of the toilet, wall cladding, roofing, install a “modesty screen” and toilet tank.

Sunday             Drive home

Cudlee Creek Fire – Colin Edwards

We have been advised by Forestry SA (Andrew Moylan) that the recent bushfire at Cudlee Creek has left a significant number of trees near the Trail in a dangerous state, with the possibility of falling on windy days. FSA have requested that the trail south of Holland Creek Road be temporarily rerouted.

The reroute around this area has not as yet been agreed on. Temporary marking will be needed. As we have found in the past this will be in place certainly for the 2020 walking season. A call for volunteers will be posted on the web site to do the marking as soon as possible.

Actual damage to the trail is minimal with the main damage being to the tank shelter frame which will probably require a new structure. The new platform recently installed was not damaged.

Cobbler Creek Shed – Colin Edwards

Projects undertaken during 2019, the cabin renovation and installation at Black Jack, several long bench seats and other furniture required working mainly with timber. This year will be a change to mainly working with steel, needing cutting, grinding, welding etc. This is due to the expense and supply of timber, and, it is environmentally more acceptable.

For this work we will be using a mig welder which will mean tuition and supervision for the start of the year. This should not be too challenging. It is worth noting that our most proficient arc welder last year was a female and she supplied great cakes.

The 2020 work started at the shed on Feb 6th and will continue as before – every Thursday from 9am to 2pm as posted on the FOHT Walking Program.

2020 ProjectsColin Edwards

  • Complete and modify two toilet frames
  • Manufacture four tank shelters
  • Fence stiles in future will be steel frame. Manufacture ten for stock
  • Platforms are being redesigned but could be a mix of steel and timber. We  have budgeted to manufacture ten units

Trail Development Committee

Easy membership renewals coming – we’re getting ready to upgrade our website

As a part the upgrade of our membership and walk registration system we will be temporarily suspending online walk registrations for a day or so.

What are we doing?

We are updating the software that we use to run the membership and walk registration system. These changes to the ‘back end’ are mainly going to affect our Office Volunteers and Walk Leaders, but the system will make it easier to renew your membership.

We’ve chosen a period of low demand to make the change. This will allow us to be ready for the period of increased website traffic during the walk season.

Will the change affect you?

Apart from the temporary reduction in services on our website, our members and frequent visitors won’t notice many changes.

Our website address will continue as https://heysentrail.asn.au.

After the upgrade, the Walk Calendar on the website will look slightly different. But the calendar will operate much the same as the one you are familiar with.

There will be a welcome change for anyone intending to register for our End to End 15 walk. Registrations for this and all other events will no longer have a set opening time of midnight. Bookings will generally open at 7am instead.

You can help make the change easy

Over the next week our Office Volunteers will be undertaking training in using the new system.

If you need to renew your membership or register for a walk, we ask you to use the existing website. It will be operating normally until late on Monday February 17th.

If you contact the Office before the shutdown, we may not be able to answer the phone immediately. For urgent enquiries, please send us an email which we will action it as soon as we can.