We need to care for and protect the trail
As the COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed within South Australia, people were encouraged to travel within our State.
Many have tried bushwalking and camping for the first time, some doing it better than others.
Increased demand for Parks SA campsites
On many weekends, the Parks SA campsites have been fully booked resulting in some people apparently camping wherever they can find a spot.
Sometimes this has occurred on private land and at other times, Google has directed vehicle-based campers towards the Heysen Trail campsites, that are intended as “walk in” sites. The Friends have taken some steps to make our sites less visible to Google and the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) is addressing the issue from an official standing.
While it is preaching to the converted, we all need to remember to follow good bushwalking and camping etiquette:
Leave no trace
- Leave campsites better than you found them.
- Use existing fireplaces or carry cooking equipment when possible, and do not scar the landscape with fire rings.
- Comply with fuel-stove only requirements.
- Do not pollute the ground and waterways with soaps and detergents.
- Remove our rubbish from the bush and bury human waste away from watercourses.
- Do not remove plants or rocks from National Parks.
- Do not disturb native wildlife.
- Avoid easily damaged places such as peat bogs, cushion moss, swamps and fragile rock formations.
- Use existing tracks where possible and avoid creating multiple tracks which lead to erosion.
Report damage to trail campsites, markers and other assets
- If you find campsites, tanks, stiles and trail markers need attention please let us know.
- DEW & the Friends Trail Maintenance volunteers rely on trail users for your help.
- You can report problems to the Friends using our website contact form .
- Have appropriate first aid skills and carry first aid kits.
- Comply with the trail closure periods over the Fire Danger Season.
- Do not enter closed Parks or any section of the trail that is shown as closed.
- Only light fires when it is permitted and ensure they are fully extinguished.
- Carry sufficient food and water in order to survive unexpected delays.
- Wear or carry appropriate clothing and equipment for our comfort and safety in the worst possible conditions we are likely to encounter.
Respect all bushwalkers
- Respect the right of bushwalkers to enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush.
- Help fellow bushwalkers in need.
Respect indigenous culture
- Acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk.
- Treat sites of spiritual or cultural significance with respect.
- Obtain permission from traditional landowners or the relevant land manager to visit sensitive areas.
- Do not damage aboriginal rock art or camp under overhangs that contain aboriginal rock art.
- Respect landowners and do not trespass on their land.
- Leave farm gates as we find them.
- Respect the rules of National Parks, and other land managers, regarding camping conditions, maximum numbers in wilderness areas, pets, permitted activities and park closures.
As much of the Heysen Trail traverses private land, it is essential that hikers do all we can to help to protect that privilege.
While leaving farm gates as found may not seem to be critical to the non-farming community, it is an important part of farm management. If it’s closed, leave it closed to prevent grazing animals moving through paddocks or if it’s open, it may be to allow stock to move into another paddock.
It is worth remembering that in one way or another, someone is responsible for managing the land that we walk over. We are their guests.