The Friends End of Year Bash is on again at Belair, November 26th 2023

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

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

Let’s gather to celebrate a year of walking and wonder on The Trail.

Family and friends of members are welcome.

Date and Time : Sunday November 26th, 12 noon to 4.30 pm

Place: Main Pavilion, Belair National Park

What to bring: BYO food, drinks, chairs (there are some bench seats in the Pavilion), cutlery, drinkware  or anything else you need to share the day with walking friends and your families.

Cost and Booking: There is no charge for this event but you need to book so we can give Belair National Park some idea of numbers.

Bookings are now open so you can use this link to register on the Walk Calendar on our website.

Bookings close on Monday November 20th.

The 2024 Calendar will be available for collection at this event.

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

We look forward to seeing you there.

Big bold idea for Heysen Trail Northern Trailhead

The Existing Northern Trailhead

Exciting news about a bold new proposal to enhance the Heysen Trail northern Trailhead!!

Do you remember the feeling as you started or completed the Heysen at the Parachilna Gorge trailhead?   Many have described the climb over that Trailhead stile as “underwhelming” – for such a grand occasion.

The new design – northbound view

In 2022, The Friends Council supported a proposal to investigate ways to give the 30+ year old Trailhead a makeover.

We envisaged a gateway offering a greater sense of significance and a place of arrival/launching for the 1200km Heysen achievement.

The Friends engaged Landscape Architects to work with The Friends and consult with local landholders, community organisations, and local Adnyamathanha representatives, about a suitable concept – a concept that The Friends Council has now endorsed.

After preliminary discussion with the Department for Environment & Water (DEW), The Friends are optimistic that the go ahead for the concept will be forthcoming.

The southbound view

The design concept, shown to the right, looks inspiring and will incorporate planting / landscaping.

A more detailed design package is available by clicking on this link: Heysen Trail Northern Trailhead.

We hope you’ll agree that it’s a worthwhile and very exciting project!

FOHT Website Review – Update

Members would be aware that The Friends Promotion: Membership & Marketing Standing Committee (PMM) has been canvassing views about the need to improve and modernize our website.  Consultation across the Friends Committees and a member survey have informed the assessment that it is time to generate a visually appealing website with simpler navigation.

PMM has now completed a tender process by engaging an experienced design and software team to provide The Friends with future design options.  PMM is aiming for completion in 2024.

FoHT new Council & Annual Report 2022

Member News: FOHT new Council & Annual Report 2022

The Friends AGM on 5 April 2023 at Torrens Rowing Club was well attended with an upbeat vibe and lots of chatting among members.  Thank you all for your membership, engagement and volunteering to keep the Friends and Heysen Trail alive.

Please welcome the incoming Council Members listed below who will continue that commitment.

2023 FOHT Office Bearers & Council Positions

Reminder that the revised FOHT Constitution adopted in 2022 included provision to assist renewal that all member are elected for 2 year terms, a limit of 3 x 2 years continuous in an Office Bearer position and maximum 12 years continuous for any Council member.

  • President – Neil Hendry
  • Vice President – Melanie Sjoberg
  • Secretary – Vicki Stewart continuing in current 2 year term
  • Treasurer – Basia Samcewicz continuing in current 2 year term

Council Members

  • Continuing in current 2 year term – Barbara Deed; John Babister; Margaret Fletcher.
  • Newly elected: Paul Bond; Judy McAdam; Ross McDougall; Kathy Wright; Mark Fletcher.

FOHT achievements and financial statements were presented and approved at the AGM.  The FOHT Annual Report for 2022 outlining those presentations is attached for your information.

New Heysen Trail Map 1, including the Wild South Coast Way.

Release of the new Heysen Trail Map 1, incorporating the Wild South Coast Way

The Friends have taken delivery of the revised version of the Heysen Trail map sheet 1.  The newly released Edition 2 map covers the Cape Jervis to Kuitpo section of the trail. It incorporates the Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail – the 74 km long series of spectacular walks between Cape Jervis & Victor Harbor.

You can purchase the new map sheet now via our online store, for $15 with postage from $3.70.

The map shows several spur and loop trails associated with the Wild South Coast Way, the new ‘walk-in’ campsites and other facilities erected on the trail. It also has information about when you can walk the Wild South Coast Way – it is open year round except on days of Cat­a­stroph­ic fire danger.

Remember, you can sign up to receive re-route notifications for your map sheet editions. All map sheets published since 2014 are available for notification.

The Friends map and book clearance sale continues

Meanwhile the Friends map and book clearance sale continues. We are running low on stock of most of our ‘to be discontinued lines’.

We’ve sold our last copy of Warren Bonython’s classic, ‘Walking the Flinders Ranges’. However, we have been advised that the Royal Geographical Society have a few remaining copies. If you missed out on reading the story that led to the creation of the Heysen Trail, you can purchase the book from the RGSSA .

Walk Leader Training

Some people find leading a walk to be a very rewarding experience.

Do you have a favourite walk that you would like to share with others?
Are you interested or considering leading one or more walks for the Friends?

Why don’t you give it a try?

Prospective leaders or anyone thinking about what is involved are welcome to attend the Walk Leader Training scheduled for Saturday 15th October.

The half day session will lead you through the basics of what is involved in leading a walk.

To start the day, a panel of experienced leaders will introduce the skills needed to lead a walk. You may find that you have them already.

Depending on your interest or experience, you may prefer to lead short walk such as a Summer walk or a Trail Starter. The day will also cover what is involved with leading a Trailwalker or even End to End walks.

There will be an interactive session to answer your questions. After that attendees will break into small groups to plan a walk.

You can find out more about the event and register here.
After registering you will receive some information to help you prepare for the training. This will be sent out a few days prior to the day.

The Walk Committee will support you.

This is a great opportunity to understand what is involved in leading a walk with the Friends of the Heysen Trail.
Our many walking members need leaders, so other leaders will help you!

The Friends Office to reopen on Tuesday 1st February, 2022 – but operations limited due to COVID.

Office Volunteers Information Day cancelled due to concerns over COVID

After a break over Christmas, our Office Volunteers were to attend our annual Volunteer’s Information Day on Monday.

However due to the current COVID outbreak we have cancelled the meeting.

The Office will re-open for restricted operations – but will remain closed to visitors

As of Tuesday we will have a limited number of volunteers in attendance at the Office.
As a further precaution against the spread of COVID, the Office will not be open to visitors or customers.

Our volunteers will be available from 10.30am to 2.30pm to undertake the following administrative tasks:

  • Attend to emails and phone calls,
  • Process On-line shop orders, Membership enquiries and renewals,
  • Answer questions about walking the Heysen Trail,
  • Walk registrations can be made using our online walk calendar but you can also contact the Office if you need assistance.

Full contact details can be found on our website at heysentrail.asn.au/contact

As there will be a limited number of volunteers in attendance and we already have to deal with correspondence received over the break, please be patient if there is a delay in responding to your enquiry.

Access to the Trail over the Fire Danger period

We remind walkers that many sections of the Heysen Trail remain closed over summer and through April. You can find more information about the closures on our Fire Danger Season page.

We will be monitoring advice from SA Health as the situation develops

We trust you will understand the precautions we are taking in the interest of safeguarding the health of our volunteers and their families.

We intend to reopen the Office for ‘drop-in customer’ service as soon as it is considered safe to do so.

Vale David Beaton 1942-2021

David joined the Friends in 1996 about the time he retired from teaching. Within two years he had become entrenched in the office and become co-Membership Secretary in 1998, a post he held until 2009. At the same time, he joined the Walk Committee and started leading walks for the Friends.

The genesis of the End to End walk program

In 1999, at Walk Committee meeting, David suggested that, as we maintained the Trail, maybe we should also be facilitating our walking members to undertake the Trail, End to End.

As the first walk started in 2000, it was known as the Millenium Walk, however over time this has morphed into End-to-End One and then the End-to-End programme.

Consequently, he co-lead the first End to End, starting in 2000 and finishing in 2006 and then 2002, not happy with heading north, he started a southern trek from Parachilna south which he completed the next year.

The End to End walks have become extraordinarily popular as a result consequence of a simple suggestion, he made in 1999. The result so far is 15 groups and over 1,100 people introduced to hiking and the Heysen Trail.

David, the Administrator

Trail Maintenance

Trail Maintenance at Bridle Gap

David joined the Friend’s Council in 2003 and became Secretary in 2006, a position he held until 2008.

He was also a keen participant in maintenance, as Section Leader, strong, resilient, and resourceful and like many big men, quiet and thoughtful. His counsel was always considerate and considered.

In 2007, David was elected as an Honorary Member for his considerable contribution to the Friends.
In 2017, Walking SA bestowed on David a Special Recognition Award for his contribution to walking and the Friends.

Our 2021-22 Summer walks commence this week.

As the walking season has come to a close, the arrival of warmer evenings and daylight saving has heralded the beginning of our Summer Walks. These are generally a 1.5-2 hour evening walk most weeks until March. Some longer walks may be held during the day.

The full programme will soon be listed on our walk calendar but here are the details for the first five walks:

Friday 29th October, 6pm: Semaphore/West Lakes/Tennyson

This is a summer/sunset 10klm loop walk, taking in the views from the lake and hopefully the sunset from the Tennyson trail and viewing platform. Their will be an optional dinner at the Big Shed brewery after the walk.

Wednesday 3rd November 6pm: Springfield-Waite

A suburban hike through leafy (but rather hilly) Springfield, skirting Carrick Hill and Waite Conservation Park with a smidge of the Yurrebilla Trail.

Wednesday 10th November 6pm: Wirraparinga Loop

A walk along the 5km Wirraparinga Loop Trail in Brownhill Recreation Park, with a detour along the Springbank Trail. Optional dinner or a refreshment at nearby Edinburgh Hotel.

Thursday 18th November 8am: Old Noarlunga Loop

A brisk morning wake up walk taking in the lower reaches of the Onkaparinga River and with a serious climb to deliver views across to the coast.

Wednesday 24th November 6.00pm: Torrens Linear Park – Lockleys

This walk winds along the River Torrens linear path. An easy 6 km walk, with no hills. Enjoy the wildlife, reed beds and gum trees abundant with birdlife. There will be a post walk dinner at the nearby Lockleys Hotel.

Walk fees

Pay with either option:

  • a Golden Boots pass, which are accepted for Twilight walks
  • Summer walk casual fees are $5.00 ($1.00 for walkers under 18 years of age)

Register on-line 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. A Golden Boots pass costs $75 and can be used on Summer, End to End and Trail Starter/Trailwalker walks for 12 months from the day of purchase.

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

Vale Cliff Walsh

Cliff – Change Agent

Cliff will not be well known to most Friends Members, however he played a pivotal role in the organisation’s resurgence in the early 2000s.

He realised the financial survival of the Friends depended on left over grant money that accrued interest, in the days when investments did that. And that was not very much. At that time, the Friends’ council dealt with the entire management process and Cliff thought that streamlining the various processes, using the committee structure, would benefit the organisation. Consequently, subcommittees of the Friends, i.e., Walking, Membership and Marketing, Financial and Trail Maintenance could focus on their tasks, improving efficiency. This, plus a dynamic council, could concentrate on increasing membership, revitalising the walking programme and generating yearly surpluses that could be churned back into the Trail though the Maintenance Committee. As a result, this lead to a massive increase in membership, doubling in 2 years, and to some extent, the End 2 End programme.

Apart from his association with the Friends, he was the economics professor at the University of South Australia, economics advisor to Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, introducing him to Grange, amongst his various achievements. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Tributes

“Sharp, focused, and unstoppable. Great Council member, and always there when needed. Didn’t stop even when very ill. Formidable. Vale Cliff. Well remembered.”
Simon Cameron

“Great intellect – set the Friends on a path to create the large, successful organisation we have today. Vale Cliff.”
Robert Alcock

Constitution Review – Member Information Sessions

Friends of Heysen – Constitution Review – Member Information Session

FOHT Council has decided to review our 35 year old Constitution to modernise and refresh it to meet our current needs. Council is undertaking consultation with committees and members to help build a framework for the next 35 years.

Why?

The Constitution outlines the rules for how the Friends manages the finances, policies and priorities for our activities: walks program, trail development, office and promotion.  Council members think it is a good opportunity to revitalise how we manage the Friends and encourage newer members to become more involved.

Interested members are invited to an information session that will outline key proposals, answer questions and obtain feedback from members.

Members will need to register via the Friends Walk/Event on-line system as numbers will be capped and usual COVID requirements apply.  A draft document will be available.

Council will consider any feedback and issues raised before seeking legal advice on the provisions and any formal process.

The current Constitution requires that proposed changes be presented at a special Meeting of Members or Annual General Meeting.