Heysen Highlights book released

Book: Heysen Highlights. A companion guide to the Heysen Trail. 264 pages, RRP $39.95

In this companion guide The Heysen Trail is broken into 58 sections, each comfortably walked in one day. For each day there is a overview of what to expect and what to look out for when hiking the Heysen Trail, this companion guide offers a wealth of discovery on every journey along the Trail, with no shortage of historical, geological and environmental highlights along the way.

By explaining the historical context, of the Aboriginal people, European explorers and settlers and the development of the trail, walkers can enrich their experience of the trail and its landscape.

Author Simon Cameron joined the Friends of the Heysen Trail in 2001, the same year that he started walking the Trail. He has never stopped walking it. As anyone who has had the joy of walking with Simon will known, there is so much to see and so much to discover along the Trail that there never will be a reason to stop.

Buy online for $39.95, with postage from $13.05.

About the book

In his companion guide to the Heysen Trail, Simon Cameron offers a personal perspective, gathered over nearly 20 years of walking the Heysen Trail. “Over time I have gathered a multitude of stories that have enriched my experience of the Heysen Trail and I have tried to share them in this book.”

Heysen Highlights is broken into 58 sections, based on the Friends’ End-to-End walk programme that carries groups from Cape Jervis to Parachilna Gorge over a series of 60-day walks. “I have combined and adjusted some of the shorter walks to provide 58 sections.” For each day’s walk there is a brief overview of what to expect and what to look out for.

The book begins with Cape Jervis so the format favours the south- to-north walker, but the short chapters are intended to be a ‘pre- walk briefing’ and not an ‘in hand’ walking guide.

Simon reminds us that the Heysen Trail runs through a diversity of South Australian terrain, varying from granite coast, bushland reserves, plantation forest, marshy meadows, broad acre farms, rolling hills, stone ridges and rocky creeks. “The trail was designed to follow the most scenic and challenging routes possible, providing memorable vistas and showcasing iconic landscapes.”

It also passes through a cultural heritage spanning tens of thousands of years of occupation and nearly two centuries of colonial settlement. Even more unique is a geological landscape that spans the origin of animal life itself. “All of this offers a wealth of discovery on every journey along the Heysen Trail and there are no shortage of highlights along the way.

“Inescapably the book reflects my interests and many chance discoveries, and I know this book is only the beginning of an ongoing process of compilation, updates and corrections.”

The maps in the book will only orientate the reader with the sections in the local region. Detailed Heysen maps are readily available and they are an essential part of any walk because they provide the geographic framework for the experiences that you will gather along the way. “The ‘walk briefing’ offers my personal guide of points of interest for each section and I am sure you will add your own.”

In section one, for example, we are told that the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula is difficult to see other than on the Heysen Trail because there is very little vehicle access. It is one of the great coastal walks with rugged cliffs, granite bluffs, untamed ocean,  tucked inlets, and wild beaches. All of this is offered with endless seascapes, and nature’s proudest displays of flora and fauna. Dolphins cruise the surf, and sea birds ply the skies while kangaroos and echidnas share the path. The luckiest walkers might see migrating Southern Right Whales.

Tapanappa, in section two, is reputed to mean ‘pathway’ or ‘stick to the path,’ which is essential on this coastline. Any attempt to move cross-country is dangerous. A distressing number of rescues and even fatalities have occurred in the Deep Creek Conservation Park. Deep Creek is a true wilderness, to be treated with respect as well as awe. A short detour to the Tapanappa lookout, at the end of the section, captures the natural majesty, and a glance to the east provides a tantalising view of Tunkalilla Beach – another jewel on the Trail.

Heysen Trail at Cape Jervis – A Focus for Revegetation and Weed Control by the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation

The southern gateway to South Australia’s iconic Heysen Trail is located at Cape Jervis. The opening section of the Trail runs adjacent to the coast for approximately 10 kilometres before ascending to the Deep Creek Conservation Park at Blowhole Beach. Along this section walkers experience magnificent views across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island, access to small rocky coves and patches of native scrub.

Significant flora include Eucalyptus porosa and Melaleuca lanceolata. Birds of conservation significance are the Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis), Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) and the Elegant Parrot (Neophema rubricollis).

Unfortunately, it is also the case that the coastal strip is severely degraded due to soil erosion, the activity of off-road vehicles and infestation by invasive plant species. There is a need to remediate this area to provide an attractive and welcoming experience for walkers that highlights the natural attributes of this area.

The Southern Fleurieu Coastal Action Plan and Conservation Priority Study, 2007 concluded that the beaches and lower slopes of Cape Jervis, Lands End and Fishery Beach were areas of high conservation value and were also facing a high level of threat.

It was identified that the area from Deep Creek CP to Morgans Beach (to the north of Cape Jervis) includes coastal reserves that have been successfully improved by community groups. Actions that would improve connection between vegetation blocks would greatly enhance the value of the area.

The section between Cape Jervis and Fishery Beach is the responsibility of a number of land management agencies including the District Council of Yankalilla, the Coastal Protection Board, community organisations and private land holders. The Council, under the auspices of its Coastal, Estuary and Marine Officer Corey Jackson and others, has made significant improvements including the establishment of an environmental hotspot between Lands End and Fishery Beach.

The gateway section is managed by the Council and the initial section from Cape Jervis to Lands End is managed by the Coastal Protection Board. Maintenance and re-vegetation activities have also been undertaken by group of dedicated volunteers led by Dr Carolyn Schultz, the Cape Jervis Coastal Community Group. COOTS (Conservation of our Threatened Species) a subgroup of the Australia Plant Society, manage the public lands just inland from the Heysen Trail, between Lands End and Fishery Beach.

The Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation has identified the Heysen Trail gateway at Cape Jervis as a focus for greening activity and will allocate volunteer resources and grant funding, where successful, to facilitate this activity.

If you are interested in further information please contact Richard Trembath on 0438 762 122 or info@WBHeysenTrailFoundation.org.au.

Biodiversity threats in the area of interest are:

  • Western Coastal Wattle (Acacia cyclops)
  • Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)
  • Creeping Saltbush (Atriplex prostrata)
  • Wild Oat (Avena barbata)
  • Perennial Veldt Grass (Ehrharta calycina)
  • False Caper (Euphorbia terracina)
  • African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum)
  • Soursob (Oxalis pescaprae)
  • Onion Weed (Asphodelus fistulosus)
  • Pincushion (Scabiosa atropurpurea)
  • Gazania (Gazania linearis)
  • Olive (Olea europaea)
  • Blue / sand lupin (Lupinus cosentinii)
  • Tufted Honey Flower (Melianthus comosus)
  • Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
  • Apple of Soddom (Solanum linnaeanum)

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park and the Napperby Block of Mount Remarkable National Park

PARK CLOSURE – Telowie Gorge Conservation Park and Napperby Block

(Mount Remarkable National Park)

across the Gulf

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park and Napperby Block (Mount Remarkable National Park) will be closed from 6am Saturday, 24 November 2018 until 11.30pm Friday, 30 November 2018.

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

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

Therefore walkers intending to use these Parks in the near future need to be aware of this closure.

For more information about the control program or park closure, please contact the Natural Resources Centre Northern and Yorke on (08) 8841 3400.

Early seasonal closure of the Heysen Trail with Fire Danger season for Mt Lofty Ranges brought forward.

Early start to the 2018-2019 Fire Danger Season means closure of the Heysen Trail between Cape Jervis and Tanunda.

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared an early start to the fire danger season for the Mount Lofty District. As a result the trail south of Tanunda will now close on Saturday November 17th, 2018. 

Previous announcements resulted in the the trail north of Tanunda being closed to walkers since 1 November 2018.

Therefore, the entire length of the Heysen Trail from Cape Jervis in the south to Parachilna in the north, will be closed from November 17th.

The Heysen Trail south of Wirrabara will remain closed up to and including Tuesday April 30th, 2019. The Flinders Ranges Fire Danger season is expected to finish a few weeks early, so that at this stage the trail north of Wirrabara will remain closed until April 15th 2019.

Walkers advised to monitor the CFS website for changes to the closure dates.

However, as is always the case, these dates are subject to review and it is possible the trail closure may be extended. Walkers are advised to monitor the CFS website for any further announcements.

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. The Fire Districts are listed on the Fire Danger Season page of the Friends website.

Details of the Fire Ban Districts can also be found on the 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.

Some sections of the Heysen Trail close early due to changes to fire danger season.

Earlier start to the 2018-2019 Fire Danger Season restricts access to the Heysen Trail between Tanunda and Parachilna.

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared the Fire Danger Season will start early in the Flinders and Mid North districts.

This means that access to most sections of the Heysen Trail north of Tanunda will be closed to walkers earlier than expected.

A dry winter and increased temperatures for spring has brought the fire season forward in these areas.

At this stage there has been no announcement for the Mt Lofty District so the trail south of Tanunda remains open for the present. However you should check the CFS website for any further announcements.

Flinders District Fire Danger Season to commence on October 22.

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 will now be closed between October 22, 2018 and April 15, 2019.

Mid North District Fire Ban Season to start on November 1.

The Mid North District includes the trail between north of Tanunda  and south of Wirrabara. The Heysen Trail between these locations will close on November 1, 2018 and reopen on April 30, 2019.

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. The Fire Districts are listed on the Fire Danger Season page of 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.

Details of the Fire Ban Districts can be found  Google map on the Friends website.

Leave only footprints, take only photographs

Leave only footprints ….

Heysen Trail walkers are well aware of the general principles related to walking which are captured by the expression “leave only footprints, take only photos”.

Many sections of the trail traverse National and Conservation Parks. It is therefore a useful reminder that the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 includes regulations about activities in parks that the general public must comply with.

Disregarding these regulations may result in park users being issued a fine.

The following extracts of these regulations are particularly relevant to us:

15 – Fires

  1. A person must not, without the permission of the relevant authority, light, maintain or use a fire in a reserve in contravention of a ban or restriction imposed by the relevant authority.

16 – Possession and use of chainsaws

  1. a person must not, without the permission of the relevant authority, have control of, carry or use a chainsaw in a reserve.

26 – Bringing animals into reserve

  1. Subject to this regulation, a person who has control of an animal must not, without the permission of the relevant authority, bring it into a reserve or permit it to enter a reserve.

30 – Interference with earth etc

A person must not, without the permission of the relevant authority—

  1. remove from a reserve any-
    1. soil, rock, mineral or similar material; or
    2. wood, mulch or other dead vegetation; or
    3. fossil or archaeological remains; or
  2. dig or otherwise intentionally disturb any soil or similar material in a reserve; or
  3. intentionally disturb any-
    1. wood, mulch or other dead vegetation in a reserve; or
    2. fossil or archaeological remains in a reserve.

Need more information?

Before you head off to a park, you can find further information about at the What you need to know section of the Department for Environment & Water website.

Of particular interest to walkers are the sections outlining the rules about the use of BBQs and lighting campfires and which parks dogs are permitted.

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 24th August to Monday 27th August 2018

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

The Buckaringa Sanctuary will be temporarily towards the end of August. 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 24 August to Monday morning 27 August 2018.

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.

Installation of Trail Counters to Improve Data on Number of Walkers

Illustration of trackside placement

A disguised tracker unit

The Friends will be installing 3 TRAFx infrared trail counters along key sections of the Heysen Trail.

The devices count the number of trail uses giving us comprehensive data about trail use.

The TRAFx device is very compact with an unobtrusive design, which reduces risk of vandalism. They will be concealed to further prevent them being stolen or vandalised. It only uses standard AA alkaline batteries and has very long battery life.

Their placement location is yet to be decided, we’ll provide updates as we progress the planning and rollout.

In addition, there are similar trail counter in Warren Conservation Park, at the Watts Gully trailhead, which is monitored by the Walking Trails Support Group with data collated by Walking SA.

Heysen Trail closure near Calabrinda Creek campsite, Saturday June 30th.

Temporary trail closure near Calabrinda Creek

A section of the Heysen Trail near the Calabrinda Creek Campsite, will be closed to walkers for a few hours on Saturday June 30th 2018. Calabrinda Creek campsite is located between Buckaringa Gorge and Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.

The purpose of the closure is to protect public safety during the running of the Auto One Port Augusta Rally of the Ranges. The rally will be run over many closed sections of road.

We have been advised by the rally organisers that walkers will not be able to access a section of the trail between 11am to 3 pm on June 30.

Location of the trail closure

The rally is a competitive event, so the exact route will not be released prior to the day. However we know that the section of the Heysen Trail that will be closed will be along Barnes Road and may include the Calabrinda Creek Campsite.

This section is found on:

  • Heysen Trail Northern Guide Maps 4.8 & 4.9 and
  • Heysen Trail Sheetmap 7C.

As a guide, the trail closure may extend from the western end of Barnes Road, Grid Reference 354 533, to Grid Reference 430 565, which is the point that the trail leaves Barnes Road and heads in a northerly direction.

Rally organisers have advised us that all gates and roads in the vicinity will be patrolled to alert the public and walkers..

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 15th June to Monday 18th 2018

The Buckaringa Sanctuary will be temporarily closed this weekend. 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 15 June  to Monday morning 18 June 2018.

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.