Trail Development volunteers putting your walk fees to work.

Trail Development – the Hallett Railway Station Hut makeover – April 2019

Trail Development volunteers at work improving facilities on the Heysen Trail.

While the fire danger season limits the Friends’ of the Heysen Trail walking activities, over summer Trail Development volunteers have been putting your walk fees to work.

The Trail Development Committee has been planning and undertaking a range of projects along the trail to improve facilities and add to your walking experiences. This necessary work was undertaken by volunteers using funds raised from the Friends’ membership subscriptions and walk fees.

Makeover of the Hallett Railway Station Hut

Peter Simons (Trail Infastructure Co-ordinator) and a dedicated team of volunteers have recently completed a major project at Hallett.

A year or so ago the ceiling of the hut was collapsing and the hut was in need of lot of work. As you can see from the photo above, the ceiling has been replaced, a new combustion heater has been fitted, a stainless steel sink has been installed and the hut has been repainted.

Toilet installed at Bundaleer Weir campsite

The new toilet at Bundaleer Weir campsite.

In March another group under the direction of Colin Edwards (Trail Development Co-ordinator) and Peter Simons installed a new toilet at the Bundaleer Weir campsite.

We were very fortunate to have had assistance from Mr Rob Hammat the landowner on the adjoining property. Without the use of his digger, the working party may still be there digging holes – the earth was rock hard!.

It is great to get assistance such as that from Mr Hammat (as we also do from many other enthusiastic landholders).

This is the first of three toilets constructed at the Cobbler Creek shed. We expect Bundaleer Weir will be a popular stopover for independent walkers and also our End to End groups. Plans are underway to install the other two toilets. More news on that later

Camping benches/platforms installed at Wandallah and Webb Gap campsites.

Wandallah shelter and new camping bench – Feb 2019

In February the first two of ten camping benches that have been constructed at Cobbler Creek were also installed.

The benches are for sitting, sorting and cheffing!

For day walkers a nice place to sit for morning tea or lunch.

For through walkers a place off the ground to spread and sort their gear and cook.

The benches make for a bit of comfort along the trail – as you can see, there wasn’t a lot else nearby to choose from.

They are not meant as a sleeping platform.

 

Are you interested in assisting with Trail Development?

If you want to assist with any Trail Development activities including the Friends’ Shed Days or upcoming ‘End to End’ Trail Maintenance trips, you can check the events listed on the Friends Walk Calendar

Book Launch: Heysen Highlights Sunday 14 April

During this Sunday's Hiking Expo we'll be officially launching our Heysen Highlights book

During this Sunday’s Hiking Expo in Belair National Park we’ll be officially launching our Heysen Highlights: A companion guide to the Heysen Trail book.

The book will be launched by John Schutz, Chief Executive of Department for Environment and Water, as part of the Hiking Expo ceremonies at 12noon.

Author Simon Cameron will be on hand to sign any copies purchased on the day. Simon 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.

In this companion guide the Heysen Trail is broken into 58 sections, for each day there is an overview of what to expect and what to look out for when hiking. 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.

Heysen Trail affected by closure of the Deep Creek Conservation Park – May 13 to May 16, 2019

The Heysen Trail through the Deep Creek Conservation Park will be closed from 6.00 am Monday 13 May to 12.00 am on Friday May 17, 2019.

The purpose of the closure of the entire conservation park is to protect public safety during an Aerial feral animal control program.

Campsites and other walking trails in The Deep Creek Conservation Park will also be closed during this time.

The trail will be closed between Blowhole Creek and the eastern boundary of the Deep Creek Conservation Park, Tunkalilla (end of McGregor Rd track). Warning signs and trail closure signs will be placed at several locations along the trail and at the western and eastern approaches to the park.

The Fire Danger Season for the Mt Lofty Ranges has been extended to May 12, 2019. This animal control closure from May 13 to May 16 effectively delays the 2019 Heysen Trail opening within Deep Creek Conservation Park to Friday May 17, 2019.

If you have any enquiries, please call Victor Harbor  Natural Resources Centre on (08) 8552 0300. Further information can be found on the Parks SA Alerts page.

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.

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.

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

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.