Heysen Trail open for day walking only after Fire Danger Season ends in April

Heysen Trail open for Day Walking only after Fire Danger Season ends.

The Department of Environment and Water  has advised that in general, South Australian parks and reserves are open to local day visitors, as long as all State and Federal Government advice is followed in relation to COVID-19.

All campgrounds and communal facilities in SA parks have been closed, along with hut and homestead accommodation.

Camping and accommodation is also closed in ForestrySA Reserves, but day visitors following government advice are welcome.

The Heysen Trail remains closed during the Fire Danger Season.

You can find out further information about the trail closure dates on our Fire Danger Season page.

Upon completion of the Fire Danger Season the Heysen Trail will be open to day walkers only, (no camping or hut use until further notice).

This is the Government’s latest position and countermands any previous advice the Friends may have given.

For further information visit www.parks.sa.gov.au and www.forestrysa.com.au

The Friends of Heysen Trail hope you stay safe and healthy during this challenging time. We encourage ongoing fitness by walking in your local area, subject to current restrictions about isolation and maximum of 2 people.

Please also respect our regional communities by staying away to limit the spread of COVID-19 and preserve their limited health services.

Cudlee Creek fire damages the Heysen Trail and other popular walking areas in the Adelaide Hills.

 

The fire ground east of Snake Gully Road, Cudlee Creek.

Heysen Trail to be re-routed around the Cudlee Creek fireground, including Grandpas campsite.

As we are all aware the recent bushfire at Cudlee Creek has caused significant damage to the forest area. As a result, Forestry SA  has closed the Cudlee Creek Forest Reserve, which includes Thomas Hill and Mount Misery to the public for safety reasons.

The Heysen Trail traverses part of the forest from Snake Gully Road through to Stone Hut Road. A temporary reroute has been plotted but has not as yet been approved  by FSA and DEW. We hope to have this finalised prior to the opening of the walk season but until then we are required to avoid the area.

When the re-route has been established we will publish it on our re-routes page. Due to the amount of work to be undertaken in the area, it may be a number of months before we can return the trail to the normal route.

This CFS Map shows the extent of the Cudlee Creek Forest exclusion zone. Please refer to it before walking in the area and abide by all signage.

Grandpas campsite is within the fire exclusion zone and will remain closed until further notice.  Some of the infrastructure at the campsite including the rainwater tank has been damaged and will require replacement.

Temporary closure of the Montacute Conservation Park

Fortunately the nearby Montacute Conservation Park was not affected by the fire. However, Parks SA have advised that the park is currently closed for the purposes of a feral animal eradication program. In the interest of public safety, we advise walkers not to enter the park. Parks have posted closure notices at the entrances to the park.

We expect the park to be closed at least until mid March 2020.

You can get more information on the closure, including any changes to the park closure date on the Parks SA Alert page.

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.

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.

February
Thurs 20th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 27th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
March
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
April
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
May
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

SECTION NEWS:

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.

Plan   

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

 Thanks,
Trail Development Committee

Heysen Trail closing early due to 2019-2020 Fire Danger Season being brought forward

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared the Fire Danger Season will start early in the Mt Lofty Ranges, Mid North and Flinders Fire Ban Districts.

Update April 2020: the Fire Danger Season dates will end as normal (between 15 and 30 April 2020.)

This means that access to most sections of the Heysen Trail have closed to walkers earlier than expected. A dry winter and increased temperatures for spring has brought the fire season forward in these areas.

Mt Lofty Ranges Fire Ban Season commences on 15 November 2019 and ends on 30 April 2020

The Mt Lofty Ranges District includes the trail between Cape Jervis and Tanunda. The Heysen Trail between these locations will close on November 15, 2019 and will reopen on April 30, 2020.

Mid North District Fire Ban Season commenced on 1 November 2019 and ends on 30 April 2020

The Mid North District includes the trail between north of Tanunda and south of Wirrabara. The Heysen Trail between these locations closed on November 1, 2019 will reopen on April 30, 2020.

Flinders District Fire Danger Season commenced on 21 October 2019 and ends on 15 April 2020

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 closed on October 21, 2019 and will reopen on April 15, 2020.

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. You can read more about the sections of the trail that you may walk on our Fire Danger Season page.

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. Details of the Fire Ban Districts can be found 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.

Trail Development News, Bulletin 13, October 2019

The new platform at Stony Creek. Sept 2019

We welcome new volunteers to help us 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.

Refer to the Volunteer Support Policy for information on recognition of volunteers as well as reimbursement of expenses.

Below is a schedule of maintenance events.  To register your interest in any of these events, please click on the hyper link in the Calendar of Maintenance events below or look for Maintenance events listed in the Walk Calendar on our website.

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.

The training day on Nov 3rd is open to all who are interested in site work and camp locations.

October
Thurs 31st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
November
Sun 3rd Training for TDC members, Section Leaders and volunteers to erect platform and tank shelter at Black Joes Road, Kapunda
Thurs 7th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 14th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 21st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 28th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
December
Thurs 5th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 12th Xmas breakup lunch for our hard working shed volunteers.

SECTION NEWS:

 

Re-route at Mt. Crawford – Colin Edwards

A new re-route at Mount Crawford, Chalks Road has been mapped and is being marked by Forestry. This will go on our website when completed.

Water tanks – Colin Edwards

This year’s dry weather has caused many tanks to run dry or get contaminated (stagnant) especially north of Spalding. Several tanks are replaced and brought back for cleaning and sterilizing. Please let the Office know of any problems and water levels.

Trail Development Committee Chairman comment – Colin Edwards

The following article by Julian Monfries illustrates the large amount of work and planning that is needed for some of our more extensive site trips. Much of the work to be done requires a fair amount of travel, which consequently means planning for material and equipment is essential.

Flinders Ranges maintenance Trip September 2019 – Julian Monfries

Early in September a small crew, consisting of Carl Greenstreet, Adrian Rodgers and Julian Monfries headed off to the Southern Flinders to undertake remedial work at Stony Creek, investigate a possible placement for a platform at Wilmington, and repair the roof at Mount Elm Campsite.

Thursday morning saw us at Cobblers Creek, where Colin and his team had loaded the trailer with the makings of two platforms and a new tank for Stony Creek. The existing tank had been reported as contaminated.

The team arrived at Wilmington, via the obligatory bakery, and met local farmer and E2E 10 walker, Peter Noll. They proceeded to Stony Creek campsite which lies at the northern end of Mount Remarkable National Park.

Fixing the tank

Installing the new platform at Wilmington

The tank was indeed foul, so disappointingly we had to drain a tank that was over 50% full.   As it was draining the team proceeded to dig the

holes for the platform and install that quickly.

The old tank was removed, but in the process the rusted gutter and downpipe were destroyed.

That left a new tank, however with no gutter or downpipe to facilitate filling! Damn.

A through walker happened by, heading south unfortunately he’d missed the turn up towards Lavender Peak. We put him right and relieved him of the 3 litres of water he was carrying in shopping bags (he had heard the water at Stoney Creek to be bad). We promised to deliver it just off Alligator Gorge Road after our work was done. And this we did.

New tank at Stony Creek

With Peter Noll in tow, we then moved on to survey a site on his land for another platform, choosing one that had a great view towards Horrocks Pass.

Again, this went in pretty quickly, as the hole digging was relatively easy!

Time now getting on, we farewelled Peter and headed to Hawker, our digs for the night, a pub meal and a beer.

Heading further north

On Friday, we went out to Mount Elm, via the Oaks to say hello to John Rowe. Here a sheet of iron had parted company with the roof and simply disappeared. Carl, our tallest volunteer fitted the new tin and stabilised other sheets that were trying to make an escape. Another north/south through walker came past as we were at work. She confessed to missing human company, which prompted Adrian to give her a hug. It was much appreciated – well at least by Adrian!

With that job complete, we were off to Arkaba Station to meet the new managers Bradley and Charlie. Both are strapping young men, who listened to our Red Range toilet options with interest.

Then out to Red Range to check the toilet, which though not foul was full!! Exploratory digs suggested the ground may be suitable for a 10 metre sullage trench.

That task complete, we headed off to Wilpena to investigate a realignment of the Trail past the Information Centre and shop, rather than its current route circuiting around the campground, effectively missing both. Currently, there are marked trails linking to Info Centre and the Heysen as it exits Wilpena Pound, so it should be a no-brainer really. We simply await approval from the local managers.

Mayo Hut was then checked and found to be in good condition and the tanks about 50% full, however one is getting a bit old and rust is getting into the water. This is a job for another time.

Back to Stony Creek

Saturday, we headed home, however disappointed at our inability to complete the tank install at Stony Creek, and gutter. We called into Wilmington Hardware and managed to procure the readies to redeem ourselves, partly.

Subsequently, we managed to install a gutter and downpipe on the tank, however missed the overnight rain, and the piece we were given, free, was only 75% the length we needed! Otherwise we would have had to buy a 3 metre length!

A broken stile near Horrocks Pass was inspected and repaired as best we could, considering the limited materials available to us.

On our way south, we called into Melrose and undertook a realignment of the Trail, now taking it past the LARGE gum and the old brewery.  Additionally, at Kapunda we also did some tweaking to the Trail though the town.

With all that done, the trailer went back to Cobblers Creek, and another successful trip was had –  thanks to Adrian, Rodger and Carl Greenstreet.

Temporary gutter on the tank at Stony Creek.

Repaired stile at Horrocks Pass

A through walker gets a hug from Adrian, whilst Carl looks on enviously.

Future Training Opportunities – Paul Bond

Paul Bond is currently investigating training opportunities for early next year with the aim of providing more information in the next issue. Watch this space.

Thanks,
Trail Development Committee

Heysen Trail Closure – Southern Flinders Ranges

Walkers are advised that access to the Heysen Trail in the Southern Flinders Ranges will be restricted  from 6 am  Saturday, 23 November 2019 until 6pm Friday, 29 November 2019.

Telowie Gorge Conservation Park, The Napperby Block of Mount Remarkable National Park, Spaniards Gully Conservation Park and Wirrabara Range Conservation Park  will be closed for the purpose of undertaking a pest control program.

So walkers need to take note of this closure and avoid that section of the trail during those dates.

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 now closed in those areas.

The sections that remain open are principally those not on private land. These include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land.

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.

Trail Development News, Bulletin 12, September 2019

Walker’s Platform, installed at Marschalls Hut, September 2019.

An update on recent new trail infrastructure and trail maintenance work undertaken by our vital volunteers. Below is a schedule of maintenance events – new volunteers welcome,

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.

Refer to the Volunteer Support Policy for information on recognition of volunteers as well as reimbursement of expenses. To register your interest in any of these events, please click on the hyper link in the Calendar of Maintenance events below or look for Maintenance events listed in the Walk Calendar on our website.

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.

With the completion of the Black Jack Hut project, Colin is now restocking our timber supplies and cutting lengths to make marker posts and stile steps and uprights. We are also testing the production of a new metal stile design. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to weld – now is your chance.

Please register by clicking on the link for the event below or by contacting the Office. Registration helps us anticipate numbers and also to plan jobs.

October
Thurs 3rd The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 10th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 17th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 24th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Fri 25th – Sun 27th E2E Maintenance Greenock to Huppatz Hut

The major work will be to install and upgrade stiles across recently installed fencing between Greenock & Kapunda. We will also be marking a minor reroute of the trail through the township of Kapunda. Other jobs will include installing assist poles at a series of stiles along a road reserve between Gerkie & Webb Gaps.

Volunteers able to attend on only some days are welcome. The event will be based at Riverton. An accommodation subsidy for Friday and Saturday night and a fuel subsidy will be provided by the Friends. See further information in the item below.

Thurs 31st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
November
Thurs 7th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 14th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 21st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 28th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek

End to End Maintenance – Greenock to Huppatz Hut

Please note the change of date – Friday October 25 to Sunday October 27.

Dom Henschke will be leading the next event on our End to End Trail Maintenance program and is looking for volunteers to assist.  All volunteers will be welcome.

The event continues the work on this section that was commenced in October last year – keeping the trail in good nick is a never-ending job, so we need help for this trip. The major work will be to install and upgrade stiles across recently erected fencing between Greenock & Kapunda that was identified by the E2E13 walking group. Other jobs will include installing assist poles at a series of stiles along a road reserve between Gerkie & Webb Gaps.

We expect that the work will be completed by early afternoon on Sunday. Volunteers able to attend on only some days are welcome.

The event will be based at Riverton. The Friends will be hiring a 4WD vehicle, but you will need transport to get to Greenock/Riverton. However, if that is a problem, we may be able to arrange transport as well.

Suggested accommodation options are the Riverton Caravan Park (bookings have been made for 2 cabins), or the Riverton Hotel. There is no cost to attend an E2EM event and there will be a complimentary dinner arranged for Saturday night. An accommodation subsidy for Friday and Saturday night and a fuel subsidy will be provided by the Friends.

If you register, Dom will contact you via email with details of accommodation reservations, the meeting location and times for each day.

SECTION NEWS

Grandpa’s Camp gets a platform – Julian Monfries

Following the recent realignment of the Trail over Little Mount Crawford, the crew moved south to Grandpa’s Camp, near Cudlee Creek.

The new platform at Grandpa’s August 2019.

The team, consisting of apprentices, Colin Edwards, Dom Henschke, Paul Bond and Julian Monfries and true workers, Adam Matthews, Mark Curtis, Neil Rivett, Peter Fosdike and Robin Sharland. After some faffing around to get levels correct, installed the platform beside the existing shelter.

The team also examined the water tank. They found the water to be good, however the gutter was desperately in need of a clean, the gutter guard having failed gloriously.To top it off, they submitted a new report about the tank on the Cudlee Creek North/Grandpas camp site listing on the Accommodation page.

More platform rollouts are programmed with two to be installed very soon at Stony Creek and Wilmington, along with a replacement of the tank at Stony Creek, due to the water being fouled.

Platform installed at Marschalls Hut – Dom Henschke

Walker’s Platform, installed at Marschalls Hut, September 2019.

As part of the preparation for the October End to End Maintenance trip, a small team of volunteers visited Marschall’s Hut last week.

As well as checking on the rainwater tank, the team installed a walker’s platform in front of the hut – see the picture to the right.

Thanks to Colin Rozman, Rick Price and Martin Chapman who did most of the work on the day. You can see they had sloping ground to contend with, but the assistance of our dumpy level , they made sure you won’t roll off the edge. Well done, team.

 

Updating the Heysen Trail Google map & the website gpx file – Dom Henschke

The Department of Environment & Water has advised us that the stock of Heysen Trail Sheet Maps is running low. So the maps are being revised and will be reprinted soon.

We would like the new maps to be as accurate and as up to date as possible, so we are working on a project to update the HT Google map and the website gpx file. This were last revised on 7 July 2016 there are a number of new re-routes to be catalogued. We have collated most of them but we are missing a gpx file for the following section:

  • Walk 40 – Wirrabara to Block 9 Road. This walk contains a minor reroute along the Sheep yard Track that was established in July 2015.

If you have a track of your walk along that section, please send it by email to the Trail Development Committee at the Office

Thanks to walkers submitting campsite & tank reports – Dom Henschke

In late July we published a website news item ‘Tanks – an unreliable water source for walkers’ (and sent an email to Trail Development subscribers) asking for your help.

Thanks to the many walkers who have responded to the call. We have received nearly 50 comments on a wide range of campsites and tanks, particularly those in the more remote northern section of the trail. These comments have been published on the website Accommodation list and form a valuable resource to intending walkers and our Office volunteers.

Check the More info including Google map section at the bottom of each location.

Do you have the time to help keep our website up to date?

As you can see from the last 2 items, not all of the Trail Development work is done ‘out on the trail’.

The Friends website provides a great deal of information for our members doing End to End walks as well as walkers from interstate and overseas. The Office often gets news of trail closures,  re-routes, changes to fire danger seasons and requests for updates to the accommodation list.  It takes a bit of effort to keep this information up to date.

If you have an interest in helping us in this work, there are a number of jobs that you can do at home in your own time.  If you would like to help, we’d like to hear from you. Simply send an email to the Office and we will find a job to suit you. We can provide training in WordPress, the publishing software that we use on the website. It isn’t too difficult to use.

Our next issue

The next meeting of the Trail Development Committee will be held on October 14th. Keep your eye out for the next issue of the Trail Development News sometime after that. Remember – if you have ideas or comments please send them through to the Office.

Access to off-track walking may be under threat in the Flinders Ranges and beyond – Pastoral Act Review

Maybe a slightly alarmist subject line, but possibly the case. Walkers ability to access pastoral leases may change, with changes to the way pastoral leaseholders are allowed to manage the land, read on.

The info below has been provided by Walking SA, and is being sent to members of the Friends of the Heysen Trail so they have the information, and can then completed the survey if they have the interest. (many sections of the survey will not be applicable to walkers, so answer “no comment” where applicable). A thorough survey response might take 20-30mins. At the bottom of this email is a table of relevant questions from the survey. The closing date for comments has been extended to 5pm Monday 30 September 2019.

This is of keen interest to FoHT members who undertake extra-circular walks further north, and for any planned FoHT northern trips away. The Friends are with Walking SA in wanting to retain the right to walk through the pastoral country as has been our right since settlement. Sure there will likely be some areas with no, or restricted, access to allow for tourism, cultural sensitivities, or mining activities, yet this should not restrict activity outside those limited, defined areas.

Review of Pastoral Act may impact access for recreational bushwalkers in the Flinders Ranges

What is the issue?

The State Government is seeking input in order to review the Pastoral Act.

Much of the land in the Flinders Ranges north of Hawker is not private freehold land but instead is leased from the State Government to pastoralists to undertake grazing ventures[i], and recognises the rights of Aboriginal people.

As the land is leased, people can undertake recreational off-trail bushwalking in these remote locations. They must notify the lessee of their intentions to walk, and the lessee can only deny access in certain scenarios.

To clarify, by “off-trail bushwalking” we often mean following old vehicle tracks, or walking in a low impact environment, and can include camping for a few nights.

The Act also provides what are called Public Access Routes (PARs), which are often used by 4WDers for recreational use. They will likely probably remain, but our concerns are for access to other lands not part of PARs.

How could changes to Pastoral Act impact on recreational bushwalking? What are our concerns?

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 13th September to Monday 16th September 2019.

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

The Buckaringa Sanctuary will be temporarily closed during the second weekend in mid September . 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 13th September to Monday morning 16th September 2019.

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.