The Friends welcome Joshua West as a new Ambassador for the Heysen Trail.

The Friends of the Heysen Trail are pleased to announce that Joshua West (also known as Trekking West)  has accepted our invitation to act as a voluntary Ambassador for the Heysen Trail.

Josh joined the Friends prior to his journey through-walking the Heysen in 2018. His main aim in doing so was to raise awareness and funds for the Black Dog Institute.

During the walk he shared his photos, videos and experiences via Facebook and a daily blog on his website.

His blog continues to be available to inspire and help others who are encouraged to walk the trail.

Relive Josh’s Heysen Trek

Josh’s Daily Diary reports are descriptive and contain some wonderful photos of his adventure on the trail. Read from the comfort of an armchair, they will put you in the boots of an inspirational Heysen Trail walker.

Josh is not one to rest after his Heysen achievement, He is currently walking the Camino de Santiago.

As an Ambassador for the Heysen, Josh will continue to promote walking this fabulous long-distance trail. The Friends appreciate his support in meeting our goals of expanding  interest, knowledge and engagement with the trail.

In addition to the Friends website, anyone with a desire to explore long-distance Heysen hiking can check out Josh’s detailed information at www.trekkingwest.com/

Heysen Trail closure – Caroona Creek Conservation Park: June 4-7 2019.

Caroona Creek Conservation Park : www.visitburra.com

The Heysen Trail through the Caroona Creek Conservation Park will be closed from 6.00 am Tuesday 4th June to 6.00 pm on Friday 7th June, 2019. We advise walkers to avoid the area during this period.

Parks SA has advised us that the purpose of the closure of the entire conservation park is to protect public safety during an Aerial feral animal control program.

The Caroona Creek Conservation Park is located approximately 40 kms north of Burra between Newikie Creek and the Dares Hill Summit Road.

Other park closures

Other parks affected by the closure are:

  • Red Banks Conservation Park
  • Mimbara Banks Conservation Park
  • Hopkins Creek Conservation Park

If you have any enquiries about the control program or the park closures, please contact the Natural Resources Centre Northern and Yorke on (08) 8841 3400.

You can find further information on the Parks SA Alerts page.

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 31st May to Monday 3 June 2019.

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

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 31st May to Monday morning 3rd June 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.

Animals are Cute, especially New Born Lambs

Please don’t interfere with livestock.

We all know how cute young animals are, especially new born lambs frolicking after their mums.

It can be distressing for walkers on the Heysen Trail to see what look like abandoned  lambs, wandering along the trail.

It is tempting to “rescue” them! Please don’t!

Rarely do the mothers abandon their young, however if you pick them up, they almost certainly will.

Please leave all livestock alone when hiking the Heysen Trail.

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.

Hearing about Reconciliation from E2E8 walker Mark Waters

We were privileged at the December meeting of Council to have the opportunity to hear a presentation about Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people from one of our members. Mark Waters completed the trail with E2E8 in August and worked within Reconciliation SA for eight years. The presentation initially arose from members of E2E8 asking questions about what Aboriginal country we cross as we walk along the trail. This led the group to decide to commence its walks with an Acknowledgement of Country. It seems awareness was growing among Friends as similar discussions had occurred during a couple of other E2E walks I joined last year. Mark took the initiative to write to the Friends about generating a broader discussion.

The Reconciliation SA website outlines the following information:

‘Reconciliation’ is about Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians talking, walking and working together to overcome the reasons that there is division and inequality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Reconciliation has both symbolic and practical elements. A spirit of goodwill, mutual respect and recognition of the effects of colonisation on Australia’s first people are the symbolic cornerstones of reconciliation effort.

In South Australia, an Acknowledgement of Country is a way of showing respect and awareness of Aboriginal owners of the land on which a meeting or event is being held, and of recognising the continuing connection of Aboriginal peoples to their Country. It is a demonstration of respect dedicated to the traditional custodians of the land or sea where the gathering of participants is being conducted. Government agencies and community organisations are adopting the practice of acknowledging the traditional custodians of Country at events, ceremonies, meetings and functions.

Awareness about Aboriginal history in SA and connection to country has grown since the Heysen Trail was developed 30 years ago. Council members were very interested and receptive to the discussion and felt that it was a good opportunity for the Friends to consider how we can understand more about the deep history of the areas we traverse. This is likely to be an ongoing conversation within the Friends and will also be raised at our next meeting with senior officers from the Department for Environment and Water, as owners of the trail.

Our new book Heysen Highlights includes a map identifying Aboriginal language groups along the Heysen Trail. Members are strongly encouraged to find out more and to consider showing respect through an Acknowledgement of Country at relevant times during the walk season. Council will provide further information about the Aboriginal lands that the trail traverses and a guide for appropriate words that may be used by walking groups.

Melanie Sjoberg
President, Friends of the Heysen 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.