Walk the Heysen Trail with the Friends – from the Fleurieu Peninsula to Mt Lofty

From the Fleurieu Peninsula to Mt Lofty

In early spring, the Friends of the Heysen Trail will be offering the opportunity to complete 6 consecutive sections along the Heysen Trail, starting from the little hamlet of Inman Valley through to Mt Lofty in the Cleland Conservation Park.

The walks commence on Monday August 30th and continue through to Sunday September 5th 2021.

Led by experienced walk leaders, these 6 walks will pass through the rolling environs of the Fleurieu Peninsula, a number of delightful conservation parks and picturesque forestry reserves into the southern reaches of the Adelaide Hills.

The walks culminate with a climb up to the summit of Mt Lofty and then down to the Cleland Wildlife Park.

What a great opportunity to complete six sections of the Heysen Trail in one hit!

You can find out more about the walks and register using this link to our website walk calendar Fleurieu to Mt Lofty walks.

Reminder of a change to the Heysen Trail in the former Bundaleer Forest.

We remind walkers that, as previously announced, there have been a series of changes to the Heysen Trail in the vicinity of Curnows Hut and the former Bundaleer Forest.

In the ‘Heysen Trail reopens on Saturday May 1st 2021‘ news item, we referred to a number of  re-routes along the trail.

One of those, Item 3 Bundaleer, advised a change of the route in April 2021 to follow the Bundaleer Greenway. That re-route considerably lengthened the trail.

On 30 June 2021 we updated the news item to say that the Department of Environment and Water had reversed that re-route.

As a result the original trail between Curnows Hut and New Campbell Hill has been reinstated.

This is a significant change to the trail between Curnows Hut and Raeville. That walk, shown as Section 35 of the Heysen Trail Walk Selector, returns to 20 kms.

Any reference to the change of the trail to follow the Bundaleer Greenway was removed from our website Re-route page in June.

August edition of the Trailwalker

The upcoming August edition of the Trailwalker magazine, contains an article ‘Heysen Trail Route News’.

The article on page 7 includes an item headed ‘Bundaleer Forest’. The item describes the April 2021 change to follow the Greenway.

That article was written prior to the 30 June reinstatement of the original route.

In order to eliminate any confusion, we confirm that the Heysen Trail again follows the route as shown on the Heysen Trail Mapsheet 5A & the Northern Guidebook Map 1.4.

That is also the route shown on the Heysen Trail GPX file 16/2/2021 v4.0 and the corresponding version of the Heysen Trail Interactive Map.

Keep fruit fly free on your walks !!

Attention Heysen Trail Walkers.

Walkers need to be aware that due to the fruit fly problem in metropolitan Adelaide, there are severe penalties for moving potentially affected fruit from one region to another unaffected region.

Please check which region (green, orange or red) you live in, and act accordingly, after viewing the regulations on the SA Govt. fruit fly web site

Only take raw fruit in your lunch boxes if you bought it in a green zone.

For your information the advice from the Department is that:

  • We should check the prescribed list of excluded fruit and veges (includes such items as bananas, citrus, blue berries and apples) and not bring them if we are taking them from a red or orange zone. There are processes that can be instigated to render the banned fruits safe, including preparing them cooked, dried, grated, pureed and packaged/processed. Cut, sliced  or mashed F&V are still at risk for fruit fly and should be excluded from transporting with you.
  • We can purchase our requirements in the green zones.
  • To be doubly safe retain your itemised receipt from the point of purchase so that there is no doubt about the source of your food.

Eagle Waterhole ‘hike-in’ Hut and campsite closed May to July 2021

The popular hike-in site at Eagle Waterhole in Deep Creek will be closed for reconstruction from May to July 2021.

An interim site is being established by Parks SA, approx. 300m further along the trail heading east: signage will direct walkers to a site with a water tank and picnic tables.

The Heysen Trail route will not be affected.

Walkers may continue to book online through the Parks website: National Parks… – National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

The good news is that this will deliver upgraded hiker camping facilities as part of the new Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail: Wild South… – National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia .

This project reflects SA Government investment delivered through collaboration between National Parks, Friends of the Heysen Trail, Yankalilla & Victor Harbor Councils.

Heysen Trail Closure – Southern Flinders Ranges Parks (February 2021)

Walkers are advised that access to the Heysen Trail in the Southern Flinders Ranges will be restricted  from 6 am  Saturday, 20th February 2021 until 2pm Friday, 26th February 2021.

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.

The parks cover a long section of the trail on Heysen Trail Map sheets 5B and 6A  and Maps 2.5 to 2.7 of the Heysen Trail Northern Guidebook.

Many sections of the Heysen Trail are closed over the Fire Danger Season. The Country Fire Service has  already announced the commencement of the Fire Danger Season for the the complete length of the Heysen Trail.

However walkers can still use some sections of the trail, including sections that are not on private land including Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests, public roads and vacant land – provided it is not a day of a declared total fire ban..

But the feral animal control program means walkers need to take note of this closure and avoid that section of the trail over the period from the 20th to 26th February.

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

You can also check this and other park closures on the Parks SA Alerts page.

Trail care – the Heysen Trail needs our attention

We need to care for and protect the trail

As the COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed within South Australia, people were encouraged to travel within our State.

Many have tried bushwalking and camping for the first time, some doing it better than others.

Increased demand for Parks SA campsites

On many weekends, the Parks SA campsites have been fully booked resulting in some people apparently camping wherever they can find a spot.

Sometimes this has occurred on private land and at other times, Google has directed vehicle-based campers towards the Heysen Trail campsites, that are intended as “walk in” sites. The Friends have taken some steps to make our sites less visible to Google and the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) is addressing the issue from an official standing.

While it is preaching to the converted, we all need to remember to follow good bushwalking and camping etiquette:

Leave no trace

  • Leave campsites better than you found them.
  • Use existing fireplaces or carry cooking equipment when possible, and do not scar the landscape with fire rings.
  • Comply with fuel-stove only requirements.
  • Do not pollute the ground and waterways with soaps and detergents.
  • Remove our rubbish from the bush and bury human waste away from watercourses.
  • Do not remove plants or rocks from National Parks.
  • Do not disturb native wildlife.
  • Avoid easily damaged places such as peat bogs, cushion moss, swamps and fragile rock formations.
  • Use existing tracks where possible and avoid creating multiple tracks which lead to erosion.

Report damage to trail campsites, markers and other assets

  • If you find campsites, tanks, stiles and trail markers need attention please let us know.
  • DEW & the Friends Trail Maintenance volunteers rely on trail users for your help.
  • You can report problems to the Friends using our website contact form .

Safety

  • Have appropriate first aid skills and carry first aid kits.
  • Comply with the trail closure periods over the Fire Danger Season.
  • Do not enter closed Parks or any section of the trail that is shown as closed.
  • Only light fires when it is permitted and ensure they are fully extinguished.
  • Carry sufficient food and water in order to survive unexpected delays.
  • Wear or carry appropriate clothing and equipment for our comfort and safety in the worst possible conditions we are likely to encounter.

Respect all bushwalkers

  • Respect the right of bushwalkers to enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush.
  • Help fellow bushwalkers in need.

Respect indigenous culture

  • Acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk.
  • Treat sites of spiritual or cultural significance with respect.
  • Obtain permission from traditional landowners or the relevant land manager to visit sensitive areas.
  • Do not damage aboriginal rock art or camp under overhangs that contain aboriginal rock art.

Respect landowners

  • Respect landowners and do not trespass on their land.
  • Leave farm gates as we find them.
  • Respect the rules of National Parks, and other land managers, regarding camping conditions, maximum numbers in wilderness areas, pets, permitted activities and park closures.

As much of the Heysen Trail traverses private land, it is essential that hikers do all we can to help to protect that privilege.

While leaving farm gates as found may not seem to be critical to the non-farming community, it is an important part of farm management. If it’s closed, leave it closed to prevent grazing animals moving through paddocks or if it’s open, it may be to allow stock to move into another paddock.

It is worth remembering that in one way or another, someone is responsible for managing the land that we walk over. We are their guests.

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, 21 November 2020 until 2pm Friday, 27 November 2020.

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.

The parks cover a long section of the trail on Heysen Trail Map sheets 5B and 6A  and Maps 2.5 to 2.7 of the Heysen Trail Northern Guidebook.

The Heysen Trail is closed over 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, the Heysen Trail is now closed in those areas.

However walkers can still use some sections of the trail, including sections that are not on private land including Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests, public roads and vacant land.

But the feral animal control program means walkers need to take note of this closure and avoid that section of the trail over the period from the 21st  to 27th November.

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

You can also check this and other park closures on the Parks SA Alerts page.

Heysen Trail ‘South Coast Week’. October 4th-10th 2020

The Heysen Trail near Kings Beach – photo by Martin Chapman.

 

Your chance to join a guided walk of  the stunning Heysen Trail ‘South Coast’ in one week.

Get in quick for the rare opportunity to undertake the ‘South Coast’. The breathtaking first six sections of the Heysen Trail in ” one hit”, from the trailhead at Cape Jervis through to the delightful little hamlet of Inman Valley.

A full week of walking designed to enable walkers especially those from beyond Adelaide, whether from intrastate or interstate, the opportunity to complete these fantastic sections along the coast in a single block.

Please note this is an extended walk for people wanting to do the entire week of walks and not those only wishing to do selected day walks. You can find out further information about the walks and register for the event on our walk calendar.

Accommodation and dining options

Once you have registered you can think about booking accommodation in Victor Harbor or elsewhere on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Any accommodation booked is the individual walker’s responsibility. Meals will not be provided, but there are a wide range of dining establishments in Victor Harbor

All the walk leaders are currently leading an ‘End to End’ group and have each completed the trail at least twice. They ‘know the lie of the land’ and have organised bus transfers and other details for you. You enjoy the walk without the stress.

For each walk, walkers will need to drive themselves to the end location for the walk. From there, a bus will take you to the start of the day’s walk. The $180 walk fee is to cover the cost of organising the event and the daily bus fees.

Some of these walks are challenging so please ensure you come physically prepared for a memorable week on the Heysen Trail.

The Heysen Trail is open for through walkers and camping … BUT the Cudlee Creek fire has caused a problem…

With the easing of COVID-19 health restrictions on May 11th, the campsites and huts along the Heysen Trail are now open to ‘through’ walkers.

The easing of restrictions means that the trail is now open for small group walks. Currently, under Step 1 of the SA Government Road Map to Recovery bushwalking is permitted, provided the group size and social distancing advice is observed.

Additionally, through walkers need to keep informed while they are on the trail. The COVID situation may change while they are on the trail and this could affect their ability to continue to walk. This particularly applies to walkers from interstate, as border crossing arrangements may change from time to time.

Before setting off on walks on the Heysen Trail, you need to be aware of the following issues:

1. Trail closure caused by the Cudlee Creek bushfire

Forestry SA has closed access to the Heysen Trail in the vicinity of Cudlee Creek, with the affected section shown on this exclusion zone map.

It covers sections of the following maps:

Heysen Trail Sheet Maps 2B & 2C and
Southern Guidebook Map 3.6.

The exclusion zone commences at the eastern exit of Montacute Conservation Park (Grid Ref 983 377) and concludes when the trail leaves Forestry property at Snake Gully Rd (GR 014 402).

Due to the location of the trail in relation to the extensive exclusion zone, finding an alternative route is presenting some difficulties. The travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 have further delayed the task. However, our Trail Development Team is attempting to find a way, but it may be some time before a re-route is approved.

All walkers are advised to avoid the area. Trail closure signs have been erected by Forestry SA. Any walker planning to walk the whole trail this year, including through Cudlee Creek should email the Friends Office to seek advice on alternative arrangements. One option would include taking vehicular transport to avoid the area.

Unfortunately the excluded area includes Grandpa’s campsite, which is now closed. Due to the extent of the fire zone and the danger of falling trees, we do not anticipate the campsite being available for several months, if at all during 2020.

As a result of this closure, there is no campsite between Woodhouse and Scotts Shelter, a distance of 76 kms. Through walkers should be aware of this, and plan accordingly. Refer to the Service Directory and Transport  for planning information.

2. On Line Bookings for Forestry SA campsites

Forestry SA has initiated an on line booking system for the following campsites along the trail:

3. Temporary closure of the Montacute Conservation park

Parks SA have advised that the Montacute Conservation Park will be closed from 6pm, Sunday 31 May until 6pm Friday 5 June 2020 for a feral pest control program. Heysen Trail walkers need to avoid the area during this period.

4. Correction to the website accommodation list – camping is not permitted in the Finniss Conservation Park

Parks SA have also advised us that the old campsite in the Finniss Conservation Park was incorrectly shown in the accommodation list as being available for camping. The campsite was closed some years ago in the interest of protecting the park.

5. Tanks – take care if you are relying on them for your water supplies

Over summer we have become aware that several of the tanks along the trail require maintenance. Due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, we have been unable to travel to these remote locations to fix/replace the tanks.

Fortunately, indications are that we can anticipate good winter rains. However, the supply of water in our tanks cannot be guaranteed.

So, if the walk you are planning includes Beetaloo Creek or Eyre Depot we suggest you carry additional water or arrange a water drop.

Prescribed Burn in Hale Conservation Park – week commencing 20th April 2020.

Heysen Trail walkers are advised that the Hale Conservation Park will be closed for several days over the week commencing Monday, 20th April 2020.

The closure will be for the purpose of DEW undertaking a prescribed burn. The burn off is most likely be held on Friday April 24th, but this may vary due to weather conditions.  The closure may affect walkers in the vicinity of the Mount Crawford Forest. The Hale Conservation Park is approx. 4 kms west of the Heysen Trail at Mt Crawford. You can find the park on Map 3.9 of the Southern Guidebook and Heysen Trail Mapsheet 2C.

Rangers will post closure signs the day before the burn on the trail coming from the Warren Conservation Park. On the day of the burn, additional signs will be posted for the two loop walks within the  Hale Conservation Park.

The Heysen Trail remains closed during the Fire Danger Season

Walkers are reminded that the Heysen Trail south of Wirrabara remains closed during the Fire Danger Season. The season ends at midnight on April 30th. Walkers can use the Heysen Trail in Parks and Forest Reserves during the fire season, except on days of total fire bans.