Heysen Trail closure dates over the 2020-2021 Fire Danger Season

The Country Fire Service  has today made the first announcement of the dates for the 2020/21 Fire Danger Season.

The Heysen Trail is closed during the Fire Danger Season. As the trail passes through several fire ban districts, the trail closures commence progressively from Sunday November 1st 2020.

Flinders District Fire Danger Season to commence on 1st November 2020.

The Flinders District covers the Heysen Trail north of Wirrabara.  The trail in this section includes Melrose, Wilmington, Quorn, Hawker, Wilpena Pound, the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park through to the northern end of the trail at Parachilna Gorge.

This section of the trail will now be closed between November 1st 2020 and April 15th 2021.

Mid North District Fire Ban Season to start on 15th November 2020.

The Mid North District includes the trail between north of Tanunda  and south of Wirrabara. The Heysen Trail between these locations will close on November 15th 2020 and reopen on April 30 2021.

Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban Season

At this stage there has been no announcement for the Mt Lofty District. However you should check the CFS website for any further announcements.

The Heysen Trail will reopen during April 2021 – again progressively depending on the range of dates across the three Fire Ban Districts the Trail passes through.

Some sections of the trail remain open over the Fire Danger Season

During the declared fire danger season some sections of the Heysen Trail remain open to walkers. They are principally the sections of the trail that are not on private land. These include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land.

Please note that Conservation Parks and Reserves and Forests are closed on days of Total Fire Ban. The CFS publishes these bans, as does the Bureau of Meteorology. In addition, the media also broadcast weather reports including fire ban information.

If you want to walk on the trail, check which Fire District you will be in. The Fire Districts are listed on the Fire Danger Season page and shown on the Interactive Map on the Friends website.

Walkers warned of night closure of trails in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park through to October 31st 2021.

Feral animal control continues in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.

The Department for Environment & Water has advised that the existing feral animal control program being undertaken in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park will continue over the next year.

Multiple walking trails within Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park will be closed every night until Sunday 31 October 2021. Walkers are advised to exercise caution in the area as the trails will be closed for the purpose of a pest control program. The program is being conducted after dark in the vicinity of the following tracks.

– Trezona Track

– Mount Sunderland Track

– Rifle Range Track

– Old Blinman Track

– Jones Camp Track

– Telegraph Track

– *St Mary Peak (outside trail)

– *Cooinda Track

– Pound Gap Track

Evening/night time closures will occur through to Sunday 31st October 2021.

As daylight hours vary over the period of the night time control program, there are a range of closure times. They are:

  • Wednesday 30 September 2020 and Saturday 31 October 2020              8:30 pm to 5:00 am
  • Saturday 1 November 2020 and Sunday 31 January 2021                          9:00 pm to 5:00 am
  • Sunday 31 January 2021 and Sunday 28 February 2021                             8:30 pm to 5:00 am
  • Sunday 28 February 2021 and Friday 30 April 2021                                    8:00 pm to 5:00 am
  • Friday 30 April 2021 and Saturday 31 July 2021                                           6:00 pm to 5:00 am
  • Saturday 31 July 2021 and Thursday 30 September 2021                           6:30 pm to 5:00 am
  • Thursday 30 September 2021 and Sunday 31 October 2021                       8:30 pm to 5:00 am

The tracks and walking trails will remain open outside of these times.

*Additional summer closures apply to some trails within Wilpena Pound from 6pm Monday 30 November 2020 until 6am Monday 1 March 2021.

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.

During the period of the evening/night closures, the Heysen Trail will remain open. 

During the Fire Danger Season, walkers should be aware that most sections of the Heysen Trail are closed.

However, walkers still have access to the section of the trail passes through the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park (and other public areas), unless a total fire ban has been announced for the day.

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.

Access to the Heysen Trail during the Fire Danger Season

For more information on walker access to the Heysen Trail over the fire danger season, including sections that remain open, check this page.

Further information

You can get further information on the feral animal control program and these trail closures on the Parks Alerts page or from

The National Parks & Wildlife Service – Port Augusta.

Phone: (+61 8) 8648 5300

Email:  DEW.SAALParksAccommodation@sa.gov.au

Prescribed burn Greenhill – Upper Slape Gully – Tuesday Oct 20th, 2020.

Temporary closure of the Coach Road, Ashton section of the Heysen & Yurrebilla Trails.

Natural Resources SA have announced that the Heysen and the Yurrebilla Trails will be affected by a planned prescribed burn tomorrow, Tuesday October 20th 2020.

The prescribed burn is planned for a section of private property near Coach Road, Ashton. The burn off area is adjacent to the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park.

The Coach Road/Horsnell Gully area is shown on Heysen Trail Mapsheet 2B and Map 3.4 of the Heysen Trail Southern Guidebook.

The  embedded map shows the burn area,  which is adjacent to both trails.

The Coach Road section of the trails will be closed during the burn operation on Tuesday October 20th  (approx 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm). The trails may be closed on the following days depending on potential hazards such as falling trees.

Natural Resources apologise for the late notice of this trail closure. However decisions to proceed with prescribed burns are dependent on weather forecasts.

Parks staff will be erecting trail closed signs in the vicinity of the burn site.

If you have any questions, please contact Libby Mapletoft, Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges, on ph. 0427 494 518.

Prescribed burn in Kyeema Conservation Park Sept 16, 2020.

Temporary closure of the Kyeema section of the Heysen Trail.

Natural Resources SA have announced that the Heysen Trail will be affected by a planned prescribed burn tomorrow, Wednesday September 16.

The prescribed burn is planned for a section of the Kyeema Conservation Park, off Woodgate Road, Kyeema.

The Park location is shown on Heysen Trail Mapsheet 1D and Map 2.8 of the Heysen Trail Southern Guidebook.

The embedded map shows the burn area which is adjacent to the Heysen Trail.

This section of trail will be closed during the burn operation on Wednesday September 16 (11:00 am until 8:00 pm). The trail may be closed on the following days depending on potential hazards such as falling trees.

We apologise for the late notice of this trail closure, but it was due to factors beyond our control.

Parks staff will be erecting trail closed signs in the vicinity of the burn site.

If you have any questions, please contact Libby Mapletoft, Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges, on ph. 0427 494 518.

Temporary Road Closure of the Moralana Scenic Drive – Friday 25th September 2020.

A temporary road closure of the Moralana Scenic Drive on Friday 25th September 2020 will affect access to and along a section of the Heysen Trail in the Flinders Ranges..

The road will be closed between 9.00am and 1.00 pm to all traffic, for the purpose of filming a promotion for a car rally event next year.

During the closure vehicles will be travelling at high speed over various sections of the road. As the Heysen Trail crosses the Moralana Scenic Drive all walkers are advised to take extreme care. There will be no vehicle access along the road to drop off or pick up walkers planning to walk on that section of the trail.

The organisers have advised us that the the road will also be closed on 5-6 June 2021 – the dates on which the rally will be held.

The section of the Heysen Trail that is affected is shown on Heysen Trail Map Sheet 8A and Map 5.6 of the Heysen Trail Northern Guide.

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 10th July to Tuesday 14th July 2020.

The Buckaringa Sanctuary will be temporarily closed in the coming week. 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 10th July to Tuesday morning 14th July 2020.

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.

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.

Mid North Park closures affect Heysen Trail – May 24th to June 1st 2020.

Heysen Trail walkers are advised that a number of parks in the Mid North will be closed from 6am Sunday May 24th until 6am Monday, June 1st 2020.

The park closures that will affect Heysen Trail walkers are:

  • Caroona Creek Conservation Park
  • Hopkins Creek Conservation Park

The parks will be closed for the purpose of undertaking a pest control program. Walkers will not be able to access the Heysen Trail in and adjacent to the parks during this period.

The parks are located south and north of Burra. Affected sections of the trail can be found on

  • Heysen Trail Map Sheets 3D, 4A & 4B and
  • Southern Guide Book Maps 5.10, 6.4 and 6.5

For more information about the control program or the park closures, please refer to the Parks Closure notice or contact the Natural Resources Centre Northern and Yorke on (08) 8841 3400.

Unfortunately we received late notification of this closure. When planning walks on the trail we recommend you check the Parks Alerts page to check whether parks that you intend to visit will be affected by a closure.

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.

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.

There is a National parks & Wildlife Service sign at the end of Valley Rd (Montacute Conservation Park) informing people that there is no thoroughfare through Montacute CP to Forestry SA property along the Heysen Trail.

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.

The last closure for this operation will be held on Monday June 1st to Friday June 5th.

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