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 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.

Thurs 20th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 27th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
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
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
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


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.


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

Trail Development Committee