James Wenzel advises us to slow down on the trail and add orchid-spotting to the pleasures of bushwalking.
Amelia Veale writes of her family’s tradition of walking the Heysen Trail as a child and now as a parent with her children.
We welcome Ron Kandelaars as our new Friends of the Heysen Trail Ambassador. At the recent Walk for the Heysen event President Robert welcomed Ron into the role, and presented him with an Ambassador certificate. We all welcome Ron into the Friends family.
To many of the Friends of the Heysen Trail, David is considered a quiet achiever. However he is clearly a deserving recipient of honorary membership of the Friends.
A family of five, including Eli, 12, Emily, 10, and Noah, 9, skipped school in favour of hiking the Heysen Trail. Along with their parents Luke and Erina, the were a world away from the classroom routine as they undertook a mission to cover 1,151km on foot over 56 days.
The WEA Ramblers celebrated it’s 90th birthday earlier this year, remembering the occasion in 1925 when WEA students – then attached to the S.A. University – united to form a club to organise hikes, to enjoy the environment and to participate in conservation issues. The Club is now smaller in number but continues to organise fortnightly daywalks and the occasional long weekend ‘camp’ further afield. Individual members have always participated in trail issues, including the making of the Heysen Trail and continue this particular involvement by maintaining responsibility for Section 8 of the trail between Piccadilly and Norton Summit.
The Wandergruppe Bushwalkers of the South-Australian German Association (SAADV) are celebrating 15 years of membership in the ‘Friends of The Heysen Trail’, and with it, 15 years during which the Bushwalkers have been helping to develop and expand the Trail and boost its recreational potential.
To start our final year on the trail we had an easy one-day walk – a catch-up for the postponed last walk in 2014. Our numbers had reduced due to a couple of our walkers suffering injuries in the ‘off’ season. So it was down to The Woods of Mount Crawford with a random assortment of teddy bears and a screaming baboon called Super Morris Major!!!
The Friends of the Heysen Trail is privileged to have His Excellency as Patron of our association and we look forward to an opportunity to meet with him during his term.
… and on that understanding I became part of a 4-man crew that met at Cobblers Creek at 8:30am on Saturday 20th January ready to hook up the Friends of the Heysen Trail trailer to the car we would be traveling in. Present were Colin Edwards, Julian Monfries, John Quinn and me. After checking we […]
Ten walking companions walk the Heysen Trail in 1986 as a South Australian Jubilee 150 project, prior to the trail even being finished.
“The establishment of a new brewery in Burra at this time (1873) was a little surprising, as the population of the town had decreased markedly over the decade from its high point in the early 1860s. However, the financial backers of Banks realised the potential as there remained nine hotels in the township that made […]
Old majestic buildings, scratching in the earth from an old mine or a broken down farm house. All were once the dreams of our forefathers, a story to be told of hope and hardship and now, just shattered aspirations.
Could it be that in the same year Richard Bowles recorded the fastest-ever completion of the Heysen Trail in 14 days, 8 hours & 32 minutes, the slowest-ever completion of the trail also occurred?
In many ways exceeding the challenging requirements and expectations for the award, Simon’s accomplishments make him highly deserving of Honorary Membership.
The Heysen Trail is a trail of discovery, yielding many secrets as you traverse its course. I remember walking past the Morialta Barns in 2007 for the very first time. I was intrigued to learn more about their origins after reading the interpretive signs at the site.
The End to End walks, such an integral part of the Friends walking programme, have in reality a short history.
Walkers on the Heysen Trail are not aware of the changes and improvements that take place over time. Richard Savage has travelled from his Tennessee home in USA to walk the Heysen three times. Here he describes some changes noticed on his recent end to end, completed on 23 September 2013.
In July, 2002 Stuart wrote an excellent and detailed account of the origins of the Heysen Trail and has granted me the privilege of re-counting events below, as they occurred at the time. Stuart’s detailed account is entitled “The Heysen Trail – The First Steps”.
The Hooded Plover is a small bird found on Australia’s southern ocean beaches, including the Fleurieu Peninsula. Walking along the beautiful beaches of the Heysen Trail: Waitpinga, Parsons, Sheepies (Shannon’s Gully), Coolawang, Tunkalilla and Lands End, you have probably walked right past these well-camouflaged birds.
The initial spark of enthusiasm to do this walk came from a small group of friends who were walkers and were looking for a challenge. The idea was mooted, maps purchased and trips to the Friends of the Heysen Office organised.
The recent passing of our patron, C Warren Bonython AO, brings cause to reflect on his remarkable spirit of adventure and dedication to bushwalking, conservation and science. Amongst the extraordinary legacy he leaves for future generations of South Australians is the Heysen Trail.
Quite an achievement, thanks to all who put in the hard work to make it possible for us. And after all the hoo-ha my tattoo has created on the trail in 2011, I thought it would be a good idea to write an article for the Trailwalker about the reasons behind it.
GPS units have become quite affordable over the past few years. They can be a useful tool for hiking, but they can also be a little overwhelming. What are they useful for? Can they be useful along the Heysen Trail?
End-to-End 3 crossed the final stile at Parachilna on Saturday the 13th, for the largest finishing celebration in the Friend’s history. Eighty three walkers climbed the wooden steps. Fifty four were completing the trail and of that group forty three had started the journey together at Cape Jervis, six years earlier.
Rain can put a dampener on many walks but not those in the far north “beyond the Heysen”. A small cadre of Friends have been attempting to emulate the feat of our patron Warren Bonython, and follow the spine of the Flinders Ranges to Mt Hopeless. This has been planned in weekly stages, over the last three years and at first we didn’t realise the blessing bestowed by torrential rains.
Crystal Brook is a beautiful town in the mid-north, and holds special significance to the Heysen walker.
The history of the Heysen trail begins in 1932, according to an article written by Warren Bonython in the Trailwalker in 1989.
I joined the Friends of the Heysen 20 years ago, and from the start was interested in trail maintenance. I could not at that time take on a maintenance section due to business commitments, so volunteered to work on an ad hoc basis, notably when there was a full time FoHT Manager, who would telephone for volunteers.
My friend, Sallie and I, regular long distance trail walkers, set out at the beginning of July to make an assault on the first 250 km of the Heysen Trail. The intent was to do the first 5 days and the last day on full packs with the rest done on day packs staying at local facilities and having our big packs moved in between.
Frederick George Brooks, Honorary Member of the Friends of the Heysen Trail, and long time maintenance Section Leader, passed away on 8th June, 2009 at the age of 89.
Douglas Gepp Leane, Honorary Member of the Friends of the Heysen Trail, and long time maintenance Section Leader, passed away on 16th December, 2008 at the age of 82.
In May 2008 artists Euan Macleod, Leo Robba, Chris O’Doherty aka Reg Mombassa, Lucy Culliton, Elisabeth Cummings, Neil Frazer, David Keeling, Adrienne Richards and David Usher, embarked on an adventure to capture their impressions of the spectacular landscape of the famous “Heysen Trail”, a 1200 kilometre walking trail, in South Australia. The Heysen is one of the great long distance walks in the world. It extends from Cape Jervis on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide to Parachilna Gorge in the northern Flinders Ranges.
After completing the Heysen Trail a group of eight walkers continued beyond Parachilna Gorge. We walked through the upper Flinders along Warrawena, Hamilton Creek to Terrapina water hole, climbed over Mt Babbage, across the Stony Dessert plains to Mt Hopeless.
The ‘Heysen Trail’ has become our obsession and biggest personal challenge to complete in August 2008. When we first started walking on some End-to-End 1 days and catch ups we thought, okay just for the fun of it, we will do the odd day. We were told that we should just do the easy bits but this made us determined to tackle the whole 1200km!
The catch-up chatting began in the bus, which picked up many walkers from outside the Heysen office, in Pitt Street, on the way to the first stop in Port Augusta. Walking gear and food filled the storage area under the bus but left just enough space for a large addition, no names mentioned, in Snowtown.
Over the last 3 years, a small group of walkers from Bendigo - members of the Bendigo Bushwalkers and the Bendigo Outdoor Club - have embarked on the project of completing the Heysen Trail at a rate of about 200km a year.
At the beginning of 1996, I decided to take time off from work as a senior manager in the Netherlands’ health system; a sort of sabbatical to reflect on my job and private life. I wanted to recover physically and emotionally from some stressful years that lay behind me.
Finally we have completed it with our final day’s walk into the car park at Cape Jervis. It was a journey that started years ago, but became a project when, one hot Australian Day, Marie and I were walking along Semaphore beach to the breakwater at North Haven and it occurred to me that, with a little extra effort, we could walk along the coast to the Murray Mouth.
As we are all so aware of at the moment, water is a precious commodity. So it’s with some note that a recent project to install a water tank on the slopes of Mt Brown was undertaken collaboratively by several parties.
Saturday night, about ten years ago and all is well and peaceful at the Edwards household. The phone rang, “it’s George here. I think I have sussed out a walking route from Seacliffe to Mount Lofty without very much road walking. Would you and Marlene like to do a reccy with me tomorrow?”
We sometimes contemplate doing something out of the ordinary to celebrate a landmark birthday. For C Warren Bonython AO, to celebrate his 75th, it was to head off to Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He got within 1700 feet of the summit of this 18,500 feet giant before altitude sickness set in.
In many clubs and associations there are some who are just members, some who sit on committees, and others who are the life force of the group. Julian is certainly in the latter group.
David has contributed greatly to the activities of the Friends. After joining he quickly became a Walk Leader and a Council Member, a role he continues in to this time.
Jack has been an active member of the Friends for well over 10 years working in the office in a very professional and business like way.
The origin of the Pathfinders Walking Program and its connection to The Friends.
In the following two articles we have combined some background history with that seen through the eyes of Fred Brooks and Frank Hall, two members of the Interim Council of the Friends of the Heysen Trail.
In 2002 David Beaton and I decided to walk the entire Heysen Trail – and to walk it from north to south.
William Henry had come to Australia from Cornwall in 1848, working at Burra and the Victorian goldfields and then in 1857, with his brother James, became the first lease holder of Umberatana Station - 188 square miles of semi-arid land in the North Flinders Ranges, west of Arkaroola.
Finishing off the Heysen Trail by walking from Yudnamutana Gorge to Mt Hopeless.
Profile of new honorary member Doug Leane. A love of the bush, of being outdoors and of doing something for the community came together in his commitment to the Friends of the Heysen Trail.
Barry Finn was elected as a new Honorary Member at the AGM on March 18th 2005. Barry served on the Friends Council for a number of years, and was Vice-President during the latter part of his term. He was also an active walker, and led a number of walks for the Friends.
Terry Lavender South Australia’s “Mr Bushwalking” will be remembered for his dedication to recreation in SA. He was the architect of one of the world’s great walking trails — the long-distance Heysen Trail, which
snakes its way for 1500 km across the state from Cape Jervis, at the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, to rugged Parachilna Gorge, in the Central Flinders Ranges.
Good question son, like a mirage, a lot depends on who you are, where you’ve come from and how you answer yourself.
The plan was simple enough. Check out a circuit at Deep Creek for the purpose of printing a map showing all the relevant features to enable anyone to be able to do the walk. Simple plans have this strange habit of not remaining true to form.
Mt. Lofty, that high “bump” on the skyline of the ranges overlooking the city, has been held near and dear by local residents from the very first days of the fledgling colony. Elsewhere in Australia only Canberra and Hobart share with us the privilege of having a mountain destination at their very doorstep, a fact now being appreciated by increasing numbers of Adelaide residents, and for many of us a short, fifteen-minute drive can find us soon tackling the lower slopes of the mountain.
In May 2000 a small group of experienced walkers from the Friends who had completed walking the Heysen Trail, and had thus walked from Crystal Brook to Parachilna Gorge, set out to set out to complete the emulation of Warren’s walk, by walking on to Mt Hopeless.
I remember viewing the reptile exhibit of the Detroit Zoo shortly before coming to Australia. Essential ‘snake facts’ reminded me that the greatest population and variety of poisonous snakes on earth could be found in Australia. OK...let’s rethink this plan. Sure, we have bears and mountain lions around the place, but I’ve managed to live a relatively active outdoor life for 35 years without so much as a claw mark.
No, I would never walk the whole Heysen Trail! Think of all those long boring road sections! Yes, I had said that several times. So how is it that I have just completed the very last step of the 1200km Trail?
With a background of working in the outdoors Terry arrived in Australia and worked for the National Fitness Council in Adelaide, then joined the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport when the government placed responsibility for walking trails with that department. The idea of a walking trail to connect the Mount Lofty and Hinders Ranges […]
There are probably more spectacular sections of the Trail, particularly in the Flinders Ranges and near Deep Creek, but for interest and diversity of scenery, this section is hard to beat
A few weeks ago I made the mistake of informing Arthur Smith that on the 4th August last my wife and I completed our walk of the entire mapped section of the Heysen Trail from Cape Jervis to Parachilna Gorge. As a form of penance for this indiscretion of disclosure I agreed to write a short note on the subject for inclusion in The Trailwalker. When will I ever learn to keep my trap shut?
Only 68 persons are recorded as ‘doing’ the whole thing; some have done it in less time, and others have walked the whole trail in a single hit, but that would clearly involve some complicated logistics, for this trail passes close to only a few towns and access by public transport is very limited. People […]
Fifty years ago this May, three of us walked along the south coast of Fleurieu Peninsula between the old Talisker mine and Victor Harbour. I recently came across my diary for this journey, and reproduce an edited version here so that those who know the Heysen Trail in this area can make a few comparisons. It may also stimulate nostalgia among those old enough to remember.
It is now 18 years since the Heysen Trail was conceived; the first 9, under the State Planning Authority, were a period of enthusiastic planning changing to frustration; the second 9, under the Department of Recreation & Sport, have been a period of steady building of the trail and further promotion of the idea behind it.