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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.