End-to-end walks are run as part of our walk programme, and are for those wishing to walk some or all of the Heysen Trail. As the schedule and trail logistics are done by the Friends organisation it is easy for walkers to participate, and many enjoy the social aspect of the group.
There are approximately sixty day walks involved, spread over six years. The southern walks, from Cape Jervis to Kapunda, are held one Sunday a month during the walk season – from May to November each year. Over summer, during the Fire Danger Season, the Heysen Trail is closed. From Kapunda northwards, due to the greater travelling distances involved, the walk is held over a weekend. When the group reaches much further north from Adelaide, beyond Quorn in the sixth and final year, the walks are conducted as a long weekend and week long walk.
On the Day
On the day walkers drive to the end of the day’s walk. Sometimes they may meet somewhere in the metropolitan area to carpool. Leaving their cars at the end of the day’s walk, they board a charter bus which takes the group to the start of the day’s walk. From there they hike to the end of the day’s walk and their cars.
There are many end-to-end groups, some are at various points along the trail, others have now finished the trail. Each has started at the start of the Heysen Trail at Cape Jervis. Each group takes six years to walk the trail. Some people walk with more than one end-to-end group so as to walk more than once a month, thereby completing the trail in less than six years.
Two-Day Weekend Walks
On the two-day weekend walks, from the middle or end of the third year, the group walks on the Saturday, stays overnight in a local town (in B&B accommodation, motels, caravan parks), often sharing a meal, and then walking again on Sunday. Walkers need to arrange their own accommodation.
End-to-End walks are reasonably demanding and for walkers who have walked regularly in various terrain. They have a walking time of 5 to 8 hours and will require a high degree of physical fitness.
All walks are subject to you wearing appropriate clothing. Prime considerations are warmth and weather protection. Your safety and the safety of the walking group can be jeopardised by you wearing inappropriate clothing. In an emergency situation it can take hours to evacuate a sick or injured walker. Leaders may not accept people for a walk who have not come appropriately dressed or prepared.
All intending walkers must register to participate in a walk. Registrations for walks generally open 4 weeks prior to the walk event, and close in the week leading up to the walk. You can register online via the Walk Programme calendar, you will be advised of the meeting place and time. Alternatively, you may phone the Friends of the Heysen Trail office to register over the phone.
Please note that demand for places to join the first walk of a new End to End group has traditionally been high. Bookings for the first walk of End to End 15 opened at 7.00a.m. on April 12th 2021. The walk was booked out in 15 minutes!
There are several options for walk payments:
- Casual, $10 per walk, (walkers under 18 years of age, $1 per walk)
- Golden Boots, purchase for $75, allowing unlimited walks. These can be purchased during an online walk registration, or from our shop
A bus is hired for End-to-End walks. Each walker will need to pay the bus fee in addition to their walk payment.
The Friends of the Heysen Trail issue a certificate and badge for those completing the whole Trail.