The Friends publish a membership magazine quarterly called the Trailwalker. It has broad appeal for members and hikers with articles covering happenings on the Heysen Trail, the activities of the Friends, and trip reports from members who have hiked elsewhere.
Feature Trailwalker Articles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finishing off the Heysen Trail by walking from Yudnamutana Gorge to Mt Hopeless.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.