Walking SA AGM with Panel Discussion on Trails and Award Ceremony

Thursday 28 October
AGM: 6:30pm
Trails panel discussion: 7pm
Followed by Walking Awards award ceremony

Torrens Rowing Club
Victoria Drive, Adelaide SA 5000

Join us for a panel discussion on all things trails – trail building, trail maintenance, current and emerging trail projects, and how the walking community can help! Our panel will include representatives from National Parks and Wildlife Service SA, Forestry SA, South Australian Recreation Trails Inc (SARTI), and some of our South Australian trail-related groups.

Public welcome, please register for free ticket.

Torrens Rowing Club is located on Victoria Drive, just north of the Adelaide CBD, on the southern bank of the River Torrens next to the City Bridge and Jolly’s Boathouse.
Please note the venue is accessed by stairs.

Nominations for the Board

Nominations for membership of the 2021/22 Walking SA Board are invited from anyone concerned with improving walking awareness and opportunities for all in South Australia. Help us to raise the profile of walking and increase the participation rate.

Please refer to the Nomination Form ( Microsoft Word, or PDF.)

Getting there

Please note the venue is accessed by stairs.

Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/6d5sECmBaqcLXzVj6

By bike: there are some bike racks nearby.

By public transport: 10 mins walk from the Adelaide Railway Station, or from the nearby tram stop.

By car: Use the Park Adelaide app to find street parking, displaying real-time info about available parking spaces, time limits, and parking payment. You can download the app free on Apple or Android.

Walking SA Annual Walking Awards – Nominations Open

The annual Walking SA Walking Awards are now open for nominations.

The program provides a key vehicle for the promotion of the achievements and work of groups, organisations, local and state government, and volunteers in South Australia.

The Awards process is an opportunity for public and peer recognition of achievements in walking, and demonstrates to volunteers, community groups, the recreation industry, business, government, and the wider community the significant and positive impact that can be achieved through improvements to walkability.

Each of the three award categories of Walking for Health, Transport and Recreation will be awarded a $2,000 prize. The award for Outstanding Individual Contribution will be awarded a Walking SA Lifetime Membership.

Key dates:
Nominations close: 11 October 2021
Awards Ceremony: 28 October 2021 (Walking SA AGM)

To nominate for an award, please download the Nomination Form.

Walking Strategy for South Australia – open for consultation

After working in partnership across-government, engaging with stakeholders and reviewing the best available evidence and evidence-based practice, a draft Walking Strategy for South Australia has been developed. The Strategy will help to guide the planning, building and creation of walkable environments for all South Australians. Community feedback on the draft Strategy is being sought by 17 October 2021 on yourSAy which can be accessed via yoursay.sa.gov.au/south-australian-walking-strategy

Walking is an inclusive and accessible activity that allows people to get from one place to another, can improve their health and wellbeing and provide them with an enjoyable way of spending their leisure time.

When we talk about walking, we also include jogging, running and moving with a pram or pusher, or moving with the aid of a mobility device such as a wheelchair, walking frame or the like.

Supporting more people walking more often; all ages all abilities can lead to multiple benefits to be experienced by all South Australians, including:

  • Social benefits – improved health and wellbeing, increased safety, positive placemaking and increased social cohesion.
  • Economic benefits – increased city attractiveness, boosting the local economy, increased urban regeneration and cost savings; and
  • Environmental benefits – reducing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, increased benefits to people from the natural environment, improved liveability and improved transport efficiency.

The draft South Australian Walking Strategy 2022-2032 has been developed in such a way to unite cross-government departments and agencies, key stakeholders, providers, funders and interest groups to better enable:

  • Walking for Transport – more South Australians making short trips by walking.
  • Walking for Health – more South Australians with better health and wellbeing through walking.
  • Walking for Recreation and Sport – more South Australians accessing green open space for walking.

Get involved

To find out more please:

Have your say

Billion Steps Challenge

Join South Australia’s 2021 Billion Steps Challenge and help us reach our goal of 1,000,000,000 steps!

Wellbeing SA, in partnership with 10,000 Steps, is excited to bring South Australians together to reach one billion steps. We know that every step counts and the more we move, the more health and wellbeing benefits we reap. Last year we achieved one billion steps in 65 days. Can we reach our goal quicker this year?

The challenge starts on 1 October 2021 and ends when we reach our goal of one billion steps. All South Australians who sign up to the 10,000 Steps program and log steps, or other forms of physical activity will have their steps automatically added to South Australia’s total.

How to get involved?
It’s simple, easy and free!

  • Sign up or login to be a 10,000 Steps member – make sure the state in your profile is South Australia
  • Track and log your steps and minutes of physical activity
  • Spread the word with your family, friends and workmates!

Submission on South Australia’s Draft Road Safety Strategy to 2031

Walking SA is the peak body for walking in South Australia, and pedestrian safety is a key focus of our strategy.

South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy update is an important opportunity to improve road safety for all road users, to encourage modal shift and to implement policy that creates a safer environment for our most vulnerable road users.

We commend the Government on listening to past feedback, and including Walking, Cycling and Public Transport in the strategic focus area, and support the key strategies in this area which will improve walking environments to allow for pedestrians to make mistakes that don’t prove to be fatal.

Walking SA has identified areas in the draft Road Safety Strategy that could be strengthened. We have presented our recommendations to further ensure that all residents of Adelaide can safely use our transportation networks to meet their daily mobility needs.

Willunga Basin Trail on track for completion by November 2021

With just 16km of trail yet to be signed, the 129km Willunga Basin Trail is on track foo completion by November.

Volunteers are continuing to work on trail establishment, recently completing the Kangarilla area (Sections 7 and 8).

We have brought the trail along Brooks Rd, and made a roadside path along part of Jackson Rd. Council contractors are to clear woody weeds on the edge of Bakers Gully Rd at the end of September and we will then make a safe path for walkers. Federal government funding has been achieved for a fence to separate walkers and cattle including bulls, between Kangarilla and Bone Gully Forest near Mt Panorama; this connection has long been sought by walking groups as well as the Willunga Basin Trail, for whom it is a vital link. We hope that it will be achieved by October.

Volunteers have been doing plantings and weed removal on many parts of the trail and will soon start a spring maintenance program to clear the established parts.

Much of the trail is being walked, including by groups. Friends of the Heysen Trail walked most of it earlier this year.

Visit www.wbt.org.au for more information including maps and descriptions of the sections which have been completed.

Two recent walking surveys tell the story: If we don’t walk more often, it’s often because we think we don’t have the time

Believing that “what counts, counts”, we are always keen to see data measuring how much walking is being done.  So we were pleased to see two new measures of walking appear recently.

The National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey has been undertaken in 2021.  This continues a biennial series for measuring cycling that began in 2013.  This is the first time that it has also covered walking. This is a telephone survey in which a member of a household who is at least 15 years of age is asked to respond for each member of the household.  In South Australia, this involved 529 households, covering 1,324 households.

Practically all of us (96%) walked for more than five minutes in the week before the survey.  And we walked quite a lot: among those aged 15 and over, the median hours walked in the previous seven days was 3.0 hours, or almost a half an hour a day.

This was slightly less than the 3.5 hours recorded for Australia as a whole.  A cynic might say that this is because parking is easier than in the big cities on the east coast, but we should note that the most popular reason for walking recorded was for recreational/ health purposes.  See the figures reproduced below.  (The lines at the top of each column are the error bars, to indicate the 95% confidence interval.)

Reasons given for walking

These figures might be an over-estimate.  Because answering is voluntary (48% of households approached agreed to be surveyed), there is probably a self-selection bias toward households that are pre-disposed toward walking and cycling.  Also, the average household surveyed had 2.5 members, compared with 2.4 recorded in the most recent census.  So there was probably a slight bias toward younger/ more active households.

Nevertheless, the key value of the National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey is that it provides a consistent methodology over time, so we look forward to accurate trends in the years to come.

The other recent source of data is survey of members by the Royal Automobile Association (RAA).  624 members responded to a questionnaire about how much walking they do, their attitudes towards walking and what might encourage them to walk more often.  As with the National survey, almost all respondents (in this case 94%) said that they walked for at least five minutes in the past week.  Over a third said that they did this every day.  Half said that on a typical day they walked for at least 30 minutes.

What was striking was the proportions who said that they could easily walk at least a kilometre to access local shops and similar destination: 85% in the case of parks; two thirds to shops, cafes and restaurants.

Three quarters said that they would like to walk more than they do, but the biggest barrier to doing this was the lack of time.

Once again there is probably a self-selectivity bias here: the survey was voluntary.  Nevertheless, the survey suggests that that, with over half of our car trips 3km or less, there is a lot of scope for replacing short car trips with walking.

Survey on Shared Trail Use

Users sharing a trail

Have you ever walked on a ‘Shared Trail’? The purpose of shared trails is to allow for walkers, runners, hikers, bike riders and horse riders to integrate themselves together, using the same trail for the benefit of all users.

Walking SA is currently developing a Position Statement for Shared Trail Use and would welcome your feedback during this consultation phase.

We would appreciate you completing the brief survey below – it should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

You can read Walking SA’s other Position Statements.

The Importance of Storytelling

In Nilpena Ediacara National Park, Ross showcased one of the most important Ediacaran fossil sites in the world

In Nilpena Ediacara National Park, Ross showcased one of the most important Ediacaran fossil sites in the world

Recently, as a member of the Parks and Wilderness Council, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the Northern Flinders Ranges to learn more about South Australia’s bid for this iconic cultural, geological and biodiverse landscape to be recognised under UNESCO World Heritage.

Ben visiting Sacred Canyon, one of the the great cultural significance of these landscapes to the Adnyamathanha people

Throughout this trip, Council were given opportunities to visit the recently proclaimed Nilpena Ediacara National Park where Ross showcased one of the most important Ediacaran fossil sites in the world. We also made our way through Brachina Gorge and into Sacred Canyon, where Aunty Pauline explained the great cultural significance of these landscapes to the Adnyamathanha people.

It was these opportunities that reminded me of one of the reasons why I love spending time with people, adventuring through the outdoors – storytelling.

For 60,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island People have been doing just that – communally gathering around a campfire to listen to stories from the Dreamtime, or tell of daily happenings, such as what they had learnt, hunted or encountered. Harnessing oral communication, they would speak, sing, dance and/or share in art and craft-making. To me, no group of people have affirmed the value of storytelling like Indigenous people have and continue to do.

Sacred Canyon, one of the the great cultural significance of these landscapes to the Adnyamathanha people

My time in the Flinders Ranges reminded me of how holistically important storytelling is to our lives. As I reflected on the experiences of the stories being shared to me by Aunty Pauline, Ross, or from the many others in our group or the people we met along the adventure, I made the below notes.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful means that we all have to influence, teach, and inspire others.

Stories are what connects us as people between history, experiences, opportunities and ideas. They take even the most beautiful landscapes, adrenalin filling adventures and unique encounters and make them come alive. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people.

When it comes to our communities, our friends and our families, we intuitively understand that it is the stories we hold in common which bind us together.

Stories enable us to learn from others about past experiences and moments in time, connecting the experiences shared between us of the present day and motivating us to create new ones to share with each other in our future.

When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island People share together, they aren’t just entertainers but they are also preserving their culture while educating future generations in the history, values and lore of their people.

Storytelling connects us as humans, whether on the trail, sitting around at camp or enjoying that drink in the next country town. Stories take the words off signage, the paragraphs off pages, the data off the sheets and engages us in that content. Stories make us better active listeners, as we become immersed in a fun, risk-free, and transformative learning opportunity.

Stories connect generation to generation through cultural practices, beliefs, traditions, values, languages, experiences and relationships.

Storytelling helps with learning because stories are easy to remember – I certainly remember a well-told story more accurately, and for far longer, than listening to or reading facts and figures.

Stories ground us in a moment in time. When outdoors, stories allow us to feel the ground beneath our feet, to see the beauty of nature around us, to smell the freshness of the day, to hear the calls of the bush and to taste the opportunity for new experiences.

Storytelling builds an image in our imagination of that moment in time, which can appeal to a diversity of listeners, it allows us to appreciate what it may have been like at that moment and it expands our interests into new areas.

I was certainly encouraged to share in more storytelling as a result of this trip. To me, that is the difference of the experience in any destination, circumstance or opportunity… when storytelling is engaged, we can convey a style of immersive learning that can influence, teach, and/or inspire others.

Congratulations to our latest BLSA Day Walk Leader graduate – Judy McAdam

Judy McAdam, our latest BLSA Day Walk Leader graduateJudy McAdam has recently graduated as a Day Walk Leader. Judy is a member of the Friends of the Heysen Trail, being actively involved with the Friends as an office volunteer, Membership Secretary, Council member and as Co-ordinator of End-to-End 10 when they crossed the finishing stile on the July 16.

The Day Walk Leader Certificate equips people to lead single day group bushwalking trips.

Thanks to grant support from Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Walking SA partnered with Bushwalking Leadership SA to strengthen bushwalking leadership within our clubs.

Having walked in her teens Judy returned to the trail to train to walk the Camino for a significant birthday 11 years ago and hasn’t stopped walking since, and doesn’t plan to do so anytime soon.

She found the opportunity to undertake the Bushwalking Leadership Day Walk Leader Certificate was too good to miss.

“I found the course excellent and even though I had a reasonable base knowledge I learned a great deal and dug up some lost knowledge and skills out of the archives of my brain, ” says Judy.

“I must admit while reading through the notes prior to first day I had a chuckle that these were the same things I was taught as a girl guide, oh so many years ago but I quickly came to realise that what was good bushcraft then remains good bushcraft today, and even though there were advances in technology and equipment the fundamentals remain the same.”

“I particularly enjoyed the navigation component and I applied the route planning lessons to the current Heysen trail route and maps and found it beneficial in really appreciating the terrain the group we were leading was facing in final 200k of the trail.”

She strongly recommends the course to all walking clubs and walk leaders.

 

The next Bushwalking Leadership SA Day Walk Leader Certificate course is in September. The Training Day is Saturday 4th September 2021, with the Workshop on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September 2021. Book via www.bushwalkingleadership.org.au.

You can find out more about upcoming training dates by contacting us or visiting bushwalkingleadership.org.au.

Super Tuesday 2021 Pedestrian Counts

On the assumption that “what is counted, counts”, Walking SA has been looking for ways to measure the amount of walking done, both on hiking trails and in our urban areas.

Every year Bike Adelaide manages the Super Tuesday counts.  Volunteers count cyclists as they ride past particular points from 7am to 9am on the first Tuesday in March.  We’ve been working with Bike Adelaide, both asking our membership for volunteers to count pedestrians, and asking Bike Adelaide volunteers who count cyclists if they could also count pedestrians, at least where they are not too busy.

In 2020 we had 14 locations counted, and this year 35.  Importantly, ten of the 35 were counted in both years, so we are starting to be able to measure trends.  All but one of the 10 locations saw an increase compared with 2021.  The total increase at the 10 locations was 17%.

Here are the figures for locations counted in both years:

Location Pedestrians counted
2020 2021 change
Port Road/ Gaol Road 110 124 13%
Dequetteville Tce/ King William 102 113 11%
Osmond Tce/ William St 100 143 43%
Fullarton Rd/ William St 94 116 23%
Britannia roundabout 45 46 2%
Frome St/ Wakefield St 333 372 12%
West Tce/ Sir Donald Bradman Dr 202 206 2%
West Tce/ Sturt St 98 67 -32%
East Tce/ South Tce/ Beaumont Rd 232 243 5%
Westside Bikeway/ South Road 18 21 17%
TOTAL 1334 1451 17%

The overall increase is interesting given that the counts tend to be in an around the City, and overall numbers heading into the City are probably lower than they were in early March 2020.  One explanation for this might be the increase in walking for exercise that was encouraged by the Covid lockdown.  Also there may well be people walking who previously caught the bus.

But it should also be noted that, with one or two exceptions, pedestrians were not counted in the CBD itself – there are just too many of pedestrians to be counted and in any case counts at these locations the count would probably measure the popularity of the CBD rather than the popularity of walking.

Whatever, it’s good to see more walking in our inner suburbs.

Nine years in the making and almost there, a reflection on the Adelaide100 trail

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

by Jim McLean

Jim McLean, the visionary and trail maker of the Adelaide100 loop trail

As a kid on Sunday School Picnics in the Belair National Park, I was dubbed “Mountain Goat” for the ease with which I scaled steep slopes to explore the holes in the rock which we called “caves”. It was then that I fell in love with the Adelaide Hills. It was the 1950s. On weekends and public holidays people dressed up and headed in droves by steam train, manually operated buses and bone shaking family cars to the picnic grounds of Belair, Loftia Park, Mount George and Morialta. You could find a nook in a gully with a shack and a waterhole and stay and swim over the weekend.

In my youth, through the Boys’ Brigade and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, I was exposed to multiday group-walking. We started with two days on the Fleurieu Peninsula, progressed to three days in the northern Mount Lofty Ranges, and finished with four days in the northern Flinders.

In adult years, friends and I got away when we could. We never tired of the “at peace with the world feeling” that comes with being in unspoilt outdoor environments and being fit and healthy. Central mountains of Tasmania, hinterland forests of southern NSW, logging country of Victoria and the emerging long distance trails at home enduced perfect senses of remoteness even when we knew civilisation was just on the other side of the range or the forest.

I did the Yurrebilla Trail in three one-day walks. I did the Lavender Federation Trail (Murray Bridge to Clare) from Murray Bridge to Springton in two three-day walks. In May 2012 I completed the Heysen Trail. It had taken 22 years, walks of one to six days, and eleven different companions in all.

Trail visionary, Jim McLean, installing an arrow decal in Belair National Park

It was 3.00am in July 2012 with the Heysen Trail fresh in my mind when an idea popped into my head. When that happens I can’t let it go. I jumped out of bed, went to the home office, spread the maps out, and started looking for a way around the suburbs and hills of Adelaide.

Australia is a big country. Just getting to its best walking environments can take significant energy, resources and time. Adelaide is globally unique. It is on a small piece of plain wedged between the coast to the west and the hills to the east. For a dry climate, significant waterways find their way from the hills to the sea to the north and the south. How many other places have this variety on environment so close to the CBD?

A loop trail taking in coast, hills and fresh waterways could be accessed from the backdoors of a large population of curious, outdoors thirsty, health conscious people. It couldn’t be too hard to make. In a couple of years, I could put a rough line-map out to the walking community to do with it as it wished, and I could wash my hands of the project.

It soon became evident it wasn’t that easy. I needed help. The Friends of the Heysen Trail and the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation were very welcoming, they understood everything about making and managing a signature trail and were very good at it, but they had their plates full. SA Recreation Trails Inc (SARTI) were making the Lavender Federation Trail. They built and are managing a trail from scratch so they knew what they were doing. They were extremely helpful, totally authoritative, but they had their hands with the Lavender Federation Trail. The Department for Environment and Water (manager of the Heysen Trail) and the SA Tourism Commission had other agendas. I tried smaller walking groups and trail makers, anyone I could find.

I toted my idea around hoping for a glimmer of break-through support. In the end it was John Eaton of Walking SA who listened and provided the encouragement I sought. Although no longer officially with Walking SA he was still heavily involved in walking initiatives and was strongly enthusiastic for the Adelaide100, as it came to be known. I was on a range of walking councils, boards, and committees. I joined the Board of Walking SA as well. The Adelaide100 became a Walking SA project in 2015. The first portion, 1.6km of unmade road reserve at Norton Summit known as Monument Road, was completed on the 19th June 2017.

A local National Parks and Wildlife Service SA ranger, working on the roll out of the Adelaide100 trail through Morialta Conservation Park

It is nine years from the time the idea popped into my head. Walking SA has support for the Adelaide100 of the Minister for Environment and Water, David Spiers, his department The Department for Environment and Water, and the mayors of 13 LGAs. SA Health recognised the worth of the project and gave it significant support. An initial project launch at Pinky Flat on the Torrens River was attended by hundreds of people. A subsequent launch was part of Walking SA’s Hiking Expo at Belair which was attended by over 1,000 people.

The Adelaide100 is a long-distance loop trail of more than 100km in length. In addition, it roughly coincides with the boundary of the land title division, set by the South Australian colonists, of the Hundred of Adelaide. The Adelaide100 traverses the traditional plain of the Kaurna people from coast to foothills and extends over the range of the Peramangk people to its most eastern point Basket Range. The colonists chose the site, on the Torrens River, of the City of Adelaide around which the Adelaide100 loops. The current route traverses 13 LGAs, 9 big parks managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA, and SA Water’s yet to be opened Happy Valley Reservoir.

The Adelaide100 is currently 40-50% marked on the ground. There is an Adelaide100 website. There are electronic route files. People are walking it. People are running it.

Jim McLean leads the walkers out at the Adelaide100 section launch at Pinky Flat

The first completed sections of the Adelaide100 was opened last October, with a 7km showcase walk on the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri. The trail section was officially opened by Stephen Wade MLC and Walktober Ambassadors Sandy Verschoor – Lord Mayor of Adelaide and Genevieve Theseira-Haese. It was a spectacular, sunny day with hundreds of walkers celebrating with a community walk along the River Torrens.

The Adelaide100 is designed around accommodation and food outlets being available along the way. It can be walked at a casual pace in six or seven days with nothing more than a day pack on the back. The yet to be signed portions, all in the hills, are currently being negotiated. Fine tuning of the route in these parts is continuing.

A volunteer installing an Adelaide100 arrow decal in Mark Oliphant Conservation Park

As well as the 9 big parks there are numerous smaller parks and reserves along the way. The Torrens Linear Park is traversed from the bottom of Black Hill to West Beach. Most of the Adelaide100 is shared-use. There are cycling alternatives for the walk-only bits. Signage is in place from the Black Hill Conservation Park exit, along the Torrens River to West Beach, along the coast to Kingston Park, and through the back streets to the entry at O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park. Signage is in place through the Sturt Gorge Recreation Park, the Belair National Park, and the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park. Belair and Mark Oliphant is shared-use and there is a cycling alternative for Sturt Gorge.

Walking SA received great cooperation and even generous enthusiasm from suburban and city councils along the way. Rangers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA and officers of the Adelaide Hills Council are generously giving their time to the location and fixation of signage through the Adelaide Hills. The brand new Glenthorne National Park is currently being developed by the NPWSSA with walking corridors. The Happy Valley Reservoir will be opened to the public at the end of the year. We look forward to working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA and SA Water to complete the routes through Glenthorne and Happy Valley when the time is right.

The two most common questions are: When will it be finished? How long will it be? Walking SA was hoping that it will be finished by the end of the year. Let’s say not long after that. My estimation is that the Adelaide100 will be between 130km and 140km. We will see.

 

You can find out more about the Adelaide100 trail, and sign up for updates, at adelaide100.com.au.

Improve your Hiking Skills session

Sunday 22 August 2021
Hale Conservation Park

Choose from two sessions:
9am to 12noon, or
1pm to 4pm

Join an experienced leader from Walking SA for a guided walk & bushwalking skills session in the rugged and rocky Hale Conservation Park.

This 3-hour session will include a 2 hour hike in the park plus some time to have a chat and learn about:

  • How to plan and be well prepared for a hike
  • How to stay comfortable while walking
  • Equipment should you take with you
  • Navigation and map resources
  • What to do in an emergency
  • Rules and guidelines about walking in parks
  • The principles of Leave No Trace
  • Walking SA
  • Bushwalking Leadership South Australia

Fitness requirements: A moderate to good level of fitness is required to complete this hike. The proposed route is on grade 3 to 4 trails and includes some uneven surfaces with moderate to steep ascents and descents. This trail, while only 4kms, requires the ability to walk uphill and climb boulders on a sometimes rough but safe path.

Toilets: No toilets at meeting point. The nearest toilets are in Williamstown or Forestry SA Mt Crawford.

Driving: allow plenty of time to get to the start point, as it is a scenic but slow journey. The carpark is small and tight but is signposted, and on google maps.

Age: This event is suitable for children over 12 years of age accompanied by their adult and who are willing and able to complete a 3 hour trail hike.

What to bring:

  • Completed Medical Info and Acknowledgement of Risk form
  • Hiking boots / enclosed footwear
  • Sun protection – hat plus sunscreen
  • Wet weather protection (if rain forecast) – check the forecast
  • Warm clothing for after the walk (jumper/jacket)
  • Drinking water (minimum 1 litre per person)
  • Snacks
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Personal medication
  • Hand sanitiser

Please note that the event may be cancelled in the event of a total fire ban or extreme weather, at the discretion of Walking SA.

This event is proudly supported by National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia as part of the Parks of the Barossa – (Para Wirra, Warren, Hale, Kaiserstuhl, Sandy Creek and South Para Reservoir) – Park of the Month program.

Advice for Bushwalkers to consider Biosecurity

Recently we sought advice from the state government Primary Industries & Regions SA (PIRSA) in regards to issues bushwalkers should consider in relation to biosecurity.

Read the advice from Biosecurity SA – Invasive Species Unit, Primary Industries & Regions SA (PIRSA) in full below.

A major issue for the protection of native vegetation and primary production is the transport of seeds of weedy plants on clothing including footwear, and even coats or backpacks.

Walkers are advised to check their trousers, shoes and socks after walking through a weedy area, then take a moment to get all weed seeds out of their clothes. Staying on established walking trails can make it easier to avoid picking up this plant debris.

Walkers should also consider the potential for their vehicles to carry weeds on roadsides and car parks adjoining the walking trail.

The SA Weed Control App may be useful to walkers.

View as response letter (PDF).

 

Thank you for your enquiry, and for Walking SA’s interest in supporting the education of bushwalkers about biosecurity.

A major issue for the protection of native vegetation and primary production is the transport of seeds of weedy plants on clothing including footwear, and even coats or backpacks. All these items should be checked for any burrs, grass seeds etc. When camping out, it is also advisable to check swags and tents for seeds that get attached.

High risk declared weeds that may be transported in this way include caltrop, Noogoora burr and khaki weed; and, in the arid zone, buffel grass.

Walkers are advised to check their trousers, shoes and socks after walking through a weedy area, then take a moment to get all weed seeds out of their clothes. Staying on established walking trails can make it easier to avoid picking up this plant debris.

Walkers should also consider the potential for their vehicles to carry weeds on roadsides and car parks adjoining the walking trail.

Risk of vehicles spreading pests and diseases can be lessened by washing down using a hose, high pressure cleaner or spray tank and pump. Be sure to clean all potential seed collection points, and move the vehicle forward to ensure tyres are clean all around the tread. Sweep or vacuum inside the cab to remove seeds and plant debris.

Where no wash-down facilities are available be sure to physically remove all clods of mud and visible plant material in addition to cleaning the foot-well and cabin of the vehicle. Use a brush or scraping implement to remove contaminants such as burrs and clods of mud from tyres, mud guards, ledges and crevices where they could lodge.

Removed seeds should be bagged and taken to where they can be disposed of safely, for example by putting the bags in the ‘red’ garbage bin.

Soil pathogens such as phytophthora may also be carried in soil on footwear, particularly in the winter-spring wet months. Walkers should observe any signs marking known phytophthora infestations. The presence of shrubs that have died with all their dry brown foliage in place, especially yakkas and banksia, may indicate the presence of phytophthora.

Further to the above, the Invasive Species Council has produced a useful brochure on minimizing biosecurity risks when visiting natural areas: https://invasives.org.au/how-to-help/keep-gear-clean-wild/

Kangaroo Island is in the fortunate position of being free from many weeds and pests that are established on the mainland, and visitors have a responsibility to protect the island’s biosecurity. In particular, honey and unwashed potatoes must not be taken to Kangaroo Island. More information can be found at the Biosecurity SA website.

The SA Weed Control App may be useful to walkers. It illustrates all the plants declared in SA under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019, and enables a user to report infestations to regional weeds officers with GPS co-ordinates and a photo. The app can be downloaded from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions website at https://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/weeds_and_pest_animals/weeds_in_sa/weed_contr ol_app

Volunteer groups who are installing trails should obtain advice from regional Landscape board staff and land managers regarding biosecurity signage, as part of the approval process for the on-ground works.

Thanks again for your interest in biosecurity issues.

Yours sincerely,
Dr John Virtue
General Manager Strategy, Policy & Invasive Species

Showcasing a Walking Club: Gawler Bushwalkers

Gawler Bushwalkers on a hike

The Gawler Bushwalkers club has been going for over 20 years with many long-standing members and well qualified walk leaders. Members come from a wide range of backgrounds and ages and enjoy bushwalking and as well as walking for fitness and friendship. Many take a keen interest in native plants, trees and orchids, and walk locations often reflect this. The walk program is compiled at the AGM each year in February, and then walks are held every second Sunday from April to October. Members meet a carpark in Gawler for an 8am departure, often with car-pooling, to the walk start point. Most walks are held in the northern areas out from Gawler generally in the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley or Kapunda area and have included the Lavender Federation and Heysen Trail and the new Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail. Most Sunday walks are 5 to 6 hours in duration with stops for morning tea and lunch, after which some members will have a coffee and cake as a reward.

The walks cover a distance of 16 to 20km. Occasionally there is a shorter walk where available, and new, or less-experienced walkers’ needs are always accommodated, as the group aims to offer a welcoming, safe walking experience.

The club also runs a summer walk program on a Thursday afternoon/evening around the Gawler area from November to March, weather permitting.

There is a group of members currently walking the Walk the York trail which they should complete in 2022. A group is also holding a camp in Victor Harbor in October this year.

The club presently has 70 members with 20 to 25 who walk regularly.

The first walk with the walk is free and if people decide to continue, the membership fee is $20 per year. There is no charge for each walk.

You can find out more at:

You can find a walking club at walkingsa.org.au/walk/list-of-walking-clubs-south-australia.