Response to Vision of the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges as an International Mountain Biking Destination

We have made a submission to the Government of South Australia in regards to their proposal developing the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges as an international mountain biking destination.

WalkingSA logo19 December 2014

The Honourable Ian Hunter, MLC
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
GPO Box 1047

Dear Minister,

Re: Visioning Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges as an International Mountain Biking Destination: Response to stakeholder consultation meeting October 2014.

In October 2014, Walking SA was invited to attend a stakeholder meeting to discuss “Developing the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges as an International Mountain Biking Destination”.

We appreciate the opportunity that was offered at this meeting to provide feedback about the potential benefits and risks of progressing this concept.

As the peak body for all forms of walking in South Australia, Walking SA is fully supportive of actions that will showcase our State. We believe visioning the Mount Lofty Ranges as an international recreation destination and promoting a broad range of activities has great merit, given the close proximity to our city, the accessibility and natural beauty of the area.

However, we strongly recommend that any proposal to raise the profile of the Mount Lofty Ranges as an international recreation destination must be inclusive of walking.

The Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges already has an outstanding network of quality walking trails and shared use corridors that provide great recreational opportunities for walkers and horse riders, as well as mountain bike riders.

A limited recreational vision for the future of the Mount Lofty Ranges – i.e. primarily as a Mountain Biking Destination – misses the potential for broader development and promotion of the region as an exciting opportunity for local, national and international visitors to explore the region in different ways.

Walking SA proposes three key principles (and associated risks) for consideration in future recreational planning in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

1. Safety and enjoyment of everyone – i.e. local and international walkers, riders and mountain-bike riders who access the Mt Lofty Ranges for recreation:

There is a significant speed differential between different types of users on shared trails, particularly for walkers and downhill mountain bikes. Heavy or fast bicycle use on ostensibly shared trails can discourage walking, particularly for older walkers or those with hearing or sight impediments. Similarly, large crowds of walkers or sightseers on a trail can impede cyclists.

Trails designed for downhill mountain bike riding cannot be regarded as suitable for walkers. Therefore, a well-planned mix of trail types needs to be provided to cater for the diverse needs and abilities within the community.

2. Environmental impact

Degradation of narrow, vulnerable bush walking trails increases when tracks are opened up to multi-purpose use. Mountain bike riding is much more likely than walking to produce ‘gullying’ and water flow along tracks, leading to erosion or ponding. Careful planning, trail design and regular monitoring will be critical to all future development, particularly if the Ranges are promoted primarily as a mountain bike destination.

3. Cost of building and maintaining trails

Walking infrastructure is relativity inexpensive and in many cases already exists. The requirements for mountain bike tracks will be significantly more expensive to construct and maintain. Funding for the development and maintenance of a variety of trails will provide a greater return on investment in terms of both health benefits and tourism.

In conclusion, Walking SA suggests that the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges should be promoted as an INTERNATIONAL WALK / RIDE / BIKE DESTINATION which offers fantastic opportunities for walkers, mountain bikers, off-road cyclists, back road cyclists and horse riders.

The focus of promotion could be the range of opportunities so close to a major city. Maps and descriptors could be made of trails and routes that could be explored in different ways. Casual and more serious adventures could be promoted. Linking of food and wine outlets, and overnight stays, could feature.

A broader and more inclusive focus would ultimately attract larger numbers of international visitors.

Walking SA is supportive of further inclusive development of the Mount Lofty Ranges to encourage a greater variety of recreational activity and enjoyment, boost tourism and promote positive health outcomes.

Please contact Walking SA if we can be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Dannielle McBeath
Executive Officer
Walking SA

2015 Events + Introducing New Board + Travel by Camel

This article contains 3 stories:

Traversing the Landscape by Camel Safari


Camel SafariA bushwalker’s addiction is to transform the horizon into the night’s campsite. A string of camels moving gently through a rarely visited outback landscape carry everything but your day pack. Here are ingredients for a memorable hike.

The safaris don’t often travel the same route or return to the same place. The exceptions are magical places, campsites that beckon and have done so for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. At one of these, an indigenous tool factory on the face of a sand dune is close to the stone ruins of a shepherds hut and only a few hundred meters from our campsite. In turn, the campsite is only a few giant Coolabah trees away from a motionless, nesting Tawny Frogmouth. One night laughing around the campfire did we imagine the leaves moving in the stillness?

Next morning, we follow a low sand dune towards the distant mesas that will be our camp for the coming night. The images from that day have the flavour of other days and nights – they linger in the mind: an expanse of tall purple-flowering pea; a claypan with remnant reflecting water patterned around with a crazing of bird prints; an orange-tinged bearded dragon motionless except for an eye blink; shimmering mirages; the soft cushioned movement of camel feet leaving little impression on sand or just a shine on stone; an orange chat darting across the gibber stones; the sky fitting like a blue dome over a landscape that seems to go on forever; night skies filled with an unimaginable number of stars; silence and timelessness.

2015 Events + Introducing New Board

Wendy KeechFollowing the Walking SA Annual General Meeting held on 30 October, I would like to formally introduce our current Board and extend a warm welcome to Alan Bundy who is returning to the Board and Michelle Wilson, who joins us from the National Heart Foundation. The Board is dedicated to raising the profile of Walking SA, maintaining a strong connection with our existing members and building new members in 2015.

The Walking SA Board is:

  • Wendy Keech, Chair
  • Narelle Berry, Deputy Chair
  • Ian Budenberg, Treasurer
  • Margaret Gadd, Secretary
  • Alan Bundy
  • Jeremy Carter
  • Bill Gehling
  • Andrew Govan
  • Jim McLean
  • Melanie Smith
  • Michelle Wilson

Our Board consists of volunteers and is comprised of highly committed members who possess diverse backgrounds bringing a range of skills including business management, community engagement, finance, policy, research, marketing, IT, trail design and maintenance. View profiles of our Board Members.

I look forward to overseeing the implementation of many new initiatives and monitoring the progress as our Strategic Plan is put into action. We will be holding some public events and promotions with an aim to increase the profile of walking as an easy to access, inclusive mode of physical activity that is great for social, physical and mental health. Details of such events will be released in the new year.

We are also holding a members forum in March that will engage members in the strategic vision of Walking SA.

I wish all of the Walking SA members and supporters a safe and happy Christmas break. We look forward to a productive, successful and progressive year in 2015 where we will strive to see the profile and participation rates of walking in South Australia significantly increased.

Wendy Keech
Chair, Walking SA

Change of Walking SA Contact Details

Please note that Walking SA has moved from the Greening Australia Building in Pasadena and we have updated our postal address.

Our new contact details are:  PO Box 581, Echunga  SA  5153
Phone: 0457 006 620

Coward Springs Camel Safaris

Report on 2014 Annual General Meeting

Walking-SA-Annual-Report-2013-14-promo-coverThe 2014 Annual General Meeting of Walking SA was held on 30th October 2014 at the Unley Community Centre.

In attendance were representatives of 10 bushwalking clubs, the Heart Foundation, Office of Recreation and Sport, Walking SA Executive Officer and Board members. Reports were provided during the meeting by Narelle Berry (Acting Chair), Ian Budenberg (Treasurer), Bill Gehling and John Eaton. Guest Speaker, Marc de Lange, Adelaide Hills Council, presented an overview of the Trails Network Strategy which is being developed jointly by Councils in the Adelaide Hills region.

Walking SA thanks all clubs, individual members, partner organisations and Office of Recreation and Sport for their support during the past year.

FREE SA National Parks vehicle entry – take the kids to walk and explore

Nature Play - FREE SA National Parks vehicle entry 1024px

Thanks to the guys at Nature Play.

South Australian Parks are special places that provide a safe home for thousands of plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. Hike, ride, swim, climb, camp, play or take photographs at any of South Australia’s great Parks listed below with this free vehicle entry pass!

Need some inspiration for where to walk and explore? Check out the SA National Parks Guide.

Photos courtesy of Play & Go.

AGM + Annual Report Published + Hear Speaker on Vision of Adelaide Hills Trail Strategy

Our AGM is 7pm next Thursday, 30 October 2014, at the Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur Street, Unley.

Light nibbles and drinks will be provided.

View the Agenda.

Annual Report Published

Walking-SA-Annual-Report-2013-14-promo-coverRead our Annual Report.

Highlights include:

  • eleven highlights of the past year
  • read about the year’s achievements in the Chairman’s Report
  • letter from the Government of SA congratulating the Board on the successful implementation of the recommendations of the 2013 Governance Review
  • an overview of our membership
  • report from our new Executive Officer
  • Treasurers Report about supplementing government grant income and handling of the annual insurance renewals
  • the success of our Walking Expo
  • Verdun Bridge Feasibility Study
  • Trails Report including the progress on the Mount Lofty Ranges Trails Walking Trail Network

AGM Guest Speaker – Adelaide Hills 20 Year Trail Strategy

Adelaide Hills Trails Network Strategy for website

Our AGM guest speaker, Mark de Lange from Adelaide Hills Council, will give a short presentation on the Adelaide Hills 20 Year Trail Strategy.

The strategy is designed to link townships for commuting purposes, provide unique experiences for visitors and provide outlets for recreational activity. Trail opportunities identified include a mix of walking, cycling and horse riding trails; some for shared use and other trails designed specifically for walking.

Read the strategy: Part One and Part Two.

Art Exhibition: Echoes of the Heysen Trail

Echoes of the Heysen Trail

The guys over at the Friends of the Heysen Trail are hosting an art exhibition this coming month. South Australia’s 1,200km Heysen Trail extends from Cape Jervis, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, to Parachilna Gorge, in the Flinders Ranges, traversing coastal areas, native bushland, rugged gorges, pine forests, vineyards, rich farmland and historic towns.

Exhibition Opening
2.30pm Saturday 1 November 2014
Robin Hood Hotel, 315 Portrush Rd, Norwood
Free entry

Exhibition 1 Nov – 30 Nov 2014

A range of paintings on the Heysen Trail available for purchase, varying sizes.

Marree De Souza
Marika Lis

Proposed 400km Walking Trail along River Murray – Feedback Sought

UPDATE July 2016

There is a project update published in July 2016.

Murraylands River Trail Feasibility StudyA walking and riding trail along the River Murray is being considered by three councils – Rural City of Murray Bridge, the Mid Murray Council and the Coorong District Council.

A feasibility study is underway and input is being sought. The trail could begin in Salt Creek on the Coroong, following the Coorong to the Murray Mouth, then following the meandering River Murray to Morgan via Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge and Mannum. The trail will provide links to a number of iconic and historic river towns, major tourism attractions and other existing trail networks along its route.

This feedback survey allows people to view the preliminary trail alignment prior to the land survey commencing. The feedback survey closes 3 November 2014.

You can review the high level alignment maps:

Get Funding for People Friendly Streets and Safer Roads

content_imageResidents Win is a funding program to people friendly streets and safer roads. Creating a liveable street environment, that encourages walking, cycling and the safe use by other road users help create liveable communities and people friendly streets.

Do people feel safe and comfortable getting around in your local area? Or are there road related behaviours that seem inappropriate and make people feel unsafe?

Would you like to improve local road safety and help create places that are easy to get around and enjoy?

Residents Win can help you identify the most appropriate solutions to increase your understanding of road safety issues and to create people friendly streets and safer roads.

Solutions that are then funded might include projects to address specific problem behaviours or a project that might improve the physical environment, or both.

The application is easy, and an Ideas Planner is available to develop your idea.

Step forward for Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Walking-the-south-west-coast-of-Kangaroo-Island-Jeremy-Carter-IMG_8667The $5m five-day walking trail that the Government of SA is developing on Kangaroo Island has been officially named the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

The project was announced during the Budget earlier this year.

“The Trail will give walkers the opportunity to experience the outstanding natural beauty of Flinders Chase National Park, Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area and Kelly Hill Conservation Park. The trail will lead them to Cape du Couedic light house, Admirals Arch, Remarkable Rocks and Kelly Hill Caves,” said Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter.

“We expect the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail will bring up to another 5000 visitors to Kangaroo Island every year, adding to the 190 000 people who already make the trip,” he said.

The government hopes the trail will rival other popular walks such as New Zealand’s Milford Track and the Overland Track in Tasmania.

The trail is set to be completed in June 2016.

Walking SA Annual General Meeting

The Walking SA Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, 30 October 2014 from 7.00pm at the Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur Street, Unley.

The evening will commence with a short presentation from Mark de Lange who will present on the Adelaide Hills Council 20 Year Trail Strategy and Action Plan, the current Adelaide Hills walking trail network, and other Hills walking matters of interest. The strategy is designed to link townships for commuting purposes, provide unique experiences for visitors and provide outlets for recreational activity. Trail opportunities identified include a mix of walking, cycling and horse riding trails; some for shared use and other trails designed specifically for walking. Read the strategy: Part One and Part Two.

View the Agenda.

Please advise your availability to attend, RSVPing via email ( by 23 October 2014.

Light nibbles and drinks will be provided.  We look forward to seeing you on the night.

Letter of congratulations to Walking SA from Office for Recreation and Sport Executive Director

This letter was received from Paul Anderson, Executive Director, Office for Recreation and Sport. It congratulates Walking SA on the successful implementation of the majority of the recommendations of the recent Governance Review conducted by PKF Organisations Development on behalf of the Office for Recreation and Sport (ORS).

Your Strategic Plan 2014-16 has set out clear goals for the board to work towards and was an opportunity for the members and other stakeholders to input into the future direction of their association.

View the original letter document.

Extract of letter:

Ms Narelle Berry
Acting Chair, Walking SA
PO Box 1094, PASADENA SA 5042

Dear Ms Berry

I would like to congratulate the Board of Walking SA (WSA) and the previous Chair, Ms Cate Mettam, on the successful implementation of the majority of the recommendations of the recent Governance Review conducted by PKF Organisations Development on behalf of the Office for Recreation and Sport (ORS).

The work of the Board has refreshed the image, broadened the scope and set up a structure and strategic direction that has positioned Walking SA to take advantage of opportunities for partnerships and membership growth.

By developing the Charier of Board Responsibilities, the current Board has left a valuable legacy of documentation that supports current and future individual board directors undertake their role. The Charter will ensure clarity about the expectations placed on them and provides guidance for activities and decisions.

Your Strategic Plan 2014-16 has set out clear goals for the board to work towards and was an opportunity for the members and other stakeholders to input into the future direction of their association.

The creation of a new dynamic website and the successful Walking Expo in March, have provided a new profile for Walking SA and are great tools for promoting your services.

The Find a Walk tool is an offering that demonstrates your commitment to servicing the wider community of walkers. This tool encourages new engagement with your organisation and may build a marketable network of contacts for potential sponsors.

I am also pleased to hear of the positive approach you have taken as a representative on the Trails Committee,and your strong relationship with like-minded organisations such as Horse SA and Bicycle SA. I understand that you have also been proactive in supporting the consultation process for the new Adventure Activity Standards.

Finally, the recruitment of an Executive Officer will support the Board in the implementation of the strategic plan and to drive initiatives to support current and new members. I understand that your new Executive Officer, Ms Dannielle McBeath has experience in marketing, events and strong networks in media and business.

I look forward to hearing the progress of your organisation’s continued growth in the regular internal reports on Governance projects from my staff.

Michelle lngrames, Senior Project Officer – Sport Governance, is your Industry Advisor and will continue to be available to Walking SA, as you finalise the recommendations of the review. Michelle can be contacted on 7424 7729.

Yours sincerely
Paul Anderson
Office for Recreation and Sport
October 2014

This Sunday – opening of the next section of the Lavender Federation Trail from Truro to Eudunda

Opening-Flier-2-380wEudunda Centennial Gardens (Colin Thiele Park)
Sunday 28th September 2014

Guided walks:

  1. 9.30am: 5.4km, along the old aqueduct and local golf course finishing at the Eudunda Town Gardens.
  2. 10.00am: 5.4km, reverse direction and start in Eudunda Town Gardens, walk through the golf course to the old Aqueduct to Riemann Road, and walkers picked up at Nicholson Rd and returned to the start.
  3. 9.30am: 4km, walkers driven/car pool about 13 km from Eudunda township to Smith Rd, a circular uphill walk through historic Narcoota Water Reserve and back to starting point
  4. afternoon: short historical town walk around the Eudunda

8:30am onwards the Street Party Ladies providing drinks, morning tea and lunch
Live Music from ‘Eudunda Rocks’
Official opening at 1pm

The opening coincides with the 15th anniversary of the first walk on the Lavender Federation Trail in September 1999.

View location on map.

New Executive Officer for Walking SA

Dannielle McBeath, Executive Officer, with Cate Mettam, former President and Brian Goodhind, former Administration Officer

Dannielle McBeath, Executive Officer, with Cate Mettam, former President and Brian Goodhind, former Administration Officer

Walking SA has warmly welcomed Dannielle McBeath as our new Executive Officer. Dannielle has a strong background in the management of not-for-profit organisations and extensive experience in fund-raising, marketing and promotion. Her skills and contributions will take Walking SA to a new level in coming years.

Dannielle met many members and friends at a recent Welcome function, and looks forward to meeting other members and partner organisations as soon as possible. She will be working 20 hours a week, and can be contacted on

At the recent drinks nights, members also thanked and farewelled Cate Mettam, Board President, and Brian Goodhind, Administration Officer.

Cate has retired to spend more time with her family. Her tireless efforts over the past 12 months have been greatly appreciated. Thank you Cate!

Brian Goodhind is looking forward to more time out walking now that his office duties have been completed. Many thanks also to Brian for his contributions over the years.

Grant program open – info sessions this week

Active Club Program

This grants program is available to walking, recreation and sports clubs to provide assistance with programs and equipment (up to $5,000) from a pool of $2.3m.

Applications close Monday 13 October 2014.

Information sessions this week.

Date Venue Time
Tuesday 19 August Office for Recreation and Sport
G2/G3 Conference Room
27 Valetta Road
Kidman Park 5025
6pm – 8pm
Wednesday 20 August Ingle Farm Recreation Centre
Corner Beovich Road and Roopena Street
Ingle Farm 5098
6pm – 8pm
Tuesday 26 August Reynella Community Centre
1 Oval Road
Reynella 5161
6pm – 8pm