Feedback sought on potential Belair National Park improvements (since closure of former Belair Golf Course and Country Club)

The Government is assessing how the land areas of the former Belair Golf Course and Country Club in Belair National Park could be utilized.

We’ve participated in discussion forums on the topic, and anyone can now provide feedback via the survey, which takes about 5-7 minutes to complete.

We’re keen to see how the area could be used to improve walking trails and other trail users, and any viable commercial businesses that might improve people’s experience in visiting the national park.

2018 Walking Awards Nominations Open

Our 2018 Walking Awards presentation will be in October 2018. We accept nominations throughout the year. 2018’s award nominations deadline is 14 September 2018.

Many volunteers and others have contributed to South Australia’s great walking trails, walking clubs, and walking promotion and opportunities for health, wellbeing, recreation and tourism.

Our annual walking awards recognise sustained and outstanding contribution to walking at all levels throughout SA. If you know of someone who should be considered for an award please do consider nominating them.

Awards categories:

  • Longstanding Contribution / Distinguished Service Award – Individual
  • Special Recognition Award – Individual
  • Special Recognition Award – Group / Organisation
  • Local Government Award – Individual
  • Local Government Award – Organisation

Criteria for awards will encompass:

  • Enhanced the development of walking in South Australia and/or
  • Significantly furthered the objectives of Walking SA and/or
  • Developed/supported the implementation of a significant walking project/activity and/or
  • Added value to the wider community of South Australia

Nominations may be made by any South Australian nominators. Referees and nominees are not required to be members of Walking SA or of a walking club. We’ll also be pleased to consider self nominations.

For more information refer to

Walktober 2018 Initiative Funded

WalktoberSA 2018, header image

Walking SA has been successful in receiving funding from the Office for Recreation and Sport for its Walktober 2018 initiative. This builds on the promotion and events we conducted throughout October 2017, including the key Trails Less Travelled event. We’ve got some great ideas to expand upon 2017’s initiatives to further meet our vision: to see more people walking more often.

We’re seeking to expand this year’s Walktober promotions by exploring potential opportunities with like-minded partners. We’d love to chat to organisations, walking groups and businesses to explore opportunities to collaborate in the fields of walking for health, leisure and transport, inclusive walking, and engaging with a diverse range of people from the community.

This is a significant opportunity for Walking SA’s members to promote walking in their club or organisation as well as reach out to the community at large to promote the vision of more people walking more often. Some ideas we’d like to explore:-

  • Collaborate to promote walking events in October
  • Events such as “Come and Try Days” and Guided Walks that could encourage walking and potential membership
  • Walking events and initiatives that promote inclusive walking, or engage with a diverse range of people from the community
  • Other opportunities for promoting walking

Please contact Walking SA to discuss opportunities as to how we might collaborate to promote walking in Walktober 2018.

Our focus on improving advocacy for walking

The voice of the people was heard about the sale of a section of Kangaroo Island coastline.

Here at Walking SA we are focussed on improving our advocacy for walking and on behalf of the walking community of South Australia.

Over recent months we’ve been involved with:

  1. Improving pedestrian crossings and crossing times on North Terrace with new RAH, SAHMRI and research precincts. We’ve been meeting with the Department of Transport Planning and Infrastructure to improve this.
  2. Input focussed on walking into the SA Health Public Health Plan Review
  3. Australian Adventure Activity Standards in consultation with Bushwalking Australia. After much discussion Bushwalking Australia will be finalising details shortly.
  4. Kangaroo Island coastline proposed sale to a private developer – Walking SA along with many other individuals and organisations including Friends of the Heysen Trail lodged a formal objection to this consideration. The voice of the people was heard and the Minister has advised that it will not proceed.
  5. Ongoing monitoring of gazetted changes to land use, such as unmade road reserves with review and lodging objections as appropriate when walking trail use or high-value potential walking trail use is compromised.

Of ongoing significant concern is still the issue of shared paths. This is still causing significant alarm to us and our members and the walking community at large. We will continue to make presentation to state and local government to address ways to improve the situation for all trail users. If you have issues of concern and examples of problems please get in touch with us.

Walking faster may lead to a longer, healthier life

For people aged over 60, the benefits of walking at a fast pace increased

For people aged over 60, the benefits of walking at a fast pace increased

Walking at an average pace was associated with a 20 per cent risk reduction for all-cause mortality compared with walking at a slow pace, and walking at a fast pace was associated with a 24 per cent risk reduction.

For people aged over 60, the benefits increased: an average walking pace was associated with a 45 per cent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk, and fast or brisk walking, a 55 per cent reduction.

The study by Sydney University analysed more than 50,200 walkers. Their most valuable message is that you’ve got to huff and puff and step up the pace until you’re out of breath, because that will lead to improvements.

And another study in Canada has confirmed what many people already believed: Walking for older people, even less than the recommended guidelines and only at moderate speed, can add years to your life. The 13-year study followed 140,000 people with an average age of 70.

Experts have calculated some best practice guidelines for time spent walking weekly. It’s about 150 minutes of moderately intense activity, or about 30 minutes five times a week, with about half that — 75 minutes a week — as a minimum.

But the study has found that even if you’re not meeting the minimum, the act of walking is still extremely valuable.

“Even a little walking might help you live longer. It’s been called a perfect exercise, it’s easy, cheap, doesn’t require special equipment and it doesn’t even have to be fast walking. Most of the participants said they walked about four kilometres an hour.”

Celebrating the completion of the Lavender Federation Trail

Congratulations to South Australian Recreation Trails (SARTI) on the opening of the final section of Lavender Federation Trail on May 5 at Clare, attended by a broad cross section of the walking and local community.

Some 21 years ago, back in 1997, a group of walkers realized the potential of a long distance walking trail on the eastern side of the Mt Lofty Ranges in South Australia. The attraction of a such a trail in this location was that it is in the “rain shadow” of the Mt Lofty Ranges thereby offering dry weather walking for much of the year.

The Lavender Federation Trail, now 325km long, beings on the Murray River in Murray Bridge and traverses diverse countryside on the eastern flanks of the Mt Lofty Ranges to Clare, connecting with almost 100km of link & loop trails to nearby towns, and attractions through the Barossa & Mid North of the State.

The unique feature of this trail? It has been designed, built and maintained entirely by volunteers, the eldest being 86. We understand it is the longest trail network in the country built entirely by volunteers.

Success of the Hiking Expo

The successful Hiking Expo event was on April 15th in Belair National Park. The day consisted of guided walks and 35 exhibitors promoting walking opportunities including trails, outdoor gear, walking clubs and walking groups and tours.

We had indications of upwards of 2,500 attending on the day but unfortunately with poor weather that weekend this was reduced to about 500.

The event was possible through the financial seed funding and many volunteers from our key event partners the Friends of the Heysen Trail, ARPA Bushwalkers and Heart Foundation Walking. Thanks to the financial generosity of member clubs and other revenue generation on the day we were able to break even financially.

Save next year’s date:
Sunday 14 April 2019, 9am to 1:30pm