Four trails in newly opened Happy Valley Reservoir

Happy Valley Reservoir opened to the public on the weekend, with 20km of trails over four new trail loops. The reservoir is also open to cycling, fishing and kayaking.

We’ve outlined the four trails below. The trails explore the water’s edge, woodlands, pine forest, native flora and open grassy areas.

Each of the four can be access from the main reservoir trailhead and carpark, off Chandlers Hill Road, from the roundabout with Kenihans Road. There are toilets, picnic shelters and bbqs at this trailhead. This carpark is accessible to wheelchair users. The two longer trails can also be accessed from the carpark near the dam wall, off Chandlers Hill Road, and a couple of other access gates scattered around the reservoir boundary.

  

Southern Loop
2km, Grade 2 Gentle hills, no bushwalking experience required
Marked with purple trail markers
This is the easiest and shortest of the four trails

View trail

  

Woodland Loop
4km, Grade 3 Short steep hills. Some bushwalking experience required
Marked with yellow trail markers
This is the second easiest and second shortest of the four trails

View trail

  

Boundary Loop
10.5km, Grade 4: Very steep hills. Some bushwalking experience required
Marked with green trail markers

View trail

  

Shoreline Loop
11km, Grade 4: Very steep hills. Some bushwalking experience required
Marked with orange trail markers

The Boundary Loop and Shoreline Loop are very similar, the difference being in the south eastern corner and southern side of the reservoir, the Shoreline Loop follows closer to the shore, whilst the Boundary Loop sticks closer to the boundary fence. There is a trail connection on the corner of South Road and Black Road between Happy Valley Reservoir and Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta.

View trail

During daylight savings, the reservoir is open from 7.30am – 8pm daily, except for days of total fire ban. Dogs are not permitted at Happy Valley Reservoir or at any of South Australia’s other reservoir reserves, as they can carry harmful bacteria and viruses that can easily contaminate the water and are a risk to the safety of the drinking water. Assistance animals are permitted.

Two new trails opened in Second Valley Forest Reserve

Merv Jones talking about this family’s long association with the forestry department, with over four generations of service predominately in Second Valley Forest. Pictured with Simon Rothwell, Mayor Yankalilla District Council, just before officially opening the Jones Journey trail.

This morning we attended the official opening of two new trails in Second Valley Forest Reserve.

🥾 7km each
⏰ 2 hours each, circuit
🐕 multi-use, kids, dogs, bikes, hikers, trail runners and walkers welcome!
📍 Second Valley Forest

Wilampa Trail
go-walk.today/733

Jones Journey
Opened by and named after the Jones Family, who have had a long association with the forestry department, with over four generations of service predominately in Second Valley Forest.
go-walk.today/734

The official opening of the Jones Journey trail in Second Valley Forest Reserve on 9 December 2021. From left to right:
– Simon Rothwell, Mayor Yankalilla District Council.
– Merv and Janet Jones (and daughter Rachel far right). The trail is named after the Jones family who have a long and illustrious association with the forestry department, with over four generations of service predominately in Second Valley Forest.
– Jeremy Carter, Walking SA.
– Julian Speed, ForestrySA Chief Executive.

The two new trails are just north of Deep Creek National Park, and 20mins drive from Second Valley and Rapid Bay. Both trails start from a trailhead on Bedlam Flat Road, off Range Road.

Nice work Foresty SA and the District Council of Yankalilla! The trails are part of the council’s Tracks and Trails Strategic Plan.

Panel Discussion on Trails – new trails

On 28 October, we hosted a panel discussion on trails – trail building, trail maintenance, current and emerging trail projects, and how the walking community can help.

Our panel, hosted by Board member Ben Trewren, included Matt Lang from National Parks and Wildlife Service SA, Rachel Godoy from Forestry SA, Chris Bushel from South Australian Recreation Trails Inc (SARTI), and Chris Davies from the Willunga Basin Trail.

The panel discussion included projects underway or being planned, which we’ve outlined below.

Recent and Current Projects by National Parks and Wildlife Service SA

National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia is building new experiences, improvements and facilities across the state including world-class fossil and mountain-biking experiences, new multi-day walks, trails, roads, campgrounds, kayak launches and car parks.

Approximately $130m is being invested across the state as part of the Parks 2025 initiative, a strategy that aims to conserve our natural landscapes and wildlife, activate nature-based tourism, boost the state economy and strengthen local communities.

Belair National Park

An upgrade to the Playford Lake – Wood Duck Walk trail. The project will upgrade the trail to meet class 1 accessibility standards.

Kangaroo Island – Cape Willoughby upgrade and funding for multi-day trail

An upgrade of the Cape Willoughby visitor precinct will help to transform the tourism experience at the eastern end of Kangaroo Island.

The state’s oldest lighthouse is set to host the island’s newest tourism destination following the announcement of a $5 million project aimed at supporting and rejuvenating the visitor economy.

Jointly funded by the federal and state governments, the redesign and rollout of the Cape Willoughby visitor precinct has been made possible thanks to the purchase of an additional eight hectares of former private land.

The federal government will be providing $4m and the state government $1m towards the project.

Located in Cape Willoughby Conservation Park, the redesign will include upgrades to heritage accommodation and visitor facilities, a cafe and visitor centre, new walking trails and a spectacular cantilever viewing platform overlooking ‘Devil’s Kitchen’.

The new viewing platform will be set above a 10-metre chasm in the cliffs where waves break over the rocks below and provide visitors with stunning coastal views.

Part of the funding would be also be used to kick start a process to deliver a multi-day trail from Penneshaw to Cape Willoughby, which would be done in partnership with the Tourism Industry Council.

Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail

The Wild South Coast Way is a project to upgrade 80km of the iconic Heysen Trail and connect the parks that run along the breathtaking southern coastline of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

  • $6 million investment to create a new multi-day walking experience on the Fleurieu Peninsula, which will provide an economic boost to the region and better connect the parks along the state’s southern coastline.
  • New walk-in campsites are currently being developed
  • A new Goondooloo Ridge Trail and day visitor facility has recently been opened in Deep Creek National Park.

New National Park in Hindmarsh Valley

  • The project will see $3 million invested to increase recreational experiences within a newly proclaimed national park on the Fleurieu Peninsula
  • As part of this project there will be approximately 7km of existing tracks opened up for walking access, a new class 1 shared use trail built to a lookout over the valley and a new walking only trail will be constructed.

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

Upgrades to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden will include resurfacing of key trail and the establishment of a new wayfinding strategy to develop a series of promoted walking loops throughout the garden.

Southern Flinders – Gorges Walk

  • The Gorges Walk trail network will create a new, iconic, multi-day hiking experience in the Southern Flinders Ranges, taking hikers through rugged gorges and up on to vantage points with spectacular views across the Spencer Gulf.
  • A consultant has been engaged to develop the plan for the new walk.

Glenthorne National Park

Construction on the trail network within Glenthorne National Park is now commencing.

This will expand the current single 4.4km loop trail.

Opening of Reservoirs

  • Continuing to work with SA Water to open reservoirs for public access and recreational use.
  • Construction of Happy Valley Reservoir’s 20-kilometre trail network, car parks and a range of visitor facilities is now underway, ahead of the site’s planned opening in December this year.

Nilpena Ediacara National Park

  • Scheduled to open in 2022, Nilpena Ediacara National Park is home to the world’s best example of Ediacaran fossils
  • A new fossil experience will be opened to the public next year and we’ve recently completed a new trail which will allow visitors to walk out to the fossil beds

Kangaroo Island Bushfire Recovery

In additional to the Parks 2025 investment, National Parks and Wildlife Service have been progressing rebuilding of park facilities on Kangaroo Islands.

  • We’re currently tendering for the rebuilding of campsites which will enable multi-day hikes on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail to recommence
  • The Remarkable Rocks boardwalk is nearing completion
  • Rebuilding of the Platypus Walk in Flinders Chase will be starting next month
  • Other fire affected trails across the island are currently being assessed for reopening

Recent and Current Projects by Forestry SA

Forestry SA will soon be opening two new 7km multi-use trail loops in Second Valley Forest. This is exciting because Second Valley Forest has never been opened for general public access before. The District Council of Yankalilla are installing a new carpark on the corner of Range Road and Bedlam Flat Road near new step-overs into the forest to access the trails. The trails follow fire breaks and tracks and meander between pine plantations and patches of native vegetation, providing beautiful views across towards Rapid Bay. An announcement will come soon on the official opening.

Forestry SA is currently auditing trails across the Mount Lofty Ranges region, with volunteers and rangers walking trail loops and checking signage and track conditions. The Mount Pleasant multi-use trail and Jenkins Scrub Walking Trail are currently being assessed.

We are working with SA Water and National Parks staff to effectively manage new walking trails which have recently been installed across all three land tenures in the South Para Reservoir area. This includes the Cattleyard Track – Para Wirra Link, Warren Tower Link and East Warren Reservoir Loop.

The multi-use Onkeeta Trail has been officially finished in Kuitpo Forest with trail head map plates installed next to a new step over and revamped carpark. This trail is currently closed due to harvesting operations but will reopen again very soon.

A section of the Willunga Basin Trail has been completed through the Mount Panorama area of Kuitpo Forest.

I’m currently working with the Friends of Heysen Trail to renovate Rossiter’s Hut in the southern Barossa’s Pewsey Vale block (Mount Crawford Forest). We’ll be working closely with volunteers to get in a contractor to complete works on the hut before the 2022 season walking season opens.

Recent and Current Projects by South Australian Recreation Trails Inc (SARTI)

SARTI has completed the 300km Lavender Cycling Trail – a variant of the walker’s Lavender Federation Trail designed for cyclists. A grant request has been submitted to mark trail.

They also undertook the project works to build two trails for the Clare and Gilbert Valley Council. The council has recently packaged six short walks to form the Clare Valley Short Walks, with two new trails marked by SARTI:

They were also involved in the Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail. The trail showcases Clare Valley’s natural beauty & premium food and wine products. It will be a 100km loop of hiking and cycling trails. The trail will travel on a network of backroads, road reserves & private property. Sections 1 was opened in April 2021, and section 2 on 3 October. The last four sections will be completed by April 2022.

They have been helping a fledgling concept project to develop a trail around Kangaroo Island.

A short loop trail off the Lavender Federation Trail at Eden Valley has been developed.

They’ve been involved in interest in developing the Eudunda to Morgan disused rail corridor as a trail to link the Lavender Federation Trail and Lavender Cycling Trail at Eudunda to the Murray-Coorong Trail at Morgan.

The discussion included issues with developing trails:

  • Lack of tradition of trails in Australia – unlike Europe. We seem to have obliterated any knowledge of indigenous trading routes.
  • Issues of gaining insurance for trails not developed or adopted by the State Government.
  • Nervousness and mind changing on behalf of landowners in granting access for trails.

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 with a passion for raising the profile of walking, improving walking environments and getting more people walking.

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.

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.

Help us to add more trails to our list of walks

We’re seeking info on just over 200 unlisted trails, so that we can expand our popular list of walks on our website. Currently with 630 walks listed around the state, it helps people to explore walking opportunities near them.

Remember during these Covid-19 times, you’ll need to follow social distancing and health measures, including any limitations on group size. Also note, whilst national parks and forests are open, some private locations remain closed at this time.

Trails we are seeking info on

We have a shortlist of 200 trails and walks we are seeking information on:

  1. view all walks on a map (200)
  2. or Doc #1: List of Bushwalks (143)
  3. or Doc #2: List of Suburban walks (43)
  4. or Doc #3: List of Historical walks (16)

Trails sorted by regions

You can view the same docs of trails we are seeking info on, but filtered by region:

Bushwalks (143) by regions:

Suburban walks (43) by regions:

To provide info on a trail

If you are interested to provide information for a trail, please let us know via the form below so we can update our spreadsheet to note that you are collecting information, so we can avoid multiple people doing the same work.

To add a marked trail or named trail (or a walk from our shortlist) to our website, please visit:
https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/submit-a-walk/

Before submitting your walk

Please ensure:

  • The walk is a named or marked trail, or one where directions are easy to follow
  • If the walk is not listed above on the trails we are seeking info on, then check that the walk is not already listed in our Find a Place to Walk directory
  • The walk is on public land (such as a reserve, park, pathway or beach). If the walk is on private land, that the landowner permits walking
  • The walk is in South Australia

Info we’re looking for on each trail

  • name of trail
  • brief description and the best thing about the trail
  • where to find maps
  • some photos
  • on some trails, some GPS data like a GPX file exported from a GPS device, smartphone or smartwatch (popular apps include Strava, or on iPhone myTracks or Open GPX Tracker, or on Andriod GPS Logger, or GPS Logger by BasicAirData)

Let us know you are going to provide information

If you are interested to provide information for a trail, please let us know via the form below so we can update our spreadsheet to note that you are collecting information, so we can avoid multiple people doing the same work.


Park of the Month
Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island
October 2019

Flinders Chase National Park, on Kangaroo Island, is the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA Park of the Month for October 2019. They’re celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Flinders Chase National Park.

Experience the rugged wilderness with its iconic landmarks such as the world-famous Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. Enjoy the park and its diverse wildlife on the network of walking trails. Trek the five day Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail on assisted day walks or camping out along the way.

Ravine Des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area connects the two sections of Flinders Chase National Park. Below we’ve outlined 19 hikes and trails in the two parks.

Looking for more walks on Kangaroo Island? View our article on the 30 Walks and Trails across the Parks of Kangaroo Island .

19 Great Hikes and Trails in Flinders Chase National Park

Discovery Walk1.

Discovery Walk

Easy walk, 400m, 10 mins return

This short walk will take you from the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre to the Walking Trail Information Shelter overlooking Black Swamp. Interpretive signs along the way will help hone your wildlife observation skills. Signs at the Black Swamp Lookout shelter give information about other hikes and walks accessed from here.

Continue reading article

50 Pram and Wheelchair Accessible Walks and Hikes

Adelaide and South Australia has many walking trails and hiking paths that are accessible to prams, strollers and people with mobility issues, including wheelchairs. We’ve outlined some of the best ones below.

The walks can also be great for children to ride their bikes along with their parents walking beside them.

We’ve broken the list down into 3 sections:

  1. Adelaide Metro Area (29 walks)
  2. Bush Walks (13 hikes)
  3. Regional South Australia (8 walks)

Throughout October we’re celebrating walking with #WalktoberSA.

Here’s a short selection of great hikes

Section 1 of 3. Adelaide Metro Area

Adelaide Park Lands Trail (loop ring route)1.

Adelaide Park Lands Trail

Walk suitable for prams and strollers Walk suitable for those with mobility issues including wheelchairs Walk suitable for dog walking

Series of connected walking and cycling trails through the parklands which loop around the city. Bisected by the River Torrens, offering the option to do either the southern or northern loops and loop back via the river.

  • Full circuit (around south Adelaide and North Adelaide): 18.1km
  • southern Adelaide circuit, using Torrens River to link up: 16km
  • North Adelaide circuit, using Torrens River to link up: 9km

The trail is an initiative of Adelaide City Council, who describe the trail as: “The trail is suitable for basic riders, family groups and mobility aid users.”


Continue reading article

Best walks to see wildflowers and flowers in the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula (updated)

Updated from 2018 article.

Explore some walking trails for see some of this Spring’s native wildflowers or other flowers.

We’ve listed some walking trails near Adelaide in the Adelaide Hills, and in parks and reserves on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

In this article:

  1. Wildflower and flowers walks in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills
  2. Wildflower walks on the Fleurieu Peninsula
  3. Links to other articles to find wildflowers

Wildflowers… or weeds?

What do we mean by the term “wildflowers”? It is often understood to mean native Australian flowers growing freely in the wild. However… unfortunately some of the flowers we see growing alongside trails in our national parks and reserves are introduced species of flowers, which means they are weeds.

It could be subjective how much enjoyment someone derives from walking through nature and seeing these flowers – be they native wildflowers or introduced flowers (weeds).

Regardless – a quick public service announcement – don’t pick the flowers – either native wildflowers or weeds. The native wildflowers should be left as-is, so they keep growing in the wild. And some weeds shouldn’t be picked and transported, because it tends to encourage them to spread.

Generally in the walks we’ve listed below, we’ve tried to show native wildflowers, but we acknowledge that some of the photos will invariably be of introduced species – weeds. And a couple of the walking trails below include flowers we very much know are not native to Australia, but we’ve included the trail destinations as they’re great places to walk and see flowers and nature.

1. Wildflower and flowers walks in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills

Black Hill Conservation Park

In Black Hill Conservation Park explore the wildflowers on the Black Hill Summit Hike (4.2km return Hard Hike) or the Ambers Gully Hike and Sugarloaves Trail (4.4km circuit, Moderate Hike).

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georginagentle georginagentleBlack Hill

Continue reading article

Park of the Month, Murray River National Park, September 2019

Murray River National Park is the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA Park of the Month for September 2019.

We’ve outlined the three walking trails in the park. Nearby there’s more of the Riverland and Murray River to experience on foot, and we’ve included some of the best ones below.

The Murray River National Park provides great opportunities for a variety of recreational activities such as walking, canoeing, bird watching and bush camping in a near natural environment. The park is divided into three separate areas: Katarapko (Winkie), Lyrup Flats (Lyrup) and Bulyong Island (Renmark). As these areas are separated by towns, visitors will need to ensure they familiarise themselves with maps of the region.

Walking Trails in the Murray River National Park

Ngak Indau Wetland Trail1.

Ngak Indau Wetland Trail

3.0km, 1.5 hours

This walk begins at the car park just off Lock 4 road and winds its way through the Ngak Indau wetland, out to the river and back again. Check out the wetland birdlife like spoonbills, an array of duck species, herons and whistling kites.


Kai Kai Nature Trail2.

Kai Kai Nature Trail

1.3km, 40 mins

Walk along the Katarapko Creek bank and see the range of life found on the flood plain and how the plants and animals live together through seasonal water changes. Unfortunately, as at January 2018, many of the interpretive signs have faded or are missing. However the trail is still well marked, having recently had new directional signs installed.


Cragg’s Hut Walk3.

Cragg’s Hut Walk

1.3km, 40 mins

Wander along this 2km circuit trail to explore how the first Europeans lived and worked the land here. See the historic remains of the homes of the Craigies and the Blands and visit the grave of Margaret Craigie. From the lookout gaze out over the land that once sustained these families.


Other Great Walking Trails in the Riverland

Nearby there’s more of the Riverland and Murray River to experience on foot, and we’ve included some of the best ones below.

Wilabalangaloo Trail4.

Wilabalangaloo Trail

1.7km, 45 mins

Explore rich Mallee animal and plant habitat and the river frontage of Wilabalangaloo Reserve. 3 trail options, Mallee Circuit (red, 1.7km circuit), River Link (blue, 820m one-way), Lookout Spur (marked in green, 680m return).


Banrock Station Wetland Walking Trails5.

Banrock Station Wetland Walking Trails

2.5km, 1 to 3 hours

Self-guided walking trails, designed to suit all fitness levels, wind their way around the beautifully restored wetlands, mallee and flood plains.


Hart Lagoon Wetland Walk6.

Hart Lagoon Wetland Walk

6.6km, 1-2 hours

Hart Lagoon is situated close to the Waikerie township and riverfront. The walking track starts adjacent to the Waikerie Caravan Park and is a loop of 5km. It follows the edge of the lagoon to Ricciuto Road and returns between the river and the lagoon.


Paringa Paddocks Trail7.

Paringa Paddocks Trail

7.8km, 2 hours

Paringa Paddocks has been used by locals for many years and has various tracks throughout. In May 2017 Renmark Paringa Council upgraded the trail network. The Trail consists of 2 main loops (marked in yellow) and 4 alternative routes (marked in blue). The trails are suitable for walking and mountain bikes.


Border Cliffs Customs House Walking Trail8.

Border Cliffs Customs House Walking Trail

4.1km, 1.5 hours

Meander through the wetlands and creeks beside the Murray River. The wetland flora and fauna are highlights of this trail, especially the majestic River Red Gums and abundant birdlife.


Loxton Nature Trail9.

Loxton Nature Trail

3.1km, 1 hour one-way

Wander along the riverfront westwards to Heaven (steep climb to lookout). The walking and nature trails meander through the natural riverine environment rich in history and geology, many of the gum trees are hundreds of years old.


An account of walking the Heysen Trail Beyond Parachilna

View from Patawarta Hill... should be Patawarta Mountain!

View from Patawarta Hill… should be Patawarta Mountain!

This article originally appeared in the Friends of the Heysen Trail Spring 2019 Trailwalker magazine, and is reproduced here with permission.

Jim McLean, in previous issues of Trailwalker 1, has proposed starting the Heysen Trail from Kangaroo Island. Here he details his trek beyond the northern trailhead of the 1,200km Heysen Trail from Parachilna, walking 18 days to Mount Hopeless, in the northernmost Flinders Ranges.

In May 2012, I gloriously climbed the stile in Parachilna Gorge to complete the 1200kms of the Heysen Trail independently over 22 years. My companions and I looked at each other and said, ‘We shouldn’t stop here. Look what’s over the road!’

In the 1960s, Warren Bonython walked all the way to Mount Hopeless 2, the unofficial northern extent of the Flinders Ranges. We should do the same!

Andrew McLean and and Jim McLean enjoying the view from atop Tam O’Shanter Hill

Andrew McLean and and Jim McLean enjoying the view from atop Tam O’Shanter Hill

Plenty of groups have done it, we thought, as we eyed the remote and mysterious country beyond. Such expeditions are not for the inexperienced, unskilled or faint-hearted. We did not fit any of these categories, but we were getting on a bit. We were past carrying 20kg packs on our backs. So this story is an attempt at a solution for everyone, including our valued senior citizens.

Spreading the maps over the table revealed a possibility that, unfortunately, did not include the spectacular interior of the Gammon Ranges. We were thinking of bases in the sheep station country between Parachilna, the Gammons and Arkaroola. From there with the aid of 4WDs we could do the route in bits and pieces: day walks and one or two overnighters. We thought Freeling Heights difficult but unavoidable. You wouldn’t want to leave it out anyway.

As luck would have it there was an immediate spark of interest from my brother Andrew – a serious four-wheel driver and not so serious walker – offering transport and support for Robert Koehne, John Fuller and myself.

The base for an initial trip was Blinman Hut, the initiative of Keith and Lisa Slade of Moolooloo Station, built and fitted out for nomads like us. All country in this region is privately leased. Developing respect and good relationships is fairly straightforward but essential. If you wish to deviate from the publicly-accessible roads in the area you need permission from the landholders.

Setting off in June 2018, we quickly discovered driving to Moolooloo, chatting with Keith, and on to Blinman Hut, that it would take us longer than expected for drop-offs and pick-ups. Certainly our plan to get to Arkaroola this time round might have to be modified.

Blinman Hut was the perfect stay. Bore and rain water were on tap, the wood-fired stove warmed us in the evenings, and we had warm showers when we stoked up the elevated boiler outside. Andrew’s 4WD provided refrigerated storage and lighting inside the hut. We also were equipped with spacious tents for sleeping.

The promising but failed Nuccaleena Mine

The promising but failed Nuccaleena Mine

A few planned warm-up excursions proved to be engaging and sobering. The promising but failed Nuccaleena Mine must have been exciting in its short life span. A lot of investment money was lost when it prematurely ran out of ore.

We searched without success for the Aboriginal rock art on Tam O’Shanter Hill, but got a great view from the top. We secured permission from the owner of Narrina Station to climb Patawarta and visit the historic Artimore sheep station. Like many features in the northern Flinders Ranges, Patawarta Hill is inappropriately and tritely named. (Bonython spends some time in his book on this point, citing examples like Dick’s Knob.) Patawarta Hill should be Patawarta Mountain! From the north it was not a difficult climb; a most rewarding walk and the best of panoramic views from the top.

The main business of our visit – following the Oratunga, Molkegna and Narrina creek lines, with some vehicular track on the connecting flats – was no less rewarding. It was the most pleasant ‘get-away-from-it-all’ country anyone could imagine.

The historic Artimore sheep station

The historic Artimore sheep station

We made it from the Trailhead at Parachilna Gorge to Narrina Homestead in four ‘day walks’. But by then we were spending so much time in drop-offs and pick-ups that we knew if we went any further we would have no time for walking.

Next time we will possibly have bases at Grindell’s Hut and Arkaroola, pushing on to the closest vehicular access below Freeling Heights. After that we would make our own base camps. The valley after Freeling sounds, from Bonython’s book, inviting and well worth aiming for on the way to Mount Hopeless.

I have an 18-day plan in spread-sheet format and a set of maps of a route from Parachilna Gorge to Mount Hopeless that I would be willing to share. Contact me via email on jamclean57@icloud.com if you are interested.

  1. Split article, published in Spring 2017, and Summer 2018
  2. Walking the Flinders Ranges by C. Warren Bonython, 1971

Following Churchhill Fellowship awardee Ben Trewren on exploring the world best of ‘Shared-use’ Trails

I spent all day with Mitch, an Alpine Ranger, on the Rainbow Trail. What makes this trail unique is that it makes its way through Whistler’s watershed. In fact, every drop of water we saw is Whistler’s drinking water. I was really encouraged that the community has been able to appreciate that you can still recreate in such an ‘important’ area.

I spent all day with Mitch, an Alpine Ranger, on the Rainbow Trail. What makes this trail unique is that it makes its way through Whistler’s watershed. In fact, every drop of water we saw is Whistler’s drinking water. I was really encouraged that the community has been able to appreciate that you can still recreate in such an ‘important’ area.

Walking SA Board member and Churchill Fellowship recipient Ben Trewren is currently travelling and undertaking an investigation into how engaging people in outdoor trails can assist in building community through world-class ‘shared-use’ trail and outdoor experiences.

In 2018 Ben was awarded the Terry Lavender Scholarship and hopes to honour Terry’s legacy by harnessing the opportunity to uncover new ideas, attitudes and implementation strategies to further the profile and accessibility of outdoor recreation trails for all types of users.

Ben is currently travelling through Canada, having been through New Zealand and some of the United States, and will continue on to the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Netherlands to speak to, explore and learn from the best in the outdoor industry.

In his Week One blog post from New Zealand, Ben shared how he observed a every stakeholder in a trail considers that they have a role to play – whether they be the national government, local councils, peak bodies, commercial operators, recreation clubs, community groups and the everyday users themselves.

In his Week Two post from Canada, he shared how we have perhaps attached ourselves to the idea that we’re entitled to everything the outdoors offers us. Whether it be landscapes, trails, scenic areas or facilities, and that we shirk the responsibility to give back by sharing it and inspiring other people.

You can follow his updates on his blog, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin or subscribe to email updates.

New trail: $6m Great Southern Ocean Walk along the Fleurieu Peninsula

Map of Great Southern Ocean Walk

The SA Government has announced an investment in creating the Great Southern Ocean Walk – an upgrade of the iconic Heysen Trail along the Fleurieu Peninsula, connecting Deep Creek and Newland Head conservation parks, and Granite Island Recreation Park.

Parts of the Heysen Trail will be upgraded, and day visitor facility and a fully accessible destination constructed at the heart of Deep Creek National Park to ensure our parks are a place people with disabilities can enjoy. Existing campgrounds and amenities will also be upgraded to cater for growing demand.

The Great Southern Ocean Walk will be a 5-day walk with campsites. Over the past two years the Friends of the Heysen Trail have been involved with the working committee to develop the concept, having previously been involved in providing feedback in the concept research.

The $6 million project is part of the government’s $11.8 million New Parks Investment as part of the upcoming 2019-20 State Budget. The $11.8 million for parks will enhance nature tourism, will improve access, amenities and services in our national parks, and ensure they continue to play an important part in the lives of South Australians, and in building our visitor economy.

Watch the announcement video.
Read the government media release.

View our response, joint Media Release with the Heart Foundation.

 

Easter a perfect time to explore our State on foot

Easter is a perfect time to grab those shoes and explore some of our State on foot.

Travelling over Easter? Find walks near where you’ll be:

Looking for somewhere to explore near home? Review our themed shortlists of walks such as:

Concept trail being developed for the Riverland

Riverland Trail Concept Plan documentThe Riverland Trail concept is a 200 kilometre walking and cycling trail, navigating some of the region’s most stunning and iconic natural Murray River landscapes.

The Trail concept is being worked on by three local councils: Renmark Paringa Council, Berri Barmera Council and District Council of Loxton Waikerie.

The proposed Riverland Trail will follow the Murray River from Waikerie to Renmark, and will connect with another 50km of existing tracks and trails scattered across the region. The Trail will provide opportunities to explore local produce, wineries, and a host of nature and water-based activities, and increase nature-based tourism in the Riverland.

Funding is being sought for the 2019/20 financial year from each of the three Councils.

The new trail is sure to complement the host of excellent walking trails already in the Riverland.

Find out more about the project at renmarkparinga.sa.gov.au/tracksandtrails

View the concept plan document.