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.

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.

Best Overnight Hikes in South Australia

South Australia has many great trails to undertake multi-day hikes on and camp out along the way, we’ve listed some great 2-3 day treks and 5 day treks below.

Spend your days hiking and watch the sunset, sleeping in a tent and waking up to a chorus of birdlife on some of these spectacular hikes.

Throughout October we’re celebrating walking with walktoberSA. Watch out for some more lists of best walks and hikes throughout the month.

9 hikes to hike on trails and camp out

Hidden Gorge Hike, Mambray Creek1.

Hidden Gorge Hike, Mambray Creek

2 days

Ok, so you can do this hike as a single day loop, but why, when you can camp in the secret Hidden Gorge hikers-only campsite and experience the tranquility of Hidden Gorge by yourself.

Day 1: Mambray Creek to Hidden Gorge Campsite via Mambray and Alligator Creeks, 10.2km / 3-4 hours
Day 2: Hidden Gorge Campsite to Mambray Creek via the Battery, 7.3km / 3 hours

Discover the deep narrow gorge that is Hidden Gorge, and magnificent views from the high Battery ridge.

Where: 3 hours drive north of Adelaide in Mount Remarkable National Park.

When to hike: from May to October. Overnight hikes in Mount Remarkable National Park are not permitted during the Fire Danger Season, usually 1 November to 30 April.


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Heysen Trail South Coast Proposed Upgrade – Feedback Sought

Feedback sought on Heysen Trail South Coast Proposed UpgradeA proposal is under consideration to upgrade the Heysen Trail on the southern Fluerieu Peninsula (67km / 5 days), which will encourage walkers to visit the area, in particular tourists from outside the region.

Feedback is being sought from the public, walkers and potential tourism and adventure operators. The survey will take approx 10 minuntes to complete, or 22 minutes if reading the additional supporting proposal.

Various Walk Options

Various combinations of walk options will allow for day walkers, 1-2 day walkers, 5-day walkers and a 1-day Accessible trail, with walkers camping on the trail or staying in accommodation nearby. Tourism operators will be able to offer transport services, either daily or the start and end of multi-day walks.

5-Day Walk with Camping or Off-Trail Accommodation

At the core of the product will be a through walk commencing from Cape Jervis and providing access to four exclusive camping sites at Eagle Waterhole, Tapanappa, Balquhidder and Newland Head. These sites will include camping platforms, shelter, toilets and water tanks. Through walkers can tailor their walk, exiting the trail after any of the day walk stages. Tourism operators will add value through the provision of transport, accommodation and other services to day and multi-day walkers.

Half Day Accessible Walk

To provide a ‘softer’ recreational experience for day visitors to the region, or those passing through on their way to Kangaroo Island, and perhaps to encourage new walkers to the region and park, it is proposed that an extensive re-development of the Heysen Trail between Cape Jervis and Fishery Beach (4km one-way, 8km return) will be undertaken to provide a Class 1 trail with boardwalk, viewing platforms and interpretation that will provide an Accessible trail for prams and those with mobility aids including wheelchairs. A boardwalk will be constructed with viewing platforms at points of significant interest in association with appropriate interpretation.

1-Day Accessible Walk with Return Transport

An extension of this upgraded trail onwards to Blowhole Beach (11km walk from Cape Jervis) as a Class 2 trail which will cater for all-terrain wheelchairs, which will be available for hire from the Sealink terminal for visitors with significant physical disabilities. This section will again be suitable for recreational walkers as a two-way linear walk from Cape Jervis or a one way walk with a pick up at the Cobbler Hill camp ground, which will be upgraded to allow cars and buses to park safety.

About the Proposal

The proposal is an initiative of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and the District Council of Yankalilla, and supports tourism and nature based recreation in regional South Australia.

Provide feedback about this proposal at deepcreek.questionpro.com. Feedback is being sought from the public, walkers and potential tourism and adventure operators. The survey will take approx 10 minuntes to complete, or 22 minutes if reading the additional supporting proposal.

Rising from the Ashes, Opening of the Kersbrook Trails Network

Mount Lofty Ranges Trail, logo squareIn 2012 the four loop trails through the forests around Kersbrook were upgraded and marked. The trails were to be opened in April 2015, but suffered substantial damage during the January 2015 Sampson Flat Bushfire. Throughout 2016 and 2017 work was undertaken to again upgrade and mark the trails. The trail network, formerly part of the Mount Lofty Ranges Trails Network from the 1980s, will be officially opened on Sunday 8th October 2017.

Official Opening

10am – 3pm Sunday 8th October 2017
Kersbrook Institute/Hall,
13-15 Scott Street, Kersbrook, SA 5231

View Location Map
Official opening at 1pm by Hon Karlene Ann Maywald, former member of Chaffey

There will be some guided walks on offer, please attend at the Kersbrook Institute/Hall to register and join the walk.

The trails are:

  1. Morgan Loop
  2. Old Kersbrook Loop Trail
  3. Anderson Trail (in honour of the work of Thelma Anderson)
  4. Simpson Loop Trail

Some of these loops are short (5-7 km) and whilst this is hoped to encourage the occasional walker, for the more experienced walker most loops can be linked to form a longer day’s hike.

Guided Walks

On the day there will be guided walks to to experience the new trails. Meet at the central Kersbook Hall to join a walk.

 

Three other trails will be completed and opened at a later date:

  1. Devils Gully Link Trail
  2. Vixen Gully Link Trail
  3. Beer – Leane Loop Trail

The main trailhead signage will be opened at the Kersbrook Institute, and each trail will have its own trailhead with map and interpretive signage.

Printed maps will be available during the opening.

Walk the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail with a Sealink Tour

Walk the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail with a Sealink TourWe welcome Sealink onboard as a new Sponsor and Organisation Member.

Kangaroo Island holds many secrets waiting to be discovered, with none more rewarding than the new Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. The world class, 61 kilometre, 5 day walking experience opened in October 2016, and gives walkers access to some of the most rugged, remote and spectacular coastline in Australia.

The trail is located in the South West of Kangaroo Island and encompasses new and upgraded trails through Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area. Along with encounters with some of the island’s most unique wildlife, the trail provides access to the iconic attractions of Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Weirs Cove, Hanson Bay and Kelly Hill Caves.

Walk the full 5 days as an independent walker or join a 1 or 2 day section of the trail with SeaLink’s guided tours, featuring all the extras. The range of experiences means the beauty of the track is open for all to explore.

“I Share My Trail” launch at Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

Representatives from each trail user group: walking, trail running, horse riding, cycling and mountain biking with Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation and Annabel Digance, Member for Elder

Representatives from each trail user group: walking, trail running, horse riding, cycling and mountain biking with Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation and Annabel Digance, Member for Elder

Walking SA joined with representatives of other trail user groups today at Shepherds Hill Recreation Park to commend the adoption of the “I Share My Trail” message.

We encourage all trail users to consider the safety of other users to create enjoyable trail experiences for all.

The campaign was launched by Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation and Annabel Digance, Member for Elder, in conjunction with Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Walking SA, Trail Runners SA, Bike SA, Horse SA and Gravity Enduro Mountain Bikes.

"I Share My Trail" - we encourage all trail users to consider the safety of other users to create enjoyable trail experiences for all

“I Share My Trail” – we encourage all trail users to consider the safety of other users to create enjoyable trail experiences for all

We encourage all trail users to consider the safety of other users to create enjoyable trail experiences for all. Sharing of trails depends on mutual understanding and respect from all users. The aim is to ensure everyone, including walkers, trail runners, cyclists, mountain bikers and horse riders have a safe and enjoyable experience using shared trails.

Shared trails work well for low-volume, low-speed trails and those with good sight distances. They can also bridge hard or expensive-to-fix gaps in trail networks. Bike trails can often be shared with walkers where bike speeds are kept low. Providing for more trail users broadens the funding and support opportunities, allowing for a greater investment in the development of new trails and maintenance of existing trails.

Representatives from trail user groups at the I Share My Trail launch: walking, trail running, horse riding, cycling and mountain biking with Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation and Annabel Digance, Member for Elder

Representatives from trail user groups at the I Share My Trail launch: walking, trail running, horse riding, cycling and mountain biking with Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation and Annabel Digance, Member for Elder

Not all trails are suitable for sharing, and care must be taken to separate fast and low-speed traffic.  Walkers don’t feel safe on trails used for downhill mountain bike riding or the kind of fast flowing trail that some mountain bike riders prefer. Walkers are generally not attracted to commuter paths with fast moving or high volumes of bicycle traffic. High numbers of walkers on these trails can also impede and annoy bike riders.

There are important roles and benefits of shared trails, but there are also places where some form of separation can be cheaper as well as better for everyone’s experience of the trail. Low-speed, walking-only trails in the right place, have little impact on the environment, cost almost nothing to construct and require little maintenance.

Public Feedback Sought on Establishing Corridors to Protect Forest Trails

Public Feedback Sought on Establishing Corridors to Protect Forest TrailsThe ownership and management of the Bundaleer and Wirrabara Forests may soon change, following the Mid North Forests Future Strategy which commenced after the devastating bushfires of 2013 and 2014.

The State Government is proposing to use the Recreational Greenways Act 2000 to protect the Heysen and Mawson Trail networks for recreational access in perpetuity for use by walkers and/or cyclists. This will create a greenway over sections of the Heysen and Mawson Trails within Wirrabara and Bundaleer Forests that are proposed to be sold to private parties.

One of our member clubs, the Friends of the Heysen Trail, has some concerns with regard to the proposed changes. However, as they were only recently made aware of the proposals they are currently preparing a response. Whilst they support in-principle the use of the Greenways Act to protect the Heysen Trail and other walking trails, they are concerned that it proposes to re-route part of the Heysen Trail. Watch their website for details.

Submit your feedback via yoursay.sa.gov.au/greenways by COB Monday 12 June 2017.

New Trails SA website launched by Recreation SA

New Trails SA website launched by Recreation SAWalking SA has been working closely with the recently appointed Recreation SA Trails Officer in support of trail development in South Australia. The officer’s role included the finalisation and release of the upgraded Trails SA website. This website covers a variety of trails for walking, cycling, horse riding, scuba diving and canoeing.

Nine new walking trails in Anstey Hill Recreation Park, Park of the Month

Anstey Hill Recreation Park is National Parks and Wildlife Service SA’s Park of the Month for March.

The park has recently been upgraded as part of a $10.4m plan to upgrade and develop more walking and cycling trails, public toilets, barbecue and picnic areas, and playgrounds in national parks close to the Adelaide metropolitan area.

There are now 9 marked walking trails in the park, which is vast improvement given there were only previously some unmarked walking routes. The new trails are mostly loops and depart from various trailheads, all with new carparks and trail information boards. The new trails include 3 that are for walkers only.

We’ve outline the 9 walking trails below:

New Walking Trails for Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Wildflower Wander1.

Wildflower Wander

1.4km, 45mins to 1 hour

The Wildflower Wander is a hike up a steep hill with rewarding views over the Adelaide Plains, as well as seasonal opportunities to view wildflowers including native orchids. The quiet gullies are a haven to a variety of small birds.

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Advocating for Walking, March 2017 Update

Walking SA continues to represent our member clubs, organisations and individual members as well as the general walking community in matters regarding walkability of all aspects of the walking environment.

Specifically, over the last six months we have raised our voice and will continue to do so on the issue of shared paths and trails to ensure the safety of walkers using those paths and trails. We are on ongoing discussion with the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) regarding trails in the national parks that they manage as well as local councils and other bodies with jurisdiction over other paths and trails.

DEWNR is about to launch a program in recognition of that advocacy and supported by other user groups with the I Share My Trail campaign, to make all users sensitive to the needs of other users when on trails. We will provide more information as it comes to hand.

We also plan to hold a forum in May where we can get walkers and the relevant organisations together to further discuss these issues.

Walking SA, through the commitment of a number of keen volunteers, continues to monitor, liaise and in some cases object to gazetted changes to land use that will have an adverse impact upon walkers. Our voice is heard and in most cases successfully so.

In addition, we are advised of other plans that we are sought to make comment on. The latest of these are detailed below. If you wish to make comment direct please do so if you wish to advise walking SA of issues and concerns please do so and we will consolidate that into our input for each consultation.

Burnside Council

The Council seeks comment to develop a strategy for Recreation Trails Strategy within the City of Burnside.

City of Onkaparinga

The Council is seeking comment on their new Trails and Cycling Strategic Management Plan (TCSMP) which will guide the delivery of trails and cycling projects into the future. View the map of their existing and proposed trails, including the proposed Willunga Basin Trail.

Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park

Located on the River Murray, 12km south of Swan Reach, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources is seeking feedback on the draft management plan for the park.

Working with Recreation SA

Within the Recreation SA structure Walking SA is a member of a number of groups (Outdoor Committee, Trails Advisory Group and the Trails Forum) as advocates for the walking community in South Australia.

Recreation SA recently appointed a Trails officer, Anthony Bates, with funding from the Office for Recreation Sport to assist in the ongoing development of trails in accordance with the SA Trails Master Plan. Walking SA is working closely with Anthony already.

Recreation SA is hosting a one-day conference on Monday 3rd April 2017 which is SA’s leading professional development opportunity for managers, staff and business owners in the recreation, aquatics, parks and leisure sector.

The Eyre Trails Project Builds Momentum

The Eyre Trails Project Builds MomentumThe Eyre Trails project has been developing a concept for hiking and biking trails on the Eyre Peninsula.

During a recent meeting with stakeholders the proposed projects include:

  • a 50km+ trek trail connecting local trail networks
  • a coastal trail
  • kayak trails
  • BBQ/picnic area
  • campsites and environmental education

It is great to see the project ideas developing so well. Project partners include the District Council of Tumby Bay, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula and Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula.

Review of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT)

Day 2, Maupertuis Section, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

The Cape du Couedic lighthouse sits tantalizingly on the horizon as the KIWT follows the cliffs south towards Hakea Campsite

The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a five day hiking trail along the spectacular coastline of the south-west corner of Kangaroo Island. The trail opened in October 2016. There are campgrounds along the way. The first day in the Rocky River Section (as the Rocky River Hike), and the 5th day in the Kelly Hill Section (as the Hanson Bay Hike) can be hiked by anyone, but the middle 3 days are only accessible to people who have paid the $161 trail fee. In the Suggested Itineraries section we review shorter ways to walk the trail, including how to hike the sections as day walks.

We walked the trail in December 2016, offering the following review. Although we had earlier received an invitation, we were not guests of National Parks and Wildlife Service SA on this hike trip.

This review was originally published on the Notes from a Trailhead blog, and is reproduced here with permission.

Details about each day’s walk appears in our Find a Place to Walk directory listing for the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

The trail is referred to using the acronym of KIWT on some trail signage, and when using hashtags on social media (#KIWT).

Contents of this Review

Jeremy Carter, author of this review, has hiked many multi-days throughout Australia and New Zealand, including South Australia's Heysen Trail. He undertakes volunteer work and professional work with Walking SA, although this article is unpaid. He has contributed over 200 walks and trails to our Find a Place to Walk directory.

Jeremy Carter, author of this review, has hiked many multi-days throughout Australia and New Zealand, including South Australia’s Heysen Trail. He undertakes volunteer work and professional work with Walking SA, although this article is unpaid. He has contributed over 200 walks and trails to our Find a Place to Walk directory.

Our review covers the following topics, which you can jump to directly or read the whole article below:

  1. Trail Comparison
  2. Choose this trail if you like
  3. Starting the Hike
  4. Trail Conditions Underfoot
  5. Trail Signage
  6. Campgrounds
    • Large communal kitchen and dining shelter
    • The Bathroom Block
    • Campsites
    • Campground Signage
    • Extra Campground Facilities
    • Food in Campgrounds
  7. Maps
  8. Audio Tour App
  9. When to Walk
  10. Suggested Itineraries
    • 5 Day hike plan
    • 4 Day hike plan #1
    • 4 Day hike plan #2
  11. Packing List
  12. Wildlife
  13. Beaches & Swimming
  14. Bushfires
  15. Drinking Water
  16. Mobile Reception
  17. Details of each Trail Section

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Wirraparinga Trails Project

Map of potential Wirraparinga Trails

Map of proposed Wirraparinga Trails

An essentially no-through stick-to-the-road creek walk is being expanded as a recreational and heritage trail. Ron Bellchambers of the Brownhill Creek Association, as a walker, a retired history teacher and a neighbour of a local landowner of Springwood park, had a vision. Ron was aware of the potential of the extensive Springwood Park for its indigenous and historical heritage and for linking walking routes with Brownhill Creek, the Yurebilla Trail and Carrick Hill. The land owner was conducive to making strategic parts of his property publicly accessible.

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