In April, the Adelaide100 was enthusiastically tested by Board members Alan Bundy, Ian Budenberg and me, and Rosie Budenberg. The Adelaide100 is a local long distance loop walk of over 100 kilometres. The Adelaide100 takes in the metropolitan sea front, the Adelaide Hills, and the River Torrens Linear Park. The best parts of nine parks feature. Extensive panoramic views and intimate remote bush settings are special.
We enjoyed the coast, watercourses and Hills over 9 days and 8 nights. At the end of the day there was a warm bed in a holiday park at Belair, a bed and breakfast at Stirling, or a hotel at Newton. On the menu was a bacon and egg breakfast from Jaspers at platform level in the Adelaide Railway Station, a pasty from the award winning Orange Spot Bakery at Glenelg, or a three course feast in the medieval decored Camelot Castle at Basket Range.
To ensure that we covered the whole loop, and the airport diversion, we started from Lockleys and ended at Gilberton. Local, regional and international walkers would be served well. Alan is a well travelled global walker. His view was that Adelaide’s geographical position is unique. There is nowhere else in the world with a walking opportunity from a major city like this.
Ian and Rosie are world travellers and local walkers. They were able to cast critical eyes over the finer details of the route, the accommodation, the food, and the wine. The package passed the test. As a result of the constant vigorous discussion, I came away with a long list of “things to do”–refinements to make the Adelaide100 even better.
Partners have been jumping on board. We have the support of the Office of Recreation and Sport. Affiliated Walking SA club Skyline Walkers is putting a regular annual donation into the project. The Adelaide Hills Council has approved the development of our first piece of the Adelaide100, Monument Road at Norton Summit. The Adelaide100 links into the Heysen Trail via Monument Road. The Friends of the Heysen Trail has made a donation to get us started.
Businesses along the route have been very interested in the clientele that might pass their way and have expressed interest in sponsoring the project. The network has at least 21 places to stay overnight. We were selective in identifying 33 food outlets that we could recommend. There are 17 wineries within walking distance of the route.
Negotiations with land managers are encouraging. DEWNR welcomes the increased visitation to the Parks that will result. The Adelaide Hills Council has approved Monument Road. Preparations for negotiations with all 12 Local Government Authorities along the route are solid. Similar negotiations are planned for Forestry SA, SA Water and Flinders University.
The involvement of local Friends groups and local residents is being encouraged. The Sixth Creek Catchment Group along with the Adelaide Hills Council and the Green Army is cleaning up the creek, making bridges, making a staircase, and even making a portion of the trail. This is all happening in one of a number of “undiscovered treasures” to be revealed by the Adelaide100. The Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, Burdett Scrub, is hidden in the back blocks of Basket Range. Just negotiating the steep slopes from Merchants Road down to the creek required early explorer skill and resolve. The reward of cleaning up and opening up this Park will prove to be immeasurable.
The Board of Walking SA is committed to the challenging Adelaide100 project. Those involved in it, and those who know of it, see it as special. Everyone who is part of the Adelaide100 can rightly feel that part of the Adelaide100 is theirs.