The Aussie Camino

Guest post by Luke Mills

History of pilgrimage

Luke Mills on the Aussie Camino

There are many different reasons why people travel – health; to broaden the mind by seeing other places and other cultures; for holidays; while working for multi- national companies; and for sport. People today, both young and old, are travellers. It is only within the last fifty or so years that the terms globe-trotters, and jet-setters have been coined. A pilgrimage has a different objective. It is a journey with a religious purpose, to visit holy or sacred places called shrines associated with a saint where people can feel near to the saint either through relics or miraculous stories.

It is as well to remember that Australia has no history of pilgrimage. Australia is not a country that people associate with pilgrimage, For pilgrimage to become part of the Church’s witness in a particular country one needs saints and a kindling of the desire to visit places associated with their lives. Although there are many Aboriginal sacred sites and Aborigines go “walkabout” to reach them that is not pilgrimage in the Christian sense when pilgrims are intent on honouring those who lived and died for the faith. There is no tradition of Christian pilgrimage in Australia as there is in countries such as Spain, France, ltaly and the Holy Land. With the canonisation of Mary MacKillop in 2008, the tradition of pilgrimage has begun to take root in Christian consciousness.

In April 2013 Luke Mills, Steven Murphy, Anthony Mills and Michael Dillon from St Francis Xavier College set out for the journey to where it all began. This was a first ever – there is no record that any other pilgrimage has ever been undertaken before from Portland, Victoria to Penola, South Australia.

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Walking SA AGM 2022

Thursday 20 October 2022
AGM: 6:30pm
Trails presentation: 7pm
Followed by Walking Awards award ceremony

Torrens Rowing Club
Victoria Drive, Adelaide SA 5000

Join us to hear from our Guest Speaker Mary-Anne Healy, Director, Community and Nature Partnerships, Department for Environment and Water, who will discuss trail updates for National Parks and Wildlife Service SA (NPWSSA). Trails, camping, and future plans for NPWSSA – hear it all, direct from the source, with an opportunity to ask questions!

Thanks to EXURBIA The Adventure Supply Co we have a Lucky Door Prize, a Salewa Denali II Tent valued at $429 up for grabs. The Denali II is a large 2-person, 3-season, double wall dome tent for hiking and trekking.

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 2022/23 Walking SA Board are invited from anyone with a passion for raising the profile of walking, improving walking environments and getting more people walking. We are particularly interested in applications from members from our walking clubs.

Please refer to the Nomination Form ( Microsoft Word, or PDF.)

Please send your completed nomination form to:
Helen Donovan, Executive Director
Walking SA
Level 4, 25 Leigh Street, Adelaide SA 5000
or email
by Thursday 13th October 2022.

Getting there

Please note the venue is accessed by stairs.

Google Maps Link:

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.

National Parks and Wildlife Service SA adopts the Australian Walking Track Grading System 

South Australia’s national parks feature a diverse range of trails allowing park visitors to immerse themselves in nature and explore the different landscapes across our state. Trails varying in length, surface, gradient and remoteness so it’s important that park visitors can choose a walk that best suits their level of fitness and walking experience.

Previously, trails in national parks have been classified under subjective descriptors such as Easy Walk, Moderate Hike, Hard Hike and Trek. The National Parks and Wildlife Service now adopt the Australian Walking Track Grading System which is based on the technical specifications of the Australian Standard Walking Tracks – Classification and Signage (AS2156.1-2001).

Under the system, walking trails are graded on a difficulty scale from grades one to five. You may have noticed these grades appearing on our trailhead signs and parks webpages.

A trail is graded according to its most difficult components the classification criteria. You may find that a trail will often have components which are easier than the trail’s final classification.

I hope this inspires you to go out and explore a new trail in our wonderful parks.

Australian walking track grading system

Grade 1
No bushwalking experience required. Flat even surface with no steps or steep sections. Suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them. Walks no greater than 5 km.
Grade 2
No bushwalking experience required. The track is a hardened or compacted surface and may have a gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps. Walks no greater than 10 km.
Grade 3
Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20 km.
Grade 4
Bushwalking experience reccommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.
Grade 5
Recommended for very experienced bushwalkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked. Walks may be more than 20 km.

~ Matt Lang, Statewide Trails Officer, National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

Guided Street Art Walks throughout June

2 hour / 4km tour
Weekday and weekend timeslots throughout June
3 tour routes

Join a guided walking tour to discover the huge range of street art styles representing the diversity of Adelaide’s artists and cultural scene.

We will guide you down the main thoroughfares and hidden laneways to experience parts of Adelaide best seen on foot!

Places are limited – get in quick!

Book tickets:

Walking SA starts creating their Reconcilliation Action Plan

It has been 5 years since the launch of the Uluru Statement from the Heart – the call for a First Nations voice to parliament. Watch this short video clip from NITV’s The Point explaining what the Uluru Statement from the Heart is.

Walking SA has begun the process of creating a Reconciliation Action Plan, engaging in the Reflect stage of the framework. We welcome any feedback as we find ways to advance reconciliation. We look at walking, especially bushwalking, and see a disconnect with love of being on country and engagement with, or understanding of Indigenous culture. Should you wish to contribute, please get in touch.

It’s Reconciliation Week 2022 – Be Brave, Make Change.

The RAP Framework

The four RAP types – Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate – allow organisations to continuously develop their reconciliation commitments.

Reconciliation Australia’s RAP Framework provides organisations with a structured approach to advance reconciliation.

Each type of RAP is designed to suit an organisation at different stages of their reconciliation journey and organisations can repeat the same type of RAP if appropriate.

Reflect: Scoping capacity for reconciliation

Reflect RAPs are for 12 months and are right if your organisation is new to reconciliation and unsure how to get started.

They set out steps to prepare your organisation for reconciliation initiatives in future RAPs.

Committing to a Reflect RAP means scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on your vision for reconciliation and exploring your sphere of influence.

Stiles on the Willunga Basin Trail

Guest post by Chris Davies, Chair, Willunga Basin Trail Inc.

One of the Climbing Stiles being erected on the Willunga Basin Trail

My partner Zara and I have walked many miles in several countries and seen some wonderful sights. I have always been intrigued by the many and different approaches that have been taken to allow walkers access to or from the next paddock or enclosure, yet barred stock and other animals. Instantly recognizable in the landscape when seeking a way are the huge wooden A-frame ladders over high-wired deer fences in Scotland. Not always as discernable are the horizontal slabs jutting as steps from drystone dykes. In North Yorkshire, slender slots to squeeze through stone walls. And clever off-centre hinges that cause small heavy wooden gates to re-latch with a “clunk “behind you. The ubiquitous pole on the fence line, with two or three boards set through the fence as steps, is perhaps the simplest, cheapest, and most easy to use of all stiles, yet due to construction methods I have seen many in disrepair.

In South Australia, when crossing a typical wire fence at the beginning of the Little Kaiserstuhl walk near Tanunda, I was struck by how easy this stile was to climb, where one may use two hands for added safety and the simplicity of its design.

When we were deciding on a style of stile for the Willunga Basin Trail, I found that this Flinders Ranges Bush Walks Stile is approved by the South Australian Insurance Corporation. It was designed by Rob Marshall of the Walking Trails Support Group.

A phone call to Rob and we were on the way to a decision.

We had estimated that we would need at least 29 stiles, that they would need to be rugged due to the varied conditions and terrain in which they would be placed, and above all, safe to use. Ease of construction on site was also a factor. The fewer parts, the easier to assemble was the thought. Chats with an engineer in McLaren Vale eventually saw the production of 38 stiles, each having a single heavy duty pipe frame with 4mm thick walls, rounded step-ends for extra safety should a climber slip, and double galvanising for durability.

We have now placed 35 stiles on the trail.

If you asked our volunteers about how easy these climbing frames have been to erect, you may hear a few mumbles. Dedicated, happy and very loyal though they are, a trench big enough to take up to 380 kilograms of ready-mix concrete had to be dug for each of the 35. This was often into hard rocky clay that came out of the ground looking like dry wood chips, enough to test the patience and strength of even our stalwart volunteers. Throw in 33 degree heat or wind driven rain and you may start to wonder about “ease of construction”.

But the sight of a beautifully choreographed 4 person team, each member holding a corner of a two metre square tarpaulin, moving to the callers instructions, mixing up to seventeen  20 kilogram bags  of ready-mix concrete and then pouring it directly into that hard won trench, eases the aching bodies and doubtful minds. Another stile stands ready in place. They are simple, they are strong. They make climbing wire fences easy and are easily recognizable in the landscape.

Improve your Hiking Skills session

Saturday 7 May 2022
Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Choose from two sessions:
9am to 12noon, or
1pm to 4pm

Join an experienced leader from Walking SA for a guided bushwalk & skills session in the easily accessed Anstey Hill Recreation Park.

This 3-hour session will include a 2 hour hike in the park plus some time to relax in the bush and have a chat about:

  • How to plan and be well prepared for a hike
  • How to stay comfortable while walking
  • Equipment should you take with you
  • Navigation and map resources
  • What to do in an emergency
  • Rules and guidelines about walking in parks
  • The principles of Leave No Trace
  • Walking SA
  • Bushwalking Leadership South Australia

This event is proudly supported by National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia as part of the May – Parks of Northern Mount Lofty Ranges.

Instructions for Hiking Expo Guided Walk Participants

Hiking Expo, 3 April 2022For Sunday’s Guided Walks at the Hiking Expo we’re excited to show you some of the best bits of Belair National Park!

Please arrive 30 minutes before the start of your guided walk, and check-in at the walk registration desk inside the large shed. If you’ve pre-purchased a ticket let them know, otherwise you can purchase your ticket. If you’ve pre-purchased a ticket you can bring friends or family along with you to register on the day.

The walks are being hosted by volunteers from our member hiking clubs and sponsors.

You can refill your water bottle at the SA Water Quench Bench, or grab some food:

Share photos on social media using the hashtag #hikingexpo


To ensure the safety and enjoyment of your experience please read the following guidelines:

  1. Please observe social distancing practices, maintain personal hygiene (apply hand sanitiser and protect others if you cough/sneeze, and do not share drink bottles, eating utensils, other personal items and equipment.
  2. You are responsible for your own fitness and preparedness for the walk:
    • This includes wearing suitable footwear with adequate tread (this could be walking shoes, running shoes or hiking boots).
    • If you have any questions about your fitness or the requirements of the walk, please ask us prior to commencing the walk. People with medication needs and / or special requirements should discuss their needs with us.
    • You are responsible for carrying your own food (snacks), water (suggest 1-2L), some basic first aid equipment (suggest for blisters), and any required medication.
  3. The Guided Walks are a group experience. There will be walk leader at the start of the group, and another at the back of the group. The group may spread out, but will regularly re-group, typically at junctions or the top of hills.
    • You should check with the walk leader before walking on ahead, and if you need to leave the group (for toileting, to withdraw from the walk, taking photos, or any other reason) please advise either the walk leader at the start of back of the group.
    • You should ensure that walkers behind you are kept within eyesight.
    • Please don’t bring pets along, as they may not be welcomed by others in the group. On walks marked ‘Dog Friendly’ you are welcome to walk your dog provided they remain under your control and on a lead no more than 2 metres in length, that you bring disposable bags to clean up your dog’s faeces and be mindful of other guided walk participants and trail users.
      Our friends at National Parks and Wildlife Service SA will have free disposable bags available at their stall.
    • Please don’t smoke or leave any litter.

The event is presented by Walking SA in conjunction with:

Walking SA is the not-for-profit peak body that leads, promotes and supports all forms of walking in South Australia. Our vision is to see more people walking more often. You can support Walking SA’s efforts by becoming a Supporter from as little as $22.

Discover hiking trails, who to hike with & the best hiking gear at this Sunday’s Hiking Expo

Hiking Expo, 3 April 2022, logoAt this Sunday’s Hiking Expo discover hiking trails, who to hike with & the best hiking gear. Free entry, 9am to 1pm at Main Oval, Belair National Park.

Explore the national park on one of the the guided hikes. With options ranging from 45mins to 3 hours, child friendly, dog friendly and Accessible walks there is something for everyone.

Try out orienteering with two courses available, one for children under 5, and larger ones extending into the national park for teams, families or singles. Use the smartphone app to navigate your way between points. Courses are 10mins to 1hour.

Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna elder Major Moogy Sumner will lead a welcome to country at 10am, followed at 11am by a yarning circle around a fire pit.

Exhibitors include:

  • Walking SA

    Walking SA is the not-for-profit peak body that promotes and supports all forms of walking in South Australia. Our vision is to see more people walking more often.

    With over 750 trails on our website, find a place to walk, hike or bushwalk across South Australia. From a 1 hour walk near your home with your dog, to a half day hike in a national park, or a longer trail further afield, you’re only ever two feet from some of the best places in South Australia.

    Find out more at

  • National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

    Walk, cycle, holiday, hike, camp, 4WD, swim and more in inspiring natural places with National Parks SA.

    From seemingly endless red sand dunes to rugged mountain scenery, sandy beaches, diverse bushland and cherished picnic and camping grounds, South Australia boasts an extensive and comprehensive parks system.

    Parks encompass more than 20 percent of the state and offer a wide range of experiences. Whether you want to take it easy on a local walking trail, cuddle a koala, fish magnificent beaches, dive with sharks or sleep under the stars, there’s an adventure for everyone.

    Find out more at

  • Forestry SA

    ForestrySA proudly manages hundreds of kilometres of walking trails with forest reserves including the Heysen Trail and many multi-use loops and circuits. Visitors enjoy walking, hiking and trail running through picturesque pine forests and adjacent beautiful conservation areas. Many of our trails are supported by overnight stopovers in forest huts and campgrounds.

    Find out more at

  • Friends of the Heysen Trail

    The 1200km hiking trail, the Heysen Trail, covers some of South Australia’s most diverse and breathtaking landscapes, traversing coastal cliffs, beaches, native bushland, rugged gorges, pine forests and vineyards, as well as rich farmland and historic towns. Walk from Cape Jervis in the south to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges, or hike from top to bottom.

    The Trail passes through some of the most scenic parts of the state including national parks, state forests and internationally acclaimed tourist destinations, including the Barossa Valley and the stunning Wilpena Pound, star of the Flinders Ranges.

    The not-for-profit organisation the Friends of the Heysen Trail maintains the Heysen Trail in partnership with the Department for Environment and Water (DEW).

    A regular walking program occurs year-wide, with different grades of walks catering for beginners to experienced walkers.

    Find out more at

  • Retire Active SA Bushwalkers

    Retire Active SA Bushwalkers (Previously ARPA Bushwalkers) is an activity subgroup of Retire Active SA. Each month the Bushwalkers organise over 20 day walks in and around Adelaide, ranging from gentle 2-3 hour strolls to challenging 5-6 hour hikes. They run a number of camps each year within Australia and also overseas, and organise small groups walking the complete Heysen Trail.

    Find out more at

  • Adelaide Bushwalkers

    Adelaide Bushwalkers specialise in multi-day wilderness hiking with full packs and camping gear along with other complementary activities such as day walking, kayaking, cycling and social activities for the benefit of their members. Come chat to us at our stall about how you could join us in discovering new places with new experiences.

    Find out more at

  • Trail Running SA

    Trail Running SA is a not-for-profit trail running club with low-cost membership, which depends completely on volunteers. Our purpose is to organise off-road running activities which enable runners of all levels and abilities to enjoy running in natural surroundings and in pleasant company. As well as organising regular free social runs and information sharing sessions, we organise a range of trail running events kicking off with the Five Peaks SA Trail Running Festival on Sunday 10 April. You can find out more about that event and all the others we have planned for 2022 at

    Find out more at

  • Exurbia the Adventure Supply Company


    WE ARE:
    A bright clump of puffered hikers on the Heysen Trail.
    Gloved hands clutching flat whites on the Saturday morning sidelines.

    The smell of bacon frying in a campsite in the Flinders.
    Climbers scaling sheer rockfaces and walkers tackling Mount Lofty.

    Dog owners at Grange with a tireless border collie.
    Linear Park all day, every day.

    WE ARE:
    People like you who love being out of the house,
    out of the burbs,
    out of your comfort zones,
    out of puff and well,
    just out.


    Find out more at

  • Macpac

    Macpac is New Zealand’s leading technical outdoor brand. We’ve been equipping adventure-lovers with durable outdoor gear and apparel for nearly 50 years. With 46 stores across Australia (and 3 stores in SA), we’re deeply connected to the bushwalking and hiking community. Whether you’re a seasoned bushwalker or a first-time explorer, chat to our passionate and experienced store teams for advice on pack fitting, finding the perfect pair of hiking boots, recommended trips and more.

    Find out more at

  • Reservoirs South Australia

    Home to unique flora and fauna, our reservoir reserves are open for adventure and offer access to special parts of South Australia. Immerse yourself in beautiful natural landscapes while enjoying a walk, hike, run or cycle on a series of trails with stunning water views.

    Find out more at

  • Snowys Outdoors

    We live and breathe camping, hiking, 4WD and travel… and we want to help you enjoy it too.

    According to our customers, we’re Australia’s leading camping, hiking & travel store. We’re staffed by experts so come to chat to us as we will be only too happy to help.
    Our local store is in Keswick, you can’t miss us – just look for a big orange building! Not close by? That’s okay, we have a huge range of products online and offer fast, FREE delivery to most of Australia, and Australia’s lowest prices… every day.

    Find out more at

  • Paddy Pallin

    From its early days Paddy Pallin Adventure Equipment has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, trekkers and travellers with the highest quality and most advanced products from some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Staffed by passionate and knowledgeable outdoors people who are able to speak from experience to ensure you get the right equipment and clothing for your next adventure.

    Find out more at

  • ioMerino

    ‘io’ stands for ‘Into’ the ‘Outdoors’. Because ioMerino is the perfect, natural clothing to wear outdoors. Whether that be on trail, on mountain, on the water… anywhere outdoors.

    Find out more at

  • Recycle your quality outdoor gear

    Promote sustainability by selling or donating outdoor gear to the Recycle Your Quality Outdoor Gear Stall. It could be shoes or a backpack that you bought but didn’t turn out to be for you, but is still quite new, or it could be a used piece of gear that still has some life.

    • View the stall brochure.

    • Drop off items before the Expo to Hallett Cove or Kensington, or at the stall on the day. View the information form to include with items.

    Find out more at

  • SA Greens

    As the third political force in Australia, we believe in maintaining parks and wildlife for all to enjoy. We tirelessly campaign for the preservation of our natural environment, for action on climate change, and for sustainability in all facets of business. National, conservation and marine parks should be cared for, for the benefit and well-being of all.

    Find out more at

  • Adelaide 100

    The Adelaide100 is a 100km circuit walk that traverses the city and the suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia.

    Trail work is currently underway to open the trail in 2022. The trail can be started from any point along the circuit, and spans from the beautiful coastline, through the CBD and suburbs, and into
    the Adelaide Hills.

    Find out more at

  • SA Recreation Trails Inc (SARTI)

    SA Recreation Trails Incorporated is a community-based, non-profit organisation dedicated to the establishment of countryside trails (mainly walking) across South Australia’s rich and unique landscape, to increase the well-being of all South Australians and visitors and, at the same time, improve the preservation of the state’s heritage and natural environment. SARTI is a volunteer organisation and the planner/designer/builder and maintainer of the 325km Lavender Federation Trail from Murray Bridge to Clare (1997 – 2018).

    SARTI has also built in excess of 120km of spur and loop trails throughout the council districts of Rural City of Murray Bridge, Mid Murray, Barossa, Goyder and Clare and Gilbert Valley. SARTI has also assisted Councils with their trail building projects in planning, design and physical on the ground construction.
    SARTI has received funding from; Walking Clubs in South Australia, the above mentioned Councils, SA Government grants through the Department of Recreation & Sport and Tourism SA and Federal Government grants.

    Find out more at

  • Carto Graphics

    Carto Graphics; your home of topographic maps, walking maps, trail maps and outdoor books, local, national and international.

    Find out more at

  • Custom Mapping Services

    With a history of producing high quality detailed authoritative mapping, Custom Mapping Services specialise in topographic trail mapping. We have produced maps of the 100km Great Ocean Walk, the 325km Lavender Federation Trail, the 33km Riesling Trail, the 250km Great South West Walk and many more. Providing printed, pdf and digital formats including Avenza Maps, we can help keep your walker safe and on track.

    Find out more at

  • Big Heart Adventures

    Big Heart Adventures offer themed, culturally authentic, guided and self-guided walking adventures. Designed for beginners, intermediate and experienced trekkers. They offer sustainable culturally aware hiking tours, inspiring walking experiences and events for wellness, fitness, and confidence. Their award winning Wise Women Walking program empowers women to walk for wellbeing by offering bushwalks, overnight hikes and multiday walking events.

    Find out more at

  • SA Rogaining Association

    Plan. Seek. Find.
    Three words encapsulate the fun and excitement of exploring new districts with a map and compass in hand at a rogaine with the SA Rogaining Association. We provide the location – you make your own adventure with a teammate or two, finding checkpoints hidden around a district. We have 5 events a year, from a 3-hour event in a metropolitan setting, through to the Championship 24-hour bush event.

    Find out more at

  • Skyline Walkers Inc

    The Skyline Walkers are a sociable group that walks on Saturday mornings with a 9am start (winter walks). They welcome any new members. Approximately 25-45 members (30-60% of our membership) attend each walk with various club members leading the walk each week.

    There are two walking groups, ‘A3’ and ‘A2’. The ‘A3’ walks are approximately 10km over three hours and walked at a good pace on often hilly terrain. The ‘A2’ walks are approximately 7km over two hours, with some hills. Walks cover areas such as Para Wirra to the north of Adelaide, Kuitpo Forest to the south of Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills.

    Find out more at

  • Orienteering SA

    Orienteering is a sport where competitors visit a number of points marked on the ground, controls, in the shortest possible time aided by a map and compass, and using the MapRunF smartphone app.

    Try it out in a small group or alone. Orienteering is a sport for all ages – with competitors from about 5 years of age up into the 90s. It can be enjoyed as a recreational activity or a competitive sport.

    At the Hiking Expo try out some orienteering on the day with come and try orienteering courses. There is a free string-orienteering course suitable for children, and for adults choose a courses from easy and short, to hard and long, find out more.

    Find out more at

  • Willunga Basin Trail Inc

    The Willunga Basin Trail opens on the 3rd April 2022, the day of the Hiking Expo. For the last 3 years volunteer members of Willunga Basin Trail Inc have been working to establish this 130km trail. Visit the stall to the meet the people, learn more or buy a map for $2.

    The route travels through the agricultural land, the hills, and the coast which make up the Willunga Basin, visiting McLaren Vale, Kangarilla, Willunga and the coastal suburbs between Sellicks and Moana as well as the Onkaparinga River National Park, Aldinga Conservation Park and Kuitpo Forest.

    The Willunga Basin trail is divided into 11 sections which can be done as half day walks or it can we walked in 5/6 days using camp sites and other accommodation. Detailed maps and info at

    The infrastructure for the trail has been funded by the South Australian Government through the Office of Recreation, Sport, and Racing and through the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board. The City of Onkaparinga is the major partner.
    Willunga Basin Trail walking group has been instrumental in finding and testing the route of the trail. The group walks every Friday morning in the southern area.

    Find out more at

  • Native Orchid Society of South Australia

    The Native Orchid Society of South Australia is a group of enthusiastic orchid lovers who promote the conservation of Australian native orchids through cultivation, education and the preservation of naturally occurring orchids and natural habitat.

    One of the exciting citizen science projects we support is the national Wild Orchid Watch (WOW) project that helps the public collect orchid data which directs research and conservation efforts. At the same time WOW assists you with identification of your orchid photos.

    WOW is part of an international citizen science project called iNaturalist.

    Find out more at

  • Pioneer Women’s Trail (National Trust Hahndorf Branch)

    Experience the amazing trips undertaken by Hahndorf’s Prussian Lutheran women and girls, sometimes twice weekly. They walked, carrying their produce, from Hahndorf through the Adelaide Hills to market in Adelaide in the early years of European settlement. The walk honours their sturdiness, hard work and stamina, for they were instrumental in saving the young colony from starvation.

    The Pioneer Women’s Trail was rediscovered by members of the Hahndorf and Burnside Branches of the National Trust, and Walking SA in 1980.

    Join the 2021 Pioneer Women’s Trail Walk on Sunday 15 May 2022, choose from 12km, 19km and 26km options. The annual Pioneer Women’s Trail Walk retraces the steps of the women and girls from Hahndorf to Beaumont House. Our walk of 26km ends there, but they would have continued for another 9km into central Adelaide. Since the event started in 2009 many hundreds of women, men and children have followed in their footsteps.

    Find out more at

  • Friends of Belair National Park

    The Friends of Belair National Park have been caring for Belair for more than 35 years. Come and talk to us about Bush Care and other activities.

    Find out more at

  • St Agnes Bushwalkers

    If you want to enjoy some beautiful countryside while increasing your fitness, then join the St Agnes Bushwalkers Our different walks cater for varying fitness levels, whilst our competent and experienced leaders will show you parts of the Adelaide hills, plains and beaches that you never knew existed.

    Find out more at

  • Australian Friends of the Camino

    The Australian Friends of the Camino are based in Adelaide and is part of an international network which promotes the many medieval pilgrimage routes (the Camino) traversing Europe to the tomb of St James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, in the north west of Spain. They provide Camino passports to their members, among the many Australians who walk the Camino for religious, spiritual, cultural, historical, health or recreational reasons. Visit their stand to meet experienced Camino walkers.

    Find out more at

  • Oova Juice

    Oova juice is a wholesome natural grape juice traditionally produced in southern Brazil that, besides being delicious, can help to improve your performance when consumed before or after physical activities.
    Grape juice offers a revolution to the sports industry with its antioxidant properties. Oova juice is naturally made with 100% Vitis Labrusca grapes and nothing else added.

    Rich in resveratrol, just like wine, but without alcohol, Oova juice helps fight the production of toxins and free radicals, it is also a natural anti-depressant, has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial properties and many other health benefits

    For lovers of physical activities, indoor or outdoor, grape juice is recommended before or after training. During exercise, there is an improvement in blood flow, facilitating the exchange of nutrients in the cells. As result: an increase in performance and acceleration of the recovery process.

    Intagram: @oovajuice

    Find out more at

Recycle your Quality Outdoor Gear at the Hiking Expo

Promote sustainability by selling or donating outdoor gear to the Recycle Your Quality Outdoor Gear Stall at the April 3 Hiking Expo. It could be shoes or a backpack that you bought but didn’t turn out to be for you, but is still quite new, or it could be a used piece of gear that still has some life.

  • View the stall brochure.
  • Drop off items before the Expo to Hallett Cove or Kensington, or at the stall on the day. View the information form to include with items.

SA Walking Strategy – launched!

On Friday 14 January, Walking SA Chair Tuesday Udell attended the launch of the South Australian Walking Strategy 2022-2032, which focuses on three priority areas, to realise the vision of more people walking, more often, of all ages and abilities:

  • plan walkable neighbourhoods, towns and cities
  • build connected, safe and pleasant walking environments for all
  • create a South Australian walking culture.

Walking is considered the most equitable form of physical activity and human transportation, as it is inexpensive, can be done almost anywhere and can be easily incorporated into most people’s lives.

Scientific evidence shows walking as part of regular physical activity can help improve people’s physical, mental, and social wellbeing. We know that finding time in our busy lives to add more physical activity can be hard. So we are working collaboratively to provide solutions to make it easier to walk places, so everyone can add a short walk into their day.

The strategy is a 10 year blueprint to encourage people in South Australia to walk more. Developed in partnership with the Heart Foundation, the strategy involves cross sector and multi agency collaboration and commitment, with an aim to create long term and effective behaviour change and increase the number of South Australians who walk regularly. The strategy also includes a three year action plan, to strengthen policy, environments and programs that support increased walking for all people in South Australia.

Co-designed through community engagement and expert advice, the strategy provides a practical guide for what needs to be done to get more people walking. Wellbeing SA will oversee progress of the action plan, working closely with key departments and organisations.

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.

Trail Surfaces We Love to Hate

What kind of trail surface do you prefer to walk on?

When heading out a walk, what kind of trail do you like walking on?

Some might say they don’t like hills, and that’s OK. But when we ask this question what we really mean is, what kind of trail surface do you prefer?

With the increase in new trails popping up all over our local urban areas and in our conservation and national parks, it’s not something you really think about until you walk on well, a really uncomfortable one.

So what makes a walking trail – uncomfortable?

Some trails are concreted and no longer offer the natural surfaces that can sustain the huge number of walkers that use this trail every day

Trails that are made of bitumen asphalt, concrete or compacted rubble can be particularly harsh to feet, knees and hips. Particularly when carrying overnight packs on long distance trails – this unforgiving surface can make for much more discomfort than a bush trail of soil, loose stone or sand. Kind of makes us want to find the hills really.  But beware. Some hilly trails are concreted (Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty summit hike for example) because the natural surfaces that can no longer sustain the huge number of walkers that use such trails every day.

Most bushwalkers include a demographic of middle age and older people or people who have walked – a lot. Their joints that have experienced more wear and tear than most and its noticeable when the surface hardens and is probably why so many choose nice long walks on bush trails.

When plans are put forward for a new trail, the strategy is often to create a trail that is:

  • multi use for walkers, cyclists
  • accessible for wheelchairs, strollers and prams
  • built to last (forever)

It’s a one-size-fits-all model and with good reason, it’s all about getting more people outdoors and as inclusively as possible too. We love seeing this but it might also mean we are less likely to choose the trail for a long-distance pack carrying trip. This features a lot on urban trails.

When we are looking at long distance trails for multi day adventures, comfort is paramount. Often these trails have to traverse national and conservation parks, state forests, private property and of course, roads. Not always is it going to be the same surface and that is OK – this is what makes a trail even more appealing. Adventurous even.

Sometimes road sections are unavoidable when creating long distance trails. These are often the sections we all remember as being harder physically and sometimes mentally too. Hang in there, I say.

So when planning long distance trails, planning for a walker friendly surface is essential but not always possible. Looking at road sections on our longer trails in SA such as Heysen Trail and Walk the Yorke, these are often the sections we all remember as being harder physically and sometimes mentally too. The flat never-ending straight-line sections. We’ve all been there. There is no escaping these kinds of trails but long repetitious sections like this can be what leads people to give up on those lovely big through-hikes. Hang in there, I say.

On the other hand, the long stretches of sand so soft you wonder if you will ever reach the end of the beach are also features of many long-distance coastal trails. Mother Nature decides how “hard” to make the walk on any given day – its luck of the tides.

The rocky outback Larapinta Trail is known for boot breaking and blister blooming, for even those with worn in boots or new boots, its hard to get away without some kind of foot or equipment failure

Consider the rocky trails of outback Australia and the Larapinta Trail. Known for boot breaking and blister blooming, for even those with worn in boots or new boots, its hard to get away without some kind of foot or equipment failure when walking the full trail with a pack or even day walking sections – I have known walkers to ditch boots and resort to Sketchers. But this trail is using the natural rocky landscape as authentically as possible. So the terrain comes with the territory.

Similarly there are the boulder hopping adventures (Thorsborne Trail, Grampians Peak Trail) where one wrong foot can mean an ankle in plaster. Fun in sections for sure and using the natural landscapes beautifully but can make for challenging terrain over long distances. Still preferred over walking on a road.

Road walking connects us to trail sections that might otherwise be inaccessible due to private property and we can all acknowledge how hard it is for permissions to put trails through private property. It’s not all bad, as long as its not long right?

Compacted rubble can be also particularly tricky to enjoy over long periods but can also cover up slippery clay and sections that become flat boggy wetlands after rain. A cheaper type of trail surface than say constructing a boardwalk.

And then there is the question of sustainability. What items are being used to construct trails to keep it as natural or environmentally friendly as possible?

Building trails is not easy when the strategy to make areas accessible to walkers also means impacting on the space around it to construct it and potentially using items in the natural landscape to support the trails construction or bringing in items that simply don’t fit the landscape but are included with purpose behind it e.g. to protect fragile ecosystems (think plank sections on the Overland Track in Tasmania).

Do stairs on a trail make it harder or easier? There are many trails that perhaps come to mind with lots of stairs (Three Capes) – probably to stop falls and slips and also protect the trail from erosion – but does this mean our enjoyment level drops or do we find gratitude for the gesture of stairs? The jury might be out on that one. Sometimes exiting a beach with stairs is a lot easier than clawing your way up a dune and destroying it in the process.

Long distance walking is a past time that gives you way too much time to ponder on these things. It allows you to find the improvements, compare other surfaces and essentially audit every trail you have ever walked. If you are into walking, you can probably relate.

So where can we send our ideas or improvements to?

It often depends on who manages the trail, what funding exists for its ongoing maintenance if any and where the trail traverses (the most). This can be a number of different local and/or state government and non-government organisations.  Volunteers also do a huge job of maintaining public trails and we would like to acknowledge their hard work and contribution to making these trails accessible to us all.

Not sure how you can support the maintenance of trails in South Australia?

There are a number of organisations you can join to support financially or volunteer with time – Friends of Parks groups, Friends of the Heysen Trail for example. Walking SA is the peak body for walking in South Australia and also do a huge job of cataloging hundreds of trails you can walk in SA – to continue supporting this resource and their work, memberships start from just $22 per year.


Lisa Murphy is the founder of Big Heart Adventures alongside husband Ian. They share a love/addiction for hiking long distance trails both in South Australia and beyond. Apart from running a walking and wellness business, they don’t mind performing the odd trail audit either. Lisa also volunteers with Walking SA and assists on the Sponsorship Committee.

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

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.

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.

SA Election: Vote with your feet

Download media release (PDF).

Walking SA has today written to all candidates in the upcoming election with a call to invest in our children and ensure we have Safe Streets to Schools.

All children should feel safe to walk and cycle to school, without risking being injured by vehicles.

It is completely unacceptable to have poor walking conditions, that do not consider children’s needs or incorporate design based on children’s abilities, within a 2km catchment of our primary schools.

Parents have no faith in the urban environment to keep their children safe, so they drive them to school, adding more cars to the roads and increasing school traffic.

The Government must make a commitment to active school travel and prioritise children’s health and wellbeing by enabling children to walk and cycle to school.

“Over the past 40 years, children walking and cycling to school has declined from 75 percent to 25 percent,” Dr Helen Donovan, Executive Director Walking SA said. “As physical activity levels decrease, not only do children experience a myriad of problems associated with loss of physical health, but we have also seen levels of anxiety and depression in young people skyrocket. Are we going to accept this as a community?”

In South Australia on average 52 percent of school children live within two kilometres of their school, but only 20 percent actively travel to or from school.

“Walking and cycling to school isn’t just a matter of individual motivation. We need to steadily improve the built environment to ensure it is safe and enjoyable to walk and ride. Children and families must have a viable, safe choice.” said Dr Donovan.

“We commend the government on their genuine, collaborative efforts to develop a state-wide Walking Strategy. Now we need to see some commitment and investment into walking to see this Strategy come to life.”

Walking SA calls on the government to take immediate action:

  • Commit to working in partnership to enable Safe Streets to Schools;
  • Lower the speed limit to 40km/h or less in all local streets and school catchments;
  • Increase funding to local governments to install a network of planned separated bikeways, safe road crossings, greenways, and other supporting infrastructure to create Safe Streets to Schools
  • Create policy to move school drop-off zones away from the front gate to decrease the high traffic volumes immediately in front of schools and thereby decrease the risk of collision with a child.

Walking SA will be calling on our members, supporters and followers to support our call at the next election and vote with their feet for the party who supports more walking more often.

Media enquiries

Helen Donovan, Executive Director Walking SA Ph: 0457 006 620


About Walking SA

Walking SA is the not-for-profit peak body that leads, promotes and supports all forms of walking in South Australia, including walking for recreation, transport, health, wellbeing, organised events, adventure, environmental appreciation and fun experiences.

Our vision is to see more people walking more often.

Our members include walking clubs, informal groups, individuals and organisations whose aims, and objectives align with those of Walking SA.

Our Strategy guides us to achieve more walking for recreation, transport, and health as we:

  • Grow walking participation through programs, walking clubs and walking SA supporters.
  • Support the planning of walkable communities and environments.
  • Provide community information and lead annual walking events.

To find out about Walking SA, including our database describing over 750 trails in South Australia, visit