Lavender Federation Trail

18th Jan 2018: The Sanders Walk, at the Rocky Gully Wetlands in Murray Bridge is currently closed. The trail area has been closed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the January 2018 fire at nearby Thomas Foods. Walkers can still walk the main Lavender Federation Trail as it has been re-routed along the southern part of Sanders Walk.  More info.

Walking Trail Facts
Distance
325 km one way
Duration
14-16 days
Suitable for
Hiking
Difficulty
Moderate
Terrain
Undulating
Region
Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Murray River, Lakes & Coorong
Download maps & GPS files
  1. 2 GPS files
  2. 1 website link
Jump to Downloads section
Photos
34 photos
Travel options
  1. Bus
  2. Car
Travel time from Adelaide
1-2 hours
Lavender Federation Trail

About the Walking Trail

Map of the completed Lavender Federation TrailThe Lavender Federation Trail celebrates 100 years since the 1901 Federation of Australia and the memory of Terry Lavender OAM, whose vision established this trail from Murray Bridge to Clare.

It is a linear walking trail through diverse countryside traversing the eastern flanks of the Mt Lofty Ranges. It begins at Murray Bridge and traverses the Barossa, Mid North and the Clare Valley regions to Clare.

The trail’s serpentine course takes it into the townships of Murray Bridge, Tungkillo, Dutton, Eudunda, Waterloo, Manoora, Mintaro, Watervale and Clare. Loop trails are accessed from Tungkillo Springton, Eden Valley, Moculta and Point Pass.

Spur trails connect to Keyneton, Truro and Robertstown. The Sanderston Trail links the Lavender Federation Trail at South Rhine via the Springton Loop Trail with Saunders Gorge.

The main Lavender Federation Trail is 325km with connecting trails providing an additional 96km.

The Lavender Federation Trail intersects with the Kidman, Mawson, Heysen and Riesling Trails and links to trails within the Kinchina Conservation Park at Monarto.

The trail network has been designed, constructed and is maintained entirely by volunteers from South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI).

Usage

Examples of trail markers

Examples of trail markers

The trail is designed for walkers only. The only animals permitted are assistance animals accompanying a person with a disability. Walkers must follow trail signs at all times. To deviate from the trail may mean that you may be trespassing as some sections of trail traverse private property. Use stiles provided over fences not gates which must be left as found either closed or open.

Camping is not permitted along the trail. See web site for accommodation information.

Trail Grade

Generally the grade is easy but some sections cover steep, rocky and uneven ground. The southern approach to Mt Beevor is very steep.

Description of the Trail

Beginning at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge, on the banks of the Murray River, the trail meanders past historic buildings, old river boats undergoing restoration and past important wetland systems.

Rocky Gully Reserve on the outskirts of Murray Bridge has spectacular steep rugged gorges with an abundance of native flora and fauna. Here the trail connects to the Kinchina Conservation Park trails.

West of Rocky Gully you pass the Monarto Zoo an open range Bio Park where glimpses of exotic animals may be seen. Next we reach the summit of Mt Beevor, the most spectacular view in the vicinity with views to the Southern Ocean, Murray River, Mt Lofty and Mt Barker.

From Mt Beevor it’s a short walk via a spur trail to Diggers Rest north of Harrogate. The main trail continues to Tungkillo, through quiet back roads, across creeks with occasional glimpses of Kangaroos. North of Tungkillo (on the main trail) a 13km loop trail allows a pleasant day walk past spectacular rocky outcrops and open grazing country.

The trail meanders towards Springton through rocky outcrops and undulating country. Vineyards are glimpsed as we enter the Barossa Valley. Springton and the Herbig Tree are worth the visit on the Springton Loop Trail which has a link to the Sanderston Trail. The main trail then heads north to Keyneton where a spur trail accesses this pretty town.

At Eden Valley an 18km loop trail connects to the main trail. This offers an enjoyable day walk through wonderful rolling hillside country. Continuing through attractive undulating countryside we intersect with the Moculta Loop trail which follows the main trail as far as the unique Shannon Mausoleum. Northwards a spur trail into historic Truro passes the old copper mine site. On the main trail we enter private land to view and pass through Munchenberg Gorge with its permanent springs and water pool reflections. Crossing the Sturt Highway the trail traverses open grazing land to reach an unexpected gorge, permanent water and waterfall prior to arriving at the delightful township of Dutton. Take the short spur trail to the 1870 Church precinct. Grazing lands give way to hills and eventually Leake Lookout a 527m peak with outstanding panoramas.

Eudunda, birth place of famed author Colin Thiele, is an historic town and will cater for all travellers’ needs. Northwards a defunct railway corridor to Hampden offers great views. Travelling the 150m elevated trail with views to the east we meet the 14km Point Pass loop trail before arriving at Inspiration Point. A spur trail into Robertstown provides access to meals, camping and accommodation. From Inspiration Point the trail initially follows the ridge line overlooking Brady Creek Gap in the east and the Tothill Ranges to the west. Next, we pass Peppermint Springs and onto Webb Gap where the Lavender Federation Trail meets the famous Heysen Trail.

Crossing the beautiful Tothill Range along a shared section with the Heysen Trail, then along a ridge near the base of wind turbines, the trail arrives at Waterloo home of Tom Kruse the famous outback mailman. A delightful road reserve avenue of trees delivers us to Manoora where remnants of a once significant railway town are seen. Onwards to Mintaro and the Martindale Hall famed for its movie role in “The Picnic at Hanging Rock”. The 1850s Mintaro heritage township is a delight and rewards those who tarry here. The trails serpentine path over rolling hills following part of the route of the original 1800s wagon trail “Gulf Road” is rewarded with spectacular views of the wind turbines in the east and Gulf St Vincent in the west while passing Mount Horrocks along the way. The trail then delivers us to the Clare Valley at Watervale.

At Watervale we turn north sharing a 6.5km section of the Riesling Trail past Penwortham before leaving the Riesling Trail heading west through vineyard studded country north through back tracks to the spectacular views offered in Spring Gully Conservation Park and onto Neagles Rock Reserve. Onward to the valleys major township of Clare where the trail head sign on Lennon Street signals our journeys end.

Maps

Maps have been produced by South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI). View where to buy the maps.

  • Map 1: Murray Bridge to Mount Beevor 56km. The revised edition (released in early 2018) includes changes to the route of the main trail and also shows trails in the Kinchina Conservation Park.
  • Map 2: Mount Beevor to Springton 47km. This also shows the Diggers Rest Spur Trail & the Tungkillo Loop Trail (27km).
  • Map 3: Springton to Truro 49km. This map includes the Eden Valley Loop Trail (18km), Springton Loop Trail (17km), Moculta Loop trail (10.5km), Keyneton Spur trail (3.5km), Truro Spur Trail (5km)
  • Map 4: Truro to Eudunda 55km
  • Map 5: Eudunda to Manoora 52km. This map incorporates the Point Pass Loop Trail (14km) & Robertstown Spur Trail (7.5km)
  • Map 6: Manoora to Clare 58km. Released early 2018

Downloads

Download KML/KMZ file
Download GPX file

Photos