Stretching for 1200km from Cape Jervis on the Southern point of the Fleurieu Peninsula, to Parachilna Gorge in the Northern Flinders Ranges, the magnificent Heysen Trail is South Australia’s longest adventure hike.
The route takes walkers over the southern coast cliffs and beaches, through the beautiful Mount Lofty Ranges, the winemaking areas of the Barossa Valley, over the rolling hills of the Mid North of the state, and on to the ancient peaks of the rugged Flinders Ranges. For the avid hiker, the Trail traverses a wide range of landscapes, where each day is different to the previous day.
The Heysen Trail was constructed from 1978 to 1992 and offers walkers many varied walking opportunities. Of course one can backpack to hike the entire route in one go, but many walkers opt do it in stages and choose shorter sections to the longer multi-day walks.
Formed in 1986, the Friends of the Heysen Trail (the Friends) is a voluntary support group based in Adelaide. In cooperation with the Department for Environment & Water (DEW), the Friends are key partners in the development and maintenance of the Heysen Trail.
The Friends also provide an extensive walk program and support other walking trails and activities across South Australia, to encourage people of all ages to come out and enjoy nature in the outdoors. They are very active in promoting walking for everyone. A wide variety of walks are organised by the Friends such as:
- The End-to-End program facilitates for members to walk the entire 1200 km Heysen Trail in 63 walking days, arranged into a 6 year journey.
A Day Walk program consists of:
- Shorter Trailstarter Walks for new walkers and more challenging Trailwalker Walks for walkers with a higher level of fitness.
- There is also a Summer Walks program and there are extended Multi-Day walking trips.
Words_Geert Van Keulen