Desktop version
SA, WA & NT specific bushwalking discussion.

Forum rules

SA, WA & NT specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.
Post a reply

heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 8:41 am

I arranged flights to Adelaide before realising the trail is largely closed until May. Can anyone suggest a section I could walk during the fire season, as I am finding this too tricky to work out using the Heysen website and my phone maps. I'm hoping to cover at least 150 kms. I thought Section 1 looks possible, but my hope was to do Mt Compass to Tanunda. Any thoughts much appreciated.
I apologize if I should have used an existing thread, but I didn't find any thread on the Heysen.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 8:47 am

The problem is that they close it through private property during the fire season.
Something I learnt to my surprise when we were challenged one summer a long time ago - and that was in the heart of the Mt Compass to Tanunda track.
Any National Park or Conservation Park is open, and any roadside walking is open. But I doubt I could string a long section together without finding some part closed. That is why I head to Tas or the Vic/NSW high country in summer.
An alternative might be to Walk the Yorke which is over 500km long - essentially beach and road walking and appears to be open in Summer.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 9:00 am

This page of the website lists longer sections open year round: ... er-season/

The first two listed - Cape Jervis to Talisker Road and Naiko Inlet to Tunkalilla Beach eastern end - look as though they could be easily linked with a short road walk in between. But nowhere near the distance you're seeking.

If you're in Adelaide you could call in to the Friends of the Heysen shopfront.

Otherwise Eggs' suggestion of Walk the Yorke is a good one - the bottom end is probably the more attractive region.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 10:29 am

What dates are you trying to use?

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 2:42 pm

I'm there 11 to 24 March.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 2:51 pm

Thanks for the Walk the Yorke suggestion which jogged my memory, now looking into it. Has anyone done it recently?

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 3:03 pm

Those dates are in what is often a very nice time of year for most of the HT. This season has been typically cool to date. Tho we have had a coupe of very big bad fires in the Mt Lofty Ranges.

Can't say as a local I've known about the closures being as extensive as they appear to be, but I've almost always been up North of Port Augusta. The bits that are open are bits and pieces.

Your best bet might be to revise your flight dates or the suggested alternative which I do not know anything about, even tho I lived on Yorkes for a4 years. Will look it up.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 3:09 pm

Walk the Yorke looks quite good, pretty much no hills.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 4:10 pm

We did a small portion of beach walking south of Port Victoria in very hot conditions.
Walking multi day would take some planning.
The pick of the Peninsula is down what is called by the locals the "Bottom End". From Corny Point down through Innes NP and around to Edithburgh.
But it is also a section with not much civilisation so needs good planning.
The Walk The Yorke is a recent innovation, and I may consider more of it as a future retirement option.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 8:18 pm

Eggs, have you done any of the Investigator Trail?

Re: heysen trail in summer

Tue 02 Mar, 2021 8:54 pm

No - just got back to Port Lincoln for a brief trip this year for a wedding after a long absence.
That trail was opened up a few years back, but Port Lincoln is a long way from Adelaide.
Lovely area though.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Mon 08 Mar, 2021 2:36 pm

The Investigator Trail for me. It’s a part of the country I’ve never been to and looks great. It’s shorter than I wanted but if I walk in from Port Lincoln airport that will lengthen it and I’m sure there are add ons I can find.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Mon 08 Mar, 2021 3:46 pm

Great! You could still strike some pretty warm weather... but hopefully it’ll be just nice for you.

It looks a bit back-and-forth and all over the place but yes, you can walk from town. And it does look very pleasant.

Are you flying over from Adelaide?

Look forward to a trip report. And enjoy some of those lovely SA oysters and wine after!!!

Re: heysen trail in summer

Mon 08 Mar, 2021 6:11 pm

I wouldn't mind doing that one myself. Looks great, especially with the leg into Port Lincoln.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Thu 25 Mar, 2021 4:06 pm

So I ended up not doing the Investigator after I had a chat with the Parks ranger and she was not going to let on about the water situation in the park tanks and said the only way I could do the trail would be with arranging my own water, which I couldn’t do as I was flying in. I thought she could have been a little bit more helpful but I suppose she had her reasons.

I did a chunk of Walk the Yorke instead and it was wonderful, I walked from Edithburgh to Hardwicke Bay, 250 kms. There was a public bus from Adelaide to both ends. The beach walking was great and there was very little tedious road walking. I didn’t get the impression many people do whole chunks like this but there’s a fair bit of day walking happening. I found water at all the walkers' tanks, a good thing as it was 30 degrees most days I was there, and towns were ok for resupplying.

I have written a report at ... yorke.html

Re: heysen trail in summer

Thu 25 Mar, 2021 5:53 pm

That's "interesting" re water supplies on the Investigator Trail. :?

Glad you enjoyed Walk the Yorke, it's also on my list. There's a good-looking write-up in the latest edition of Trailwalker (newsletter from Friends of the Heysen).

Looking forward to reading your trip report too, thanks for posting.

Re: heysen trail in summer

Fri 26 Mar, 2021 2:07 pm

Inspiring write up.
Thanks Pink Cap

Re: heysen trail in summer

Sun 28 Mar, 2021 7:31 am

Thanks Pink Cap, I enjoyed reading your trip report.

Interesting about the seaweed- is that a constant or does it fluctuate?

How much water did you carry? And can you let us in on the secret?

Re: heysen trail in summer

Fri 02 Apr, 2021 4:44 pm

Glad you liked reading about my walk.

I only carried less than 2 litres of water once I realised I could get some off other travellers in event of dire need, which didn’t happen since the tanks had plenty. Although I do tend to allow myself to get dehydrated while walking if I know I can catch up later.

The seaweed is apparently worst at this time of year (the sea grass has died and gets washed up by king tides) and the amount washed up varies from year to year, so you could go to these same beaches and see none another year. You can get adjacent beaches where one is unwalkable due to the seaweed and the other has none or very little. It’s only a walking problem when it’s deep because it is soft and spongy so you sink right in.

As to the shortage of signs - I gathered that sometimes people (such as the guy I spoke to) don’t want to keep off private land if there is a quicker or prettier way to get to where they are going and it’s easy to pull the signs out of the ground. Sometimes on top of the cliffs there were trampled fences too. But this was just something I was told and could have been complete nonsense.
Post a reply