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Heysen Trail: Cape Jervis to Mt Lofty 200km

PostPosted: Mon 20 Sep, 2021 5:16 pm
by safari
My thru hiking plans -like those of so many others- for the Heysen were kiboshed multiple times over the past 20 months by the 'thing', but I never lost interest in it, so when I read of upcoming direct flights between my hometown of Launceston and Adelaide for $59 each way on Virgin I was all in and took a fortnight off work.
Just a small section of the trail as time and employment allowed (8 days walking), however I have always wanted to rub out a section of a long distance walk and knock it off over a couple of years so I guess this is the one.

I discovered a much underrated foot path that romps across diverse natural environments up the foot of the Fleurieu Penninsula, loads of colourful birdlife and bouncing fauna and not many other people wandering around.

The marking is solid, resupply is easy and the logistics of reaching the Southern Terminus easy as.

Transport to Cape Jervis; the 3:30pm Sealink bus gets you to the trailhead around 5:10pm. $27 cash to the driver.

I toddled off along the trail for a kilometre or 2 and chucked the tent up. The next 2 nights were spent in wild campsites as well before I utilised a fantastic single hiker room ($75) at Heysen's Rest B&B near Myponga at the 103km mark, right on the trail.
Resupply at Mt Compass followed the next day and a few more days of camping wherever I could tuck myself away in public bushland.

I rolled off Mt Lofty on day 8 and followed the Long Ridge Track into Burnside and caught an Uber into the city. Back to mask wearing and busy busy, everyone go go go!

Weather in September: a bit of everything. I was blasted by crazy strong winds and a blazing sun on the South Coast. Stop start rain in the middle bit. Cold and damp at night. I cycled through shorts and t shirt, sunscreen, hands in pockets, rain jacket on, rain jacket off, every layer on and cinched my quilt tight around me as required.

Terrain: singletrack trail through the Conservation areas, it's follow the fence across farmland (thanks to the incredible number of private land holders who allow Heysen Trail users to access their properties), follow the beach along the beach and quite a few very quiet, serene country lanes that connect up the route.

Water: tanks are situated in various walk in a and car camping sites. Not many streams or rivulets but I never went dry.

Anyway, I saw no other hikers aside from the hoards of school kids on Day 1 in Deep Creek Conservation Park and on Mt Lofty Day 8, which resembled an athletic event aid station made up of cyclists and aging runners chasing a coffee and a chinwag at the cafe there.

So yeah, solitude. A very pretty, worthy part of the country. Some steep pinches, some easy walking.
I'll head back to Mt Lofty next year, pick up where I bailed off and roll up the track for another 2 or 3 hundred kilometres. Quite looking forward to it.

*just chucked up a longer blog post about my walk, photos included. Cheers all*

Re: Heysen Trail: Cape Jervis to Mt Lofty 200km

PostPosted: Tue 21 Sep, 2021 12:46 pm
by GregR
Thanks for the summary Safari.

My plans to walk sections of it have been scuppered for the moment.

Very underrated in my opinion. I've walked several short bits as day walks over the past few years and found the variety well worth it.

I'm reading the Heysen companion guide at the minute to fill in time. Nothing like what I thought it would be, but really interesting to get the backstory on the places along the trail.

Good luck with your next section.


Re: Heysen Trail: Cape Jervis to Mt Lofty 200km

PostPosted: Mon 27 Sep, 2021 12:48 pm
by safari
Thanks for your positive words GregR, much appreciated. Hope you manage to get on the trail soonish ok. Cheers!

Re: Heysen Trail: Cape Jervis to Mt Lofty 200km

PostPosted: Mon 27 Sep, 2021 3:15 pm
by kicyclist
Thanks Safari for posting.
You wasted no time once you finally made it here to SA.
We were a group of 5 walking from Petrel Cove towards Waitpinga on September 23 so you were long gone from that southern part by then.
Grateful also that the land owners allow walkers to pass along the cliffs.
Just a day on the trail was well worth it with a good swim at King's beach on the way back.
Tassie was a place I visited regularly until covid, that airfare you obtained was fantastic!
Enjoy your next visit to the Heysen.