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On the trail
On the trail

Heysen Trail

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Heysen Trail is Australia's longest walking trail. It stretches 1200km between Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges to Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It follows the spine of the Mt Lofty Ranges, crossing the colourful Brachina Gorge, site of the fascinating corridor through time.

Wilpena Pound is another notable geological site and a great tourist attraction. It is an almost perfect bowl with a floor 200 metres higher than the surrounding country forming a natural amphitheatre. It is 17km long and 8km wide with St Mary's Peak its highest point. It is a wonderful place for bushwalkers and it is easy to see why Hans Heysen found so much inspiration there for his renowned watercolours.

The trail then passes through the Arkaba Hills on to Mayo Hut and over the Yourumbulla Hills to the Mt Elm Campsite. After about two days on the trail you enter Earth Sanctuaries Buckaringa Sanctuary, home of the rare and endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby.

The trail then begins the long ascent of Mt Arden, but the magnificent 360° views are an excellent reward for your effort! The descent on the southern face is via three dry waterfalls and through chasm-like gorges until you reach Eyre Depot.

A further 6km on there is some testing creek bed walking before entering Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park where there is very good overnight hut accommodation.

Another half-a-day's walk is the town of Quorn, home of the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society. Operated, maintained and managed by volunteers the railway is an operating museum running journeys on the oldest remaining section of the old narrow-gauge Ghan railway.

The trail follows roads parallel to the rail line before re-entering the hills to follow a ridge in Pichi Richi Park, a privately operated tourist centre. Views from the ridge rake in Port Augusta, Spencer Gulf, Mt Brown, Devils Peak and Dutchmans Stern.

The trail goes over the top of Mt Brown, and on to the Mt Remarkable National Park and the township of Melrose at the foot of Mt Remarkable.

It then traverses interesting pastoral and forest country in the mid north, before going over Mt Bryan, the highest point in the Mt Lofty ranges. Centrally located in the mid north is the historic mining town of Burra, an excellent base from which the Trail to the north and south can be explored.

Then it's on to the beautiful Barossa Valley, one of the world's great wine producing regions and continuing to the Mt Lofty Ranges with wonderful views of Adelaide. The nearby Cleland Wildlife Park is worth a visit.

From Mt Lofty, the Trail continues south to Fleurieu Peninsula, until it reaches magnificent coastal cliff scenery abutting the Southern Ocean. The beautiful coastal scenery continues to the west as the Trail passes through Deep Creek Conservation Park, and ends at Cape Jervis, a small port on the shore of Backstairs Passage.


Parachilna Gorge to the Mt Lofty Ranges in SA


World Expeditions Heysen Trail seven-day treks from Port Augusta cost $1795 per person. Meals, transport, guide and equipment are included and they run from April to October.

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

World Expeditions
5/71 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9279 0188
Mob: 1300 720 000
Fax: (02) 9279 0566

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