Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Cedars - Hans Heysen

I had thought a good idea before completing the Heysen Trail in August would be to walk the spur trail from Bridgewater to Hans Heysen's studio - The Cedars - near Hahndorf. The opportunity came up today whilst walking the Pioneer Womens Trail.

Hahndorf spur trail
Southern Guidebook, Map 3.3

I walked the Pioneer Womens Trail today, from Hahndorf to Beaumont, the first section being the spur trail of the Heysen Trail from Hahndorf to the main trail at Bridgewater. On our way we stopped at Hans Heysen's studio - The Cedars, near Hahndorf. It was early, so not yet open. I will return sometime before August to visit the studio and see some of the Heysen works on display there.

View the Pioneer Womens Trail blog entry on my Training Camp blog.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


With it being the winter solstice, I camped out at a hut on Saturday night, and the following day hiked the End-to-End 3 hike.

Scotts Shelter to Mt Crawford
Southern Guidebook, Maps 3.8-3.9

As I have been walking the trail, I have been photographing huts and campsites for inclusion as a layer on the Heysen Trail Google Map. There are numerous alternative routes through the Mt Crawford sections of trail, and many camping and hut options. So it seemed easier just to spend a day driving and walking short distances to each one to take the photos.

Photographing huts

The final hut was Rossiters in Pewsey Vale, near Kaiserstuhl Conseration Park. I walked the short distance to the hut, and spent the night there.

Watching the sun set on the shortest day

Marcel's earlier log entry

The End-to-End 3 hike was pleasant, along forest trails and tracks. A good balance of ups and downs and spectacular views. The conservation park was a special treat.

A hike through Mt Crawford forest

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  • Distance: 20.6km
  • Start time: 9.32am
  • End time: 2.39pm
  • Moving duration: 3h 59m
  • Stationary duration: 1h 06m
  • Moving average: 5.2km/h
  • Overall average: 4.0km/h
  • Max speed: 8.3km/h

Sunday, June 15, 2008

84% of Heysen Trail complete

Just completed 7 days hiking on The Heysen Trail, now just 172km remains before I finish the trail in August of this year.

Buckaringa Gorge to Red Range Campsite

Rain disrupted the first two days, however the next five days went without a hitch:

I now have the following sections to complete:
  • June 22: Scotts Shelter to Mt Crawford (End-to-End 3)
  • July 19-20: The Dutchmans Hut to Mt Arden South campsite to Buckaringa Gorge
  • July 27: Mt Crawford to Pewsey Vale (End-to-End 3)
  • August 9-17: Red Range Campsite to Parachilna Gorge

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Pound is here

Reached within close sighting distance of Wilpena Pound today. It has been on the horizon for a few days, but now it's immensity is before us.

Mt Little station to Red Range Campsite
Northern Guidebook, Maps 5.3-5.5

Wilpena Pound is a huge landmark for me in completing the Heysen Trail. The Pound is now just one day's walk away, and only 6 days from the end of the trail.

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  • Distance: 17.6km + 3km
  • Odometer: 139km
  • Start time: 9.40am
  • End time: 3.53pm
  • Moving duration: 5h08m
  • Stationary duration: 2h03m
  • Moving average: 5.0km/h
  • Overall average: 3.4km/h
  • Max speed: 12.7km/h

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lucky Miles

The spot for today was the rock pools in Wonoka Creek in Mayo Gorge - the filming location for the WA rock pools scenes in the movie Lucky Miles

Old Wonoka to Mt Little station
Northern Guidebook, Maps 5.2-5.3

Mayo Gorge - the filming location of scenes from Lucky Miles

We followed a creek all day, Wonoka Creek. Just 15 months ago the floods near Hawker had seen this creek up to 10 metres deep with raging water - evidenced by the huge trees deposited high up against standing trees and up on the bank. Typical of the Flinders, the creek was wide and flat, but high on the banks you could see just how wide this huge creek would have spread.

We had lunch at Mayo Hut, a great spot to spend the night on a bend of Wonoka Creek. Jerry stretched the start of lunch out so we could reach the hut, however after lunch it was just 1 kilometre of the trail before we left the trail and walked another 1 kilometre out to Mt Little station. Here was another good camping spot, including toilets, showers and a great camp kitchen and shelter.

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  • Distance: 15km + 1.7km
  • Odometer: 118.3km
  • Start time: 9.16am
  • End time: 2.34pm
  • Moving duration: 3h40m
  • Stationary duration: 1h37m
  • Moving average: 4.5km/h
  • Overall average: 3.1km/h
  • Max speed: 14.8km/h (that was a run btw)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Special places

There are a few spots along the Heysen Trail that are very special, and this walk is along one of them - Yourabulla Range.

Jarvis Hill to Old Wonoka
Northern Guidebook, Maps 5.1-5.2

View from Yourabilla Range

There are just breathtaking views from the ranges over the Yilson Valley towards the Yappala Range in the west and The Wide Range and Red Range in the east and Wilpena Pound in the north.

Only 9km today, half along the range, half along the plain.

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  • Distance: 9.81km
  • Odometer: 101.6km
  • Start time: 9.23am
  • End time: 1.49pm
  • Moving duration: 2h50m
  • Stationary duration: 1h34m
  • Moving average: 3.5km/h
  • Overall average: 2.2km/h
  • Max speed: 7.6km/h

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Paranormals

The Normals, the Abnormals and the Paranormals. Today we had a handicapped start, the Paranormals first, followed by the Normals - the deciders of these names - and finally by the fastest hikers, the so-called Abnormals.

Partacoona Road to Jarvis Hill
Northern Guidebook, Maps 4.8-4.11

Like yesterday, the bus couldn't cross Kanyaka Creek, so two 4WDs ferried us the 6km to the start of today's hike - the end of yesterday's hike. It would be a long day - 26km - so the slowest hikers were ferried first so they could start walking.

Suprisingly, us Paranormals didn't catch the first yet slow group until they stopped 6km down the trail, we never even caught sight of them.

Not a lot to see today, well, the same view all day basically. Lots of marginal grazing land, old and rundown fencing demonstrating just how marginal the land is. A climb at the end of the bus on Jarvis Hill.

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  • Distance: 26.8km
  • Odometer: 91.79km
  • Start time: 8.58am
  • End time: 4.10pm
  • Moving duration: 5h35m
  • Stationary duration: 1h35m
  • Moving average: 4.8km/h
  • Overall average: 3.7km/h
  • Max speed: 8.9km/h

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We really are OCD

Due to heavy rains the bus could only make it so far to today's end point, so we had to walk 5km past the bus to ensure we walked that section of trail - then had to return that 5km back to the bus.

Buckaringa Gorge to Partacoona Road
Northern Guidebook, Maps 4.6-4.8

Willochra Creek

Buckaringa Gorge was spectacular - huge surreal rockfaces. Willochra Creek was also a treat, flowing of course, so a tricky crossing and a climb up a rickety ladder.

A few falls today, muddy bums and so forth. The bus ride home was also a bit tricky with muddy roads.

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  • Distance: 21.5km + 2km
  • Odometer: 64.99km
  • Start time: 9.48am
  • End time: 4.17pm
  • Moving duration: 4h 33m
  • Stationary duration: 1h 55m
  • Moving average: 4.7km/h
  • Overall average: 3.3km/h
  • Max speed: 13.4km/h

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Most effort for least trail distance covered

Today the roads were wet. Our first attempt to reach the trail failed, so we made new plans. Having walked 9km to reach the trail, we made it just 450m along the trail before giving up and returning.

Mt Arden attempt
Northern Guidebook, Map 4.5

The climb towards Mt Arden

We had planned to walk from The Dutchmans Stern to Eyre Depot today, but yesterday due to recent heavy rains we changed it to the second planned day, from Eyre Depot to Buckaringa Gorge. This was so we could do the longest, hardest walk of the week before it got any wetter. Unfortunately it was just too wet for the bus on the muddy track, so after driving 17km from Port Augusta down a track towards Eyre Depot, we turned around. We formed a Plan B, go to the Arganells property - a 4WD, mountain biking and hiking property - to access the trail near Mt Arden, then walk to Buckaringa Gorge.

After three hours in the bus to reach that point, we hiked a short distance before having a morning break in the an old girl guides hall that had recently been moved on site.

We then set off through Hammersley Gorge - this area was just beautiful, stunning indeed. However by the time we had actually reached the Heysen Trail, some 9.5km later, we walked just 450m along the trail before giving up. The walk to the trail was ok, it was in sheltered valleys, but now we were to walk on an exposed ridge for the next 8km or so, it was just too windy and cold. We turned around and returned to the bus.

So we had spent 3 hours driving and 6 hours hiking to hike a mere 450m along the trail. Not much colouring in to be down in the trail guide this day.

The rain had got heavier, and the track wetter as we returned to the bus, so Monday's hike was canceled, pending better weather on Tuesday.

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  • Distance: 19.3km
  • Odometer: 24.59km
  • Start time: 9.46am
  • End time: 3.41pm
  • Moving duration: 4h 22m
  • Stationary duration: 1h 32m
  • Moving average: 4.4km/h
  • Overall average: 3.3km/h
  • Max speed: 14.1km/h

Sunday, June 01, 2008

7 days on the trail

No not me, I had seen Marcel last Sunday on my hike from Cudlee Creek, and 7 days later he had reached Marchalls Hut

Kapunda to Marschalls Hut to near Peters Hill
Southern Guidebook, Maps 5.1-5.3

Sunset from Marshalls Hut

This is my last independent hike on the trail I needed to complete. I now have a week away next week to go from the Dutchmans Hut (near Quorn) to Red Range (near Wilpena), two End-to-End 3 hikes from Scotts Shelter to Mt Crawford and onto Pewsey Vale, then a final week away from Red Range to the end of the trail at Parachilna Gorge. This weekend's hikes were the last bridge hikes to ensure I complete the Heysen Trail at the finish at the end of the trail and not later in the year at some obscure spot near Burra.

It was tough going, normally considered two walks, I did both on Saturday. I left my car near Peters Hill and rode my bike back to Kapunda, hiking back to Marschall Hut, near my car. I stayed there overnight, then Sunday morning hiked the short distance back to my car.

At Marschalls Hut I met Marcel, who has been hiking the entire trail from Cape Jervis since early May. He will continue northwards, completing the trail by July 12. We watched a fantastic sunset from the hut verandah, then we lit a fire inside from the firewood Marcel had collected. Very interesting guy, and good to hear he used the Google Map on the Heysen Trail website I made to work out his hikes and plan where to stay. I look forward to hearing from him when he finishes the trail to see how he went. A bit jealous really, a fantastic way to enjoy the trail.

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Stats - Saturday:
  • Distance: 35.4km (15.7km + 19.7km)
  • Start time: 8.14am
  • End time: 3.34pm

Stats - Sunday:
  • Distance: 3.6km
  • Start time: 7.36am
  • End time: 8.27am
  • Moving duration: 37m
  • Stationary duration: 8m
  • Moving average: 5.7km/h
  • Overall average: 4.7km/h
  • Max speed: 8.5km/h