Heysen Trail

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I’ve held off starting this thread but why wait hey. Tomorrow I kick off the Heysen Trail in South Australia and can’t wait.

The Heysen is Australia’s longest dedicated hiking trail at 1,200km, stretching between Cape Jarvis in the south to Parachilna George in the North. I’ll be headed south bound (SOBO) taking in a huge variety of landscapes starting with the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound, captured so perfectly in paintings by Hans Heysen whom the trail is named after.

The trail winds down through rugged gorges, open hilltops with expansive views, bushland, open farmland dotted with small country towns, the famous Barossa wine region, pine forests, and down the Fleurieu Peninsula and coastal areas to Cape Jarvis.

I’m currently in Adelaide having spent the weekend at the awesome Franklin Hotel organising last minute logistics. There was a gas canister to purchase, which you obviously cant fly with, the first food supply to buy and I’ve organised a bus up to Parachilna which will save a 450km hitch up north.

I can’t wait. It will be an early start and a long day to reach the northern terminus tomorrow but it is happening. Most of the day will be on the road to Parachilna and then an afternoon road walk around 16km to the trail head. If I’m lucky I’m hoping for a hitch to save the road walk to the start and potentially saving a day. I may even start the trail proper tomorrow afternoon. A shuttle from Parachilna is available but at $50, think I’ll walk. Besides I saw this as a bit of a warm up as I’ve did sweet FA training.

I have a new pack to trial for this trip, the Mountain Smith Zerk 40 frameless pack, which I was going to take on the Bibbulmun track with me last year but switched it out at the last minute for some reason, sticking with a tried and tested Osprey pack. No turning back now, it is the only pack I have with me and pretty much zero change of swapping it out along the way. I’ve trialed this pack on a few overnighters and am happy enough although a little nervous not having used a frameless pack over a long distance thru hike before. But my gear is dialled down to one of the lightest weights I’ve ever carried for a thru hike and it should be ok. So small and light, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had a small pocket knife with me, I could have taken my pack as carry on luggage on the flight across from Melbourne.

I’ll be trying to keep up with regular blog posts like other trips I’ve posted on. Frequency will really just come down to cell service in the small towns to start with.

Wish me luck and stay tuned.


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