Heysen Trail, Week of Walks 2014

Text and photos by John Langford

If my memory serves me correctly Ros Steel suggested the Heysen Trail in South Australia as a potential venue for a Week of Walks and as it happened a family wedding took Christina and me to the Adelaide Hills. After the wedding we visited the Cedars, Hans Heysen’s home and Studio at Hahndorf, one of the many points of interest on the Heysen Trail that stretches 1200 km from Cape Jervis, the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, to Parachilna Gorge in the northern Flinders Ranges. The beginning of the Trail was the logical place to start so we booked accommodation at Cape Jervis Station and with the help of Jen and Sam Ginsberg explored the section of the Trail between the Cape and Victor Harbour. The colourful table prepared by Christina sets out the rich diversity of walks that resulted from our explorations of the Trail along this beautiful coastline.

Cape Jervis Station, a characterful mix of old stone farm buildings, including a large barn, and the original homestead provided an excellent base for the initial 5 days of our adventure. We moved our base to a caravan park in Victor Harbour for the final 4 days of walking to reduce the driving required and allow us to enjoy this historical seaside town.

There were so many delightful walks, and so many photographs it was a difficult task selecting the highlights. For me there were 4 particularly memorable walks:

  • the walk into Deep Creek Cove and around the surrounding Conservation Reserves. The whole group walked in to the spectacular Cove and enjoyed lunch on the water worn rocks that formed the beach. The more energetic walkers climbed the steep slope to the top of the eastern rim of the Cove and completed a circuit through the Conservation Reserves before returning down to the Cove and back to the cars. The sequence of seven photographs illustrates out experience of this beautiful Cove.
  • the walk from Tapanappa Camp Ground to Tunk Head Road including a walk along Tunkalilla Beach. While we were walking along this beach a pod of dolphins decided to give us a demonstration of surfing, diving headlong into the wave and exploding out the back of the wave. They must have been aware of our presence because they followed us as we walked along the beach. Unforgettable!
  • The walk along the cliff tops to Waitpinga Beach. Spectacular coastal views
  • The walk along the beach to the mouth of the Murray River where it flows into Encounter Bay: sea birds galore. The photo above is of the long walkers at the Murray mouth. The Amblers took a boat trip along the Coorong and disembarked on the eastern side of the Murray mouth and we were able to wave to each other across the flowing water.
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