Saturday, August 18, 2012


The Starters, Cape Jervis, May 2010
For those who know little or nothing about the Heysen Trail, this blog will provide a record of the progress of one group of like-minded people who set out on the journey from Cape Jervis in South Australia on Sunday 16 May 2010. As ‘friends’ of the Heysen Trail, the group known as End to End 5 has, to the time of the first publication of this blog, been walking together for almost 3 years. To date, walking has taken place on one Sunday each month but before the end of 2012, the group will begin a new chapter of progress and commence walking both Saturdays and Sundays (monthly) before ultimately walking on a multi-day basis as the target destination of Parachilna, in the State’s far north, is within reach.
The Heysen Trail is approximately 1200 kilometres long and passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in South Australia including that on private properties. Presently, The Friends of the Heysen Trail association has 4 groups walking the full length of the Trail. End to End 4 is currently approaching the upper mid north, End to End 6 is walking in the southern Adelaide Hills while End to End 7 started its journey earlier this year at Cape Jervis. All groups consist of approximately 40 to 60 people and a new group commences each year. Volunteer leaders support each group through organising transport, navigating the track and providing general advice and support along the way. Each group develops a personality of its own, with some having walking themes each month and others enjoying traditions of sharing particular foods during rest breaks – chocolate coated coffee beans, jelly snakes and Fruchocs to name but a few. Developing social links also helps when it comes time to organising ‘catch up’ walks – an inevitability over the time and distance involved.
End to End 1 started life as The Millennium Walk, suggested by David Beaton, in 1999, and lead by him and Julian Monfries. It started in 2000, initially with 44 walkers and finished 57 days and 5 years later with about 40 walkers completing the Trail. At one stage, the group got down to only twelve walkers and we thought when numbers dropped again, at the time week-ends away started, that the concept would die by attrition. How wrong we were!
End to End 2 was initially Millennium Catch-up Walk until it thought that Millennium had very little to do with it anymore and so became End to End 2 with that group finishing in 2008.
End to End 3 completed the Trail in August, 2011 with 53 walkers comprising the group.
There is an inherent danger in commencing to walk the Heysen Trail. A vague intention to walk periodically at convenient locations can quickly turn to an obsession with regular walking anywhere that the Trail leads. The passion for walking the Heysen Trail has been affecting walkers for over 25 years and there is no doubt that it will continue to do so.
For those who would like to learn more about The Friends of the Heysen Trail go to

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