Wednesday, May 04, 2016
The primary resource for HT hikers is the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails’ website. Currently it’s not 100% accurate (for instance, the transport listings need updating and one of the links leads to someone’s unrelated blog) but it contains useful information about trail towns, campsites and the trail itself. Camping is at designated sites with rainwater tanks. The water levels in the tanks aren’t monitored (where’s a Fred Gaudet when you need him?) and I couldn’t coax the Friends or any government official into saying whether the tanks ‘usually’ have water or ‘sometimes’ have water, etc. I suppose they don’t want to be responsible for a hiker underestimating water requirements. As for other water sources, the most information I could pry out of them was ‘Pigeon Bore requires a lot of pumping’. Take note! Because that’s all I have for you!
For resupply, I mailed two resupply boxes from Adelaide, one to the post office in Hawker and and one to the Wilpena Pound visitor centre. Public transport up north is expensive: $85 to Quorn from Adelaide with Genesis Tour & Charter, and $140 return to Adelaide. The buses are infrequent, running once per week or twice if there’s enough demand. Another option for getting to Quorn is to take a bus to Port Augusta and ride the train from there, also infrequent and expensive. I chose the bus and met two other hikers on it, an Australian couple. They’re hiking to the first campsite after Quorn, then leaping up to Hawker.
In Quorn I’m staying at the Criterion Hotel/Motel, which I would recommend. It’s a pub with private rooms for only $35 (shared bathroom, soap and shampoo and coffee/tea provided). The owner said ‘let me see what I have available…’ but I’m the only person here. The hallway is silent as death and I’m stealing all the water from the pitcher.