The Heysen 33: Tannins

Thursday, October 06, 2016 – 19.8 km


There was some head-scratching this morning as I studied my map, trying to decide whether the trail to Ippinitchie Campground is part of the official Heysen route. It’s not listed on the ‘Heysen Trail distances’ section of the website, which is what I’ve used for planning. It’s in blue on the map, while side trails are usually in yellow, but it isn’t noted as main trail in the GPS tracks or the overview photo on the back of the map. Also if I go there, I’ll arrive in Spalding on Saturday and the post office will be closed. So I’m concluding that it’s an optional section.


Today’s scenery continued on from yesterday, with (comparatively) high elevation walking offering good views of Spencer Gulf. I’ve seen a lot of fire damage today and yesterday, with the black trunks standing out boldly against the new green growth.

Near the end of the day the trail descended to Beetaloo Tank Campsite, where the ground was covered with tall undergrowth that provided no obvious place to camp. The rainwater tank has a small roof with a decently sized bench beneath, so I decided to sleep on the bench.


The water in the tank is shockingly discoloured from gum tree tannins, which are harmless to drink. If another hiker comes, I’m going to tell them that I ran out of water and was saving my pee~


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