Heysen Trail

“The 1,200 kilometre Heysen Trail passes through some of South Australia’s most diverse and breathtaking landscapes, traversing coastal areas, native bushland, rugged gorges, pine forests and vineyards, as well as rich farmland and historic towns. The trail passes through some of the most scenic parts of the state including national parks, state forests and internationally acclaimed tourist destinations, including the Barossa Valley and the stunning Wilpena Pound.”

– Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails


After completing the Arizona Trail in 2013, I tore something in my foot (the exact mechanics were never made clear) and stayed away from backpacking for several years. In 2016, frustrated with the lack of adventure in my life, I obtained a working holiday visa for Australia and set out for the land of wombats ( ❤ ), echidnas ( ❤ ), and kangaroos (…). Slowly easing back into long-distance hiking, still plagued by pain in my foot, I stumbled upon the Heysen and ended up hiking a trail unlike any other I had hiked before. I was looking for a challenge, and a challenge I received! Of all the hikes I’ve done, the Heysen taught me the most.

The journal below was written during my hike in 2016.

HEYSEN TRAIL JOURNAL

1. Introduction

2. Logistics

3. Day 1

4. Flies

5. Mapfail

6. Safety Pins

7. HGTTG

8. Historical Fences

9. Back to Civilization

10. In Town

11. Rest Day #2

12. Back to the Trail

13. Mernmerna & Slaty

14. SINGLE TRACK

15. Easy Walking?!

16. Pound

17. Day Hiking

18. Spiders!

19. Moon River

20. Carnage

21. Almost There

22. Parachilna Gorge Road

23. Return to Quorn

24. Maybe There’s Rum

25. $6 Poncho

26. Hilly McHillface

27. Mt. Remarkable Day

28. Resting + Nervous

29. Tentpocalypse

30. Bailing Out

31. Crystal Brook

32. Roads and Planes and Snakes, Oh My

33. The 28.34

34. Tannins

35. NO HELP

36. Annoying Mapchild

37. Crystal Brook

38. Birds in a Hut

39. See How Little I Ask for

40. Swarms

41. Stake Death

42. A Quality Machine

43. Zero in Spalding

44. We Had To

45. The White Truck

46. Throne of God

47. Tourilie Gorge

48. Trees and Shrubs and Hills

49. Korea in Australia

50. The Bad Night

51. Worlds End

52. Killing Yucky Insects

53. Not a Soulcrushing Horror

54. Beware the Possums

55. Kool-Aid?

56. Hello Hallo

57. Laundry Soap

58. Showy Flowers

59. Scary Barking Dog

60. Sexy Date Clothes

61. Nature

62. Gambol

63. Uh Oh

64. Detours

65. Secretly Switchbacking

66. 5:30 Heresy

67. 1.5 Months Early

68. No Backpackers on the School Bus

69. Average

70. Sunsplaining

71. Gila River Canyons Day

72. Unnecessary Space

73. The Bigger Picture

74. High of 31

75. Ocean

76. One Final Zero

77. THIS IS WHY

78. Only Death

79. Black Friday

80. How Civilized

81. The End

82. More Advice Than You Never Asked For

All Entries


Heysen Trail website, managed by the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails: https://heysentrail.asn.au/

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