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

The Heysen was my second long-distance trail, and not in my plans immediately after I finished the Arizona Trail in 2013. I was dreaming of the Pacific Crest Trail, that iconic trail of the American west, and had never even heard of the Heysen. But my Arizona Trail hike, which I thought that I had completed so successfully, had left me with muscle imbalances due to weight loss, and not long afterwards I tore… something in my foot (the exact mechanics were never made clear, but the consequences were clear enough).

For several years I stayed away from backpacking. In 2016, frustrated by living a tediously conventional lifestyle, I obtained a working holiday visa for Australia and flew to the land of wombats ( ❤ ), echidnas ( ❤ ), and kangaroos (hisssss!!!). Slowly easing back into long-distance backpacking, my foot still giving me pain, I stumbled upon the 1200-km 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.




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