Australia’s mining expertise is at the forefront of a new era of space exploration that’s looking to the
Moon and beyond.
There are good reasons why we’re seeing more sign language interpreters on our TV screens.
Like baby xenomorphs lurking menacingly in the crawl space, orchid mantis babies are feisty little critters that sure can hold their own.
Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox.
It’s worth making a side trip to the grassy saddle just below a dome-shaped landmark called The Bluff. The view back along the coast to the beach and the distant cliffs of Waitpinga is magificent.
On a bright August morning in 1925, Heysen sat on the saddle below The Bluff sketching the view. As it happens he wasn’t celebrating but grieving; only days earlier his beloved third daughter Lillian had died of meningitis, just shy of her 16th birthday. Yet somehow from his deep love of nature he found the strength to keep working and in the months ahead he completed a major oil painting of the scene.
The view of Cape Jervis along the Heysen Trail could easily be mistaken for a painting. The Heysen is one of Australia’s great walks. An epic 1200 km coast-to-outback adventure, it is also one of the world’s longest walks.
A pelican lands along the coast, on the Heysen Trail.
The trail was named after German immigrant, Sir Hans Heysen. As one of Australia’s best-loved artists, Heysen was the first to reveal this countryside in its true light. He cherished his lifelong intimacy with the bush.
From the mouth of the Coolawang River, the route hugs the coast, traversing long surf beaches on its way to Newland Head Conservation Park. Then the coast track hauls up to scramble along the edge of the dramatic Waitpinga cliffs, where sheer 100 m high walls are stacked in layers against the shoreline like colossal dinner plates in a rack.
Deep Creek Conservation Park on the coast south of Adelaide
It took 15 years, 12,000 way markers, 4500 stiles, 8000 signs and, toughest of all, negotiations with hundreds of wary farmers and land-holders to create the Heysen Trail.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
As the coastline swings east it drops down until the cliffs end at King Head and its crescent beach. Here the Heysen farewells the coast, striking north to begin its mighty trek to the outback, through the Barossa Valley and into the Flinders Ranges.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
At first glance, the Heysen Trail is a disarmingly simple idea: a footpath linking 25 parks and reserves – via public and private lands – along SA’s ancient mountain backbone. However, bringing this idea to life took 24 years.
A view along the track to Deep Creek Conservation Park on the coast south of South Australia.
View to Kangaroo Island
Alas, pubs are scarce along the wild south-coast leg of the Heysen. But the views are tonic aplenty. Headlands cloaked in coastal bush drop abruptly to the waters of Backstairs Passage, the narrow strait separating the mainland and Kangaroo Island on the south-western horizon.
C. (Charles) Warren Bonython first proposed the idea of a walking track along the length of SA’s high country at a National Trust gathering in July 1969. On 19 November 1978 the first stage of the Heysen Trail, from Mount Lofty to Mount Magnificent, was formally opened.
The trail wends its way through the vineyards of the Barossa Valley and rambling hills and paddocks to the rugged splendour of the South Flinders Ranges, where the track ends in Parachilna Gorge.
A kangaroo pauses during its grassy meal near Blowhole Beach, along the Heysen Trail.
You don’t necessarily need to walk the Heysen Trail to enjoy the scenery. But if you trek all the way from Cape Jervis, it changes forever how you feel about this view. Every stride along the track adds another brushstroke to your picture of the place and the life that unfolds here.
Morgans Beach, Victor Harbour
The crystal clear aqua waters along the coast of South Australia mark the start of the 1200-km walk from coast to outback along the Heysen Trail.
Wind turbines of the Starfish Hill windfarm line the cliffs above Morgans Beach at Victor Harbour, along the Heysen Trail, one of the world’s longest walks, at 1200km.
The flora encountered is mostly native, interspersed with pasture and occasional gardens, especially in the Adelaide Hills. Native animals are regularly encountered, like this seal.
A grass tree, or Xanthorrhoea, along the Heysen Trail.
A sunset view from Tappanappa, along the Heysen Trail in South Australia.
Absorbing the sites and rhythms of life along this coast, you could be forgiven for believing the Heysen Trail has always been – and always will be – part of our cultural landscape. In truth, it owes its existence to the remarkable volunteer effort of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and other groups who help maintain the track.
The Heysen itself is constantly changing. Where once the track used to charge down slippery Tapanappa Hill, a detour now helps trekkers descend gently to Boat Harbor Beach.
Morning light filters through the gumleaves on South Australia’s Heysen Trail.
This scene was inspiring for Sir Hans Heysen, who conjured an oil painting of this beautiful view.
Trail markers will guide you onwards for another 1000 km, through the vineyards of the Barossa Valley and rambling hills and paddocks to the rugged splendour of the South Flinders Ranges, where the track ends in Parachilna Gorge.
Home Travel Destinations Gallery: Heysen Trail
A Decrease font size.
A Reset font size.
A Increase font size.
The mainland of the most southern continent was first discovered 200 years ago, and a spirit of exploration still colours visits to the frozen continent today.
Australia’s largest state is the ultimate outdoor playground. Whether camping in its many national parks, swimming with oceanic giants, or traversing one of Australia’s most famous outback tracks, WA will keep even the most discerning adventurer busy.
Hike a tropical island, dive a natural wonder, ride an epic MTB trail network or paddle a unique marine trail. Queensland is the ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure destination.
Entertain the kids these holidays with our great range of fun and educational toys and games.
Explore the world from the comfort of your home with our lush pictorial books. From nature photography to stunning landscapes there is something to capture everyone’s imagination.