Heysen Trail

Walking through the Flinders: The Heysen Trail

The Heysen Trail is one of the world’s great long distance walking experiences. It is named after the artist, Sir Hans Heysen, who loved and painted the landscapes of the Adelaide Hills and the Flinders Ranges.

Trail route

Runs from the tip of Cape Jervis on the Southern Ocean to the Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges – Passes through stunning scenery, national parks, farming land and historic towns. – The northern half of the Heysen Trail goes from Spalding, through Chrystal Brook, Wirrabara, Melrose, Wilmington, Quorn, Hawker, Wilpena and finishes at Parachilna Gorge. The northern section of the Trail, from Spalding to Parachilna Gorge, has stretches that are isolated and rugged, but is a rewarding challenge for experienced walkers.


Wilderness walker Warren Bonython was the first to walk the Flinders from end to end. In 1969, he formally proposed a long distance walking trail from Cape Jervis to the Northern flinders Ranges. The State Government began to commit resources to its development. – The first section, in Cleland Conservation Park near Adelaide, was opened in 1976. Over the next 15 years the trail was steadily extended under the leadership of Terry Lavender OAM, an employee of the Department of Recreation and Sport and a keen bushwalker.

Trail Resources

Excellent resource materials are available from the Friends of the Heysen Trail http://www.heysentrail.asn.au/heysen_trail/. They will help both serious backpackers who want to walk the complete trail, and day walkers who would prefer to do short walks along different sections of the trail and nearby attractions. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has information for landholders and people interested in the strategic management of the Trail. http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Visiting/Bushwalking/The_Heysen_Trail – Bonython, C. Warren, 1971 Walking the Flinders Ranges. Adelaide: Rigby.