The trail follows the coastal headlands opposite Kangaroo Island, with some spectacular views.
Hundreds of kangaroos along the trail, completely unafraid of hikers, especially in the first few days. Recommended for any overseas hiker who ‘wants to see a kangaroo’.
Few people on the trail so it does provide a great wilderness experience.
Spectacular scenery especially in the Deep Creek conservation area, especially the waterfall which stands out as a half day walk in its own right.
Lots of efforts being made to revegetate with original forest with the hope of reintroducing the Glossy Cockatoo wiped out in the early 1900s by clearing its habitat. Also steps to protect the nesting sites of the Hooded Plover on the beaches and make walkers aware.
The route around Balquidder Station following fencelines and walking in sheep and cow paddocks. I thought the campsite in the cow paddock was a joke and could only have been created by bureaucrats as a solution. Non hiking bureaucrats. Completely exposed to the howling gales. The extremely steep climb from Tankalilla Beach following a fence straight up was appalling, and it is this climb that i will remember next time i read the claim that the heysen is a world class trail.
No camping permitted on the beaches even though there are some lovely wilderness campsites on the beaches with shelter and water. Hikers have to camp inland on shared sites with car access. Our first night we had cars yelling, loud music etc. Not what we expected. Again i felt this was a bureaucratic decision with no hiker input.
Freezing temperatures and high winds. As you are only allowed to start the trail after april 1, others will experience the same climate. As the days are so short over winter, it is necessary to stop walking by 4 pm so you can set up camp and cook dinner before dark at 5 pm. This means you can’t walk as far as you think during the day
Accommodation and getting there
We stayed at Cape Jervis Station. The bus dropped us at the tavern which is a further 2 kms down the road. We rang the station and they came and got us straightaway. Walking back in the dark was not an option.
Coming towards Victor Harbour you arrive at Kings Beach. There were about 5 cars there in the afternoon with people walking their dogs etc. A nice young man Chris offered to drive us into town which saved us having to walk in the dark.
In VH we are staying in a renovated motel Victor Harbour City Inn and we highly recommend this place to hikers. There is a laundry, a kitchen, close to everything – woolies, bus stop, post.office, restaurants and in the main street.