South Australia’s Heysen Trail is the longest dedicated walking trail in all of Australia, so completing this full thru-hike is no easy feat. However, if you don’t feel like taking on the full 681-mile hiking trail you can pick and choose shorter sections along the route. The full trail starts at Cape Jervis, South Australia, and ends at Parachilna Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. If you’re looking to take on this monster bushwalking trail you should check out the full route on Hiiker.
Highlights of the Heysen Trail
Waitpinga to Tugwell Road
Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)
This section of the trail is perfect for the coastal lovers among you. Take in the magnificent sea cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight, which is the largest indentation on the Australian coast, is home to the longest line of sea cliffs in the world, and is the longest south-facing coastline in the world. On top of all of those amazing geological facts, the coastline is also home to some unique marine life. Keep an eye out for whales, dolphins, and even the endangered white-bellied sea eagle as you follow this beautiful coastal hiking trail.
Curnow’s Hut to Raeville
Distance: 12.5 miles (20km)
Trek your way through challenging climbs, native scrub, and enchanting forests as you take on one of our favourite sections of the trail. You will be treated to beautiful views of green rolling hills and the smells of the pine trees along the way will fully immerse your senses in nature.
Melrose to Alligator Gorge Road
Distance: 16 miles (26km)
One of the more difficult sections of the Heysen Trail, but that’s what makes it so rewarding. You will start this section at the foot of the aptly named Mount Remarkable, before continuing on through the beautiful national park. From the 3,153ft (961m) summit of Mount Remarkable, you will be treated to spectacular views of the Spencer Gulf. This is no easy climb though, with loose scree creating a long scramble you will need to have your wits about you.
Quorn to Dutchmans Stern
Distance: 6.2 miles (10km) to 10 miles (16km) depending on the route you take.
The trail doesn’t have to take you around the full Dutchmans Stern Loop, but we highly recommend that you hike the extra 6km. We believe that it is one of the highlights of the entire trail when you include it. The 2,690ft (820m) summit offers breathtaking views of the surrounding rugged landscape.
Jarvis Hill to Leigh Creek Road
Distance: 6.2 miles (10km)
Reaching a height of 2,080ft (634m), Jarvis Hill and the ridge walk will offer so many beautiful picnic and photo opportunities. You will feel fully immersed in the beauty of the Australian countryside as trek along this magnificent ridge overlooking some of the most amazing rugged landscapes in all of Australia.
Moralana Scenic Drive to Wilpena
Distance: 10 miles (16km)
One of the best sections of the trail for bird watching, there is a wide range of local birds to be seen amongst the native tree line, including wrens, robins, parrots, and raptors. As well as the beautiful lifestyle, you also get treated to one of the most relaxing and pretty creek walks on the entire trail through Black Gap.
Trezona to Aroona Hut
Distance: 9.3 miles (15km)
If you’re looking for some significant geological sites then this is the perfect section for you. Following your hiking app, you will be guided along Brachina and Enorama creeks past the Golden Spike and many other significant and breathtaking sites. However, even if geology isn’t your area of expertise you can still enjoy the magnificent views of the Heysen Range as you cross the ABC Range (yes, we know, the trail is covered in many different ranges).