The Latest Footsteps Newsletter from South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) and the Lavender Federation Trail
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Footsteps Newsletter

Volume 15, Issue 5 - October, 2016
Dear Footsteps Followers,
We have a new Footsteps Newsletter for you. Footsteps is the Newsletter of the South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) and the Lavender Federation Trail.

Banner Photo: Announcing the Official Opening of the Webb Gap to Manoora Section of the Lavender Federation Trail with one of the great views to be seen on the new trail.
In this issue:
  • Map 5 Eudunda to Manoora Release
  • Webb Gap to Manoora Opening
  • Opening of the Sanderston Trail.
  • Declaration of New Conservation Parks
  • Walking the Lavender Federation Trail
  • Bits and Pieces.

Map 5 Eudunda to Manoora Release:-

Map 5 Eudunda to Manoora is currently in the final stages of completion and will go to the printers in the next few days.

The map will be officially released on Sunday 23rd October at Manoora (see following article). The cost per copy will be $10, unchanged since Map 1 was released over a decade ago.

Following the official release at Manoora, copies will be distributed from Lavender Federation Trail map retailers. It is suggested that you preorder map 5 from your usual supplier if you are unable to attend the Manoora event.

The Lavender Federation Trail web site lists all map retailers.

Webb Gap to Manoora Opening:-

The Lavender Federation Trail can boast of several unique and spectacular sights along its length. These include exotic animals from Mongolia and Africa as it passes the boundary of the Monarto Zoo and views of the Coorong, Southern Ocean, Mt Lofty and Mount Barker from the peak of Mount Beevor.

The Webb Gap to Manoora section of trail adds to these attractions with a section of trail near wind turbines with views towards the Tothill Ranges.

Experience a guided walk from Waterloo to Manoora at the official opening. Manoora is just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide.
Mollers Gap View                                                          Quinns Gap View

Lavender Federation Trail
Webb Gap to Waterloo & Manoora
Trail Opening
 The Lavender Federation Trail is a project of
South Australian Recreation Trails Inc. (SARTI).
The Regional Council of Goyder, The District Council of Clare and Gilbert Valley 
and the local Waterloo and Manoora Community
invite you to a celebration of
The Opening of the trail section from Webb Gap to Manoora.

Sunday 23rd October, Oval Clubrooms Manoora
9:45 Assemble at Manoora Oval.
10:00 Transport to Waterloo for those wishing to walk
from Waterloo to Manoora.
12:30 Formal Opening of the trail section from
Webb Gap to Manoora.
13:00 Refreshments available at the
Manoora Oval Clubrooms.
13:00 Lunch available to purchase.

All are welcome, bring your friends and family.

For last minute information have a look at the website.

Brochures and maps are available from Visitor Information and Tourist Centres.
Map 5 covering the Eudunda to Manoora section of the trail
will be launched at this event.

Waterloo Wind Turbines                                   Historic Manoora Railway Station

Opening of the Sanderston Trail:-

On Sunday 21st August, the Sanderston Trail was officially opened by Mid Murray Mayor Dave Burgess.

Sanderston Trail brochure/ SARTI Chairman Chris Bushell & Mid Murray Council Mayor Dave Burgess
unveil the interpretive sign at the eastern end of the trail/ interpretive sign and map.

Many experienced the challenging climb from the eastern end of the trail prior to the opening.

A “finger food” lunch at the Sanders Gorge restaurant was enjoyed by over seventy attendees, many standing on the balcony overlooking the gorge.

The Sanderston Trail is a spur trail starting at the eastern end of the Springton Loop Trail (Map 3 Springton to Truro). A separate brochure of the trail is available from Lavender Federation Trail map stockists.

Declaration of New Conservation Parks:-

Two new conservation parks proclaimed in the Murray Bridge Monarto area.

Kinchina Conservation Park and the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park came into existence on the 22nd of September when announced in the Government Gazette.

The Kinchina Conservation Park includes Rocky Gully and the Ngarrindgeri Hills at the western edge of Murray Bridge. Increased protection for the Lavender Federation Trail through Rocky Gully and the recently opened Jailbreak Trail network which connect to the LFT in Rocky Gully will be one of the advantages of the change to conservation park status.

If you were unable to attend the opening of the Jailbreak Trail in April, you will have another opportunity on Sunday 6th November when Minister Ian Hunter will officially open the parks. A family fun day with a BBQ, drinks, organized walks, runs and MTB rides, band, displays including one from SARTI which will include a photo display and map sales. If travelling from Adelaide, take the first exit from the SE Freeway into Murray Bridge and turn left into Maurice Road at the first traffic lights. Entrance to the event is off Maurice Road just west of the Mobilong Prison.

In the meantime, it’s a great time to experience the new Kinchina CP. At the moment, many wildflowers and woodland birds are out and about.

You can download a map of the trails from

Walking the Lavender Federation Trail:-

25 Victorian Walkers tackle the LFT.

Manoora to Murray Bridge over 13 days-September 2016

A keen group of 25 bushwalkers from Maroondah Bushwalking Club in Melbourne recently walked the Lavender Trail from Manoora to Murray Bridge over thirteen days of walking. Ably led by fellow member Di Gablek, we were the first group to walk the newest section of this most interesting walk, from Manoora to Eudunda.

A number of the group had previously walked sections of the Heysen Trail and so were familiar with the work of the late Terry Lavender OAM, the architect of both trails, and the excellent work done by volunteers in the design, construction and maintenance of these lengthy trails that traverse diverse landscapes in rural SA. We were equipped with the four published maps and had received helpful advice re route changes and walking the newest section.

We chose to base ourselves at Tanunda Caravan Park for the first eight days, relocating to Mannum Caravan Park for the final five walking days and used car pooling and shuffling to access the walks. These two towns were popular bases, providing friendly comfort and numerous local points of interest.

Although we hit unseasonably inclement weather, with flooding reported in parts of the Adelaide Hills (our boots were certainly muddied and our wet weather gear put to the test) this did not detract too much from our enjoyment of the trail.

At Manoora we were given a friendly send-off by a local committee member of the Trail, two farmers, two dogs and a load of sheep. Our spirits were high as we tramped along quiet back roads absorbing the idyllic rural vistas of patchwork green crops interspersed with the bright yellow hues of canola; as we negotiated our first stile, the first of many, too many to keep count; as we lunched with the soft humming accompaniment of giant wind turbines and felt the gentle breezes, the cause of the soft rippling effect in the mature crops around us; as we picked our way along a soft, grassy ridge following the line of wind turbines and looking toward the Tothill Ranges, and then as we encountered our first real climb through Webb Gap to conclude our first day. We had noted with interest that a small part of the trail was shared with the Heysen Trail.

The approach to Eudunda along the ridge of Bluff Range provided outstanding views of the lush countryside. Kangaroos and blue tongue lizards were abundant and curious sheep observed our progress. Once off Scenic Road the walking was soft underfoot and several picturesque ford crossings provided interest. It was surprise all round when we encountered another Melbourne walking group out for a day walk, and the friendly welcome and refreshing drinks at the Point Pass Pub made the extra road walk into the town very worthwhile.

We followed an old rail cutting into Eudunda where the Bakery provided sustenance and welcome shelter from the rain. There was time to admire the attractive Eudunda Gardens and reflect upon the life of local renowned author Colin Thiele whose books were familiar to many of us. In hindsight it would have been worthwhile to linger longer in this proud town, perhaps to spend time at the local museum and further absorb the town’s history as a watering stop on the overland stock route in the 1840s and later as an early German settlement.

From Eudunda the trail markers, always so reliable, led us through lush paddocks and along quiet back roads, over undulating terrain, and gullies requiring careful footing. We were often amazed to encounter lizards, despite the damp and chilly conditions, but thankful that our only snake was a dead one. Healthy crops of wheat, including durum wheat, canola, fava beans and commercial peas were identified, presenting a colourful kaleidoscope on the horizon. Whilst there was evidence of wombats none were seen, however, large kangaroos were spotted in the distance and sometimes surprisingly close. The cries and songs of cockatoos, parrots, kookaburras and magpies delighted us and a family of choughs with their basin shaped high mud nests entertained us another day.

The short, steep climb to Leake Lookout afforded wonderful panoramic views and the little township of Dutton provided interest with its restored historical cottages and beautiful cottage gardens.

Between Dutton and Truro we walked in glorious crisp sunshine following an original stone wall for some distance, enjoying the challenge of rock hopping across several creeks and resting for morning tea by a waterfall. Much of the walking was through soft grasses along easements and fence lines in private property until, after crossing the Sturt Highway, we came quite unexpectedly upon an extensive rocky gorge and waterhole, a rare treat amidst the rolling grassy farmlands.

We began walking in heavy fog on day 7 and the days were briskly cold as we walked around Keyneton and Eden Valley. Curious gate signs and sculptures, both natural and man-made, caught our attention and we paused for reflection at a small Irish pioneer cemetery.

Persistent rain meant we were often walking through boggy areas, sometimes avoiding soggy cowpats as well, and with the added excitement of crossing fast flowing streams. At one point we had a brief standoff with a herd of steers and at another rescued a newly born lamb that had become separated from its mother.

We caught our first glimpse of vineyards and admired the many beautiful horses seeking our attention at the fence lines. It was a joy to walk amidst scenic rocky outcrops, substantial properties and homesteads and majestic, massive gum trees. Some of us later visited the Herbig Family Tree, home for Frederick and Caroline Herbig and two of their sixteen children in the late 1850s. The Springton Hotel provided a comfortable refuge where we could dry out whilst waiting for the cars at the end of another wet but wonderful day’s walking.

As the trail meandered through the South Mt Lofty Ranges beyond Tungkillo we feasted on the scenic rustic views of the undulating green landscape, farmsteads nestled in valleys, fast flowing creeks, large eucalypts and striking granite rock features. The stiles, still numerous, were higher requiring the perfection of a different technique and rock wallabies were often spotted. The climb up Mt Beevor was surprisingly gentle from this direction and from the peak one could see Mt Lofty and just make out the River Murray as it wound its course to Lake Alexandrina and the Coorong.

A highlight for many of us was the delightful woodland arboretum walk as we neared Monarto. Beautiful flowering gums, plump golden wattles and a colourful variety of wildflowers, together with the quality of the track, made us most appreciative of this walk diversion taking us off Hartman Road.

The Preamimma mine and a long abandoned stone cottage complete with a separate bread oven reminded us of days gone by and we played ‘Spot the animals’ as we walked by the expansive Monarto open range zoo. Excitement mounted as we followed the Adelaide Melbourne railway line, walked through the very attractive Rocky Gully Conservation area, under the railway bridge, past the Mobilong prison, the prolific bird life of the wetlands and finally along the Mighty River Murray, its banks swollen by the recent rains, to Sturt Reserve, our destination in Murray Bridge. We had walked a total of 267 km. Coffee and cakes were in order!

We felt privileged to have been able to experience so intimately the diversity of rural SA; from the ancient granite rock outcrops and gorges concealing secrets of aboriginal lore to the relics of earlier days, reminders of the tenacity and hardships of pioneer life, to modern day farming communities, extended varieties of crops, wineries, horse studs, sheep with their alpaca minders and contented cattle. Our experiences were everywhere enhanced by chats with local farmers and townspeople, curious as to our progress but welcoming and forthcoming with local insights. To be amidst Nature is an exhilarating experience and the native wildlife, majestic gums and Spring wildflowers were a treat. Lingering memories such as these beckon our return to explore more of SA’s secrets.

We are indebted to all who have contributed to the development and maintenance of this trail and express our appreciation to the landowners who have so generously allowed access to their properties, making the trail not only possible, but so much more enjoyable and interesting.

Colleen Rowe
Maroondah Bushwalking Club,,

Bits & Pieces:-

  • Weekend Notes - by Steve Hudson
    For another perspective of the Lavender federation Trail, take a look at this link. Great photos and story by walker Steve Hudson.
  • Are you a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail?
    YOU can be a financial contributor to SARTI as a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail". 
    The new Sanderston Trail, the Lavender Federation Trail, new loop and spur trails such as the recently completed Point Pass Loop Trail are all being designed and constructed by volunteers. Volunteers undertake ongoing trail maintenance and each year SARTI has to fund public liability insurance of around $1,800, all for the benefit of walkers. Every contribution helps and at only $10 PA for an individual per annum, a small price to pay for the enjoyment received.
    Go to the link and become a member.
  • Have you looked at our Lavender Trail Facebook page? We welcome your comments and experiences. You can also ask any questions, report trail damage or make suggestions via the “contact” tab on the web site.
  • Website best place to ask questions:
    We receive many questions and enquiries through the LFT web site and attempt to answer them as soon as possible. In recent times the majority have been about maps for the Eudunda to Webb Gap section of trail and Jailbreak Trail or information about future sections of trail.

    We encourage people to subscribe to the free “Footsteps” newsletters
    (It is very easy to sign up - go to the main website and there is an online form on the left hand side for you to fill in.). Most enquiries received have been detailed in Footsteps including map downloads for new sections that are available direct from the web site.
  • What about our Twitter feed?
    In our last footsteps we mentioned that you can follow us on our Facebook page at  
    If you find Twitter is more to your liking, then please feel free to follow us on out Twitter Feed which will alert you to out posts on the website and other news which may be more relevant in social media.
    Check out our Twitter feed here   (note the number 1 on the end)


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Graham Hallandal
Editor (Footsteps),
Lavender Federation Walking Trail.
South Australian Recreation Trails Inc.,
Post Office Box 1052,
Murray Bridge, 5253, Australia.


Fully Escorted


26 Days, 9,062Kms, Return Airfares, 2 Berth Rail, All Transfers, Accommodation, Some Meals, Comprehensive Sightseeing, Visas
Departs 29th July 2017.
Download PDF info sheet

Footside Farm

Overnight accommodation, Farm visits by appointment.

Refurbished ‘Barn’ for sleeping space. Toilet/shower close by.  Ample room for tenting.Catering options from self catering to fully catered country style with the option of featuring native foods.

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