The Latest Footsteps Newsletter from South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) and the Lavender Federation Trail.
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The new Trailhead at Murray Bridge was officially opened at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge. (article included below).
Photo: supplied by Peri Strathearn, Murray Bridge News

Footsteps Newsletter

Volume 20, Issue 2 - June, 2021


Welcome to the second issue of the Footsteps newsletter for 2021. A lot has happened in the time since our last edition with the opening of the 2021 walking season at Belair, several new trail openings, new trails planned and a new trailhead opening at the southern end of the Lavender Federation Trail.

Since the completion of the Lavender Federation Trail at Clare three years ago, SARTI, (South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated), the volunteer organization that built this trail has continued stronger than it has ever been. The expertise gained over several decades has enabled us to assist volunteer groups and Local Government authorities develop and build trails, not only walking but also multi-purpose walking and mountain bike trails. The SARTI Board now includes MTB riders who have developed the MTB version of the Lavender Federation Trail, the M2C (Murray Bridge to Clare) Trail. 

Our regular feature, “How did the Lavender Federation Evolve” will not appear in this issue due to time restraints. The trails evolution from conception to Springton can be accessed in past Footsteps from our web site at Footsteps Newsletter  (

In this issue:

  • Opening of the 2021 walking season.
  • Opening of the Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail Stage 1.
  • Clare Valley short walks.
  • “Friends of the Heysen Trail” walking the LFT.
  • Opening of a new trailhead at Murray Bridge.
  • Bushwalking biosecurity.
  • Another Lavender Cycling Trail Milestone Achieved
  • Lavender Cycling Trail Riders find Manoora a hit.
  • New Loop Trail on Lavender Cycling Trail at Eudunda - Robertstown.
  • Bits & Pieces.

Opening of the 2021 walking season

Sunday 11th April under rain threatening skies the official opening of the walking season at Belair NP was held. SARTI was pleased to participate with a display of trail photos of the LFT and distribute giveaway maps and brochures.

One pleasing observation was the greatly increased awareness of the Lavender Federation Trail compared to previous year events. Most this year had heard of the trail, had walked sections and planned to walk more in coming years. This was a big contrast to the previous event two years ago when about half that attended our display were not aware of the Lavender Federation Trails existence.

The awareness factor of the LFT was reflected with our map designers and producers Carto Graphics who had to obtain additional map stock we had on hand to satisfy the demand.

Walking SA MC for the day, Ben Trewren, recipient of the Terry Lavender sponsored Churchill Fellow 2018 undertook an interview with SARTI publicity officer Graham Hallandal during the day. The interview no doubt helped with public awareness of the LFT and projects underway with other trail groups SARTI is currently assisting.

SARTI display at the Walking SA trail expo at Belair 2021

Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail

Official Opening of Stage 1 - Saturday 24th April

(Top image) Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail - Official Opening of Stage 1 - Michael Nugent welcomes Premier, Mayor and local landowner Mrs Angus.

The Premier, Steven Marshall and the Mayor of the Clare and Gilbert Valley Council, Wayne Thomas, joined forces with local landowner Mrs Janet Angus to declare the first stage of the Wine and Wilderness Trail open at the Clare Information Centre on Saturday 24th April 2021.  

About ninety people were present from the local community, walkers and representatives of interested groups. These included the local Lions Club, Friends of the Riesling Trail, Men’s Sheds and, of course, SARTI all of whom had contributed to the development of the trail. 

This trail is a tribute to the determination of locals, Tim Grigg and Michael Nugent.  Some time ago they approached us (SARTI) and we agreed to adopt them as a subcommittee so that they could benefit from our insurance.  At the same time George Adams and his workmates constructed ten stiles for them which we passed to them at cost.  Having walked the first half of the trail section, I can report that they have been excellently installed.

The trail has two variants, like the Lavender Federation Trail, one for walkers and one for cyclists.  After the opening, about forty people walked the 20 kms to Jim Barry vineyard and Winery where all successful walkers were rewarded with a bottle.  I confess to only walking to the refreshment point where a kind supporter ferried me away.  

The first section is substantially off road thanks to the support of Mrs Angus who allowed access to her property, the Hill River Station.  This is a spectacular section along a ridgeline with the Hill River Valley on one side and the Hutt River Valley on the other.

Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail - Official Opening of Stage 1 - Mrs Angus opening the trail

Plans are afoot to complete the remaining 4 stages of the trail by this time next year, creating a 100 km trail which will provide benefits to the local tourism, hospitality and health of the community.
Contributed by SARTI Chairman Chris Bushell

Why not check out thier website at:

Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail website

Clare Valley Short Walks

Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council Mayor Wayne Thomas and a group of invited guests assembled at the Neagles Rock Car Park in Clare on Friday, April 23, 2021 to declare the new six Clare Valley Short Walks open.

The short walks have been designed to provide highlights of the many trails traversing the region and range from an easy stroll to the more serious slog, from one to four hours in duration, utilising existing parts of the Heysen, Lavender Federation, Rattler and Riesling Trails, Spring Gully Conservation Park and Neagles Rock to provide a range of options.

SARTI was responsible for the construction of two of these trails. One was the walk to the Mt Horrocks Lookout across the property of SARTI Board member David Spackman, another is from Martindale Hall to Mintaro. Astute people with knowledge of the Lavender Federation Trail will notice that these are two sections of the trail – so these were rebadged as short walks.

After the declaration about 20 walks, many walked the reconstructed Neagles Rock walk.

Maps and further information about each of the short walks can be found on the
Clare Valley tourism website (

The project was funded through the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Program and is an initiative of the Clare & Gilbert Valley Council with support from Regional Development Australia, Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourism Centre, Primary Industries and Regions SA and local landholders.

We congratulate Council and especially Lol Hill and Andrew Christiansen for their work.

Contributed by SARTI Chairman Chris Bushell

Watervale to Mount Horrocks Short Walk

Neagles Rock Short Walk

View all the Clare Valley Short Walks

Lavender Federation Trail Website - Maps Page

Friends of the Heysen Trail walking the LFT

On Sunday 18th April, “Friends of the Heysen Trail” commenced their first day’s walk on the Lavender Federation Trail. The plan is to walk the LFT over the course of 2021 and 2022. (Covid willing!). This is the second end to end walk undertaken by “Friends of the Heysen Trail”, the previous in April 2015.

Walk leader Greg Boundy explains the plan of the group. 
“We utilise the process of leaving cars at the end point of the days walk and then being bussed to the start point.”

“We had a total of 41 walkers on the first walk and we have a similar number registered for the second walk in May. We expect most will continue all the way to Clare. On average we walk about 20 kilometres per day. The first three walks are one day walks and after that we will walk both Saturdays and Sundays. This year we aim to finish on Smith Road between Dutton and Eudunda. We plan to finish in Clare in August 2022.” 

“The group appreciated your back ground of the history of the LFT at the start of our walk so thank you for that. The consensus was that it was a most enjoyable walk particularly with the combination of walking along the Murray and then heading away from the river. We found the trail to be well marked and easy to follow. We stopped for morning tea and lunch and were finished at the Monarto Sporting Complex at about 2.30 p.m.

There was a part alongside the Monarto Zoo that was quite sandy and undulating but some walkers decided to walk along the dirt track adjacent to the Zoo fence. We didn’t identify anything needing attention but will let you know in future walks if we do.

The walk went very smoothly for us. We have a group of four sharing leading of the walks, myself and Valerie Boundy and David and Liz Bowey. We did the Heysen Trail together. We did observe some Bison, Zebras, Horses and Ostriches (we think) at Monarto which was an interesting addition to the day.”

Top & below photos are “Friends of the Heysen Trail” day 1 walk on the LFT


Trail was officially opened by Mayor Brenton Lewis who cut the ribbon assisted by (L) Graham Hallandal & (R) Dale Manson.
Photo: supplied by Peri Strathearn, Murray Bridge News

Opening of a new trailhead at Murray Bridge.

A new trailhead at Sturt Reserve Murray Bridge was officially opened on Saturday May 8th Located about 200 m upstream from the old LFT trailhead, the new structure is part of a $2 million riverfront redevelopment with wider multiuse walking and bike trails and landscaping. The new design consists of six separate panels depicting trails within the Murray Bridge/Monarto region including the Lavender Federation, Murray Coorong, Discovery and Regional Trails as well as local walks.

The event commenced with a free breakfast cooked by Mobilong Rotary Club. MC for the event, SARTI board member Bob England introduced guest speakers.

Rural City of Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis spoke about trails, conservation parks and nature-based recreation opportunities, visitors to the region & planned upgrades to the riverfront.

Other speakers included Quenton Gore the trailhead designer and the inspiration behind the design. Short 2-minute talks included the Lavender Federation Trail and how evolved, local cycling and mountain biking, trails in Kinchina CP and Monarto area. 

Trail was officially opened by Mayor Brenton Lewis who cut the ribbon assisted by Graham Hallandal & Dale Manson. 

A guided walk from the trailhead to & around the Rocky Gully Wetlands & return and a ride by road cyclists followed.

Photos in this article - Peri Strathearn, Murray Bridge News & Graham Hallandal

Bushwalking Biosecurity

Bushwalkers need to be aware of the protection of native vegetation and primary production as they walk throughout the State. SARTI is very aware of the risks to our environment because the Lavender Federation Trail and the connecting loop and spur trails traverse several conservation parks, undeveloped road reserves and private property. On some sections we have funded warning signs for property owners as an education measure to alert walkers of their responsibilities.

Dr John Virtue, General manager Strategy, Policy & Invasive Species in a letter to Dr Helen Donovan, Walking SA states: 
"A major issue for the protection of native vegetation and primary production is the transport of seeds of weedy plants on clothing including footwear, and even coats or backpacks. All these items should be checked for any burrs, grass seeds etc. When camping out, it is also advisable to check swags and tents for seeds that get attached.
 Walkers are advised to check their trousers, shoes and socks after walking through a weedy area, then take a moment to get all weed seeds out of their clothes. Staying on established walking trails can make it easier to avoid picking up this plant debris. 
Walkers should also consider the potential for their vehicles to carry weeds on roadsides and car parks adjoining the walking trail."
Check the website by invasive species council - thier page is of help

Keep your gear clean in the wild


Another Lavender Cycling Trail Milestone Achieved

First Group End to End from South to North (E2E – S2N)

This group didn’t set out to achieve an M2C Milestone, and it would have gone unclaimed if it had not been for them posting on social media.

“Just finished our first bike packing trip from Murray to Clare. Massive shout out to Pat Quick for organising the overnight stay, dinner and brekky at the Manoora Oval. Definitely what we needed after a few days of banging against the 40km/h wind. Would highly recommend!” Cheers Alain

They camped at Mount Pleasant Caravan Park, Eudunda Caravan Park and Manoora.
See above photo of Laine DC Group with Pat Quick at Manoora - M2C First Group to Ride - Sth to North April 2021.

Check out the other Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C) Milestones

New Loop Trail on Lavender Cycling Trail for Eudunda - Robertstown.

Helen Dominish, one of the state’s inspirational cycling bloggers and Co-Founders of the Lavender Cycling Trail (See acknowledgement of this group) has continued to be busy all over SA. Helen asked us to highlight this new trail – the ‘Eudunda Inspiration Point Loop‘ as one of the trails she has really enjoyed pioneering.

Not only is ‘Inspirational Point’ one of the focal locations of the top of the range you are riding along, worth a visit just for the views, but the ride is fairly friendly and you will enjoy the back roads, with great views for much of the 54 kilometer ride from Eudunda, Inspiration Point, Robertstown and return to Eudunda.

Check out the great writeup on:
The Uncool Cycling Club

Photo thanks to Helen Dominish
Click to Explore the Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C)

Manoora A Welcome Stop-over for these Cyclists

Manoora resident Sandy Ross is the owner of the old church in the main street of Manoora, and she has named it 'Manoora Sanctuary'  way pleased to support these six cyclists on thier adventure to ride the full trail.

The country around Manoora is exceptional for both Cyclists on the Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C) and Walkers on the Lavender Federation Trail (LFT), but visiting the area is not without it's challenges.

Those planning to walk and cycle there need to be aware that accommodation and supplies has been quite limited. The Manoora Community have been working to improve the situation with help from locals and neighbours.

You can also enjoy a break at the Coffee Cubicle outside Manoora Memorial Hall where Judy Searley of the well known ‘Cogwebs Hub Café, Bicycle Hire and Visitor Information Outlet at Auburn SA is looking after you with her ‘Coffee Cubicle’ at Manoora Memorial Hall three times a week,
Monday 09:30-2:30, Thursday 09:30-2:30, Saturday 09:30-2:30.
Check out the Manoora page on our website for more details

There are also Public Toilets there too so you will be well catered for.

Additionally the community has always offered to help by having camping at the Manoora Oval and helping with supply. (see news item 2 above 'Another Lavender Cycling Trail Milestone Achieved', and with Sandy at the Manoora Sanctuary, and they have now encouraged a couple of "Home Stays" to open up as well. Fairview Homestay - 0408 414 347 and Manoora Homestay - 0419 850 463. Both of these are on the trails, with Fairview being 7km North of Manoora, ading to the capacity and choice in Manoora area. Well done to that small community. You can find the details on the website - Accommodation Listing - Map 5
Make sure you plan ahead and book so you don't miss out.
Find the latest info on the LFT Accommodation Pages

Bits & Pieces:-

Are you a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail”?

All work on the trail network is by volunteers.
The trail is maintained by twelve volunteer teams who receive a small renumeration for their fuel costs, the SARTI Board travels from many locations to attend meetings often involving up to 5 hours of travel and public liability insurance is approaching $2,000 per year. The cost of replacing and updating a map is $6,000.

Every donation helps with just $10 PA as a starting support amount.
Details on our Membership page

Currently 786 individuals and groups receive our newsletter but just 11% are financial supporters.
2020-2021 Membership available now.
Note that you can become a member at any time of the year.
Become a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail”
For The Latest Information and Resources about the COVID-19 Pandemic including things like Travel restrictions. this is especially important for anyone planning to come from Interstate, as each state has its own rules (on top of the Federal  ones). Stay Safe!
Please visit the South Australian Government website for COVOD-19

Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C) To Gain Significant Markers in 2021.

The M2C Trail uses the walking section of the Lavender Federation Trail where possible but does have separate sections.

Work will be undertaken during 2021 to place markers at the locations where the two trails deviate. In the future it is hoped to be able to obtain funding to fully mark the M2C Trail.

Reports from Cyclists about the Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C) have been very positive, with most using the GPS Map on the M2C website. As new cyclists are discovering the trail through various sources we have recieved feedback that there are many who do not rely on the GPS. The reports have said that when the trail deviates away from the Lavender Federation Walking Trail which is well marked, there have been some 'debating sessions' as to which way cyclists are to head. 

SARTI have realised that in the short term marking these points will greatly help riders in the future and have recognised the need to mark the whole trail when funding can be gained.

SARTI has also received feedback from riders that have purchased the Walking Trail Maps that they have been very helpful and informative. You can ride the M2C without the maps, but many have enjoyed having them along for the ride.

Lavender Federation Trail Map 2 Updated
Trail maps are available at map outlets listed on our web site. Carto Graphics and the Map Shop are happy to mail order to interstate and country orders.

Some Visitor Information Centres may also stock our maps, but be aware they may be temporarily closed and will have COVID Safe procedures, so phone ahead if you can,
(see our maps page).

An Ultra Marathon For the LFT

The Irrational South 200 Miler - June 9th to June 13th 2021

The Inaugural 'Irrational South 200 Miler', in it's third attempt to run, after last years cancellation due to COVID will be using the Lavender Federation Trail between June 9th – 13th 2021.

Shaun Kaesler Event Organizer  of the Ultra Series WA, Ultra Series SA, Ultra Series Australia hase setup the website which has all the details.

Numbers have been affected again as Interstate is hit with another COVID lockdown and  it is hoped that 27 runners will roll up at Murray Bridge for the event. They intend to run the Lavender Federation Trail all the way to Clare.  You may notice that there is also a 'Trail Warning' out for the Inspiration Point, Robertstown and Webb Gap areas as there will be a Motorcycle Trial in the area at the same time as some of these runners will traverse through that area.

We wish all the Competitors, Organizers, Volunteers and Supporters a safe an enjoyable experience on the LFT.
If you get a chance to see them on the trail - give them great support..

Jailhouse Rocks Trail New Section Allows Loop Trail

A new section of the Jailhouse Rocks Trail has been completed by volunteers at Kinchina Conservation Park at Monarto. The new section starts on Maurice Road opposite the main car park entrance allowing a loop walk using the Jailhouse Rocks & Getaway Car Loop Trails.

Volunteer assistance at Kinchina always welcome.

The group meets one morning a month. Contact Dale at for details.

SARTI/Lavender Federation Trail/M2C Trail?


How are they related?

A new website “South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated” (SARTI) is to be developed.
Final details of the content are still to be finalized but will contain information on trails SARTI is involved in developing or assisting other organizations and the history of SARTI over several decades.

KI Bound To Assist In New Trail Concept.

SARTI Chairman Chris Bushell will be heading to Kangaroo Island in coming weeks to assist in the development of a new “Encompass KI” trail concept under consideration.
Image from
Have you looked at all the information available on the LFT website? 

Trying to find out more information about the trail? Or perhaps you are stuck at home or in hospital and can not get out to walk or ride, then our websites might answer your question or satisfy your need to be outdoors.

Interested in accommodation / where to purchase maps / trail informationfrequently asked questions?
These are sections just under the “Home” tab.

In other sections you can read stories submitted by walkers that have walked end to end, look at a photo journal arranged under each of the six trail maps, view videos from Channels 7 & 9, listen to stories & interviews from ABC local radio & Radio National and much more.

Looking For Accommodation on the Lavender Trails?

New Listings added in February & March

The Lavender Federation Trail web site is continually being updated with stay options. Some sections of the trail traverse areas away from close accommodation and we are happy to say that some operators are happy to pick up and drop off. Contact providers direct and ask if pick up and drop off services are available.
Find the latest info on the LFT Accommodation Pages

Tourism Operators.

SARTI has a special offer to businesses along the length of the Lavender Federation Trails (both walking and cycling trails) to assist them get on their feet after the COVID drop in travel.

Free 12 months advertising of on our website that includes a photo and details.

Leave a message on the website to take advantage of the offer. This includes accommodation, camping facilities, transport services, food outlets or any services that may be of interest to walkers and MTB riders.

The New Trail's Accommodation Listing Online

Bigger and brighter - if your accommodation is not listed - tell us about your business so we can add it and help people find you.

Check out the example above of the Rabbiters Hut Cottage listing above.
Register Your Interest on our web form

Maintenance of the Lavender Federation Trail

Contact Trail Maintenance Manager Stuart Shepherd at 85682340 or 0431369354 if you are interested in assisting. There are currently 12 groups who look after the Walking Trail. Sharing to load with others could be a pleasurable experience.

Please Report any Damage or Concerns ASAP

We ask all trail users, if you see anything that feel feel needs attention such as missing stiles (several have been stolen this year), improved signage or better track access, you are our eyes. Please report to Stuart or alternatively, leave a message on our web site.

Report a Problem on the Trail (Walking or Cycling)

Trail Warnings & Local Events - Please Tell Us!!!

We ask that the towns & districts along the Lavender Federation Trail send us news and warning items - We would love to be able to broadcast your Community Events to our readers (if in time - to the Footsteps Readers) but more likely to those who follow the Website and our Social Media streams on Facebook and Twitter.

If LFT walkers know about your community event they may arrange thier arrival in your town or district to be present and enjoy it, creating a unique experience for them, and higher attendance for your event.

For trail warnings: some of the events in your district may not be related to walking, but they MAY actually intersect somewhere along the trail. It would be great if you could let us know, so that walkers could be prepared for safety sake, and perhaps to end up taking the time to enjoy your event. They may choose to walk in another district too, but rest assured; they will be planning to come to yours to complete thier walk of the trail.

Please realise that SARTI is not able to broadcast these events unless someone tells us about them, and sometimes we only find out about them at very short notice.

Current Trail Warnings:- 

Trail WARNING:- The Irrational S.O.U.T.H. 200 Miler (Ultra Long Distance Run) - 9th - 13th June 2021 on the Lavender Trail - Take Care Due to Extra Traffic

More Info

Trail WARNING:- Point Pass, Robertstown, Webb Gap, Waterloo areas due to Lew Job 2 Day Reliability Trial – Robertstown 12th & 13th June 2021

More Info
Check Out Previous Footsteps Newsletters

Find Resources On Our Website

  • Retail map outlets for the Lavender Federation Trail are listed on the web site. See website 
  • Maps & brochures to wholesalers - If you would like to stock Lavender Federation Trail Maps and or brochures please contact Don McDonald who has taken over the distributing maps & brochures to wholesalers. You can contact Don from the website.

    Mail Order Maps - We receive many requests for information on map purchases particularly from country areas or interstate. Click for the website 'Maps' page
  • Lavender Federation Trail Cloth Badges For Sale
    Cost is $10 plus postage however, some map outlets stock them if you want to avoid the postage.

  • They are also available from George Adams (phone 08) 8396-8140 or
     Order via web form 


  • Do you have any other favourite resources that might help others? 
  • You are welcome to tell us about your walk experience of the Lavender Federation Trail. Photos are welcome too!
  • Spot something wrong on the Trail - Please Tell Us!
  • Hear of a Community Event that will happen on or close to the trail that other walkers might like to know about - Let Us Know! - We want the communities along the LFT to benefit. CONTACT US

New Accommodation Listings On Website
Click for See Listing

Additionally there is a great amount of work behind the scenes
collecting information on "Camping sites" suitable for walkers
and these will become available on the website when verified.
Some areas have been delayed as Councils are consulted
If you would like to attract Lavender Federation Trail Walkers and thier support teams to your tourism related business, please contact us for details.


Are you receiving this newsletter indirectly via a club or friend? Why not receive a copy direct and get all the latest news direct to your computer or mobile device?

The Lavender Federation Trail website home page  gives easy access to subscribe or unsubscribe. Don’t forget to tell us if you change your email address via the link at the bottom of this email, 'update subscription preferences' at the bottom of this newsletter
“Footsteps” Newsletter is free. Reproduction of all or part of this newsletter by any organization may be permitted providing permission is first obtained from SARTI.

Previous Newsletter?

Looking for the Previous Newsletter? You can get it on the website.

If you have any trouble with this link
You can download the latest Footsteps Newsletter from the website at this link.
and follow the links. You can also download previous newsletters here too.


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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.
See Website


from Our Business Members

Carto Graphics

Unley based Carto Graphics has supplied SARTI with all the Lavender Federation Trail maps and given us great support including coming to all our Trail Openings with a display.
See Website

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. See Website

Business Members - Advertise in Footsteps Newsletter & Website
Join as a Full Member for $100 per year to get the benefits of Advertising direct to those who may be keen to use your services or goods.

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