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

Volume 20, Issue 1 - March, 2021


Welcome to the first edition for 2021 of Footsteps, the newsletter of South Australian Recreation Trails Inc.

Another year begins with the hope that the restrictions of 2020 will become a distant memory.

In this State we are fortunate we escaped the restrictions of Victoria where travel was only permitted within a 5 km radius of your home and exercise for 1 hour.

As you will see in this newsletter, our minimal restrictions resulted in a huge spike in trail use where we monitor with electronic “Traker” recorders.

A cool summer period indicates increased trail use has continued through summer. Several openings to add in your diary in coming months including a new trail as well as several new trails under construction, extended or proposed. Details follow.

In this issue:

  • Opening of the 2021 walking season.
  • Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail.
  • Lavender Federation Trail now shorter. 
  • Walkers & MTB riders assist Channel 9 'Adelady' program
  • How did the Lavender Federation Evolve - Part 4
  • Manoora Helps Visitors With Accommodation and Food
  • Bits & Pieces.

Opening of the 2021 walking season

With the arrival of cooler autumn weather, hiking is an ideal outdoor activity. South Australia’s bushwalking clubs and Walking SA are coming together to celebrate the occasion with a unique day in Belair National Park.
Expo of walking tours, walking destinations, outdoor retailers, walking clubs, free entry. 
Guided hikes ranging from 45 mins to 3 hours, including child-friendly and accessible options. Guided Walks will depart every 10 minutes from 9:20am to 12:20pm. 
NEW: Bushwalking equipment and experience demonstration stage 
You can secure a place on a specific guided walk by registering online, or just arrive on the day and choose a guided walk to join.

Location Main Oval, Belair National Park Sunday 11th April 2021

Free vehicle entry to national park for expo visitors.
Free entry to expo. 

Guided Walks: $5 on the day to participate, or secure a place on your chosen guided walk by purchasing a ticket online from March 2021.

Further details including location map click to see thier website

Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail

Official Opening of Stage 1 - Saturday 24th April

SARTI has been able to assist in the creation of a new 100 km walking/cycling trail in the Clare Valley that starts and ends at the Clare Visitor Centre. The trail is designed to take 5 days to walk & cyclists 2+ days. Using a combination of backroads, road reserves and private property some sections are shared, others separate sections for walkers & cyclists. Section 1 opening details follow with the completion date for sections 2 to 5 in April 2022. 
Future issues of this newsletter will update details as they are completed as well as listed on the LFT & M2C websites. 
Official Opening of Stage 1 - Saturday 24th April
Local residents and visitors are invited to help ‘create’ the first stage of the Wine & Wilderness Trail.
Order of events:-
9.00 am - Meet at Clare Valley Information Centre
9.25 am – Unveiling of Signage
9.30 am – Commence hike; Through Showgrounds, past Tim Adams Winery to Spring Farm Rd, Dunn’s Range Rd. Across Dunn’s Range, Farrell Flat Rd
11.30 am – Rest and Refreshments at Hut just past Farrell Flat Rd
12.00 – Continue hike; Mocandunda Rd North, Hubbe Rd, Koorama Rd, Gaelic Cemetery Rd, Roach Rd, Stanley Stud Rd, MacDonald Rd, Armagh Creek, McCrea Wood Rd, Benbournie Rd
3.00 pm – 5.00 pm – Finish hike at Jim Barry Wines.
7.00 pm – Fundraising/Promotional dinner Watervale Tennis Courts.

Sunday 25th April – Unofficial walks through parts of proposed Stages 2-5 Wine & Wilderness Trail.
Please register for the walk so that we know the how many to expect, you can register here:

Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail website

(Top image) One of the spectacular and rugged sections of the Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail  
(Above) Walkers enjoying one of the quiet backroads of the Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail

Lavender Federation Trail Now Shorter

Most trails seem to increase in length as new attractions and diversions are added but the Lavender Federation Trail has reversed the trend and is now shorter (by 200 metres).

The riverfront at Murray Bridge is undergoing a $30 million upgrade and as a part of the first section upgrade, a new trailhead located 200 metres upstream has been installed.  

The new trailhead contains information on six plaques. A general trail information plaque, Lavender Federation Trail, Murray Coorong Trail, Regional trails (Kinchina CP/Browns/Olearia/ Callington Spur/Monarto Safari Park/Trail walkers code of conduct), Discovery Trail and Local walks.

Nearby is the new Regional Rowing Centre and a display for the Murray Cods, the Murray Bridge Rowing team that represented Australia in the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.

Join us for breakfast followed by the official opening
by Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis on
Saturday 8th May.

Further details of the morning including guided walks on a new section of the Murray Coorong Trail will follow when they are finalized, and will be posted on the website and the next newsletter.

(Top image) New trailhead at Sturt Reserve Murray Bridge.
(above image) Trail markers at the intersection of the Lavender Federation/Mobilong Swamp Loop & Murray Coorong Trails near Hume Reserve Murray Bridge.


Lavender Federation Trail Website - Maps Page

Walkers & MTB Riders Assist Channel 9's Hayley and Lauren and Their 'Adelady' Program.

On a hot January day this year, walkers and mountain bikers were involved in the production of a segment of the Adelady program on the Murraylands area.

In one of the segments Hayley and Lauren featured the Rabbiters Hut near Tungkillo, one of our accommodation advertisers on the web site, is a popular accommodation stop for trail users and is often used over several days as it offers the option of pick up & drop off between Murray Bridge and the Barossa.

The segment was shown several weeks ago but you can view it
from a link on the LFT website where you can view the Rabbiters Hut segment. Thanks to Gavin Possingham for sharing it on

You can also check out the Rabbiters Hut Website here

ATTENTION: All Accommodation & Tourism Suppliers
SARTI currently has an offer for free advertising to accommodation and facility providers along the Lavender Federation and M2C trails on our web site for a 12 month period. The offer is designed to assist those businesses affected by last years State shutdowns and the current restrictions on visitors from outside Australia.
You can read more and apply to be promoted here - it is currently free.

Channel 9 Adelady Program featured our Lavender Trail Walkers and Riders in a recent segment on the 'Rabbiters Hut' at Tungkillo.

How did the Lavender Federation Trail Evolve - Part 4

The proposed route of the now renamed Lavender Federation Trail between Tungkillo and Springton had been planned but still much work needed to be done to settle on a final route. This section was to be the first with a loop trail that would use part of the main trail and offer a walk starting and finishing at the same point.

Following the policy set by SARTI right from the start, one on one meetings with landowners needed to be held where unmade road reserves for the trail were planned, letters to all landowners along the planned route of the trail sent by council was made more complex in this section is in both Mid Murray and Barossa Council districts. 

In October 2005, a segment of “Postcards” was produced with host Keith Conlon. Covering the trail from Murray Bridge to Tungkillo, this was the second TV program SARTI organized after Channel 7s “Discover” program in 2002.
The Postcards episode is still available to view on our website on the Video Index Page 

One change to the planned route occurred near Pleasant Grove after a land owner adjacent to unmade, unfenced road reserve suggested it might be advisable to seek an alternative route. The area we were walking contained his prize bulls that were not very friendly. After a rapid exit over the nearest barbed wire fence with no permanent injuries, an alternative route was planned. Unfortunate, as the original planned route was far superior to the final route.

Pleasant Grove (Above) part of the original planned route abandoned.

After everything was confirmed, stiles built and trail marking items ordered. By this time, all signs at major towns and locations were being designed “in-house” by then SARTI secretary Barry Stacey who continues this job now.

Expensive lessons had been learnt earlier in the trail construction. Specialized businesses were needed to manufacture trail equipment when fading made some of our original signs illegible after less than 12 months. All our current signs are fade resistant, coated with anti-graffiti finish and arrows are reflective. We continue to use the same manufacturers after 20 years.

On 7th May 2006 on a cold wet day, the Tungkillo to Springton section of the Lavender Federation Trail was officially opened at Springton.

As part of the SARTI trail planning process, the possibility of future trails interconnected to the main trail is investigated. 

One possibility for a future trail was at Saunders Gorge. In 2003 the owners initiated proceedings to purchase a road reserve on their property. We became aware of a road reserve closure application under the “Road process under the roads (Opening and Closing) Act 1991” lodged by the Mid Murray Council at Sanders Gorge.

An objection by the Office for Recreation and Sport on our behalf was lodged in 2005. The final result was, what we understand to be, the first public access easement placed on a land title in this State. This has guaranteed, in perpetuity, a 2 metre wide trail across private land. The trail is vested with Mid Murray Council and the future construction and maintenance the responsibility of SARTI.

On the 21st August 2016, the Sanderston Trail was opened

The result of 13 years of discussion & negotiation. between SARTI, Mid Murray Council and the landowners, Brenton & Nadine Newman. This trail, with kilometers of unbroken dry-stone walls and stunning views in all directions, remains one of the most scenic (and undulating) sections of trail between Murray Bridge and Clare.

A 6 km link trail connects the Sanderston Trail to the Springton Loop Trail. You can view photos of the Sanderston Trail at Photos Map 3 - Springton to Truro

During 2003 a proposal for a loop trail on the northern side of Rocky Gully was investigated and submitted to Forestry SA, the then land managers of the area. A consultant was hired to investigate the route proposed by SARTI with the result that in the main, the route we proposed was accepted. The proposal then stalled due to a lack of finance.

In 2016, the area now under the control of DEW was renamed Kinchina Conservation Park. The loop trail proposal resurfaced.

The result was a multipurpose walking/mountain bike trail of 6.3 km, longer than the original SARTI proposal, that went further north and included a section along the fence line of Monarto Safari Park Wild Africa, it has been named the 'Cypress Hill Trail', it was constructed by a trail building contractor and opened in late 2019, 16 years after the initial SARTI proposal. Costing $200,000, mainly as a result of heavy machinery required for a creek crossing of permanent water in Rocky Gully Creek and a 12-section zig zag down steep terrain at the eastern end of the trail. An electronic “Traker” counter recorded over 12,000 using this trail in 2020.
A map of this trail & others in the area can be found on the Website

In 2020 the Mount Pleasant Loop Trail was built and opened using a part of the main trail. Originally planned as part of future trail building fourteen years earlier, it was put on the “to do” list as a future project while SARTI concentrated on building the main trail.

The Sanderston Trail and Mount Pleasant Loop Trail are shown on the updated Map 2 Mount Beevor to Springton released in 2020.

“On the ground” route planning involves many kilometers of walking.
(It should be noted that permission was sought to enter on any private land).

You can read Part 1 in Volume 19, Issue 1 - April, 2020
and Part 2 in Volume 19, Issue 2 - July, 2020 
and Part 3 in Volume 19, Issue 3 - November 2020 from our website (click on the links):

Click to Explore the Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C)

Manoora Helps Visitors With Accommodation and Food

The country around Manoora is exceptional for both Walkers on the Lavender Federation Trail (LFT) and Cyclists on the Lavender Cycling Trail (M2C), 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 are well aware of this and have worked at trying to improve the situation with help from locals and neighbours.

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.

Paul walking on Lavender Federation Trail enjoys break at the Coffee Cubicle outside Manoora Memorial Hall
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 encouraged a couple of "Home Stays" to help with accommodation.
  • Fairview Homestay - 0408 414 347
  • Manoora Homestay - 0419 850 463
Both of these are on the trails, with Fairview being 7km North of Manoora
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:-

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

Clare & Gilbert Valley and Goyder Council Trail Developments

The councils combined for a tourism project and have undertaken a wide-ranging plan for a series of walking trails.

Five of these utilize the Lavender Federation Trail as the spine.

SARTI has assisted in the planning process and volunteered to complete two trails.
One trail follows the LFT from Martindale Hall to Mintaro and the other is from Watervale to the Mt Horrocks Lookout.
We will mark these trails using material organised by the Council on Wednesday 24th March.

The Message is still very relevant at the moment - most of the country is still very dry.

Firebans are still in place until 30th April.

Even after that date, use caution and common sense before lighting a campfire.

Check the CFS Website here

Eden Valley Planning Trails

A volunteer group in the Eden Valley are planning several trails in their area. SARTI is assisting the funding application with on the ground advice, trail building costs and suggested procedures to follow in the planning and building phases.
Lavender Federation Trail Map 2 Updated
Map 2, Mount Beevor to Springton is out. There are many changes, updates and additions.
The Murray Bridge to Clare (M2C) Lavender Cycling Trail and Springton Loop Trail are additions. The Sanderston Trail and link trail to the Springton Loop Trail, are now included as well is the new Mt Pleasant Loop Trail (23 kilometers). 

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

The Irrational South 200 Miler, is again back on the calendar after last years cancellation due to COVID. Using the Lavender Federation Trail between June 9th – 13th 2021. The organizers, Ultra Series WA, Ultra Series SA, Ultra Series Australia have setup the website which has all the details.

Numbers are looking excellent with hoping to field about 50 runners for this inaugural event.

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.

Trail Use Skyrocketing Across the Region

One positive from COVID has been the huge increase in outdoor activity shown by electronic Traker trail monitors.

SARTI has installed several along the Lavender Federation Trail and reads six installed in Kinchina CP, two that also record LFT Callington Spur on a shared section of the Jailbreak Trail. One of these Trakers recorded almost 21,000 and overall, in the CP, an 89% increase from 2019. Even on more remote sections of the LFT, increases of up to 40% were recorded.

An additional Traker is to be installed in coming weeks closer to Murray Bridge by Council.

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

Wakefield Council Busy Building A Series Of Trails

Wakefield Council has constructed a series of trails with several of interest as they link several major trails.

The Copper and Liptrot Trails now link the Riesling, Lavender Federation and Mawson Trails at Clare with the “Walk the Yorke”.

Do you have a few months to spare?

Using a continuous trail network, you can now walk from Murray Bridge, shift onto the 1200 km Heysen Trail at Webb Gap and walk to Cape Jervis and the Flinders, back to the 325 km Lavender Federation Trail to Clare, across to the Wakefield Council trails to a circuit of the 500 km Walk the Yorke. Any starters?

Maintenance of the Lavender Federation Trail

Contact Trail Maintenance Manager Stuart Shepherd at 85682340 or 0431369354 if you are interested in assisting.

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.
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 
  • Are you a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail”?
    2020-2021 Membership available now.

    Memberships are $10 PA for individuals with 5 & 10 year also available.
    Clubs and businesses $100 PA which include an advertisement on the web site.
    Your contribution will allow SARTI to maintain the Lavender Federation Trail (Thank You)
    Note that you can become a member at any time of the year.
Become a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail”


  • 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.


Be Social - Tell Others about our Trail

We hope you like the latest information.

 Please 'Like us' or 'Share' a page on Facebook at
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 Follow us on Twitter at @lavendertrail1  (note the number one (1) on the end).
  Click Here


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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