The Latest Footsteps Newsletter from South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) and the Lavender Federation Trail
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21 Years in the making, the final stage of this 325km Trail will open on the 5th May 2018 and the South Australian Recreation Trail Inc invite you to come and Celebrate this great achievement. Built entirely by Volunteers. Details below.

Footsteps Newsletter

Volume 17, Issue 1 - April, 2018
In this issue:
  • You are Invited to the Clare Trail Opening - 5th May 2018.
  • A photo journey from Manoora to Clare.
  • New Accommodation Listings
  • Bits & Pieces.
Welcome to the first Footsteps newsletter for 2018. A very special welcome to those receiving this newsletter for the first time. Past copies of this newsletter can be accessed from the website.

Numbers of readers are increasing steadily but if any time you want to opt out or you change your email address you can do so on the website.

The website is currently undergoing a major revamp with an all new look and updated features to make it easier to find information about the Lavender Federation Trail network, map outlets, accommodation information, latest news, changes to the trail and lots more. 

Over the coming weeks you will see an expanded photo library. The photos will coincide with each of the six maps available with titles to show where they are taken. This will enable you to plan your walks so you can see what to expect in different sections of the main trail and 100 km of connecting loop and spur trails built by SARTI.

Some glitches may occur as the new site comes on line but please be patient. Like everything our organization does, we are a 100% volunteer organization and rely on a team of volunteers working on behalf of walkers.

After 21 years,
the Lavender Federation Trail is finished.

Please come and celebrate to completion of the Lavender Federation Trail on Saturday 5th May at Clare.

Location is the Lennon Street Car Park located to the right just past the oval as you are entering the Clare main street. This location is the start point of both the Riesling and Lavender Federation Trails. 

What is there to do?

  • Go on an organized walk to experience a small section of the trail.
  • Free buses will take you to the start and you can walk back. 
  • Many walking clubs have organized their own walks. 
  • Look at the displays from
    • Walking clubs,
    • Outdoor shops,
    • SARTI display of photos of the Lavender Federation Trail,
    • Representatives at the stands can help you if you have any questions,
  • Purchase maps (from Map 1 to Map 6),
    (The maps have lots of extra information and will be a great resource, with details along the trail and will also be a great keepsake),
  • The NEW Lavender Federation Trail
    Map 6 - Manoora to Clare to be released at the opening and is available for sale there,
  • Various Food and Drinks available for purchase from stands operated by local organizations,
  • Live Music by Mike Roberts.
  • Meet up with friends and make new ones


Official opening of the trail by Geoff Brock MP
at 12.30 pm.

A photo journey from Manoora to Clare

What can you experience on the 59 km section between Manoora and Clare? 
Heritage railway station and water tower at Manoora.
Quiet minor roads and easy flat walking towards Mintaro.
Martindale Hall.
Historic Mintaro. Great place to stay overnight or a stop for coffee or lunch.
Stunning scenery between Mintaro and Watervale with views from the wind farm at Waterloo to St Vincent Gulf and Mt Horrocks.
Watervale. Location for an overnight stop, lunch or coffee.
Short 7 km walk along the Riesling Trail past Penwortham
Minor roads & tracks into Spring Gully Conservation Park with views west towards Gulf St Vincent.
Neagles Rock overlooking surrounding vineyards.
Minor back roads into Clare.
Map 6 Manoora to Clare is an essential guide for walking this section of trail.
Preorder at LFT map stockists (details from the website) or purchase your copy at the Clare opening. 


This is the 17th year that Footsteps newsletters have been distributed free of cost to interested walkers. From small beginnings, distribution has grown as the Lavender Federation Trail has extended over many years from Murray Bridge to Clare.
There are many reading these newsletters that are unaware how this project began. This is the story of how it happened.


21 years ago in 1997, a group of walkers realized the potential of a long distance walking trail on the eastern side of the Mt Lofty Ranges. Among these was Terry Lavender OA who over several years was responsible for the construction of the 1200 km Heysen Trail.

The concept of building a trail from Murray Bridge to Clare evolved. The attraction of a trail in this location is that much of the route is in the “rain shadow” of the Mt Lofty Ranges thereby offering dry weather walking for much of the year.
In 1999 the first walk from Murray Bridge to Monarto Recreation Reserve took place with around 200 taking part. A management board, South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) was formed to oversee the project.

A policy of SARTI from the beginning was to design the trail to pass through smaller towns & communities so they would get an economic benefit and expose walkers to great walking locations in areas they would probably never see. Local communities throughout the trails evolution have been involved in all aspect of planning the route and its construction. In many areas, the trail traverses private land in the most attractive areas available, often at the suggestion of the land owner. In one case, the land owner after suggesting we traverse their property, constructed the trail installing trail infrastructure & will maintain it. The trail is mostly “off road” utilizing the unique “road reserves”, unmade road networks planned but never used that cover South Australia. Maximum use is also made of Government owned land where available.

The end result? A linear trail, 325 km long, called the Lavender Federation Trail, running from Murray Bridge on the Murray River to Clare and connecting with almost 100 km of link & loop trails to nearby towns & attractions. Stiles are always constructed across fences and there are constructed “in house” by volunteers & assembled on site. How many stiles have been made & installed? Around 230.

The trail is one of many contrasts and unique features. Past Monarto Zoo, the World’s largest zoo where exotic animals from around the World can be seen from the trail, many gullies, permanent water holes & high points with outstanding views. At Mt Beevor 50 km from Murray Bridge, looking south the Coorong & Southern Ocean/west is Mt Barker & Mt Lofty/north the Barossa Range/east, the River Murray. Passing through the Barossa, the temptation is to stop at a winery, again tempting when the Clare Valley is reached. In the new section about to be opened the wind turbines at Waterloo & St Vincent Gulf can be viewed from one location.
Walking just below a ridge line metres from wind turbines, the historic buildings of Dutton, traversing “The Gap” with permanent water holes and kilometres of dry stone walls east of Dutton are other areas well worth looking at.

The unique feature of this trail? It has been designed, built and maintained entirely by volunteers, the eldest 86.  We understand it is the longest trail network in the country built entirely by volunteers
The Lavender Federation Trail connects together the 1200 km Heysen, 35 km Riesling & 19 km Rattler trails and eventually, the 450 km Murray Coorong Trail now under construction from Cadell in the Riverland to Salt Creek on the Coorong.

We believe that this project is an outstanding example of community involvement in a volunteer project and an example of what can be achieved with the cooperation and assistance of Local & State Government authorities.
Originally called the “Federation Trail” to recognize the centenary of Federation of Australia in 2001, the “Lavender” in the title was added in 2004 in honour of Terry Lavender. When you walk through Spring Gully Conservation Park, keen walkers will notice a change to the trail marker wording so there is no confusion with the lavender plant.

Is this the end of SARTI now the Lavender Federation Trail is complete? No!

Ten separate maintenance crews will still be needed to maintain the trails.
Can you help maintain a section?
Speak to George Adams at the opening to get details of areas still needing a maintenance crew.

Our map sales generate income to pay for trail maintenance materials and trail upgrades.
Our public liability insurance alone costs almost $1,800 per year.
Become a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail” by outlaying just $10 PA or $100 PA for businesses & groups.
See the web site for Membership details
Our organization has many things still to achieve and in the next Footsteps, more on this. 

See you at Clare on Saturday 5th May 2018.

New Accommodation Listings

Kingston Hill AirBnB, Mintaro SA
Richard & Christime Lathlean
R +61 418 638 048
C +61 416 242 414
Irongate Studio Bed & Breakfast
Peter & Yvonne Cloke
0498 998 778
Lot 60 Torr Street, Mintaro

Bits & Pieces:-

    Have you ever wondered what some of our SARTI Board members (volunteers) get up to when they are NOT out actually building the trail?

    Graham Hallandal, SARTI's Publicity Officer has been very busy promoting the Lavender Federation Trail and the Clare Opening on the 5th May on Radio, and in the various newspapers. One great success was this fantastic double page spread in the "Sunday Mail" as a Special Feature. here is a small snap of those pages.

    And this was the story behind the camera that made this great story, with Barry Stacey, Brad from the Sunday Mail, Graham and Bob England.

    SARTI Board members, cooperating groups and volunteers  have also been busy preparing for the Clare Opening on the 5th May 2018. Here they meet at the Indii of Clare Restaurant, just around the corner from where the opening will be. 

    SARTI member, and engineering consultant George Adams shows off a stack of signs that have been produced to mark the trail, and are ready to put up.
    PS some of the sign has been intentionally blurred so we don't give away the full trail until the opening.

    SARTI member Barry Stacey, known for the great work he does on designing signs also has a passion for taking photos and his 'first run' of the book has sold well, with many treating it as a rare collectors item.
    Barry will finish his book when he can add the final chapter - the Opening at Clare. You can order one at the Opening.

    We are pleased to announce that Mike Roberts will entertain you for some of the day Mike is a local singer, songwriter and storyteller. You can check out more about Mike at his website.

    We have also been busy making a new website, which is designed to be able to work well with mobile devices as well as large screens. We are still busy loading information on it, but the main items are there, and some pages have been improved for easier viewing and access. NEW PHOTOS will be uploaded soon.
    check it out at
  • Are you a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail”?
    Memberships are available from just $10 PA, a small outlay to assist in maintaining the over 400 km of trails SARTI has under construction and opened since 1999.
    Membership details are on the web site and you can join on line for one year or multiple years.
  • Do you have any other favourite resources that might help others? Let us know
  • You are welcome to tell us about your walk experience of the Lavender Federation Trail.


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

 Follow us on Twitter at @lavendertrail1  (note the number one (1) on the end).



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


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

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
Fully Escorted Tours 2018

Easy Travel & Cruise's

Vietnam Treasures - Feb 2018, Sensational South Africa - Mar 2018, Trans Mongolian Rail Adventure - July 2018, UK Walking Tour - Aug 2018, Splendours of South America - Sept 2018
Download PDF info sheet
Copyright © 2018 Lavender Federation Walking Trail, All rights reserved.

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