The Latest Footsteps Newsletter from South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) and the Lavender Federation Trail.
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An early photo on the Tungkillo Loop Trail,
This is on LFT Map 2 - Mt Beevor to Springton photos

Footsteps Newsletter

Volume 19, Issue 1 - April, 2020


Welcome to the first edition for 2020 of Footsteps, the newsletter of South Australian Recreation Trails Inc.

Although the Lavender Federation Trail is the major accomplishment of the organization, over the years it has become the “go to” organization by individuals, community groups and various levels of Government seeking assistance about trails. Our trail management procedures have been adopted by other organizations and the methods we have adopted over 25 years of operation on the steps we take in planning, building and maintaining trails has been used as a template and adopted by others.

When the Lavender Federation Trail was completed in May 2018, most of the SARTI Board breathed a sigh of relief that a project that took 21 years to complete was finished and our work was done. Not so as further projects appeared.

In this newsletter, are some of the projects we are currently involved in.

In this issue:

  • Spectacular wildflower display from a walking trail..
  • New cycling trail inspired by the LFT.
  • Cypress Hill Trail.
  • Putting the band back together.
  • How did the Lavender Federation Trail start?.
  • Bits & Pieces.

Spectacular wildflower display from a walking trail

Most walking clubs don’t plan walks over the warmer months however, cooler weather during February and March has given the opportunity for some comfortable pleasant walks.

Good rainfall on the Eastern side of the Mt Lofty Ranges in early February resulted in a spectacular and rarely seen explosion of wildflowers in several areas at Monarto. Tens of thousands of Garland Lilly (Calostemma Purpureum) in shades of pink through to red appeared over several days, mostly at the eastern end of Monarto.

The most spectacular display was on Callington Hill grasslands adjacent to the Lavender Federation Trail Callington Spur. (Map and trail details in the last Footsteps. Still available to read on our web site.) 

This area also contains some rare native grasses. A display board on the trail has details. Other locations for viewing were near the Browns Trail, Wattle Road and Annie Lane.

Last year only 10 plants appeared, 20 in 2018 however the display in 2017 was more spectacular than this year. They appear after the first summer rain with as little as 2 mm with a few, 25 mm a spectacular display. Like the Easter Lily, the flower appears first followed by the leaves.

Many thanks to Glenn Dean, Community Biodiversity Officer of the Rural City of Murray Bridge for the information.

New cycling trail inspired by the LFT

The Lavender Federation Trail was designed exclusively as a walking trail. Many sections cross private property and there are hundreds of stiles over fences. Increasingly,

Mountain Bike (MTB) riders are using the main trail and many connecting trails such as the trails in Kinchina Conservation park at Monarto and the Callington Spur that have been designed as dual-purpose walking/MTB trails.

A group of enthusiastic bike riders, working with the SARTI Board have designed a cycle trail between Murray Bridge and Clare.

Where possible, it follows the LFT but has many sections exclusively designed for cycling.

Called the:

M2C Trail (Murray Bridge to Clare Lavender Cycling Trail)

Stories and pictures are at:

UnCool Cycling Club


The map and computer navigation can be found at:

RideWithGPS website

A Big Congratulations to George, Helen and helpers for getting this new trail organised and Helen for the great work promoting it too.

Cypress Hill Trail

The Cypress Hill Trail located on the north side of Rocky Gully within Kinchina Conservation Park is proving a very popular trail for both walkers and Mountain Bike (MTB) riders.

View into Rocky Gully from a view point

Using the Lavender Federation Trail through Rocky Gully, it can be used as a loop trail or a longer trail using the Callington Spur or Jailbreak Trails.

Mid-section of the trail as it gradually runs back & forth down a slope

The updated LFT Map 1 shows the trails within Kinchina CP with our website a more detailed map plus the Callington Spur.

Rocky Gully Creek crossing eastern end

Major earthworks and rock wall construction was required to build the trail with a creek crossing and steep slopes at the eastern end.

See Photo above article title: Trail runs up the eastern end with 12 zig-zag sections showing earthworks and wall construction.

Putting the band back together

We welcome contributed articles from our readers about their walking activities on the LFT. Thanks to Alan Harton & photographer Anne Kirk for this contribution.

Alan Harton called out for a group of walkers to join him on the Lavender Federation Trail. He reflects upon their first year.

In 2019, we drew together a nucleus of 25 walkers, mostly from the End to End 8 group who finished the Heysen Trail the year before.

Setting out from Murray Bridge in April through the wetlands and in to Rocky Gully, the intent had been to attempt three walks for the year.

Rocky Gully Monarto alongside permanent wetlands

The whole group loved coming back together and so finished in Springton in September 2019, five walks later. It was good to appreciate that our walking days were not over and there were new horizons to explore.

Our group photographer, Anne Kirk who has furnished the photos for this article stated: - “I’ve been really impressed with the variety of terrain. Some of the group thought that it was going to be fairly boring: but it has been anything but.”

A couple of highlights of the trail have been Mt Beevor and the rocky outcrops of the Tungkillo Hills.  There has been a lot of contrasting scenery and a great diversity in vegetation with some massive gum trees in parts. 

Rockleigh to Mt Beevor

It has given us a real appreciation of the land on which we walk. We keep acknowledging the Ngarrindjeri and the Peramangk as the original custodians of the land as we start each walk.  

Tungkillo to Springton

We are now committed to walking through to Clare by the end of 2021 and have already enlisted the support of Faith College to drive us to our trailheads throughout 2020. 

Mt Beevor to Tungkillo

We’d really like to thank the landholders for allowing us to walk across their properties. And the energies of the volunteers of the Lavender Federation Trail really needs to be acknowledged as they have prepared another iconic South Australian trail for our enjoyment.

How did the Lavender Federation Trail Start?

Who thought of the idea of having a walking trail in that area of South Australia? How did the Lavender Federation Trail start?

These are some of the questions we are sometimes asked at displays and through the web site so, after 19 years of “Footsteps” newsletters, it may be interesting to go back in time.

The idea of the Lavender Federation Trail came about in 1998 when Terry Lavender, the man behind the building of the Heysen Trail, was walking through the Ferries McDonald Conservation Park at Monarto when heavy rain intervened. Deciding to return to his home in Adelaide via the eastern side of the Mount Lofty Ranges, he was surprised to find the area was not all flat, uninteresting country but a wealth of good walking country with high ridges, gorges and sweeping panoramas never explored by walkers before.

With the assistance of well-known identity, George Driscoll, it was decided that it was feasible to build a trail from Murray Bridge to Clare.

A public meeting was held in Adelaide with invitations sent out to Local Government, walking clubs, bike and horse groups to attend resulting in-principle support of Walking SA.

It was decided to call the new trail, the “Federation Trail 1901” as it was intended to open the first section in 2001, to mark the Centenary of Federation in Australia, and to start the trail at Murray Bridge because of the support of the Rural City of Murray Bridge representative at the meeting and to form a steering committee.

The first steering committee meeting was in June 2000 at the Scout Outdoor Centre. The minutes of this meeting records the participants as George Driscoll, Bob Schroder, Robin Elix, Graham Hallandal and Terry Lavender.

This committee eventually became an incorporated body, South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI).

On Sunday 26th September 1999, the first public walk took place with a group of around 150 taking part in a walk from Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge to the Monarto Recreation Reserve. Shuttle buses returned participants back to Sturt Reserve for afternoon tea and the presentation of an “Inaugural Walk Certificate”. The first steps had begun.

Part 2 in the next issue.

Bits & Pieces:-

Lavender Federation Trail Map 2 Updated
A new Map 2, Mount Beevor to Springton is about to be released. The new map has undergone many changes, updates and additions. The Murray Bridge to Clare (M2C) Lavender Cycling Trail and Springton Loop Trail are additions to the new map. The Sanderston Trail and link trail to the Springton Loop Trail, previously shown on a separate brochure are now included as well as the new Mt Pleasant Loop Trail (23 kilometers) shortly to begin construction. The new map 2 as well as all other five Lavender Federation

Trail maps will be on sale at map outlets listed on our web site.

Be aware that some Visitor Information Centres are temporarily closed.
Lucky Escape For LFT From Adelaide Hills Fires

We are all aware of the bushfires several months ago. The Adelaide Hills fires in the Harrogate area of the Lavender Federation Trail was of particular concern with the town encircled by the fire.
We are pleased to say, although very close, all the trail remained undamaged.

The fires were very tragic and devastating
an ABC News story explains some of the story

Our heartfelt sympathy to those who suffered loss.

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
Planning to walk the LFT over several days continuously?

The web site is continually being updated with overnight stay options. Some sections of the trail traverse areas away from close accommodation.

Find the latest info on the LFT Accommodation Page

Contact providers direct as many in the past have conducted pick up and drop off services for walkers.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Tourism Operators.
If you have accommodation, food or facilities that could be used by trail users, why not advertise on our web site? Se who has already taken advantage of our listings at the bottom of this newsletter.

Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

Congratulation to South Australian Citizen of the Year Allan Mayfield.

Alan's accomplishments are many with his many years on the Riesling Trail Committee probably the best known to walkers and riders alike.

SARTI is grateful to Alan and his Riesling Trail committee for their valuable assistance with the LFT in the Clare Region.

Well-deserved Allan.

The South Australian Citizen of the Year 2020 Website

There is also a nice article on the Northern Argus Newspaper website (based at Clare SA)

South Australia’s Community Event of the Year 2020

Day in the Dust (Regional Council of Goyder)

Further down the The South Australian Citizen of the Year 2020 Website (mentioned in the previous story) is another win for the Mid North region, with this event held at Robertstown winning the State award. Robertstown is a small town on one of the Lavender Federation Trail - Spur Trails on Map 4.

Quoting from the Australia Day SA website:
"In recognition of the resilient Goyder community, the Eastern Drought Community Action Group held the drought relief concert on the Robertstown oval.  Headlining the event was the South Australian Army Band, with local Goyder support acts. With over 400 attendees, this event not only brought together a community for an evening of food and entertainment, but to give the local community something to look forward to, access to drought support services, to raise awareness to us of what our neighbouring communities, friends and family are going through, and more importantly an opportunity to put aside the daily stresses that come with drought." 

You can also read this article online from the Northern Argus Newspaper (which is based in Clare SA)

Drought Conditions Still Exist - Take Care, Plan Well.

For those who have been unable to get out to these regions, YES! many areas are is still a drought.

If you are planning on walking the Lavender Federation Trail please take care, knowing you will not find fresh water along the way, or that it might be long distances between. During COVID-19 there are other considerations as well.

Don't Light Fires LogoFire Danger Season Still On

There have been some magnificent days out in the bush, and a camp fire would make the night very special.

For those out walking, especially our new friends who have perhaps previously not had time, but due to the 'lock down' have the opportunity. Please take care, the Fire Danger and Ban Season is still in place for all districts that the Lavender Federation Trail go through.

Currently published to end on 30th April 2020 

Last year some Districts extended the time so please make sure you check before lighting a campfire.

If you do see fires in the mean time, they could be farmers burning off, and they generally have a permit to do so on select days, it doesn't' mean you can.

Check the CFS Website and also listen to local radio, and another good place to check with is the local council for the area you wish to walk.

Stay safe and enjoy our great trail.

Trail Damage at Webbs Gap

It was very disappointing to see extensive damage to the roof of the interpretive trail sign at Webb Gap.

The sign, originally located at Monarto, was dismantled & reassembled at Webb Gap at the intersection of the Heysen & Lavender Federation Trails.

One side has information on the Heysen trail, the other side, the Lavender Federation Trail.

If anyone has any information as to the culprits please report it to 
Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000

Stuck at home right now.

This nine-month trek along the Bicentennial Trail is told in a new book published by Woodslane Press.
See author Liz Byron's website for details

Illustrated with delightful sketches of the donkeys, the book is available at bookstores and online booksellers (RRP $25), or you can buy it as an ebook. But if you are interested in supporting Liz, you can purchase a signed copy at from the website for $22 plus $10 shipping.
The story of Liz Byron’s 2004 BNT trek from Cooktown to Mount Perry with her two donkeys, Grace and Charley, is now available in a new Woodslane Press publication, “The Only Way Home”.

It was a rite of passage to mark leaving 40 years of marriage and embarking on life as a single woman at the age of 61. Liz foresaw that self-reliance, physical stamina and route-finding would be challenges, but couldn’t have known how the outback environment in Queensland was to test her to the limit. An extended drought had left much of her route a dusty wasteland, without food or water for her animals.

Years of suffering from childhood abuse and a family tragedy had left her unwilling to ask for help. Walking became a meditation, an exercise in being in the moment even when that moment was 43 degrees or she hadn’t eaten for 7 hours. In her moving memoir, Liz reveals how she healed herself step-by-step on the way to her new home in northern NSW – by learning to trust her intuition, the wisdom of her animals and the kindness of strangers.

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.

Recently online and social media we were able to share about a State Championship level Car Rally - the Copyworld Walky 100" which was based in Eudunda. The rally used back roads in the district and actually took up large parts of the LFT. Basically it would have been impossible to walk the LFT between Eudunda and Truro on that day! This also applied a month later when the 24 hour Reliability Motorcycle trial was also held in the area.

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.
Restricted Hours For Fuel Supplies at Eudunda - News Soon about a Solution.
The Eudunda Roadhouse is currently closed for renovations. If you plan on visiting the Eudunda area, you can still find everything you would need - except Auto Gas. Petrol (Unleaded and Premium or Super) and Diesel are available but the hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday 8:30am to 10:30am. Closed Sunday.  

Check out a list of available items on the ECBAT website.

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”?
    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)

    Details of becoming a LFT “friend” are on the website.

  • 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 For Map 6 - Clare & Watervale
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.

Watervale Retreat

Clare Valley Accomm. - Watervale
4 Self Contained Cabins (3.5 Stars),
Breakfast included
Animal Park, Bird-life, Historic sites,
Wineries, Conservation Parks

Sheoak Rest Watervale

Entire house hosted by Penny
7 guests · 3 bedrooms · 4 beds · 2.5 baths, 2 toilets, 2 separate living areas. Relaxing country escape in the heart of the beautiful Clare Valley
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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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

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

Cute and Cosy

Cute and Cosy - Murray Bridge
Entire House - up to 6 guests
3 bedrooms
3 beds
1 bath
Self Check-in
find out more & booking - airbnb

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.

GREAT VALUE! - Join Now!

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