2023 Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting of the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation will be held at 2.30 PM on Wednesday, 8th November 2023 in the Offices of the Friends of the Heysen Trail, Suite 203, Epworth Building, 33 Pirie St, Adelaide.

The agenda is as follows:

  • Apologies.
  • Chairman’s Report.
  • Financial Report.
  • Election of Directors.
  • Appointment of Auditor.
  • Other Business.
  • Close of Meeting.

Members can appoint a proxy by completing the Proxy Form which can be accessed by clicking the link below.

By order of the Board,
Richard Trembath,
Company Secretary.

Click to access proxy form

Tree Planting in the Mid North

Tree planting at Hiskeys Hut

Over the last 12 months some small tree planting projects have been initiated in the northern reaches of the Heysen Trail with 25 trees planted at Black Jack Hut near Burra, 12 at Hiskeys Hut and 4 at the Hallett Railway Station.  Thanks to the diligence of Wayne Turner most of these trees are progressing well benefitting from regular watering.
Wayne has also been working hard to erect robust tree guards around about 100 trees at Hiskeys Hut to protect them against the ravages of the sheep.
The Foundation has also erected plaques at Worlds End, Spalding and Hiskeys Hut where trees have been planted along the trail over the last few years.  The plaques acknowledge efforts of the volunteers from the Friends of the Heysen Trail with assistance from the Foundation.
All of the plantings have developed well particularly at Spalding which is becoming a forest although those at Worlds End continue to make slow progress.

Improving the Amenity for Visitors at Cape Jervis

Log seat at Cape Jervis

Over the past year the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation has continued to support greening activity along the Heysen Trail. The southern Fleurieu Peninsula remains an area of focus.
The Foundation has funded a log seat at the Cape Jervis trail head which will contribute to the amenity at this location and support the activities of Carolyn Schultz and the Cape Jervis Coastal Community Group.

The South Australian Government has committed $6 million over 4 years to the development of the Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail. This project will enhance and connect the parks that run along the southern coastline of the Fleurieu Peninsula, including Deep Creek and Newland Head conservation parks, and Granite Island Recreation Park. See https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-management/wild-south-coast-way

Where possible the Foundation will support tree planting and greening activities in association with this important project.

Heysen Trail at Cape Jervis – A Focus for Revegetation and Weed Control

The southern gateway to South Australia’s iconic Heysen Trail is located at Cape Jervis. The opening section of the Trail runs adjacent to the coast for approximately 10 kilometres before ascending to the Deep Creek Conservation Park at Blowhole Beach. Along this section walkers experience magnificent views across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island, access to small rocky coves and patches of native scrub.

Significant flora include Eucalyptus porosa and Melaleuca lanceolata. Birds of conservation significance are the Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis), Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) and the Elegant Parrot (Neophema rubricollis).

Unfortunately, it is also the case that the coastal strip is severely degraded due to soil erosion, the activity of off-road vehicles and infestation by invasive plant species. There is a need to remediate this area to provide an attractive and welcoming experience for walkers that highlights the natural attributes of this area.

The Southern Fleurieu Coastal Action Plan and Conservation Priority Study, 2007 concluded that the beaches and lower slopes of Cape Jervis, Lands End and Fishery Beach were areas of high conservation value and were also facing a high level of threat.

It was identified that the area from Deep Creek CP to Morgans Beach (to the north of Cape Jervis) includes coastal reserves that have been successfully improved by community groups. Actions that would improve connection between vegetation blocks would greatly enhance the value of the area.

The section between Cape Jervis and Fishery Beach is the responsibility of a number of land management agencies including the District Council of Yankalilla, the Coastal Protection Board, community organisations and private land holders. The Council, under the auspices of its Coastal, Estuary and Marine Officer Corey Jackson and others, has made significant improvements including the establishment of an environmental hotspot between Lands End and Fishery Beach.

The gateway section is managed by the Council and the initial section from Cape Jervis to Lands End is managed by the Coastal Protection Board. Maintenance and re-vegetation activities have also been undertaken by group of dedicated volunteers led by Dr Carolyn Schultz, the Cape Jervis Coastal Community Group. COOTS (Conservation of our Threatened Species) a subgroup of the Australia Plant Society, manage the public lands just inland from the Heysen Trail, between Lands End and Fishery Beach.

The Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation has identified the Heysen Trail gateway at Cape Jervis as a focus for greening activity and will allocate volunteer resources and grant funding, where successful, to facilitate this activity.

If you are interested in further information please contact Richard Trembath on 0438 762 122 or info@WBHeysenTrailFoundation.org.au.

Biodiversity threats in the area of interest are:

  • Western Coastal Wattle (Acacia cyclops)
  • Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)
  • Creeping Saltbush (Atriplex prostrata)
  • Wild Oat (Avena barbata)
  • Perennial Veldt Grass (Ehrharta calycina)
  • False Caper (Euphorbia terracina)
  • African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum)
  • Soursob (Oxalis pescaprae)
  • Onion Weed (Asphodelus fistulosus)
  • Pincushion (Scabiosa atropurpurea)
  • Gazania (Gazania linearis)
  • Olive (Olea europaea)
  • Blue / sand lupin (Lupinus cosentinii)
  • Tufted Honey Flower (Melianthus comosus)
  • Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
  • Apple of Soddom (Solanum linnaeanum)

WBHT Foundation Granted Tax Deductible Status

After an extensive application process the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation and its public fund were entered onto the Register of Environmental Organisations effective from the 27th April 2016. The Foundation has received endorsement by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR).

Donations made to the Foundations public fund from this date may be eligible for a tax deduction.

What is the Economic Value of Bushwalking in South Australia

Participation in bushwalking by visitors to South Australia

Participation in bushwalking by visitors to South Australia

Statistics published by Tourism Research Australia and the South Australian Tourism Commission indicate that[1]:

  • 3% of recreational daytrips[2] undertaken in South Australia over the period 2012-2014 involved ‘bushwalking / rainforest walks’ as an activity. This equates to 347,000 daytrips over an average 12 month period.
  • Average daytrip expenditure in regional SA in the year ending June 2015 was $96 per trip. This equates to total expenditure of $33.3 million by day trip visitors that bushwalk.
  • 10% of all overnight domestic visitors to South Australia participate in ‘bushwalking / rainforest walks’ as a component of their visit. This represents around 527,000 visitors annually over the period 2012-2014.
  • The average expenditure in regional SA by domestic overnight visitors was around $430 per visitor in the year ending June 2015. This equates to a total expenditure of $226.4 million by overnight visitors that bushwalk.
  • More than one third (38%) of international visitors to SA participate in ‘bushwalking / rainforest walks’ as a component of their trip to Australia. While this activity may not necessarily occur in SA it represents an average of 138,000 visitors over the period 2012-14.
  • The average length of stay by holiday / VFR[3] purpose international visitors to SA was 16 nights over the period 2012-14 while the average spend per night in regional SA in the year ended June 2015 was $86.

This suggests expenditure by international visitors to SA who bushwalk as a component of their trip of around $189.9 million.

The estimated expenditure made by daytrip and overnight visitor in SA who bushwalk is summarised below.

Day trip Domestic overnight International overnight Total
Visitors 347,000 527,000 138,000
Expenditure $33.3 Mill $226.4 Mill $189.9 Mill $450 Mill

The total annual visitor expenditure for all overnight visitors over the 2012-14 reference period was $5,100 million and expenditure by overnight visitors who bushwalk represents around 8% of total overnight visitor expenditures for the State.

While not all of the expenditure can be attributed to the direct influence of bushwalking as an activity (in most cases walking will be an ancillary activity) the data demonstrates the importance of bushwalking as a component of the benefits sought by visitors and suggests that walking should be prominently positioned within a broader nature based tourism strategy.

It is anticipated that significant infrastructure such as the Heysen Trail will be recognised and appropriately supported through tourism product development under the State’s nature based tourism strategy.

The understanding of the impact of walking would benefit from further analysis of TRA data and surveys of walkers in SA. Questions to be considered include:

  • What are the characteristics of walkers in South Australia?
  • What are the key motivations for walkers in South Australia?
  • What trails / regions are most attractive? Why?
  • What is the economic impact of walking in regions?
  • What is the value of tourism based on those visitors who travel primarily to walk?
  • What should be the product development priorities to attract more visitors interested in walking?

This article originally appeared on Greenhill Research and Planning’s blog and is reproduced here with permission.

[1] Tourism Research Australia. Travel by Australians. International Visitors in Australia. SA Tourism Commission. South Australian Tourism Profile.

[2] Daytrip is defined as: Non routine round trip of at least 50 KMs and 4 hours away from home.

[3] Visiting Friends and Relatives