Heysen trail - Mt Bryan East to Hallett

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August 6th 2006
Published: August 9th 2006
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Climbing the MountClimbing the MountClimbing the Mount

Peter and Dan making their way up the eastern slope of Mt Bryan, SA's third highest peak.


This week's walk was a long, hard but very rewarding one. We walked a part of the Heysen trail that starts on the Mount Bryan East road, goes up and over the highest peak in the Mount Lofty Ranges and then down into the town of Hallet. It look us 4 1/2 hours with several breaks.

This one is for fit and experienced walkers.

How to get there

Mount Bryan is North of Burra, which is about 2 hours North of Adelaide. Take highway 32 towards Broken Hill. About 10 km south of the town of Hallett (just after the H 10 sign) there is a cross road at which you make a right hand turn. Follow this road about half way round the mountain until you see a sign on the fence on the left indicating the start of the Heysen trail on Private property. Park (or get dropped off) here.

What happened ...

We had a perfect still winter's day for the climb. We were dropped off by Peter's mother and took only 70 minutes to make it to the summit for our picnic. On the way up we saw several pairs of ringneck parrots as
Dan getting a head startDan getting a head startDan getting a head start

The entrance to private property to cross Mt Bryan from the Mount Bryan East road along the Heysen trail
well as kangaroos.

At the summit was a visitor's book, cairn, a stone chair, radio repeaters and communication towers. The highest point was marked by the blue trig markers - and right in the middle was a big sleepy lizard sunning itself. The highest lizard in the Mount Lofty Ranges!

We worked our way down seeing more parrots, kangaroos and sleepy lizards. The down trail took about 3 hours and we telephoned Peter's Mum to come and pick us up.

Dan says ...

Hello readers

Guess what, I climbed to the top of the 3rd highest mountain in S.A., Mount Bryan, in 1.2 hours. When Mr Bryan, a member of Sturt's crew died walking around that area, I think he wasn't prepared, but we were.

Mount Bryan was easy-peasy-japanesy-lemon-squeezy! Got you. It was really hard. I was puffed out and I fell asleep in the car on the way home. When I was sitting in the throne of God at the top of Mt Bryan it felt like everything was standing still and I was watching everything and making sure nothing was wrong.

Anyway, have you ever heard of paddy-melons? They are poisonous fruit that were growing by the creek. They are round and can float as if they are filled with air. Want to hear the science of it? Okay then. A paddy melon skin is just like the skin of a lemon. Here is a little trick that you can play on someone - tell them that if things are lighter they will float better. Get two lemons, one that has no skin on it and one with skin on it. Tell your victim to choose the lemon that they think will float. What ever you do, do not pick the skinned one as it sinks. The reason is that inside the skin are air pockets that act as if it was a life vest for the lemon - so it floats. The paddy melon does the same.

This week's joke is on the lizard theme

Q: What do you call a lizard that sings?

A: A rap-tile!

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Follow the fencelines (looking east)Follow the fencelines (looking east)
Follow the fencelines (looking east)

Most Heysen trail tracks through private property ask you to follow fencelines. The fenceline at the beginning of the walk is rather old.
Erosion of the dry hill faceErosion of the dry hill face
Erosion of the dry hill face

As we cross the fence style

Dan had a bit of a surprise when his creek bed crossing gave him a close encounter with this beauty. It looked very much like a huntsman but had distinctive markings
Rocky peaksRocky peaks
Rocky peaks

As we approached the summit, the rocks predominated - making for some great echoes!
Flowers at the topFlowers at the top
Flowers at the top

A few tiny flowers crouched behind the rocks
Dan at the CairnDan at the Cairn
Dan at the Cairn

The metal post is where the visitor's book is located
Detail of the cairnDetail of the cairn
Detail of the cairn

Mount Lofty, 173 km; Morgan (a river town) 93 km.
In God's seatIn God's seat
In God's seat

Dan sitting in the chair he called 'God's seat'. Looking east.
Peter at the trig pointPeter at the trig point
Peter at the trig point

And guess what was sitting in the centre -- a big fat sleepy lizard!
The third highest lizard in the stateThe third highest lizard in the state
The third highest lizard in the state

Sunning itself between the trig posts at the summit of Mount Bryan
Looking upLooking up
Looking up

Dan took this shot
Time to go downTime to go down
Time to go down

The western side
A break on the way downA break on the way down
A break on the way down

The ranges in the north
Coming down to the gullyComing down to the gully
Coming down to the gully

Slightly off the trail ...
Another sleepy lizardAnother sleepy lizard
Another sleepy lizard

Who was actually a little more awake
Making it to the waterMaking it to the water
Making it to the water

Not much for August
Back to the farm landBack to the farm land
Back to the farm land

Crossing the fence style
A tractor ride for DanA tractor ride for Dan
A tractor ride for Dan

with Poppa driving
Tom shearingTom shearing
Tom shearing

trimming the wethers

All ready to go - pieces and AAA merino

9th August 2006

return to Mt Bryan
I enjoyed your stories of Mt Bryan. I remember going there when I was about 10 to visit a family on a farm there. Strangely enough, about 20 years later I taught in a school with a daughter of the family! (She was studying in Adelaide when I had visited, so I didn't meet her then) Nice memories ... :)
10th August 2006

A joke for Dan
Hi Quinns These photos are breathtaking - We will definitely put this on our bushwalking itinerary. Dan: What do a bannana and T-shirt have in common? They are both easy to slip on. Boom Boom! A joke from the Duff girls over breakfast this morning. PS Julia has mice to give a way - why don't you ask your mum and dad if you can have one ? ;)
15th March 2011
Detail of the cairn

Mt Bryan Cairn
Thanks Diana, I was so pleased to see a photo taken from the Mt Bryan Cairn, including part of the Orientation Plaque upon it. This place is of special interest to me, as my grandfather (Geo S. Tiver) used to be the owner of the surrounding property "Rupara". I built the Cairn in 2002 with my family & friends as a replacement for the original one which had been demolished by the government to make way for a 'Trig' & communications tower. I moved mine to the south by 100 metres or so for that reason. Glen Tiver

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