Heysen trail - Hale Conservation Park

Published: February 6th 2006
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Hale Conservation ParkHale Conservation ParkHale Conservation Park

Hard to find but worth the effort


Sometimes when I talk to people about this "blogging" thing, they do ask, "So what is your favourite bush walk?" and I reply, that "All walks are great, and they change every time you visit, but if I had to choose one, it would be Hale."

Hale is a small Conservation Park located near Williamstown (the "southern gateway to the Barossa"). It is probably the hardest park to find - we have had 5 visits that I recall and we drive past the turn off every time! To get there go up Main North Road through Salisbury and then take a right hand turn to One Tree Hill. Take this road (nice views for the passengers) to Kersbrook and then through a few corners, following the signs to Williamstown. From Williamstown (great toilets on the main street - always clean) take the Birdwood Road and from the 80 km speed sign it is ~2.1 km to a very concealed right hand turn. You can just see the green Hale Conservation Park sign from the road (if you look carefully...).

Hale has a clearly marked 4 km track suitable for children as young as four. There are poles, indicating how far you have been and how far you have to go, every 200 metres along the trail. There are some steep sections, a waterfall, rocky outcrops, ledges, sensational views and mica. The mica can make the track quite bright in places, so if you have a choice of sun glasses for this walk, choose dark ones. From this trail you can do a longer walk that takes you into the Warren Conservation Park.

You can learn more about Hale at this web site PDF document

What Happened

We had a very pleasant day to do this walk. We normally go around the trail in a clockwise direction, but, to make it a bit different, we went around anti-clockwise, which worked well. The waterhole and water fall, where we have our picnic lunch, was almost dry - certainly the driest we have seen it, but we were kept busy picking blackberries (the treat and the torture for the summer-time bush walker). The bush looked lush and smelt great. We saw the Oyster Bay cyress pines - a tree that normally doesn't grow in SA, particulary on top of the ridge. Many new blue gums have germinated along the path.
So what is this?So what is this?So what is this?

We found this hanging from a tree - any ideas what it might be for?
However, being summer, there were hardly any flowers in bloom. We heard a few birds and were not troubled much by flies. We normally see groups of kangaroos along the trail - but not this time. Perhaps the dry conditions means the birds, animals and insects go elsewhere.
We were back in under 2 hours, with Peter commenting "These walks are getting shorter each time" - but we are all getting much fitter I think. You do get a hearty dose of serenity on this walk.

Dan says ...

When we have done this walk before we have always gone up the high road, but today we took the low road. The low road leads to a blackberry patch where we got a supply.
TIP: when you are picking blackberries always look for the clusters that are all black. If you are going summer bushwalking, remember to bring gloves, scissors and a few band-aids - just in case you find a blackberry patch.

We found some great mica - Mother Nature's mirrors. On the ridge top there is a sign to a mica digging site that you should check out. I got some samples that look like mirrors and you can see right through them.

This week's joke is a riddle:

Q: What is at the end of time and space?

A: The letter e

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Shady sideShady side
Shady side

Heading into the gully where the waterfall is

A treat for summer walkers along the creek

The last time we came here was on the October long weekend in 2004 (Julianne's wedding) and all the Yaccas (Xanthorrhoea semiplana) were in flower and covered with bees.
Mica workingsMica workings
Mica workings

The path is very shiny on the ridge - with plenty of mica shining in the sun (don't forget your sunnies). A small mica working site can be found along the trail.
Boys at the lookoutBoys at the lookout
Boys at the lookout

Looking towards Warren Conservation park and Mt Crawford forest.
Rocky walls and outcropsRocky walls and outcrops
Rocky walls and outcrops

Sections of the trail are mostly rock
More viewsMore views
More views

Looking to a winery, a farm, another park and a forest
Walking downWalking down
Walking down

The final leg of the journey

The trail was re-routed about 18 months ago and good quality signs and walk markers installed
Google Earth MapGoogle Earth Map
Google Earth Map

A new version of Google Earth is available
Williamstown loosWilliamstown loos
Williamstown loos

Always clean!
Sunset last nightSunset last night
Sunset last night

With the fires around Adelaide, there has been quite stunning sunsets at Semaphore. This was taken on Saturday night looking west over Glanville Hall.

6th February 2006

sounds like a good time
Hey Dan, I like your riddle, and I've got one for you... Q: What is the difference between here and there? A: The letter 't'. To all of the Quinn's, it sounds like you all are having a blast...I am still compiling a package for you all, so please sit tight and keep up the interesting adventures. Brett
7th February 2006

i enjoyed your blog
7th February 2006

Hi Brett
Thanks for your comment Brett - it was great to hear from you all the way in Japan. I liked your joke too! I wonder where our adventures will take us next? Dad would like to hear your account of the trip from Parachilna to Adelaide - Regan told an fun version... Bye for now, Dan
23rd March 2011

The can thing
Looks like a Geocache point. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=f9ad0ca5-ff65-4159-8f33-b3d47d1ba965 Makes bushwalking a mission with a twist or two all over the world. You'll probably get hooked now. Regards, John

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