Always plan an itinerary (even if you don’t stick to it).

Even if you intend to walk a short section of the Heysen Trail, you should still outline your route. Recognising South Australia’s designated camping spots, water and food resupply points and seasonal trail conditions are crucial for a safe and enjoyable hike. Plan an itinerary that is practical for you (and your fellow hikers), but allows you the flexibility to enjoy a lazy victory lunch aloft a mountain summit.

The Heysen Trail possesses over 200 different accommodation options on or alongside its winding route. Many of the huts, shelters and campsites are completely free to use, while there are plenty of cushy hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, holiday cabins and caravan parks available when your body requires soft sheets and a fluffy pillow.

Day 39 - Marrabel to Marshalls Hut on the Heysen Trail

Sunset at Marshalls Hut located outside of Marrabel on Day 39.

Friends of the Heysen Trail Resources.

The Friends of the Heysen Trail have a mountain of online information that caters for day-walkers, section-hikers or those adventurous enough to trek the entire trail. The volunteer-run organisation keep its members up-to-date with trail conditions, walking programmes, fire ban information and park closures. On top of these announcements, the website is the first stop for all hikers when the time comes to plan their trail itineraries and organise their nightly accommodation.

My itinerary.

The information below is my real-life trail itinerary. After scanning the Friends of the Heysen Trail’s Table of Distances, I pieced together a list of suitable choices that matched my schedule and hiking capabilities. Due to a wonky compass on Day 7, some apocalyptic weather on Day 19 and a body in need of extra rest on Day 33, my itinerary fluctuated. Nevertheless, this list of accommodation options and distances guided my journey along the trail.

Heysen Trail Itinerary (North to South)

Week 1
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 1
Aroona Campground

The National Parks South Australia run campground has allocated campsites, toilets, fire pits and spring-fed water. Bookings essential.

Book Online
18.33 18.33 $15
Day 2
Yanyanna Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, table, fireplace, fire pit and a camping platform. No bookings required.

25.41 43.62 Free
Day 3
Wilpena Pound Resort Camping Ground

The Wilpena Pound Resort Camping Ground run facility has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers, fire pits, tables, spring-fed water, cooking facilities, laundry, a store, a restaurant and an information point. Bookings essential.

Book Online

21.98 65.53 $26
Day 4
Red Range Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, rainwater tank, toilet, fire pit and a camping platform. No bookings required.

28.98 94.40 Free
Day 5
Mayo Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, table, seating, bunks, fireplace, fire pit and a toilet. No bookings required.

16.99 111.36 Free
Day 6
Hawker Hotel Motel (Hawker)

The Hawker Hotel Motel has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers and a restaurant. Bookings essential via phone 08 8648 4102.

21.99 133.26 $50
Day 7
Mt Elm School Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, rainwater tank, toilet and a fire pit. No bookings required.

12.57 145.83 Free
Week 2
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 8
Buckaringa North Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, rainwater tank and a camping platform. No bookings required.

35.12 181.22 Free
Day 9
Mt Arden South Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, fire pit and a rainwater tank. No bookings required.

22.05 203.27 Free
Day 10
Eyre Depot

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, fire pit and a rainwater tank. No bookings required.

11.87 215.14 Free
Day 11
Austral Inn (Quorn)

The Austral Inn has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers and a restaurant. Bookings essential via phone 08 8648 6017 or online.

Book Online
26.07 241.21 $70
Day 12
Pichi Richi Park

Pichi Richi Park has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers, fire pits and cooking facilities. Bookings essential.

Book Online
18.97 260.18 $150
Day 13
Catninga Shed

Catninga has a range of accommodation options. Bookings essential.

Enquire Online
16.73 276.91 $25
Day 14
Beautiful Valley Caravan Park (Wilmington)

Beautiful Valley Caravan Park has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers, fire pits and cooking facilities. Bookings essential via phone 08 8667 5197.

29.80 306.71 $61
Week 3
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 15
Gray’s Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, sleeping benches, table, seating and a toilet. No bookings required.

17.70 324.41 Free
Day 16
Mt Remarkable Hotel Motel (Melrose)

The Mt Remarkable Hotel Motel has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers and a restaurant. Bookings essential via phone 08 8666 2119 or online.

Enquire Online
12.35 336.76 $90
Day 17
Mt Remarkable Hotel Motel (Melrose) – Rest Day

The Mt Remarkable Hotel Motel has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers and a restaurant. Bookings essential via phone 08 8666 2119 or online.

Enquire Online
N/A 336.76 $90
Day 18
Murray Town Campsite

The Murray Town Campsite is run by the Murray Town Progression Association and contains campsites, toilets, showers and cooking facilities. Pay via honesty system at the campgrounds.

16.53 353.29 $7
Day 19
Go-Cart Track Shelter

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a large shelter, fire pit and a rainwater tank. No bookings required.

26.34 379.63 Free
Day 20
Go-Cart Track Shelter – Unplanned Rest Day

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a large shelter, fire pit and a rainwater tank. No bookings required.

N/A 379.63 Free
Day 21
Beetaloo Creek Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, fire pit and a rainwater tank. No bookings required.

19.80 399.43 Free
Week 4
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 22
Crystal Brook Caravan Park (Crystal Brook)

Crystal Brook Caravan Park has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers, laundry, fire pit, tables, water and cooking facilities. Bookings essential via phone 08 86362640 or online.

Enquire Online
25.95 425.38 $29
Day 23
Hiskey’s Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, bunks, table, seating, camping platform and a toilet. No bookings required.

19.72 445.10 Free
Day 24
Curnow’s Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, bunks, table, seating and a toilet. No bookings required.

28.01 473.11 Free
Day 25
Bundaleer Weir Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, fire pit, rainwater tank and a camping platform. No bookings required.

13.62 486.73 Free
Day 26
Spalding Hotel (Spalding)

The Spalding Hotel (previously Barbed Wire Hotel) has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers and a restaurant. Bookings essential via phone 08 8845 2006.

18.83 505.56 $60
Day 27
Whistling Trig Tank

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run tank contains a small shelter and rainwater tank. No bookings required.

26.14 531.70 Free
Day 28
Hallett Railway Station

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, bunks, table, seating, combustion stove, and a toilet. No bookings required. Combination for lock required.

22.92 554.62 Free
Week 5
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 29
Old Mt Bryan East School

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, bunks, table, seating, combustion stove and a toilet. No bookings required. Combination for lock required.

15.95 570.57 Free
Day 30
Caroona Creek Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a large shelter, table, seating, rainwater tank and toilet. No bookings required.

16.42 586.99 Free
Day 31
Wandallah Creek Shelter

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter rainwater tank and a toilet. No bookings required.

31.53 618.52 Free
Day 32
The Peppers Accommodation (Burra)

The Peppers Accommodation has various sleeping options, heating, toilet, shower, bath, laundry, tables, seating, water and cooking facilities. Bookings essential via phone 08 8636 2640 or online.

Book Online
14.79 633.31 $110
Day 33
The Peppers Accommodation (Burra) – Rest Day

The Peppers Accommodation has various sleeping options, heating, toilet, shower, bath, laundry, tables, seating, water and cooking facilities. Bookings essential via phone 08 8636 2640 or online.

Book Online
N/A 633.31 $110
Day 34
World’s End Hike-In Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter and rainwater tank. No bookings required.

23.35 656.66 Free
Day 35
Huppatz Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, bunks, table, seating, fireplace and a toilet. No bookings required.

21.06 677.72 Free
Week 6
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 36
Webb Gap Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, rainwater tank and camping platform. No bookings required.

16.15 693.87 Free
Day 37
Smith Hill Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, rainwater tank and camping platform. No bookings required.

13.31 707.81 Free
Day 38
Marrabel Rodeo Showgrounds (Marrabel)

The community-run showgrounds contain shelter, tables and seating. Food, water and toilets can be accessed at the Marrabel Hotel.

17.30 725.11 Free
Day 39
Marshalls Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, bunks, table, seating, fireplace and a toilet. No bookings required.

10.46 735.57 Free
Day 40
Kapunda Tourist Park (Kapunda)

Kapunda Tourist Park has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers, laundry, fire pits, tables, water and cooking facilities. Bookings essential via phone 08 86362640 or online.

35.32 770.89 $95
Day 41
Private Property (Greenock)

Not available to the public. There are several options to stay in Greenock.

10.23 781.12 N/A
Day 42
Residential Property (Tanunda)

Not available to the public. There are many options to stay in Tanunda.

19.70 800.82 N/A
Week 7
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 43
Residential Property (Tanunda) – Rest Day

Not available to the public. There are many options to stay in Tanunda.

N/A 800.82 N/A
Day 44
Rossiters Hut

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run hut contains a rainwater tank, bunks, table, seating, fireplace and a toilet. No bookings required.

11.34 812.16 Free
Day 45
Rocky Paddock Campsite

The Forestry SA run campground has allocated campsites, a rainwater tank, table, seating and a toilet. Self-registration bookings required at the Mount Crawford Forest Information Centre located on Warren Road.

26.38 838.54 $5
Day 46
Scott’s Shelter

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a large shelter, table, seating, rainwater tank, fire pit and toilet. No bookings required.

15.27 853.81 Free
Day 47
Grandpa’s Camp

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, table, seating, rainwater tank and fire pit. No bookings required.

21.78 875.59 Free
Day 48
Airbnb Property (Norton Summit)

There are limited accommodation options available in Norton Summit, however, the owners of The Scenic Hotel often let hikers camp out on their lawn. The Airbnb property is approximately 3km away from the trail and contains a bed, shower, water and cooking facilities.

28.68 904.27 $75
Day 49
Woodhouse Activity Centre

Woodhouse Activity Centre has a range of accommodation options, toilets, showers, tables, seating, water and cooking facilities. Bookings essential via phone 08 8339 3333 or online.

Enquire Online
19.81 924.08 $22
Week 8
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 50
Rocky Creek Hut

The Forestry SA run campground has allocated campsite areas, a rainwater tank, table, seating and a toilet. Self-registration bookings required at the Kuitpo Forest Information Centre located on Brookman Road.

27.95 952.03 $5
Day 51
Chookaraloo Campsite

The Forestry SA run campground has allocated campsite areas, a rainwater tank, table, seating and a toilet. Self-registration bookings required at the Kuitpo Forest Information Centre located on Brookman Road.

15.07 967.10 $5
Day 52
Residential Property (Nangkita)

Not available to the public. Finniss Conservation Park is nearby, however it does not contain any facilities.

23.60 990.70 N/A
Day 53
Heysen’s Rest Bed and Breakfast (Myponga)

Heysen’s Rest Bed and Breakfast has various sleeping options, heating, toilet, shower, tables, seating, water and cooking facilities. Bookings essential via phone 08 8558 6397.

33.14 1023.84 $75
Day 54
Inman Valley Memorial Hall (Inman Valley)

The community run block has a rainwater tank, table, seating and a toilet. Ask permission at the Inman Valley General Store before camping.

13.64 1037.48 Free
Day 55
Newland Hill Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite does not contain any facilities. No bookings required. Encounter Bay is a 5km walk from the campsite.

17.01 1054.49 Free
Day 56
Balquhidder Campsite

The Friends of the Heysen Trail run campsite contains a small shelter, rainwater tank and camping platform. No bookings required.

26.64 1081.13 Free
Week 9
Accommodation
Daily km
Overall km
Price
Day 57
Tapanappa Campground

The National Parks South Australia run campground has allocated campsites, toilets, fire pits and rainwater tanks. Bookings essential.

Book Online
17.28 1098.41 $15
Day 58
Cobbler Hill Campground

The National Parks South Australia run campground has allocated campsites, toilets, fire pits and rainwater tanks. Bookings essential.

Book Online
15.33 1113.74 $15
Day 59
N/A

End of the trail at the Cape Jervis Trailhead.

13.62 1127.36 N/A

 

Wait, this info doesn’t match the links.

The distances and the accommodation rates were recorded for my journey from August to October, 2018. Things change! The Heysen Trail is constantly re-routed due to park hazards, safety concerns and property adjustments, while inflation understandably alters the cost of accommodation. The prices recorded in the itinerary are relative to the facilities I used while I was on the trail. Fortunately, many of these companies sponsored my journey and supported my fundraising efforts allowing me to trim some costs along the way.

Remember, this is only a guide.

Please take into account your own fitness levels and hiking experience before planning your itinerary. Personalising your route along the Heysen Trail is half of the fun. Want to stay in the majestic Flinders Ranges for a few extra days? Why not! Keen to spend an extra week down on the beach? Please do! I wish I could. The Friends of the Heysen Trail website, in particular, the Table of Distances, is your first port-of-call when planning your adventure along the Heysen Trail.