As much as things in the city or the 'burbs are fun, they may not actually be close to you or you may not have the money to be able to enjoy them. So, what can you do that is free and not amongst throngs of people?
While the Fringe Festival has turned Adelaide into a party town, escape is possible. Fortunately, I've lived in a few houses that have the Kidman Trail nearby. The Kidman Trail, named after Sir Sidney Kidman, a man who made his fortune in beef cattle back in the 1800s, stretches 269km from Willunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula to Kapunda in the Barossa.
The Kidman Trail can be conquered by several different methods depending on your style: bicycle, on foot or horseback. I enjoy exploring the Kidman Trail via horse. I saddle up and away we go.
Generally speaking, I won't surge on to complete as much of the Kidman Trail as I can in a weekend. Instead, I pick a point and ride to it. I then let my horse rest and we turn around and head back. I enjoy the scenery, he enjoys fresh grass on the break. Some spots along the trail we'll meet other horses whose home sits alongside the trail on private property.
Although the Kidman Trail can be enjoyed most of the year and visiting it in different seasons means the scenery changes, the Trail is not always fully open. Some sections may be off-limits due to bushfire risks on total fire ban days. It is always advisable to check the website (see link below) before heading out to see if you will be affected by any closures.
Also nearby to me is the Lavender Federation Trail. This trail was named after Terry Lavender OAM who was a passionate hiker. After much consultation and hard work, he established a walking trail from Murray Bridge to Clare, with a number of loop trails and spur routes, that, in total, covers 325km.
So far, I've covered approximately 6km of this walk (from Mount Beevor to Fendlers Lane) and I intend to cover yet more. In a world where I am not stubborn and unfit, I would achieve this over multiple weekends and public holidays because if you finish the entire thing, you can apply to receive a certificate and badge to commemorate the occasion.
But trails in South Australia don't end there. There's also the Heysen Trail, a walking trail which traverses 1200km from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges. The trail was named after the Australian-German artist Hans Heysen OBE who captured South Australian landscapes and scenes in his work.
I have unintentionally completed bits and pieces of this trail as it often goes through towns such as Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills and Burra in the Mid North. Other adventures have also lead me on to the Heysen Trail.
The Heysen Trail is seasonal and is open from April to October. It is closed over the fire ban season for safety reasons. Due to the size of the trail, it is advisable to check for closures and conditions on the website before heading off.
If Shanks' Pony, or even real ponies, are not your thing, fear not, there is a trail for those who enjoy cycling. It's called the Mawson Trail, named after the Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, that starts just north of Adelaide and ends at Blinman in the Flinders Ranges. This is also a biggie, covering 900km. You won't find me on this one in a hurry. I don't own a bicycle.
Maps are available for purchase for any of the above-listed trails. Signs along the way do help with navigation. Some of the trails also offer a GPX option for those with a GPS device.
For more information, visit www.walkingsa.org.au and/or www.southaustraliantrails.com