Walk of the Month: Mount Beevor, Tungkillo
Graham Hallandal invites you to summit a little-known peak near Harrogate.
This post was contributed by Graham Hallandal.
A common sight around Murraylands towns are people walking along trails and footpaths undertaking a daily exercise regime.
We are well served in this area with areas to walk and ride suitable for all fitness levels.
Many walk the same route every day, looking at the same things.
Time for a change of scenery?
This month’s walk has scenery in abundance with a 360-degree panorama of mountains, ocean, lakes and countryside all within a 35-minute drive of Murray Bridge, or 32 minutes from Mannum.
With the school holidays about to get underway, is it time to venture on a walk to somewhere you didn’t know existed?
Time to walk to the summit of Mount Beevor and be amazed at the view.
Mount Beevor: chances are you have never heard of it.
It is a 503-metre-high peak within the Murray Bridge and Mid Murray council areas and one of the highest peaks on the eastern flank of the central Mount Lofty Ranges.
Access to the start of this walk is 4.5 kilometres north of Harrogate at Snake Gully.
There are two optional routes, shown on the map, if travelling from Murray Bridge.
Going via Kanmantoo, although longer, is predominantly on paved roads.
The Mannum route is via Tungkillo and takes 33 minutes.
The walk requires a reasonable level of fitness with a steady climb to the peak.
Pick your day for the walk as the peak can be bleak, foggy, and bitterly cold in winter, with little shelter from the elements.
Though it is often windy from all directions, on a clear day, the stunning view is well worth the effort.
Park off the Harrogate Road at the location marked “P” on this map.
There is ample off-road parking.
The trail to the summit is marked by red dots overlaid on Lavender Federation Trail map two, pictured above, but is also shown on map one; both are available from the Murray Bridge Visitor Information Centre on South Terrace.
In recent decades the summit has become important for communications.
Transmission towers are located there to provide broadcast and relay capacities throughout the district for mobile phone providers, emergency services and CB radio.
A vehicular track allows servicing of these facilities, but is closed to public vehicles about 50 metres from the Harrogate Road.
Please ensure the track is kept clear.
The track climbs steadily to the intersection of the access track with the main Lavender Federation Trail.
A stile allows walkers to climb over the fence.
Turn right towards the summit.
The track to the summit meanders on and off private property, so please leave gates as you find them.
If shut, use the stile, not the gate.
There is another stile further on.
The Indigenous inhabitants of this district were the Peramangk people, but because of the barren nature of the mount, their visits were relatively brief and rare.
The headwaters of the Bremer River collect beside the western base of Mount Beevor before flowing southward into Lake Alexandrina.
The first Europeans expedition to discover and visit the mount was that of Dr George Imlay and John Hill on January 25, 1838.
They were returning on horseback to Adelaide from Mannum after being the first to reach the Murray overland within South Australia, and had initially mistaken the peak for Mount Barker.
Despite having realised their mistake, they did not name it.
The present name originates from Captain James Beevor, a former British Army soldier who, in late 1839, was the first European settler in this district.
He pioneered a sheep run, with his head station near the southern base of the mount and his shepherds’ huts scattered all around.
In 1844 Captain Beevor moved to pioneer a sheep run on the Eyre Peninsula, where he died in 1849.
Bushwalking tourism has been a more recent development.
On clear days there are outstanding panoramic views from Mount Beevor’s summit.
It has therefore become an important staging point along the Lavender Federation Trail, a 325-kilometre recreational walking trail running between Murray Bridge and Clare.
A sign on the northern side of the towers shows the major features to be seen.
To the north are the bush-clad summit of the Wirra Wirra peaks, 29km away, and the Barossa Range, 43km away.
East are glimpses of the River Murray, a 25km distance away.
Far to the south, at a 51km distance, is Lake Alexandrina, against the sandhills of the Coorong National Park and the Southern Ocean; the ultimate destination of the Murray-Darling river system is 79km away.
West are Mount Lofty, at 30km; Mount Barker, 18km; Harrogate, 3km; and the Bremer Valley.
After taking in the view, retrace your steps back to the car.
Those who want a longer walk can continue following the main Lavender Federation Trail down to Fendlers Road or further, but this will require a drop-off and pick-up driver or two cars.
Previous walks of the month
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