Field Trips, Tours and Other Events for 2021

Kangaroo Island Recovery Tour – 29 April – 3 May

This very successful tour held in November 2020 is being held again for those who missed out last year.

Coorong Adventure – Excursion Tuesday 26 October 2021

Following our September Lecture by Jock Veenstra, Goolwa identity, boat builder and tour operator who pioneered the Spirit of the Coorong Cruises, along with extended Murray River tours and cruises on the Myall Lakes in NSW we are offering a special all-day excursion to the Coorong one of Australia’s most unique ecosystems.

Eric Hoffman, noted US Nature and Travel Writer in 1990 in his Guide to ‘Adventuring in Australia’ for the Sierra Club asked Dick Smith, then Editor/Founder of ‘Australian Geographic Magazine’ his top five wilderness locations in Australia and along with Cooper Creek and Kangaroo Island the Coorong also rated highly as a unique destination.

Hoffman, sitting on a high dune in the Coorong with Joc Schmiechen recorded Joc’s views for his book,

“The Coorong is bird land and presents a kaleidoscope of constantly changing weather, light and moods. It has a spiritual quality accentuated by bountiful signs of past Aboriginal occupation and eerie solitude. There is nowhere quite like it.”

Join the RGSSA on a full day tour to this evocative environment on a boat cruise on the Spirit of the Coorong that will take from the old river port of Goolwa, through the Goolwa lock from the fresh water into the estuary were the Murray waters mingle with the wild southern ocean passing the Murray Mouth and travelling along the lines of barrages now holding back the Murray waters in Lake Alexandrina and into the Coorong lagoon with wild dunescape of the  Younghusband Peninsula to Cattle Point. We will have the opportunity to do the short crossing to one of the wildest untouched ocean beaches on the southern coast and see at first hand the evidence of over 6,000 years of occupation b y the Ngarrindjeri people one of the most successful hunter gather societies in the world.

Skipper Jock Veenstra and his crew along with Joc Schmiechen will unravel and interpret many of the stories and hidden secrets of this powerful land and seascape.

Meet at Goolwa Wharf 0930 – Tuesday 26 October 2021 for 1000 departure.

Self-drive to the start. (Ride ones can be arranged for those who have no transport).

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided onboard.

The boat cruise will take 6 hours and return to Goolwa by 1630.

There will be a number of short shore excursions at key point of interest.

Bookings Coorong Cruise with the RGSSA. Numbers a re limited and all booking in by October 12th.

COST: $120 Members  $130 non members.

Events 2020

Guided Tour of Heroes of the Skies Exhibition – 16 March 2020

There is a unique opportunity for members on Monday 16th March at 11am. Get up close with Australia’s aviation history.

The State Library has a wonderful exhibition called Heroes of the skies to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the flight from England to Australia by Ross and Keith Smith and their two engineers, put together by Carolyn Spooner and a team of specialised Library staff and Society member.

Visitors to one of her Curator’s talks and were amazed to learn of the intricacies of arranging such an exhibition. One visitor said “I had already looked at the display but learned so much more by listening to Carolyn’s commentary.”

We are very lucky that Carolyn has offered to give a guided tour of this exhibition to our members in the new year. Lainie Anderson will be giving us a lecture on 19th March on this topic so our Curator’s Talk is 4 days before then.

Book now through Eventbrite

Walking Trail Maintenance – 2020

Flinders Ranges Bush Walk Maintenance Program – in conjunction with the Walking Trails Support Group (WTSG)

Walks, like most assets, require regular upkeep.

In 2020 we have three x 2-week sessions, as folk found two x 3-weeks work and catering (without shops) less fun.

Southern Flinders, based in Quorn, working on Mt Brown and Dutchman   May 4 to 15, leaving 16

Central Flinders, based at Oraparinna in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, working in park, June 8 to 18, leaving 19

Northern Flinders, based at Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park, working in park, Arkaroola and north, July 20 to 30, leaving 31

Accommodation is provided gratis but feeding is your responsibility

  • well-found shearers quarters or equivalent, good ablution and kitchen facilities in all places
  • bring bedding, including a cover for mattress – and generally have your own room

Period and travel

  • a minimum of five days is necessary to become familiar with activity
  • subject to availability, there may be help with transport

Activity includes plenty of walking

  • there is a wide range from checking markers to work on tracks. We try to match activity to capacity
  • usually activity is between 8.00am and 4.00 pm, including travel to and from the work site
  • all equipment is provided but you do need a day pack, warm work clothes, strong footwear, a hat and wet weather gear


  • in line with the RGSSA’s objective of making the public aware of geographical information the walks were established to support the Society’s publication “Explore the Flinders Ranges”
  • In 2002 the Society was part of a collaborative effort to install the Robert Brown Lookout at the summit of Mt Brown, celebrating the explorers’ ascent in 1802
  • interpretation of landscape, biological and geological features is the main objective; recent emphasis is on geology as shown in the picture
  • how you get to see them is along the safe, sustainable walks which we maintain.
  • leaflets have been available at the start of each walk and recently Flinders Ranges Walks App was developed.

Please direct your interest and queries to the RGSSA office


 Walking Trail Support Group

The Walking Trails Support Group is a small group of volunteers devoted to the development and maintenance of walking tracks in the Flinders and Mount Lofty Ranges in SA. The group makes various trips throughout the year to ensure that the tracks previously installed are in good condition, that erosion is kept in check and the track marking is clear.  The aim is that each track should have minimum impact on the environment and be safe to use. The Barossa walks are day trips whereas the Flinders Ranges walks are managed through three separate trips, each about two weeks long, generally staying at the Dutchman’s Stern ranger quarters, The Oraparinna shearers quarters and Grindell or Nudlamutana Huts.  Much of the work is done under the auspices of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources as most of the trails are on Crown Land.  Three trails are on the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and are maintained with its support.

One of the aims is to improve the experience and provide the walkers with information about the flora, fauna, Aboriginal knowledge, geology and European history of the environment through which they travel.  To this end, information leaflets with maps, track and  geological notes have been prepared, together with photographs of the country through which each trail passes.  These are generally available at the trailheads or can be downloaded from the website. (see below)

The trips to the Flinders Ranges are a great opportunity to see some of the remote parts of the state.  The work is not particularly arduous and can be tailored to suit the capacities of each person.  The membership is small with others who “float” in and out of the trips so the company is always varied and interesting.  Membership is only $5.00! (For insurance purposes.)

For more information about the maintenance programs follow this link
Walking Trails Support Group and see the Section on Field Arrangements.

Sir Keith Macpherson Smith, KBE and Sir Ross Macpherson Smith

Team installing Geo information post at the “toe of glacier”


A group traversing the Gammon Ranges.