The Trails Committee of Recreation SA encourages “the planning, design, management and use of recreational trails in a wide range of environments.” SDFSA sits on the committee to advocate for recognition, promotion and maintenance of underwater trails.At present, the Committee’s 2016 Guidelines for the Planning, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Recreational trails in South Australia [Read the PDF] recognise water trails users (such as kayakers and scuba divers) but make little reference to how those trails should be developed and maintained. SDFSA is working with the committee to advance good practice in underwater trails.
Underwater trails are as important as land-based trails to help guide explorers through the history and natural environment of South Australia. For example, “the Adelaide Underwater Heritage Trail includes four shipwrecks off the Gulf of St Vincent – the Grecian, Zanoni, Star of Greece and Norma. The wrecks represent a variety of vessels associated with trade and development in South Australia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries” [www.southaustraliantrails.com/activities/scuba-diving/].
Other trails include the 60+ shipwrecks around Kangaroo Island, the Port Noarlunga Reef Diver Trail(with markers) and the EwensPonds Conservation Park. The Trails SA website is supported by Recreation SA with funding through the Office for Recreation and Sport and includes 14 sites designated as underwater trails at the present time.