Western Australia hosts the 1003km Bibbulmun Track, affectionately known as ‘the Bibb Track’. The Bibbulmun Foundation along with Parks and Wildlife and a crew of volunteers ensure the track is maintained. A detailed website includes the history of the track, making for a very interesting read.
The main trailheads are located at Kalamunda which is a town close to Perth and Albany being a 4 to 5 hour drive south of Perth. The track can be walked in either direction passing through many towns along the way.
A series of track maps and information booklets are available from the Bibb Foundation, online and local outdoor outlets. The detailed maps show the track, distances between campsites, display gradients, main and secondary roads are featured, highlight rivers and streams, include track town services. GPS co-ordinates can be located on the website.
The suggested time to hike the track is March through to November.
GETTING THERE and HOME: For End to Enders it’s as simple as start at one end and finish at the other with transport options of private arrangements and public transport.
For sectional hikers there are options of private arrangements, public and private bus services, trains and some towns have private transfer operators. In some cases if you are staying overnight in accommodation the managers may do a drop off or pick up along the track, it’s worth posing the question.
Generally day hikers make their own arrangements. There are plenty of places to park the car and wander off into the bush for pleasant walk amongst the tall timbers.
TRACK TOWNS: A list of track towns are found on the website as well as the maps indicate where to find a town. Hikers need to expect to be in the bush anywhere between 5 and 10 days before reaching the next town. Provisions for food resupplies, hardware or camp resupplies, cafes, varied accommodation types, launderettes, phone service, wifi, swimming pools are available in the towns.Hikers enjoy a well earned break from the track giving the opportunity to resupply and recharge.
TRACK FACILITIES: Campsites are positioned along the track between 10kms-25kms apart giving hikers the opportunity to take a breather or set up camp for the night. The huts are 3 sided and either constructed out of timber or rammed earth. Within the shelter stands a bench table and seats along with sleeping platforms accommodating around 16-20 weary hikers.
Log books and general information is stored in a container. It is important hikers scribe their hike intentions. A plastic container is also available to store food overnight away from the hungry rodents.
For those wishing to pitch their tent levelled pads are scattered amongst the trees.
A picnic table and bench seating along with a fire pit are out the front of the shelter along with water tanks to the side of the shelter.
Set away from the shelter is a long drop toilet but it’s advisable to carry your own toilet paper.
All the facilities are for those taking shelter in the huts and those tenting.
Some hikers prefer a break from the campsites and take lodging in BnB accommodation which are scattered along some sections. This information can be obtained from the website or local Tourist Information Centres.
ALONG the TRACK: The track is identified by the Wagul marker, just follow the wagul. The Wagul is an Aboriginal dream time serpent that is considered the creator of rivers. In addition Bibbulmun signs are place along the track at road crossings. After a long day on the track the sign indicating a campsite is a welcome sight. Track realignments on the track will be indicated by a white triangle as well as on the website alerting hikers to any realignments.
The track follows along well maintained gravel roads, bush tracks, a well worn narrow path, sandy tracks, beach walking, sand dunes with surfaces of gravel, rocks, pea gravel, covered in gum nuts, fallen trees, mud, water but it beats bush bashing.
Steep ascents will lead you to magnificent views making all that huffing and puffing worth it.
Spring time hikers enjoy a display of wild flowers in full bloom. The track follows many rivers with constructed bridges or fallen logs to cross over. Beautiful rock pools appear making it impossible to pass by without stopping for a paddle. There is a canoe crossing and you need to be aware of ocean tides down south.
NATIVE ANIMALS, FERAL ANIMALS, SNAKES, INSECTS and RODENTS: Being in the bush you have to expect animals living in their natural habitat as well as sadly, domestic animals that have found their way into the bush. Kangaroos, emus, echidna, feral pigs and cats as well as farm animals can be sighted. As a rule there is no interaction between the hiker and the animals. As you stroll along feral animal foot prints are evident in the dirt. Snakes are out and about in the bush and unless cornered generally will just slither off. Around the campsites resident rodents lurk in hope of raiding some unsuspecting hiker’s food supplies. Hooks to hang packs or store it in the plastic food containers are provided at camp. Tics are in the bush and also active at the camp-sites. There are attempts to ban pig shooting within close proximity of the track. Don’t be put off by this section but intended hikers need to be informed. At least there are no grizzly bears!!!!
WEATHER: Expect anything from sunshine to storms and everything in between. It is advised to stay off the track between December through to March as bush fires are a reality and heat exhaustion is a possibility.
HAZARDS: Fires and flooding pose real issues and precautions must be taken seriously. As you stroll along there is much evidence of the damaging effects of fires. Contact with the local Parks and Wildlife personal before heading off on your hike. Another major hazard is the spontaneous falling of the tall timbers.
ALERT: Before heading off hiking, your hike intentions should be left with a reliable person, scribing in the hike log books at each campsite and carrying a personal location beacon is highly recommended in case of an emergency. Mobile phone service is very limited.
As for us we have enjoyed walking the Bibb track as sectional end to Enders and will post our adventures in future blogs, so stay tuned.
Until next yarn, happy hiking