Distance – 1000km
The Bibbulmun Track is an amazing long distance walk, 1000 km (620 miles) from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills, to Albany on the south coast. It is a journey through varied scenery that you can tackle at your pace. It typically takes between 6 to 8 weeks to hike the whole length.
Where do I start – The Bibbulmun starts in Kalamunda in the Perth hills. The Northern Terminus is very easy to find close by the T intersection of Mead St and Railway Rd. You can take the train from Perth to Midland and then by bus from Midland to Kalamunda. Transport is frequent and the journey takes approximately 1 hour.
Where do I finish – The track finishes in Albany at the visitor center in the old Railway Station, Proudlove Avenue Albany. There are buses for the return journey to East Perth leave daily and take approximately 6.5 hours. Check the Road Coaches section of TransWA for details. http://www.transwa.wa.gov.au/plan-your-journey/road-coaches
When to Go: The southern spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) are the best times, with hikers starting in spring heading north-south to avoid the heat and those in autumn making the trip from south-north to outrun the winter. The wildflowers in spring are spectacular and a must see!
If you do the whole walk you can be registered as an End to Ender!
This walk can be done in either direction. You can also do the walk in sections. It will take almost 2 months to follow the Wagyl symbol all the way. Note that some sections have many days between permitted access points (up to four days) and long distances between towns (the longest being 12 days).
There is no requirement at present to book the Bibbulmun campsites, which are well maintained and free. Each campsite consists of a three-sided shelter with wooden sleeping platforms, a water tank, a pit toilet, picnic tables and cleared tent sites. Open fires are banned in some sections so check the Bibbulmun website for details and bring your cooker. You will need to check regarding water availability, especially during summer. Check the Bibbulmun Track Facebook page and the Bibbulmun Track webpage https://www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/
As always we recommend that you become a member of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation and have maps on hand for back up.
The Bibbulmun Track is one of Australia’s best long distance hiking trails and without doubt has the best maintained facilities and huts along its length. Whilst it is a challenge to hike 1000km on any track, the facilities on the Bibbulmun make it accessible for those new to long distance walking. Just make sure you have enough food between resupply locations and check out the Trail Angels on the Bibbulmun Track Facebook page. Thanks to all who maintain the track and provide services along the length. All paid services are detailed in the Guthook Guides app.
The Track has many international hikers, and in 2012 was named amongst many amazing trails as one of the Worlds Best Epic Trails by National Geographic. Infact National Geographic notes that ‘Besides all that wildlife, though, it’s the social aspect of the trail that makes it most Australian. At the campsites you will meet hikers from around the globe as well as regular Australians who have fulfilled the original promise of the trail and are spending time simply walking for weeks to better understand themselves and the unique place where they live.’ We loved that aspect of the trail – sometimes you would be at campsites alone in the bush and at others with all sorts of interesting people from all over the globe.
The hike travels through an amazing and varied scenery with a few linking sections that are less spectacular but allow your whole body and mind to benefit from the experience that only long distance hiking can give you. The Track is mostly through state forest, national parks and other reserves, with just a few sections of farmland. The wineries are good to hike past and even better to taste in the little hamlets and towns. The northern section of the Track is through the Jarrah forests of the Darling Range where the track can be a little hilly. It then moves through beautiful Karri forests where you will find the Gloucester Tree. Foresters selected the Gloucester Tree to use as a fire lookout in 1947. You can climb the incredibly scary 58 metres, on metal spikes, to the lookout at the top. I am told the views over the forests are amazing!
The track reaches the coastline near the town of Walpole where you find the giant Tingle tree ancient forests, some of the worlds tallest forests. The track passes the Giant Tingle Tree which is a huge fire-hollowed red tingle tree. The remainder of the Track is through coastal forest and scrub along the south coast, in some sections you will hike right along the sandy beaches. There is even a boat transfer across the sheltered waters of Irwin Inlet. Canoes are located on both sides with instructions on how to use them. Don’t forget to look out to sea for seals, dolphins and whales.
Michelle Ryan says ‘If Walpole to Denmark were a trail unto itself, I think it would quite rightly rank as one of the finest in the country. It is the most varied section of the track, passing through everything from forest to grass plains to coastal cliffs, and there is even a section that requires paddling across an inlet! For walkers with limited time, or interstate visitors looking to get a good taster of the track at it’s best, a traverse of this section is highly recommended’.
There are many birds, reptiles and animals along the Bibbulmun Track. These include the bobtail skink with its red face; Goannas, beautiful little bright blue fairy wrens, Quokkas and Quendas small marsupials native to WA; Kangaroos, Emus and Possums are common to see. There are, of course, snakes. Leave them alone they will wander off. Flies in summer can be a challenge so it might be worth taking a face covering fly net.
The towns the Track passes through are Dwellingup, Collie, Balingup, Pemberton, Northcliffe Walpole and Denmark.
For lots more information and great trip planning advice check out the Official Bibbulmun Track Website