Your Guide to Hiking the Bibbulum Trail
Your next adventure: Bibbulmun Track
Where in the world?: Western Australia
Activity: Tramping, Hiking, Walking
Difficulty: A medium level of fitness and some preparation is required. As with any hike the best preparation is walking and ideally with a bigger than average pack (20kg) and definitely with some major uphill sections. In addition undertake a few overnight hikes in preparation.
Wrap up: The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world's great long distance walking trails. The track passes through the heart of the scenic south west of Western Australia; down mist-shrouded valleys, over giant granite boulders and along breathtaking coastal heathlands.
About the Bibbulmun Track
The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world's great long distance walking trails, stretching nearly 1000km from Kalamunda, a suburb in the hills on the outskirts of Perth, to the historic town of Albany on the south coast. It passes through the heart of the scenic south west of Western Australia. Walkers will experience towering karri and tingle forests, down mist-shrouded valleys, over giant granite boulders and along breathtaking coastal heathlands. It passes through many of the most beautiful national parks of the south west forests and coastline.
To walk the entire Bibbulmun track will take 60 days, however, there are other alternative shorter walks available. The Bibbulmun Track caters for everyone and every experience level from a gentle stroll to an eight week adventure. You can make it more of a wilderness experience by camping out, you can join a guided group, or you can explore the track in comfort using the varied accommodation in the towns along the way.
The Bibbulmun Track is essentially a linear walk; you will need to do some planning if you don't want to retrace your steps. It is not possible to walk consecutive sections of the Track as day walks or to do it staying in accommodation each night. Some sections have many days between permitted access points (up to four days) and long distances between towns (the longest being 12 days).
When to visit
Spring is a good to time walk to the Bibbulmun Track, the flowers are in full display and you'll have comfortable walking conditions. Winter can be cold, but the walking during the day will be pleasant. However, nights can get down to zero, especially away from the coast. The only time to avoid walking the track is during summer, as the temperatures can soar in the West Australian bush.
Tips from Experts...
- Get in touch with the The Bibbulmun Track Foundation, they can arrange an information session with an experienced 'End-to-Ender', who will give you heaps of useful advice and tips.
- Travel lightly. Only bring the essentials.
- There are water tanks at each campsite, so no need to carry excessive amounts of water, around 2-3 litres should be sufficient. You will need to treat the water though.
- There are 48 shelters at the campsites and the track has been aligned to pass through towns in the south west. This allows for re-supply and a chance at a cooked meal and a soft bed!
- Organise food drops along the way, or post supplies to local towns along the track.
- Test drive all your gear before embarking on the 60 Day trek.
- Good boots and a properly fitted pack are essential
- Bring a fuel stove, as no fires are allowed due to the fire hazard.
- Purchase gaiters if you're travelling between July and September, as some areas, like the Pingarup Plains, can actually be inundated with flood waters.
Make sure to...
Take in all the sites - The terrain is remarkably diverse, huge Karri trees, the majestic and unique Tingle trees, rolling hills, remote farms, swift rivers, the wild Southern Ocean, expansive estuaries and quaint towns and villages all contribute to spectacular vistas along the track.
But the main aspect of this Track is the immersion of yourself into the days and weeks of the long distance dream.
Make sure to check out the Bibbulmun Track website to find out all the information you need to know to be prepared for the trek.
Mike Wood for writing this article for us. Mike has been part of the Mountain Designs community for many years. He is also an avid adventurer who has previously trekked the entire length of the Bibbulum track. In addition, he has explored some of the world's toughest terrain such as the rapids in the Himalaya, adventuring in Antarctica and led trekking adventures in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.
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