FAQs

The Bibbulmun Track team at the Foundation are happy to answer any question you may have, but you may want to check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) first for a more speedy answer.

If  you still have any questions, feel free to contact us. We are happy to chat to you.

Questions (Click a question to jump to the answer)

Answers

Q: How long does it take to walk the Bibbulmun Track?
A:

Six to eight weeks is the average time taken to walk the whole Track, nearly 1000km between Kalamunda and Albany, but many people choose to walk on the Track for much shorter periods. See the information on short walks and end-to-ends.

Back to top ^

Q: What are the snake signs we see out on the Track?
A:

No, they are not snake warning signs.

The Rainbow Serpent from the Aboriginal Dreamtime, the Waugal is pictured on the triangular markers which appear on the Track.  They indicate the direction to be walked.  Though you may see snakes out there, these signs simply show you where to walk.

Back to top ^

Q: When is the best time to walk on the Track with respect to weather and wildflowers?
A:

The cooler months are always better so any time between April and early November. It does vary a little and depend on the current conditions. October and November can be hot, cold and all points in between.  Overnight temperatures in late winter and early spring can get down to as low as minus 10 in some areas in the northern half.  The rain usually starts in May (earlier in the south) and the wettest months are July and August.  In the northern half we tend to get heavy rain then it stops, although there can be lots of drizzle along the south coast.

You can check the weather forecasts and also get historical weather patterns by going to the relevant Section by Section guide.

The wildflower season starts in the north about August and gradually blossom from then on heading south. September and October tend to be the peak times but this can be earlier or later depending on the season in any particular year.  The flowers vary along the Track in terms of variety, abundance and season.

Back to top ^

Q: How can I access the Track?
A:

The Bibbulmun Track can be accessed by vehicles at designated access points only. The eight individual Bibbulmun Track maps, Northern and Southern guidebooks show the car access points indicated by a red (or green) car. Red cars indicate vehicle access adjacent to the Track, whilst green cars indicate an access point close to the Track but still requiring a walk from your car to the Track. If there is no green or red car alongside the roads on the map, then there access is not permitted (read more).

Public transport: You can look up transport in the Bibbulmun Track Accommodation & Services Guide available from the Foundation. Alternatively see TransWA for WA regional public transport information or Transperth for Perth metro public transport (to Kalamunda only).

Own transport: Walk out and back (it looks different coming back!). Or you can do a car shuffle by leaving cars at either end of the walk and then picking up the first car on your way home.

Join one of our events:  Check out our Events Calendar. Call us to have it mailed to you twice a year. Walk the Track with trained Bibbulmun Track Foundation guides. We are the people with the most knowledge and experience of the Track.  Better still, any profits from our events go straight back into the ongoing maintenance of the Bibbulmun Track!

Try a Bibbulmun Walking Break! Walk the Track in style with a day pack staying at off-Track accommodation with transfers and meals provided. Just bring your walking shoes and go! Find out more about these walking holiday packages.

Go on one of our 8-day guided tours:  These tours include all meals, transport and accommodation in towns and guides. These tours are comprised of series of day walks so there is no heavy pack or overnight camping involved!

Go with another tour operator: These are all listed in the Bibbulmun Track Accommodation & Services Guide or for those that are Affiliated Organisations who support the Track, see our Tour operator page.

Back to top ^

Q: How accessible is the Track?
A:

Due to the nature of the facility the Track is not widely used by people with physical disabilities, however, the Track between the Brookton Highway and Brookton campsite is designed to be wheelchair and pram accessible.  Additionally, the campsite has wheelchair access, an accessible shelter and accessible toilet.

Back to top ^

Q: Why can’t I access the Track using other roads shown on the map?
A:

Only access points shown by a red (or green) car on the maps can be used.

The other roads shown are often in disease risk areas (DRA). Use of any vehicles in DRA without written permission is illegal because they spread the destructive dieback root disease by transporting spores from the soil.

Some roads are not accessible for safety reasons, accessibility or due to impact of vehicles on conservation values. Walkers are asked to take the details of any vehicles found in DRA and report the registration, make, model and colour to the Foundation even if they are unsure whether the vehicle is permitted to be there or not. See our Track conditions page for more info on dieback and DRA.

Remember, no red/green car = no access.

Back to top ^

Q: Can I drive to a campsite?
A:

No, all campsites are for walkers only and should not be accessed by vehicles of any description other than DPAW management vehicles.

This has been done to give walkers as natural an experience as possible and to minimise vandalism. Vehicles, trail bikes and mountain bikes can be a problem on the Track. Aside from causing inconvenience and annoyance to walkers they have caused some serious damage to the Track and facilities as well as injury to walkers.

Vehicles, trail bikes and mountain bikes are not permitted on the Bibbulmun Track or at any campsite.

If you ever see any vehicles on the Bibbulmun Track or at any campsite, you are asked to discreetly take note of their registration number, the make, model and colour of the vehicle and the location (be as specific as possible) and report it immediately to the Foundation.  Whether you collect these details or not, please report the offence to us immediately after your walk. Your report contributes to the overall picture for the management of the Bibbulmun Track.

If you are looking for vehicle based camping, visit the Department of Parks and Wildlife's camping webpage

Back to top ^

Q: Can I walk on the Track but get a soft bed each night?
A:

Absolutely! The Foundation's Walker Friendly Businesses will be happy to accommodate you. Check out the list by Service or Track Town.

However, it is not possible to walk the whole Track this way as on some sections there are several days of walking between permitted access points (look for the red or green car on the Bibbulmun Track maps).

Bibbulmun Walking Breaks offer a wide range of self-guided accommodation and walking packages in six locations along the Track including all transfers, food, map and walk options.

The Foundation also runs two Best of the Bibbulmun Tours which are based on day walks and include all accommodation, transport and meals.

Back to top ^

Q: Do I need a map?
A:

Yes definitely, or one of the two Bibbulmun Track guidebooks. You can buy any of the eight maps or guidebooks from our online shop. We also recommend that you take a compass and know how to use it. The Foundation holds navigation courses if you don't.

Even though the Track is marked with yellow triangular markers depicting the rainbow serpent or Waugal, it is sometimes possible to miss Track markers for a variety of reasons. Trail markers vary in frequency according to the surroundings. For example, if there are frequent crossroads you will see more markers. If you have not seen a marker for 10 minutes, then turn around and look the other way as the Track is marked in both directions. If you see one going the other way you know you are still on the Track. If you don't, then  retrace your steps to the last marker. 

Back to top ^

Q: Why are maps not available online for free?
A:

The simple answer is that it takes money to keep a free resource "free". All moneys raised by the sale of maps and guidebooks are used solely for the upkeep of the Bibbulmun Track. Making them available for free would mean that much needed funds would no longer be available to help keep the Track of a world class standard and free to walk.

Back to top ^

Q: What publications and maps are available for the Track and where can I get them?
A:

There are eight maps and two guidebooks that cover the Track. In addition there are several publications produced by the Foundation and DPAW that will assist you. Visit our online shop to purchase these.

Back to top ^

Q: Where can I obtain the most up-to-date information on Track conditions?
A:

You can check the latest Track Conditions in the relevant Section by Section guide. It's also always a good idea to look at our News webpage. You can also contact the DPAW district office found in the relevant Section by Section guide.

Back to top ^

Q: How many other people can I expect to see on my walk?
A:

The Track is not crowded like many other walks around the world.  It is possible that you could meet a few walkers each day or you could see no one for a week.  Sometimes you can share a campsite with other walkers, other times you may pass each other during the day and still spend the night alone.

Long weekends and periods like Easter tend to be busier particular at campsites especially those which have close permitted vehicle access points or towns. 

Back to top ^

Q: What if I get lost, sick or injured?
A:

You should leave details of your planned itinerary with a reliable contact at home who will alert the police if you fail to make contact or turn up at an agreed time and they are concerned for your safety. A lone walker who is ill or injured should stay on the Track even if it means spending an unplanned night in the forest. Camp close to the Track so you can be easily found.

The Police are the agency responsible for search and rescue in WA and can be contacted by ringing 000. They will usually involve DPAW in searches on the Track.

Back to top ^

Q: Do I need to notify DPAW? What is the Notice of Intent?
A:

If you are walking in a group of eight or more, and staying overnight at a campsite, then you are requested to complete the Notice of Intent form (NOI) and lodge it with the DPAW Recreation and Trails Unit.   The NOI assists us in considering the needs and enjoyment of other Track users by preventing overcrowding in campsites and/or potential clashes of expedition dates of groups. While this information remains confidential, it may be used in emergency situations, such as a bushfire. 

Other walkers do not need to notify DPAW.   You are advised to leave your itinerary with a trusted family member or friend, who should contact the police if you don't check in when expected.  In the event of an emergency ring 000. 

It is useful to contact the district office for the latest information on the Track conditions. Their contact details are listed in the relevant Section by Section guide.

Walkers should always complete the green log book at each campsite.  This gives vital information regarding your whereabouts to rescue personnel in the event of an emergency.

Back to top ^

Q: Are fires allowed at campsites?
A:

Please follow the Code of the Campsite and Leave No Trace principles.

During the summer months, when bushfires are a very real danger, certain days of high heat and/or wind are designated "extreme fire hazard" days, and open fires are banned. Information on such conditions can be obtained from local radio stations or shire councils. If information is not readily available, use your common sense, but be aware of the real danger posed by bushfires. Several kilometres of the Track and some campsites have been damaged by bushfires. Please do not light fires other than in the fireplaces provided, and resist lighting fires in summer. In particular, do not light fires at or near the tent sites.

Campfire bans are usually in place on the entire northern half and sometimes parts of the southern sections of the Track between December and March each year.

A number of campsites on the Track are designated "no fire" sites. These are Yourdamung and Blackwood campsites in the northern half of the Track and all campsites to the south and east of the Shannon River in the southern half, ie Mt Chance campsite to Albany. These are permanent no fire campsites and fuel stoves must be taken.

To help preserve the environment and due to the increasing lack of firewood, use of fuel stoves for cooking is encouraged at all campsites. However, if you do choose to light a wood fire, use the fire ring provided at the campsite. Use only dead wood already on the ground (watch for snakes) and keep the fire small - remember the old Aboriginal saying: "White man make big fire, sit far away - black man make small fire, sit close".

Back to top ^

Q: How can I minimise my impact on the environment?
A:

Walkers are asked to adhere to the Leave No Trace principles and the Code of Campsite when using the Bibbulmun Track.

Remember to leave the Track and its facilities in better condition than you found them. That way you and others will benefit from what the Track has to offer.

Two tips:

  • Don't put any rubbish into the fire pit or the toilet (you bring it in, you take it out).
  • Don't throw organic matter into the bush (eg apple cores) as it greatly impacts on the health and indeed survival of our native animals.

Back to top ^

Q: Can I take a bike, ride a horse or take a pack animal on the Track?
A:

No! The Track is purpose built for walkers only. Illegal use of mountain and trail bikes has eroded the Track badly in some places. These activities are not permitted in DRA and drinking water catchment areas through which the Track passes. If you are interested in mountain biking or off-road cycle touring then visit the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation or contact the DPAW Recreation and Trails Unit.

Back to top ^

Q: Can I take my dog on the Track?
A:

Dogs, whether on or off the lead, are not permitted in drinking water catchments, National Parks, Conservation Parks or Nature Reserves . Many campsites and a large proportion of the Track fall into these categories.

Furthermore, fox baits are dropped periodically by aeroplane in State Forest and other areas along the Track. If the dried meat 1080 poison baits are picked up by a dog, it will lead to a long and painful death. Don't take the risk! More information avilable at DPAW.

Back to top ^

Q: What facilities are at the campsites?
A:

Each campsite has a three-sided timber shelter which sleeps between 8-15 people, tent sites, bush toilet (bring toilet paper), rainwater tank, picnic tables and a fireplace where fires are permitted. For more information check out the Track facilities.

Back to top ^

Q: Do I need to take a tent on the Track?
A:

There are 49 campsites along the Track which are spaced a day's walk apart. There is no booking system for the campsites or shelters. Therefore all walkers wishing to stay on the Track overnight must take a tent in case the shelter is full on arrival. Designated tent sites, located at the campsites, should be used and no camping is permitted at non-designated campsites within drinking water catchment areas - i.e. most of the Track between Kalamunda and Collie and south of the Blackwood River. The Bibbulmun Track Foundation offers tents for hire.

Back to top ^

Q: What is the maximum group number allowed at a campsite?
A:

Groups of eight people or more may not occupy a shelter before 6pm. In the interests of minimal impact on the environment, the campsites and other walkers, there should be no more than 17 people in any one group staying overnight at any campsite. 

Back to top ^

Q: How much water do I need to take per day?
A:

Two litres of water is the minimum recommendation for cool weather and 3-4 litres in warmer weather. Walkers should avoid walking in temperatures above the high 20's unless in the karri forest where the canopy and dense forest provides respite from the heat and sun.

Back to top ^

Q: Do I need to sterilise the water from the water tanks?
A:

Yes, this is advised. Some walkers have fallen ill from drinking untreated water.  You can either boil it or contact our equipment sponsors for other suggestions. We recommend treating water with chemical sterilisers or with a UV light such as a Steripen.

Back to top ^

Q: Is it too hot to walk in the summer?
A:

Generally it is not recommended as the Track gets very hot and the fire risk is greater. However shorter walks in the karri forest can be comfortable on cooler days even in summer. Even when walking in winter, always cover up and wear a hat and sunscreen. The south coast, although it may be cooler, offers little protection from the sun due to the lack of a forest canopy.

Back to top ^

Q: Are there any snakes on the Track?
A:

Oh yes! Snakes are quite common, especially in late winter and spring, near the south coast and in damp swampy areas. The heavy footfalls of a walker are usually enough to frighten them away before they are seen. Don't scrabble about in thick undergrowth for firewood, take special care with small children and wear sturdy shoes and thick socks. Wearing gaiters is highly recommended when walking the southern half of the Track. Ensure that your first aid kit includes a snake bite bandage.

Back to top ^

Q: What pests are there?
A:

March flies and ticks in late spring or summer, mosquitoes, sand flies and midges are common most of the year in varying quantities. Insect repellent or covering up is recommended. A mosquito net is also useful in the open fronted shelters or some walkers use the shell (sealed inner) from their tent. Protection from mosquitoes is essential to prevent possible infection with Ross River Virus. Yet another reason to carry a tent with you!

Back to top ^

Q: Can I access beaches on the south coast directly from the Track?
A:

Consult Guidebooks 7 and 8 and the corresponding Track maps as the Track does traverse beaches in a number of places on the south coast. Guidebooks 7 and 8 point out beach access points from the cliff path. Never attempt to access the beach unless on a clearly defined trail (see safety section regarding rips and beach walking in the Bibbulmun Track Handbook. 

Back to top ^

Q: How do I cross the inlets indicated on the southern maps?
A:

Check the current conditions for each inlet crossing in the Section by Section guide for Walpole and Denmark/Albany. There you will find advice on how to make the crossings. Also consult the related Guidebooks and maps. There are canoes at the Irwin Inlet. The Torbay and Parry Inlet channels may need to be waded with care during certain times of the year and may be closed in dangerous conditions. The Wilson Inlet sandbar maybe crossed at certain times but check the Denmark/Albany Section by Section guide for conditions and other options. Some inlets have a sand bar for varying periods during the year which makes crossing no problem. If a sandbar has not formed then sometimes lengthy diversions are in place. You need to do your research here before you go folks!

Back to top ^

Q: What equipment/food should I take?
A:

The food and equipment pages are a good start. The Foundation also offers a food cooking workshop (Food In A Fuel Stove) and various seminars to assist. Check out our Calendar of Events. The DVD "Getting on Track" is also extremely useful in knowing what gear to buy.

Back to top ^

Q: How do I fit my overnight backpack?
A:

Visit our Equipment and Hire webpage and click on the link for the video showing you how to fit and adjust your pack.

Back to top ^

Q: Are there any organised walks on the Bibbulmun Track?
A:

Absolutely!

  1. Check out our Calendar of Events. It is published twice a year. Contact us to have it sent to you when it is released. Also our Social Sunday Walks are a great way to meet other walkers - they are free for members.
  2. Join one of our fully accommodated and catered Best of the Bibbulmun 8 or 9-day tours.

Walk the Track with trained Bibbulmun Track Foundation guides. We are the people with the most knowledge and experience of the Track. Better still, any profits from our events go straight back into the ongoing maintenance of the Bibbulmun Track!

Back to top ^

Q: I really want to walk the entire length of the Track. Where do I start?
A:

Fantastic!  To begin with, visit our end-to-enders webpage. There you will discover where you can find information to begin preparing for the adventure of a lifetime! 

Back to top ^

Q: Which way should I do my end-to-end? Kalamunda to Albany or Albany to Kalamunda?
A:

This can depend on when you are starting. If you are starting in autumn, we suggest walking from Albany to Kalamunda. This is so that you are walking away from the approaching winter on the south coast. Conversely if you are starting in spring, then walk away from the approaching warmer temperatures in the north and make your way to Albany. There can be other reasons why you might walk in one direction as opposed to another.  Taking advantage of our trip planning advice service may help you decide.

Back to top ^

Q: How do I commemorate completing the whole Track?
A:

Even if you tackle the Track in stages over many years, once you have walked the entire length, you are entitled to become a registered end-to-ender

Back to top ^

Q: Where can I purchase food and stove fuel on the route?
A:

There are nine towns along the Track (see Track Towns) which provide a range of supply options. Some towns have supermarkets, others have a general store only with very limited supplies. The quantity and type of supplies that each of the smaller towns carry varies depending on a range of factors. We suggest you contact us with your specific query.

Back to top ^

Q: Do mobile phones work out on the Track?
A:

Increasingly the signal range is getting better. However, even Next G phones have limited reception on the Track, usually either near towns or on some hill tops.  Standard GSM mobiles have little coverage on most of the Track. Mobile phones should never be used as the primary means of emergency contact. We recommend people carry a PLB (Personal Locating Beacon) or similar on longer walks, particularly if they are walking on their own. The Foundation hires these out, but people are advised to book them early as they are in high demand.

Back to top ^

Q: What is DPAW?
A:

The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), the manager of the Bibbulmun Track,  and the Department of Environment (DoE) amalgamated on July 1st 2006 to become the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). On July 1st 2013 the name was changed to the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW). Whilst the DPAW continues to act as the manager of the Track, the Foundation, a non-profit organisation, ensures that the Track remains a long distance walk trail of international significance and quality.

Back to top ^

Q: What sort of weather can I expect on my walk?
A:

You might want to check out the weather history for each of the sections you are going to walk. The weather link in each of the Section by Section guides will give you averages and history of weather for that town (temperatures and rainfall) as well as a seven day forecast.

Back to top ^

Q: The Track is free, so how can I show my support?
A:

You can show your support by supporting the Bibbulmun Track Foundation. There are many ways you can do this. For example, become a member, make a donation, leave a bequest, become a volunteer or even become a sponsor

Back to top ^

Q: Are there GPS coordinates of the Track or campsites?
A:

Unfortunately not at this time.

We hope that in the future DPAW will give us permission to be able to do this from the Section by Section guide where you will be able to download the kml file for the GPS coordinates of the Track.

Also you will soon be able to download a selection of EveryTrail guides to your phone or GPS device which will give you coordinates of the Track along with the campsites, permitted vehicle access points and many other points of interest along the Track.

For safety reasons you should still take a map or map and guidebook with you on your walk. Technology can fail and there are instances where it has done so.

Please also be aware of unofficial websites offering coordinates for the Track. We have found some to be quite inaccurate.

Back to top ^

Q: Where can I leave my car in a Track town whilst I complete my walk?
A:

There are no specific facilities in any of the Track towns where you can safely leave a car during the duration of your walk. If you have arranged accommodation in a town, this is the best option. Either leave your car at the place of accommodation before you set off, or if you have arranged accommodation in a town at the end of your walk leave it there and organise transport e.g. TransWA bus or a taxi to the start point.

Wherever you leave your car never leave valuables, coins or bags in the car that might attract unwanted attention. Do not leave any indication that you will be away for an extended length of time. It’s a good idea to empty the glove box.

Most walkers avoid the problem altogether, save fuel and have peace of mind by using public transport to get to the start and from the finish of their walk where possible. Public transport is available to Kalamunda (Transperth buses) and by TRANSWA buses to North Bannister, Collie, Balingup, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole, Denmark and Albany. See the "Getting There" section of the relevant Section by Section guide.

Back to top ^

Q: Question not answered?
A:

If you have a question that hasn't been answered in the FAQ's, be sure to contact us with any query you may have.

Back to top ^