- Start date: 8 April 2012
- Age When Completed: 56
- Direction Walked: Sectional
- Others in Group:
I have spent many hours on the Bibbulmun Track due to my Adventure Training job with the Royal Australian Navy. I take groups for day walks to help promote team building and good work/personnel relations. It has been a bucket list item to one day complete the whole Track. I never imagined that I would wind up completing two end to enders on the same day. The first, a sectional started over 5 years ago with my wife Ellen and the second a relay started this April with Navy personnel, crossing the line on the 4th of June 2017.
Doing sectionals allowed us to be a little more generous with the types of foods we carried. Frozen steaks, spaghetti bolognaise, sausages and bacon have all found their way into our packs! Double bagged, they defrost by the time we arrived at camp. We have even made hamburgers for lunch perched on a little wooden bridge. If there was a second night in the bush we would resort to pasta meals with canned chicken or salmon.
A snack pack pudding with a cup of red wine makes for happy campers. Snap lock bags do double duty as rubbish bags.
The Track as a whole is incredible but a few places stood out, Waalegh, the views from, not to mention the climbs up, Mt Cooke and Mt Wells, Tom Rd, walking beneath the Karri trees. Mandalay Beach and the spectacular view from Long Point lookout.
Finding out via the distance calculator that we had walked over 100kms more than we first realized after walking out of Collie to Mumballup Tavern spurred us on to do more. Passing the halfway sign after Tom Rd. Marrinup camp though cold was a beautiful place to stay. Sighting the coast for the first time was a good day.
I thought I had walked a long way when I hiked the Cape to Cape with friends a few years prior to starting the Bibbulmun. Was I ever wrong!
Sometimes the wildlife was a little on the quiet side, we have however encountered kangaroos, goannas, emus and various birds including the little blue wrens and scarlet robins. The territorial head bopping display from the little black and white lizards on top of Mt Cuthbert and Vincent kept us amused as did the investigations of our packs by a king skink. A few snakes were encountered and avoided along the way, it wouldn’t be a proper hike without their appearance! We were honoured with a visit from a very industrious little bandicoot at Schafer Camp which hopped around the camp showing no fear at our presence. So comfortable was he that he returned to bounce around under the table several times during the night. Black cockatoos were a constant companion for the whole journey.
Your Best Equipment
Nano camp stove & gas bottle. Toe socks were recommended by a friend and while they take a little longer to get on your feet I found them to be helpful with preventing blisters.
Hiking poles are good for the hilly bits.
Your Worst Equipment
Anything we forgot to bring!
Advice for Others
If you get the chance to walk the Track get out there and do it. You won’t regret it. Our journey took us 5 years, one month and 4 days. Bucket list ticked.