- Start date: 29 October 2018
- Age When Completed: 65
- Direction Walked: North to South
- Others in Group:
The end to end Bibbulmun was a “bucket list"challenge for two hikers who first met some 47 year ago at university. We both found the hike long and quite varied from the rocky hills around Kalamunda through to the sections with those magnificent karri, jarrah and tingle trees and onto the sand hills and rugged and wild coastlines of the south coast. In places it was very tough as we did double hut 16 sections but on reaching each shelter and after a good feed and a night’s rest we were always eager to tackle the next day’s walk.
We prepared dehydrated meals and snacks before we started the hike and organised drops offs along the way. Along with delicious town meals and the occasional top-ups of “little treats” we did well in the food department.
After the hike it was interesting to look back and try to choose a favourite section. It was very hard task due to the variety and diversity of the terrain along the track, the different fauna we walked through and the differences in the track towns. However if I were to pick an area I would go with the section that showcased the giant trees, especially the karri. They and their surrounding environments were breathtaking.
The obvious highlight of the forty eight day hike was the comradely of a life long friend but also meeting and chattering to fellow hikers and track volunteers. Although we did not meet a huge number of hikers due to the lateness of the year we did especially enjoy the chats with locals and a number of international visitors on the track.
Another highlight was the opportunity to see Western Australian bush in all it glory taking in its beauty, harshness and sheet size. The hike gave us an appreciation of the people who first settled with southwest and the difficulties they must have had with setting up housing, transport, finding water and clearing the bush areas.
Throughout the Bibbulmun we saw a large range of wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, emus, enchiladas, a pig or two and many species of birds. Although we had heard that snakes “would be out in force” we only saw a handful and those were exclusively on the south coastal area. What we did encounter however were a few million flies and mosquitoes and a large number of “very friendly"march flies. We definitely needed a very potent repellent to ensure a bite free free zone in the shelter.
Your Best Equipment
Walking poles - especially for those downhill sections.
Comfortable sleeping mat - essential for aging bodies after a long day’s hiking. Jetboil cooking system - quick, reliable and easy to use, ideal for cooking dehydrated meals.
Your Worst Equipment
After a hiccup at the start with too many clothes all out clothing and equipment performed to expectations. All pieces of our equipment were used and due to out lack of extra we have very comfortable packs weights thus prevented annoying injuries.
Advice for Others
Pick the state date when you walk. We found the late spring early summer hike brought particular issues surrounding heat and annoying flies and mosquitoes. We also recommend having a number of rest days. Our forty three days of actual hiking were complemented by five rest days that very much added to the walk and enabled an injury free experience.