- Start date: 5 September 2015
- Age When Completed: 31
- Direction Walked: North to South
- Others in Group:
I didn’t do the end to end in a group, and walked solo a lot of the time, but many and various friends and family members joined me on hikes that counted towards this end-to-end:
Adrian, Alex, Ashley W, Ben, Bharat, Candice, Dale, Damien, Erin, Fahad, Hadi, Hazel, Jamie, June, Katherine, Laura, Li, Lindy (mum), Maddie, Mike, Natalie, Pete C, Peter P, Peter W (dad), Ryan, Stephen E, Steven P, Tessa
And for a good many of my hikes I also invited along members of the ‘Young Perth Hikers’ - lots of wonderful people but too many to list individually!
Doing a sectional end to end over mostly day and weekend hikes was tiring and a huge effort in terms of logistics and long drives. Many times I felt I would have enjoyed the section more if I didn’t have to drive back up to Perth after a few days. But on the plus side, I feel I’ve experienced the track in a most complete and thorough way. I spent a night at every campsite and did the Wellington Spur Trail and other long side-trips. I was able to organise my walks so as to avoid any diversions and closures. Best of all, I experienced the full variety of seasons and weather conditions at points all along the track. The times when I was able to get away for a bit longer on the track (4 to 7 days) felt so much more free and relaxing than my usual weekend trips, and have made me want to one day do another Bibbulmun end to end as a through-hike.
I cooked a lot of my signature fresh tomato couscous dish out on the trail and dehydrated a lot of homemade stews and curries, but a few times I’ve resorted to Continental pasta packets and found they were surprisingly delicious after a long day of hiking! Not a fan of Backcountry etc though. On shorter weekend hikes with friends or hiking club we carried lots of nice (heavy!) food and red wine and cooked up a storm. Brussels sprouts are the perfect light-weight, nutritious and long-living vegetable. These days I try to be mostly vegetarian for all of my home cooking and trail food. I find it’s very easy to make good use of lentils, nuts & seeds, hummus and cheese while out on the trail.
Kalamunda to Albany!!!
Favourite campsite to campsite sections:
* Boarding House to Beavis,
* Peaceful Bay to Boat Harbour (although a double from Rame Head + unexpected trouble with the canoes meant I arrived after dark, so I have some unfinished business with this section!),
* Ball Creek through to Beraking,
* and HQ Road to Yourdamung in Spring
* Photographing a huge variety of wildflowers and mushrooms, and views
* Hiking in wandoo woodlands and over granite monadnocks in the Darling Range, especially in cold winter weather
* Sound of wind in the tree canopy, and the background noise of ocean waves crashing. Birdsong and the frog chorus, hot summer cicadas, black cockatoos screaming overhead; The complete lack of electrical and mechanical noises
* Walking through the karri and tingle forests in the rain.
* Views from Woolbales Hill, Mount Pingerup and Mount Chance, and the dramatic ocean cliffs
* Sunsets at Waalegh, Mount Wells, Long Point and West Cape Howe campsites
* Early morning fog at Blackwood
* Wading some of the Pingerup Plains in Spring; seeing the swamp bottlebrush in Autumn
* Peace and quiet and the freedom to do whatever I want when hiking by myself
* and conversely, the camaraderie and quality time with friends and family, new friendships formed on YPH overnight hikes, trail angels, and fun times at busy campsites
I was surprised by how significant it felt on my last hike to have walked every step. At some point along the way the Bibbulmun Track became my second home!
Lots of kangaroos, wallabies, several quendas, a quokka, an echidna, a couple of possums, bush rats, emus, wedgetailed eagles, ospreys, kites, owls, red-tailed and white-tailed black cockatoos, various other parrots, waterbirds, many and various smaller birds (way too many to list), lizards, lots and lots of tiger snakes, frogs, tadpoles, seals, dolphins, salmon schools, a whale, flies, mozzies, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, beetles, ants, wasps, all sorts of interesting spiders, scorpions at night, and probably more that I can’t think of right this moment
Your Best Equipment
Best winter equipment: Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilt - 680g and rated to -12deg, and I got to choose my own colour scheme when I ordered it. Once I worked out how to configure it for different temperature conditions it kept me comfortable on the coldest of cold Bibbulmun nights and the warmer nights too.
Best summer equipment: my dorky sunhat + fly net combo.
Your Worst Equipment
Steripen. It always seemed to malfunction and drain the batteries. After my first three or four Bibbulmun hikes I mostly chose to just drink the tank water untreated.
Advice for Others
For those who are doing a sectional end to end, make your final section a momentous one by finishing up at either Kalamunda or Albany and ringing the bell, or else save what you think will be the best part of the track ‘til last. Do all the side trips that you have time for - in particular don’t miss out on Mount Randall, Mount Chance, Woolbales Hill and Little Long Point. Try hiking at sunrise for a magical misty experience, or in the dark of night for great stargazing and interesting wildlife. And lastly, if anyone offers you some re-hydrated bacon and eggs at breakfast don’t take it, it is horrid!