Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.
Walking over the long weekend?
31 May 2023
If you are planning a walk over the long weekend, in addition to your usual planning, take five to read ten things you need to know:
- Check which sections have any closures or diversions. Prescribed burning may impact some sections of the Track.
- Check where campfire bans are current (seasonal but may be in place) or total fire bans (declared on a daily basis) in the area you plan to walk. Some campsites have campfire bans all year round. Take and use your fuel stove. A this stage a campfire ban is in place for most of the northern half.
- Do all of the above by checking the Track conditions on the section you are walking by visiting the relevant Section by Section Guide and clicking the Realignments/Diversion tab on our website.
- Large groups will be using some campsites out on the Track. Check these by going to the Section By Section Guide and clicking on the section you would like to walk and then the Groups On Track tab. Avoid these campsites if possible. There will be a number of groups walking between Kalamunda and North Bannister in particular.
- Take a tent as space in the shelters cannot be guaranteed and many campsites/tent sites will also be very busy. particularly those close to Perth.
- Carry a Bibbulmun Track map (as well as a guidebook). Don't rely soley on electronic maps or apps.
- Only access the Track at permitted vehicle access points marked with a red car on the official maps. Click for more info and scroll down to Dieback and Bibbulmun Track access.
- Take enough water. If you are only doing day-walks, carry enough for the day and leave the water in the tanks for the long distance walkers.
- Refer to our FAQs and the Trip Planner pages for more information or contact us.
- Remember vehicles of any kind (i.e. anything with wheels) are not permitted along the Track or at any Bibbulmun Track campsite. If you see one, take a photo which includes the registration plate so the authorities can follow it up.
Celebrate our 25th year with an adventure - places close soon!
21 April 2023
Planning is well underway for our next big celebration, the Bibbulmun Track’s 25th Anniversary. Saturday 13 September 2023 marks the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the Perth-to-Albany Track, now known to us as the Bibbulmun Track. As part of the anniversary, a range of festivities will be held in the communities along the length of the Track between July and September 2023, with opportunities for walkers, young and old, to get involved.
On 13 September 1998 the ‘new’ Bibbulmun Track was officially opened in Albany. The Track had been significantly realigned, extended from Walpole to Albany and upgraded with the addition of timber shelters at the campsites. An official function was held at the Bibbulmun Track southern terminus to open the Track and farewell a group of walkers, 11 of whom completed the first official End-to-End. Along the way they were accompanied by sectional walkers. The event was called ‘Bib Walk ‘98’
On 13 September 2008, the 10th Anniversary celebrations - the journey of a decade, culminated with the conclusion of an end-to-end walk in Kalamunda. Over 100 walkers joined the end-to-enders for a part of the eight week journey. The celebrations included gatherings at every Track Town and they brought together hundreds of people who share a passion for the Bibbulmun Track as well introducing many people to it.
We will be commemorating this amazing milestone in the tradition of previous celebrations. We will be holding an End-to-End walk.
The event will begin with a special ceremony in Kalamunda in July 2023. A small group of End-to-End walkers will then make their way to Albany and arrive in September. At each town along the way we will have a community celebration and the End-to-Enders will be joined by a new group of walkers (sectional walkers) to walk the next section. The distance between towns varies from three to eight days and people are invited to register for these sections. The anniversary celebrations culminate in a gathering in Albany after walkers finish the Track.
We invite local walkers, volunteers, community groups and schools to get involved with the festivities.
Applications to join as an end-to-end walker closed August 31st, 2022.
Registrations to hike a section close in June, 2023 or when full.
Visit the 25th Anniversary webpage for more information - there are many ways to become involved.
We invite you to celebrate with us.
Make sure you are subscribed to our e-news, Bibbulmun Bytes or even better, become a member and keep an eye out for information in the Bibbulmun News (our member's only magazine) and member only notifications.
Bibbulmun Track School Challenge
14 April 2023
Schools are invited to join in the 25th Anniversary celebration through a physical activity challenge in Term 3 (17 July to 22 September).
The aim of the challenge is to undertake some type of physical activity to progress along the Bibbulmun Track and keep up with the progress of the end-to-end hikers on the full colour poster provided.
Participating schools will be provided with various resources and those schools / classes who recorded the most physical activity during the eight weeks will receive prize packs of age appropriate Bibbulmun Track books.
The School Challenge is supported by a Hiking Participation grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Naturalist on the Bibbulmun - the Banksia Bee mating season
12 April 2023
Djeran is marked by the arrival of a cooling breeze from the southwest, night temperatures begin to fall and the morning air, heavy with petrichor foreshadows the coming rains of Makuru that will restore life to our parched bushlands, and walkers to the Bibbulmun Track.
The flowering of the firewood banksia (Bulgalla) heralds the onset of Djeran. Heavily laden with nectar (mangite), these flowers were soaked in water to provide a sweet drink. Banksia nectar is valued by many of our native birds and mammals, including bandiny (New Holland honeyeaters), ngoolyak (Carnaby’s black cockatoo) and noolbenger (Honey possums). Perhaps fewer will know of the importance of Banksia for our native bees.
Banksia bees (Hylaeus alcyoneus) rely exclusively on the pollen and nectar of banksia for their reproduction, and a banksia spike with newly opening flowers will become the source of considerable acrimony for male banksia bees. Unlike introduced honeybees, our native banksia bees are solitary. The females nest within holes or crevices in dead branches, either on the banksia itself or on a nearby fallen tree, and they will visit banksia flowers to collect pollen and nectar with which to provision their young.
The males will defend a nectar rich flower spike in order to control access to the visiting females in the hope of mating with them. A male will not tolerate the presence of other males, and will grapple with and bite any rival that tries to visit or usurp his flower spike. Males will defend the same flower, sometimes for days, until such time as its nectar rewards decline and the females move on to a new flower spike. The largest males are better able to defend flowers and obtain the most matings, a process, recognized by Charles Darwin as sexual selection, that has led to reversed sexual size dimorphism. For typically female bees are larger than male bees, but the reverse is true for banksia bees.
Rather than forgo the opportunity to mate, the smaller males will adopt an alternative mate-searching tactic. Although unable to defend their own flower spike, they patrol many flower spikes in the hope of meeting and mating with a female outside of the territories of the larger males. Banksia are magnets also for introduced honeybees, indeed honeybees outcompete our native banksia bees and reduce their ability to produce offspring. But look closely next time you pass a banksia, particularly on the southern coastal heaths, and you might be lucky to find them.
Leigh W. Simmons
Leigh is the author of the fascinating book Naturalist on the Bibbulmun. His book is available from our shop and all royalties are generously donated to the Bibbulmun Track.
New Group Campsite and Upgrades Completed
12 April 2023
Over the past year, seven of the older style campsites along the Bibbulmun Track have received much needed upgrades with funding provided by the WA Recovery Plan, the Forest Enhancement Fund and the Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
Just over $750,000 was spent on increasing the capacity of some of the smaller campsites including verandah extensions and larger toilets as the popularity of the Bibbulmun Track continues to grow.
Group Campsite Project
An additional $250,000 was spent on the construction of a new Group campsite approximately 450m east of the existing Monadnocks campsite. These Group campsites are built for use by schools, scouts and other community groups on sections of the track that are already regularly used by groups, to relieve pressure on the standard campsite and the impact on the individual walker experience.
The new Group campsite, named ‘Alyi-wa Miya’ by the traditional owners, meaning ‘look out camp’ is a large, open, roofed structure with just one back wall and picnic tables under the roof where classes can be held. Two water tanks are fed from the colour-bond roof and there is a large, two cubicle toilet close by. Twenty tent pads and a firepit with log seats complete the amenities and allow for the group to be close, but still spread out, around the shelter.
When combined with the existing Group campsite further south at Mt Cook, groups can now do a 2-night 3-day walk, carrying all their supplies in packs on their backs and benefiting from being out in nature and sleeping in the West Australian bush.
If you want to use these campsites with a group don’t forget to fill in a Notice of Intent form (NOI) so you don’t clash with other groups.
The Campsite Upgrades Project
Working to a tight budget as construction costs began to escalate, the DBCA Project Team, led by Trails Coordinator, Stephen King, and Project Manager, Paul Chauvel, prioritised the tasks to be done into a significant package of upgrade works across several of the aging campsites.
Shelter extensions and upgrades were completed at seven sites:
- Gringer Creek,
- White Horse Hills,
- Gregory Brook and
- Boarding House campsites.
This involved verandah extensions, new roofing, and new water tanks and plumbing with picnic tables placed under the verandah extensions.
Toilets were replaced at four sites:
- White Horse Hills,
- Boarding House and
- Gregory Brook.
Tent sites and paths were upgraded at:
- White Horse Hills and
- Grimwade campsites, increasing the number of tent sites available.
Further funding was received through a Forest Enhancement Fund grant to complete upgrades at Yourdamung campsite. Tent site and path works were completed in November 2022, and replacement of the toilet is scheduled this summer.
The Harris Dam campsite works were put on hold due to the limited budget, but the planning has been done and can be actioned when funds become available.
There is still a problem with 4-wheel drive and other off-road vehicles accessing the campsites to set up their own camp and encroaching on the enjoyment of walkers and diminishing the experience. Gates are to be installed at each end of Herold Rd, excluding unauthorised access to both existing Monadnocks campsite and group campsite. Walkers are requested to take photos of any offending vehicles and send them to the Recreation and Trails Unit at DBCA for possible further action.
The department (DBCA) and the Bibbulmun Track Foundation (BTF) continue to work closely together on maintenance issues;
- to identify sections of the Track that need attention,
- do the planning and the prioritisation,
- apply for funding,
- ascertain whether the work needs to be done by a private contractor or whether the BTF’s Support Volunteer team can do it, or whether it might be a combination of both.
The District teams are engaged and informed, and they coordinate and supervise the work to ensure the Bibbulmun Track’s high standards are consistent.
Out of the 470 Bibbulmun Track registered Volunteers more than 350 are Track maintenance volunteers who head out several times a year inspecting, reporting and doing the smaller jobs that need to be done to keep the Track in a tip-top condition.
The never-ending task of maintaining the Track needs to be coordinated and consistent, you can help by joining the Foundation as a member, volunteering or making a donation.