Latest News

Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.

  • Bushfires, campfire bans, walking in the heat and over summer

    8 November 2019

    Walking over summer 

    If you are considering walking over this summer, please restrict your walks to day walks (duration of one day). We advise that you check the weather and fire forecasts. If the fire danger is Very High or above we recommend walkers don’t go out on the Track, or leave if they are already out. If in doubt, and the weather forecast is for hot (and windy) conditions, the recommendation is not to go walking.

    Watch this video about bushwalker safety and fire. It shows how close a walker came to perishing in a bushfire in January 2018 at a Bibbulmun Track campsite.

    It is usually too hot to walk in the peak of summer. 

    It is strongly recommended that you do not carry out any extended walk between December and the start of March anywhere on the Track. 

    If you do go out, you must be able to self-evacuate in the event of a bushfire as a rescue may not be possible.

    The Track gets very hot and the bushfire risk is extreme. Temperatures can range from low 30s to mid-40s. In recent years the Track has been severely impacted by bushfires with the destruction of campsites and other structures which fire fighters were not able to save due to the ferocity of the fires. Much of the Track is difficult to access quickly in an emergency and more so during a bushfire.

    Please plan to walk outside of these months and avoid putting your life at risk and the lives of those that may need to rescue you.

    Day walks in the karri forest can be comfortable on cooler days (temperatures less than 27 degrees). We advise people planning a day walk to check the weather and fire forecasts. Again, if the fire danger is ‘very high’ or above it is strongly recommend people don’t go out on the Track. The south coast, although may be cooler, offers little protection from the sun due to the lack of a forest canopy and fire spreads more quickly in open bush and grassland. Even when walking in winter, always cover up and wear a hat and sunscreen. 

    Some key points to remember:

    • Plan your visits for cooler periods of the year, avoiding the hot summer months.
    • Check the Fire Danger Rating and do not go on the trails if the forecast is Very High or above.
    • Do not do extended multi-day trips as it is not possible to keep up with changing conditions (extremely limited mobile phone coverage) and it is difficult to self-evacuate from the trail at short notice. You must be able to self-evacuate in the event of a bushfire.
    • Avoid remoter sections of the trail where there is limited vehicle access.
    • Abide by all trail closure signage, and any instructions from Parks and Wildlife and other emergency staff.
    • Trails and parks may be closed on days when the Fire Danger Rating is Very High or above.

     

    More info about total fire bans and permanent fire bans at specific Bibbulmun Track campsites.

    More info about bush fires and safety.

     

    Campfire in a fire ring at a campsite
    Campfire in a fire ring at a campsite
    Campfire bans will be in place at many campsites on the Bibbulmun Track.

    Walkers are not permitted to light any campfires or wood operated stoves where campfire bans are in place. Please carry and use a liquid fuel stove.

    Campfire bans will begin from December 1. Once in place, they will continue to April 2020 depending on weather conditions. Please check the Section By Section guide (under Trip Planner) for any changes.

     

    Check the Section by Section Guide relevant to the section you are walking for other impacts. There are likely to be some sections of the Track that will be impacted by bushfires this summer.

    The Track is indistinguishable alongside this creek bed after the  fire.
    The Track is indistinguishable alongside this creek bed after the fire.
    On certain days, a total fire ban will be in force where walkers are not permitted to light a fuel stove either. For information about locations of current total fire bans call 1800 709 355 or visit the www.emergency.wa.gov.au/.

    No fires are permitted at any time of year at two campsites in the northern section (Yourdamung and Blackwood) and between the Mt Chance campsite (south of Northcliffe) through to Albany.

    We strongly encourage walkers to always use fuel stoves to cook on whenever they are walking the Bibbulmun Track. Campfires are great to sit around, but they can have an adverse effect on the environment.

  • Changing of the Guard

    2 November 2019

    Retiring Chair Mike Wood congratulates Kath Broderick on her appointment as Chair of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation board.
    Retiring Chair Mike Wood congratulates Kath Broderick on her appointment as Chair of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation board.
    After 21 years as Chair, Mike Wood stood down from the role on 31 October 2019.

    Mike’s involvement with the Track started around 1993 when he joined a steering committee that oversaw the Building a Better Bibbulmun Track Project that resulted in the current alignment and the construction of the campsites.

    He was instrumental in establishing the Bibbulmun Track Foundation and has been Chair of the Board since it was incorporated in 1997 (as the Friends of the Bibbulmun Track).

    In addition to chairing the Board, Mike, personally and through his businesses, has been, and continues to be, extremely generous in sponsoring and supporting the BTF. For over 20 years he provided free office space and donated hiking equipment for hire to walkers, as rewards for the BTF’s volunteers and as prizes for fundraising. He also assisted with community talks and promotion. He is a strong advocate for the Track to the WA Government and others.

    On tendering his resignation Mike said “The Foundation is in a great position with an excellent board, strong community support and a fantastic team of staff and volunteers.  I feel now is a great time to hand over the reins.”

    Peter Sharp, Director of DBCA’s Parks and Visitor Services thanked Mike on behalf of the Department and stated that, under Mike’s leadership, the Foundation has become an outstanding example of a successful community partnership, having the common goal of the protection and enjoyment of a community asset that we are passionate about.

    Kathleen Broderick was elected the new Chair and we are delighted to welcome her to the role.  Kath has been on the Board since 2016 and a Bibbulmun Track member and maintenance volunteer for many years prior to that. 

    She has over 30 years’ experience in the education and natural resource management sectors, and has contributed strongly to regional development.

    We are sure that Kath will continue to take the organisation from strength to strength.

  • Peter Hewett remembered as his daughters finish End-to-End

    25 October 2019

    On Wednesday 9th October, Carolyn Riordan and Penni Ellis took the final steps of an incredible end-to-end to raise awareness and funds for the Lung Foundation Australia; and as a tribute to their father’s epic contribution to the creation of the Bibbulmun Track.

    Carolyn Riordan and Penni Ellis
    Carolyn Riordan and Penni Ellis

    Their father, Peter Hewett, was the Superintendent at the Forests Department at the time the Track was being proposed. He was instrumental in ensuring district offices in the south west supported the formation of a long-distance walk trail. The first campsite from the northern end, Hewett’s Hill, is named after him.

    Peter Hewett, formerly of the Forrests Department, who was instrumental in the early days of the track
    Peter Hewett, formerly of the Forrests Department, who was instrumental in the early days of the track

    Carolyn was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer in May 2018 despite having never smoked. She, and her sister Penni, decided it was time to walk the length of the Track to raise awareness of the disease, raise funds for the Lung Foundation, as well to honour their father. As Carolyn is still receiving treatment for her lung cancer, it meant that the walk needed to fit in with medical appointments in Sydney. Their amazing feat was celebrated at an event in Kalamunda’s Zig Zag Centre organised by the Lung Foundation and supported by the Bibbulmun Track Foundation office staff. Supported by friends, family and the Lung Foundation, Carolyn has already raised funds well above her target and will generously donate 10% of these to the BTF. 100% of all donations to the BTF go to the Track.

    Mark Brooke, CEO Lung Foundation Australia
    Mark Brooke, CEO Lung Foundation Australia
    Senator Ken Wyatt addressing the group
    Senator Ken Wyatt addressing the group

    Carolyn and sister Penni ringing the Bibb Track bell and and         with certificates. Framed photos of their father in background.
    Carolyn and sister Penni ringing the Bibb Track bell and and with certificates. Framed photos of their father in background.
    Jim Freeman relating memories of Peter Hewett
    Jim Freeman relating memories of Peter Hewett

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There are many ways to donate - Donate Online; Donate by Phone - Call us on (08) 9481 0551 - have your credit card details on hand to donate over the phone; or Donate by Mail - Post a cheque or money order to us at Bibbulmun Track Foundation, 300 Wellington Street, Perth WA 6000.

    Federal Member for Hasluck, Ken Wyatt walked the final stages of the Bibbulmun Track with Carolyn Riordan. Read more here...

  • Balingup Tavern closed due to damaging fire

    24 September 2019

    On the ealry hours on Monday (23rd September) morning a fire broke out in the Balingup Tavern. Thankfully, the owner managed to get out of the building avoiding harm, however the fire has caused a substantial amount of damage to the Tavern. The tavern will be closed for some time but reports say there are plans to repair and re-open for business in the future. For Bibbulmun Track walkers please plan ahead as there are limited (if any) options for a hot evening meal in Balingup, enquire with the Visitor Centre for alternate options. Further details here

  • Southern Terminus relocation update

    20 September 2019


    A boardwalk / possible bench seating will be built around the tree to protect the root system.

    Discussions around relocating the Southern Terminus of the Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail near the new visitor centre in York Street have progressed with a meeting held in Albany last week.  The major redevelopment of the public space areas around the visitor centre, including Alison Hartman Gardens, has been undertaken in stages and we are hopeful that the development of a joint trailhead will occur within the next few months.


    Mokare statue

    As both long-distance trails are named in recognition of the Noongar people and their connection to country, Foundation and DBCA representatives suggested that the trailhead signs be positioned with the Mokare statue as the backdrop. The statue is in recognition of the role Mokare played in the peaceful coexistence between Noongar people and the first European settlers, and in particular his friendship with Dr Alexander Collie, explorer and botanist.   


    Southern terminus signs for BT and MB will be placed with the statue in the background. 

    The proposed trailhead location is visible from inside the visitor centre and from the street - and would greatly increase awareness of the trails. It will be a much better experience for both Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi end-to-enders to complete their journey by walking up the main street of Albany.

     

    More information about the development of Alison Hartman Gardens is on the City of Albany website


    Bench seating just next to proposed trail head location.