Latest News

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

  • Focus on volunteer roles

    18 July 2022

    The core purpose of the Foundation is to enable and guide the contribution of the walker community in supporting the management, maintenance and marketing of the Track (you can read more about our purpose from this perspective in a previous article in our members’ magazine Bibbulmun News, Issue #83, page 18.).

    We achieve this support as a formal partner of DBCA, with the relationship and division of responsibility articulated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). As identified in the MOU, we are solely responsible for being the primary public contact point and the community driver, providing for community engagement, events, and merchandise and guidebooks.

    DBCA is solely responsible for being the land and track manager, providing visitor risk management, public liability, managing track conditions and diversions, and maps.

    Both organisations share the responsibility for funding, marketing and promotion, track improvement and maintenance.

    The contribution of all our wonderful volunteers fulfils our core purpose. To illustrate this, let’s consider each volunteer role in turn – from that most clearly associated with the Foundation alone, to the work which is more interrelated with DBCA management.

    Some of our volunteers at a gathering to celebrate their contribution
    Some of our volunteers at a gathering to celebrate their contribution

    A small group of volunteers (seven at any one time) fulfil a critical role in ensuring sound strategic management and financial stability of the Foundation by serving as elected members of our Board. The Board meets every two months to discuss current issues relating to the management of the Foundation and the Track. They provide strategic direction, decision making and advisory functions.

    We also have a few volunteers who participate in specific projects by way of serving on committees. At the moment there are two such groups – one developing our reconciliation and indigenous interpretation materials; the other planning the 25th anniversary celebrations.

    Next, our events program, which is designed to encourage a wider use of the Track by people of all ages, socio-economic groups, and fitness levels. All events are led by one or more of our volunteer guides, who donate their time, knowledge, and energy to optimising the experience for participants. There are currently 20 guides in the program, each working at three or more events each year.

    Guides Ian and Patrick enjoying a break
    Guides Ian and Patrick enjoying a break

    In the office, so many different things happen that a summary is difficult! Of the myriad tasks performed by our office volunteers, many help the Foundation provide the services for which it is solely responsible. These include handling walker enquiries, merchandise sales and orders, equipment hire, trip planning and managing directory listings for the Calendar of Events. Other important tasks performed by the office volunteers include general admin, processing memberships, stock control, accounts book-keeping, copy writing and editing. Meanwhile, our office volunteers also contribute to the areas of work which we share with DBCA – map sales, processing and following up maintenance reports, processing NOIs for groups on the Track, managing campsite logbooks, marketing and promotion, and volunteer management. We have at least two volunteers in every day and currently have 14 general office volunteers.

    Office volunteers Cleve and Sue help a customer
    Office volunteers Cleve and Sue help a customer

    The marketing and promotion of the Track is another key function that we share with DBCA. Volunteers assist to promote the Track as widely as possible, provide information to prospective walkers, publicise our Calendar of Events, manage our social media presence, support the engagement of the tourism industry, run member events, and share the work of the Foundation with the walking community. These tasks are completed by roles of community events, brochure distribution or specialist office volunteer. Numbers vary; we currently have about 35 people distributing brochures and four office volunteers dedicated to marketing.

    Both the Foundation and DBCA use the analysis of campsite usage records to support strategic planning and resourcing decisions, and for funding applications. The data comes from the green logbooks and is transferred to the digital format by a dedicated group of data entry volunteers, who work at home. We currently have nearly 40 data entry volunteers. Several more people check digital track counters once a month and provide the numbers directly to DBCA’s Recreation and Trails Unit.

    Daphne working on her data entry
    Daphne working on her data entry

    As the Track Manager, DBCA has the ultimate responsibility for the route, infrastructure and maintenance of the Track and campsites. Our role is in coordinating the volunteers who carry out the routine inspections and baseline maintenance and, in recent years, specific projects as resources permit.

    Our sectional maintenance volunteers – currently numbering around 360 – have always been at the core of our maintenance contribution. The Track is divided into around 150 maintenance sections that vary in length depending on access points; most are around 5 to 10 kilometres long. About one third of all sections include a campsite.  Volunteers adopt a section of the Track and are trained to look after it.  Each section is maintained by a team that may consist of one person working on their own, or a group of friends, family or workmates who work together. Their place in reporting issues which need follow up is especially important. Sectional volunteers can develop a real sense of ownership of their section and spend many years caring for it.

    Over the last few years, we’ve expanded our maintenance contribution beyond the sectional program.  The team known as the support volunteers (SVs) was established in 2014 and has been involved helping sectional volunteers with tasks, assisting at Field Days, constructing realignments, and some impressive repair and upgrade projects. This role is now being further expanded and redefined to provide a broader range of support to the sectional maintenance program. Although there are nearly 50 SVs now, many of whom are also sectional volunteers, we expect to increase the number working in this role in the near future.

    Maintenance volunteers Hedley and Lari working on their section near Dwellingup
    Maintenance volunteers Hedley and Lari working on their section near Dwellingup

    Whatever their contribution – big or small – every single volunteer is valued for their role in the work we do to support the Track. We thank them all!

  • Guess what?  The Bibbulmun Track is about to turn 25.

    2 July 2022

    We’re thrilled to announce that planning has started 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 to walk the next section. The distance between towns varies from three to eight days. 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 are only open until September 2022 - yes this year! 

    Visit the 25th Anniversary webpage for more information and to download the application form.

    We invite you to celebrate this 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 advanced information in the Bibbulmun News (our member's only magazine) and member only notifications.

  • South Coast Field Days

    2 June 2022

    The annual Field Day for sectional volunteers in Frankland and Albany Districts were held on the last weekend in May – at Mount Chance and Sandpatch campsites.

    There are four goals to a Field Day – for all the volunteers to connect with each other and the BTF office team; to have a busy bee at a shelter or bit of the Track, which gives it a real facelift; as an opportunity to provide volunteers with training in Track maintenance; and (mostly importantly) to have fun!

    At Sandpatch on Saturday we were treated to a demonstration of the powered tools recently acquired for use in Albany District; tasks around the campsite were completed; and a new maintenance team from the Albany Bushwalking Club were thoroughly introduced to “their” section.

    Volunteers also received their very own BTF Volunteer hi-viz vest, to help identify them when they’re out on the Track – a new initiative which we’re only just rolling out. It was a sea of orange!

    Thanks to Wes Fokkema and Charlie Soord for coordinating the work and equipment for the day.

    Demonstration of battery-powered hedge trimmer
    Demonstration of battery-powered hedge trimmer

    Constructing a ramp to the edge of the shelter floor
    Constructing a ramp to the edge of the shelter floor

    The new Code of the Campsite was installed
    The new Code of the Campsite was installed

    New volunteers receiving instruction in looking after the tank system
    New volunteers receiving instruction in looking after the tank system

     

    On to Mount Chance on Sunday; the weather cleared up for our enthusiastic group of Frankland District volunteers. As usual, the shelter and campsite was left looking tidy and fresh after we’d renewed the finish on the cladding, bed platform and picnic table; painted the drain pipes; fixed up some signage; raked all the leaf litter; and put out some filling material provided by DBCA for soggy tent sites.

    Thanks to Alex Williams and Charlie Soord for logistics and planning for this day.

    Lunch break!
    Lunch break!

    Painted board is reinstalled
    Painted board is reinstalled

    New signage on the spur
    New signage on the spur


    Volunteers at Mount Chance
    Volunteers at Mount Chance

     

  • Boat Harbour Stabilisation

    26 May 2022

    Rain and strong winds in May failed to dampen the efforts of the two Support Volunteer teams – 16 volunteers in total, that embarked on Campaign 1 of the South Coast Stabilisation Project working west of Boat Harbour. 

    After extensive surveys and inspections, a range of track treatments and materials were considered and planned depending on terrain, gradient, exposure and sustainability.  

    In March the helicopter pilot placed the 33 loads (10 tonnes) right on the stockpile locations marked earlier, so on the first morning the SVs set about unloading tools and materials to get started.   

     

     

     

     

     

    Two days of fine weather provided great working conditions on the steep track sections west of Boat Harbour where old broken steps were cleared and new steps with track pad laid in their place.  Other sections, surveyed in 2021 were also prepared, track pad laid and steps installed to improve walking while stabilising the sand.  Coir mesh was laid and pinned to stabilise the sides and encourage regrowth.   

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Despite the sometimes wintery conditions this was a highly successful campaign, testament to the months of planning and teamwork by BTF with the close support of Parks and Wildlife Frankland District.  Sincere thanks to the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program for supporting this project.   

    The SV teams, with some sectional volunteers, will return to the Track in early June for Campaign 2.  Project completion is planned for September with Campaign 4. 

     

    This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.

  • Maintenance volunteer activities

    12 May 2022

    Sectional maintenance volunteers for the northern parts of the Track recently headed out to take part in their annual District Field Day. Volunteers visited Beraking campsite (Perth Hills district of PaWS) and Possum Springs campsite (Wellington district) to give the shelter and campsite a facelift. Maintenance manager Sue Morley took some brand-new volunteers for a training session in Track maintenance while others got stuck into the work.

    At Beraking, tasks included renewing the finish on the cladding, bed platforms and picnic tables; upgrading the campsite signage; fixing water pipes; and some roof repairs. Several people got involved in raking up leaf litter all around the shelter and found that it’s harder work than it looks!

    Huge thanks to Charlie Soord for coordinating the work and equipment, and other Support Volunteers for assisting with some of the more technical tasks.

    Track maintenance training
    Track maintenance training
    Volunteers work on the shelter
    Volunteers work on the shelter

    A hive of activity at the Beraking field day
    A hive of activity at the Beraking field day

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At Possum Springs the following weekend, the rain held off long enough for a smaller group of Wellington district volunteer to complete similar tasks. As a rammed earth structure there was no cladding to worry about; restocking the firewood pile was a good alternative task!

    Thanks once again to Mark Davidson for coordinating the work and equipment for this Field Day.

    Smiles all round
    Smiles all round
    Charmaine helps top up the firewood
    Charmaine helps top up the firewood

    Field Day participants at Possum Springs
    Field Day participants at Possum Springs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next Field Days will be on the south coast at the end of May – at Sandpatch campsite (Albany district) and Mount Chance campsite (Frankland district).