Latest News

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

  • Bushfires, campfire bans and walking this summer

    28 December 2016

    Bushfires are impacting the Track.

    Currently a section south of Balingup is closed. Please check the Section by Section Guide for more information. 

     

     

    Campfire in a fire ring at a campsite
    Campfire in a fire ring at a campsite

    Campfire bans are now in place along certain sections of the Bibbulmun Track.

    Walkers are not permitted to light any campfires or wood operated stoves at those campsites and should carry a fuel stove.

    Please check the Section By Section guide (under Trip Planner) to find out which section have campfire bans.

    Once installed, campfire bans will continue to April 2017 depending on weather conditions.

     

    Check the Section by Section Guide relevant to the section you are walking for other impacts. There are several sections of the Track impacted by bushfires and prescribed burns (some sections may have diversions or indeed be closed).

    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.

    If you are considering walking over this summer, please restrict your walks to day walks (duration of one day). We advise that you to 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, our recommendation is not to go walking.

    It is 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.

    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. If the fire danger is ‘very high’ or above we strongly recommend people 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, our recommendation is not to go walking. 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. 

     

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

    More info about bush fires and safety.

  • Bibbulmun & Beyond guided tour

    17 December 2016

    Our popular Bibbulmun & Beyond 9-day tour, departs in May 2017.

    Led by experience guides, you will explore all the best sections along the Bibbulmun Track in day walks.  

    The tour then ventures beyond into the Stirling Ranges for a climb up Bluff Knoll and the reward of spectactular 360 degree views.  

    Comfortable accommodation, meals and transport in our private bus is included.  All you need is a pair of boots, your camera and a sense of adventure.   

    The whole experience was seamless with professional, enthusiastic, friendly and well organised guides

    Hurry - places fill fast!

    For more information and a full dossier click here.

  • Nature Academy nurtures new leaders

    15 December 2016

    The Edmund Rice Centre partnered with the Bibbulmun Track Foundation to launch a Nature Academy for youth from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds.

    The Foundation’s role was to conduct a programme designed to train youth to lead bushwalks.  Nineteen signed up - all young women between the ages of twelve and twenty years old from a range of countries including Somalia, Burundi, Sudan, Uganda, South Sudan and Senegal. 

    The first unit covered the theory of conducting walks on the Bibbulmun Track. Topics included a map reading and route planning exercise, health and safety, basic gear and clothing, some first aid, the nature of leading walks, and tips on how to lead group walks. Eighteen then completed unit two where they learnt to cook using a fuel stove. They prepared and tasted a range of dishes. The focus was on developing an appropriate menu taking into account the bulk, weight and suitability of food for hiking.

    Break at Hewetts Hill Campsite.
    Break at Hewetts Hill Campsite.

    The same participants then completed the third unit, an advanced day walk. The group put into practice the theory learned in the first unit. Keeping the group together, coordinating breaks, taking care of group members and navigating the bush were all part of the learning experience. The group was given autonomy to coordinate the foregoing tasks and to get the group to the end of the walk safely and in a timely manner.

    On a Saturday morning in April the fourth unit covered how to pack a backpack and make decisions regarding appropriate equipment, food and clothing. Fourteen participants attended and then went on to successfully complete the final unit; an overnight trek that weekend. Once again the group was given autonomy on setting goals: for example, the distances to be covered between breaks, the length of breaks, and the lunch stop location. They also had the responsibility of navigating and keeping the group together and safe.  In very adverse weather conditions, the group reached the campsite and worked as a team to successfully erect tents and prepare dinner. This was done in darkness as it was dusk by the time the group arrived at the campsite.

    Checking the map before setting out.
    Checking the map before setting out.

    Dealing with issues affecting the group, such as sore bodies, slow walkers and heavy packs, took its toll and this was a challenge for many, even the experienced Bibbulmun Track Foundation guides— a true learning experience for everyone involved!

    Spirits were still high the next day as participants broke camp and headed for the end of the walk. A debriefing and evaluation of the overnight walk and the entire youth leadership programme gave some great feedback ranging from “This is not for me” through to “I am interested in doing much more.”

    Sunny spot for a well earned rest.
    Sunny spot for a well earned rest.

    The next step on the youth leadership programme is for selected participants to be involved in BTF organised walks and to make a presentation of their experiences. We hope the fourteen young women who completed the programme will continue to enjoy the great outdoors and share their knowledge and experience with others in their community. 

    Resting those feet and checking for blisters.
    Resting those feet and checking for blisters.

    Many thanks to the Inclusion Unit at the Department of Sport and Recreation for supporting this programme. 

               

  • New Sculpture Trail for Bibbulmun Track

    5 December 2016

    The Shire of Kalamunda has completed the concept designs for the Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus and Interpretive Trail, with construction expected to start in early 2017. The project will connect the Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus to the Perth Hills Visitor Centre.

    Shire President Andrew Waddell said,

    The upgrade to the Terminus structure and a designated walkway will increase its visual prominence using artistic influences to provide signage, shade and seating.

    The concept designs reference heritage connections, natural influences and flora and fauna of the region. This will be shown in the street furniture, signage and paving materials which are inspired by natural materials, colours and organic forms.

    The Northern Terminus has been in Kalamunda since the Track’s inception in the 1970’s.
    The Northern Terminus has been in Kalamunda since the Track’s inception in the 1970’s.

    Member for Hasluck Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP said,

    I am passionate about enhancing and preserving our local environment and ensuring it is there to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, as well as attracting more visitors and tourists to our region so our small business community thrives.

    Kalamunda and the broader hills region are already a great place to come and visit, and this new development will help it become even greater.

    The interpretive trail will create a distinct path between the Terminus and the Perth Hills Visitor Centre where walkers will find the Bibbulmun Track register and end-to-enders are encouraged to ring a bell to announce their completion of the Track.

    The Foundation is very pleased that the Shire is embracing its status as the Northern Terminus of the Bibbulmun Track by increasing the Track’s profile in Kalamunda and improving the experience of walkers as they depart or arrive.  The number of interstate and international walkers coming to WA to walk the Track is increasing and the experience they have in the towns is an integral part of the journey.

    The project was supported by Tourism Western Australia through the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program. For more information and to view the concept plan, click here.

    The Visitor Centre awaits walkers to sign the Bibbulmun Track Register. It offers showers as well, to freshen up after the long hike from Albany.
    The Visitor Centre awaits walkers to sign the Bibbulmun Track Register. It offers showers as well, to freshen up after the long hike from Albany.

  • Funding Boost for Murray River Bridge

    17 November 2016

    The Bibbulmun Track Foundation has been successful in securing funding through the Peel Regional Grants Scheme to assist in the building of a suspension bridge to replace the Bibbulmun Track’s Asquith Bridge (otherwise known as Long Gully Bridge) which was lost in the Lower Hotham bushfire in 2015, and for Track realignment south east of Dwellingup in Lane Poole Reserve.

    This $112,000 Royalties for Regions grant from the Peel Development Commission, combined with $100,000 raised and donated by Foundation members and funding from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, brings the building of a new bridge over the Murray River one step closer. 

    A new footbridge is built across a  small creek on the new trail section.
    A new footbridge is built across a small creek on the new trail section.

    This $602,000 project will restore the continuity of the Bibbulmun Track, enabling end-to-end hikers to complete a true though hike of the Track and will attract sectional walkers back to the area.

    Research conducted in 2014-15 revealed that there are around 300,000 visit days on the Bibbulmun Track annually. The number of people undertaking overnight walks has increased over the years with the average length of overnight walk being 5.6 days. The number of commercial tour operators has also increased. Most tour operators combine day walks with off-track accommodation, dining in local restaurants and visiting other attractions in the area. The Track passes through many regional communities encouraging benefits for local businesses such as accommodation, cafes, grocery stores and pharmacies. Indeed, the 2014-15 research highlighted that there is $13.1 million generated annually in direct expenditure.

    Maintenance volunteers build new trail
    Maintenance volunteers build new trail

    The role that the Bibbulmun Track plays in the Peel region aligns with the Peel Regional Investment Blueprint with its focus on Tourism Excellence. The Blueprint identifies trails as being a key to the provision of a range of hard and soft adventure experiences and to enable visitors to access the natural environment in a sustainable manner. The Bibbulmun Track is a major part of the trail network and an attraction in its own right. The Track supports the vision of Peel District becoming a nature based tourism destination which attracts visitors to the region on a regular basis. 

    It takes many to watch someone build a trail!
    It takes many to watch someone build a trail!

    Being so close to Perth, Dwellingup is popular with weekend walkers who base themselves in town and enjoy day walks, or who walk out to a campsite for the night and head back to town the next day for a meal before driving back to Perth. The Bibbulmun Track Foundation and other tour operators also run various events and tours during the year which are based in the Peel. Log book entries from Murray Campsite, which is a two-day walk south of Dwellingup (excludes day hikers), show that:

    • 70% of walkers were from the Perth metropolitan area, 9.4% were from interstate, and 7.3% were from overseas. The remaining 13% were from country WA.
    • 23% of walkers were walking for up to 2 days, 40% from 3 – 7 days, 8.5% from 1 – 5 weeks, and 28.5% more than 5 weeks.
    • 37% either started or finished their walk in Dwellingup.
    • 40% of walkers were aged between 45 – 64 years and 7.4% were aged 65 years and over. 12% were 18 years and under which is high compared to other areas of the Track. Some of this is attributed to the number of groups including schools and youth groups which use the Track in this area for Outdoor Recreation excursions.

    The realignment of the Track to the new bridge location has been mapped out by DPaW and marked by Foundation Support volunteers.  Approvals for the new location of the bridge have unfortunately taken longer than anticipated, however it is expected that construction of the bridge will be completed prior to next winter. 

    Volunteers work on the new trail
    Volunteers work on the new trail

    Concrete is laid for the bridge footings.
    Concrete is laid for the bridge footings.