Latest News

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

  • Are you planning an End-to-End in 2015?

    5 March 2015

    Dog Pool shelter destroyed.
    Dog Pool shelter destroyed.
     We have had several enquiries from people planning an end-to-end in 2015. 

    Unfortunately, currently, this is NOT possible. The sections of Track affected by the recent fires are likely to be closed for at least a year.

    Parks and Wildlife are busy assessing damage. In some sections they may be able to put in diversions with temporary campsites (water and toilet but no shelter) along gravel roads to at least open a route through to other unaffected  sections.

    The biggest issue however is the Long Gully Bridge over the Murray River. Until that is replaced walkers won't be able to cross the river. 

    Our advice would be, if you can, wait and see what is open by mid 2015. If you are not able to, then we would advise to defer your plans until mid to late 2016.

    Check the Section by Section Guide (under Trip Planner) for each section to see their current status. See the Realignments/Diversion tab.

  • Sections remain closed after fire

    27 February 2015

    People were lucky to survive with minor injuries when this tree fell on a vehicle.  This highlights the danger of walking through fire affected areas.

    People escape with minor injuries near Northcliffe
    People escape with minor injuries near Northcliffe

    We urge everyone to stay away from affected sections of the Track until they are declared safe, assessed and re-opened.

    The sections which remain closed are:

    1) Between Mt Dale and Brookton Hwy

    2) Between Driver Rd and Harris Dam Picnic Area

    3) Between Northcliffe and Mandalay Beach Rd

    Please click on the relevant section for details and campsite closures. These sections may remain closed for many months to come. If you are planning an End-to-End for 2015 you will have to postpone your walk for the time being.

     

    The following sections have been re-opened:

    1) Brookton Hwy to Randall Rd including Canning Campsite

    2) Dwellingup to Driver Rd including Swamp Oak and Murray Campsites

    3) Harris Dam Picnic Area to Collie

    4) Pemberton to Northcliffe including Warren and Schafer Campsites

    5) Mandalay Beach to Walpole including Long Point and Mt Clare Campsites.

    Brookton Campsite destroyed
    Brookton Campsite destroyed

    The bridge lost to fire.
    The bridge lost to fire.

    Lower Hotham Fire destroys Possum Springs Campsite
    Lower Hotham Fire destroys Possum Springs Campsite

  • Another campsite lost but Gardner saved!

    19 February 2015

    In the first bit of good news from recent fire impacts on the Track, we are happy to report that Gardner Campsite is still standing.

    Gardner Campsite - another nice spot to spend a night.
    Gardner Campsite - another nice spot to spend a night.

    It was located in the middle of the fire zone and we had expected to hear that it had been destroyed. We are yet to hear about the fate of the many significant bridges in the area while assessment continue to take place and the fire (which is still burning) is being mopped up.

    Dog Pool shelter brought to the ground.
    Dog Pool shelter brought to the ground.

    We are saddened though that Dog Pool Campsite and the bridge across the Shannon River have been destroyed.

    Dog Pool Bridge over the Shannon River significantly damaged.
    Dog Pool Bridge over the Shannon River significantly damaged.

    This also has a significant impact to walkers as the Track is now cut in two places; the Long Gully Bridge across the Murray River and this bridge across the Shannon River.

    Remains of the Water gauging station solar panel.
    Remains of the Water gauging station solar panel.

    Dog Pool shelter destroyed.
    Dog Pool shelter destroyed.

  • Historic Long Gully Bridge lost to fire

    12 February 2015

    The Lower Hotham fire has claimed an historic victim by burning an important crossing on the Bibbulmun Track - the historic Long Gully Bridge.

    Considered an outstanding example of an early rail trestle bridge, the 128 metre long bridge was a great example of the technical design skill of the Western Australian Government Railways. The bridge was built for the WA Government Railways in 1949. The rail network was integral for the timber industry from the Serpentine-Jarrahdale area to Dwellingup region. When the Dwellingup Mill was burned down in 1961, the track ceased operation. The Bridge met sections of land that rise steeply above Murray River valleys and it provided the only viable crossing point for walkers on the Bibbulmun Track.

    The bridge lost to fire.
    The bridge lost to fire.

    As many of you know, the Foundation was raising funds for its restoration. We will need to decide if these funds go towards restoring our other major timber bridge - River Road - or if they go towards a solution to replace Long Gully. It won't be easy due to the long span. Another timber bridge is out of the question.

    Once the dust and ash settles we will investigate how we can create a new crossing for walkers.

    Clearing vegetation around Long Gully Bridge
    Clearing vegetation around Long Gully Bridge

    As can be seen from the images, Parks and Wildlife Fire crews did all they could to help save the bridge. The bridge was doused with water and before the fire hit it was also sprayed with a fire retarder. We thank them for their efforts.

    The bridge ready to be hosed down with smoke from the fire in the background.
    The bridge ready to be hosed down with smoke from the fire in the background.
     
    Crews do all they can to prepare the bridge for the  impending fire.
    Crews do all they can to prepare the bridge for the impending fire.

    The last moments of Long Gully Bridge
    The last moments of Long Gully Bridge

    G Class locomotive crossing the Long Gully Bridge.
    G Class locomotive crossing the Long Gully Bridge.

    One of the last locomotives (The Black Butt) to use the bridge.
    One of the last locomotives (The Black Butt) to use the bridge.

    The historic Long Gully Bridge, being the largest and most significant wooden trestle bridge along the Track.
    The historic Long Gully Bridge, being the largest and most significant wooden trestle bridge along the Track.

  • Brookton Campsite burnt to the ground

    11 February 2015

    Parks and Wildlife have confirmed a total loss at the Brookton Campsite. Both the shelter and the dunny have been burned to the ground.

    The Helena National Park fire claims Brookton Campsite
    The Helena National Park fire claims Brookton Campsite

    The fire started on Sunday 1 February and caused the closure of the Brookton Hwy. The fire burnt about 1500ha and was caused by lightning. Crews are still mopping up the fire and this will take some time.

    The Brookton Campsite was the only campsite with a section of Track that was designed as wheelchair accessible.

    The Track remains closed from Dale Rd to Randall Rd and the fire affected section will remain closed for many months. A diversion is being planned with a temporary campsite and we will update the status in the Section By Section Guide.

    The following campsites remain closed: Mt Dale, Brookton and Canning Campsites.

    Brookton Campsite destroyed
    Brookton Campsite destroyed

    A family enjoying time in the bush.
    A family enjoying time in the bush.