Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.
25 November 2021
As work starts to wrap up for 2021, we give a huge shout out and thanks to all of our 460 volunteers who made a contribution this year.
With only 4.5 FTE staff, our volunteers literally do a lot of the leg work! They’re out on the Track checking and repairing their sections … providing essential reception and admin support in the office … leading our walks and events … helping promote the Track … providing governance via the board … and transferring Track user data from the logbooks to digital format.
With their help, we fulfil our part of the partnership with DBCA – to provide baseline and strategic Track maintenance support, vigorously promote and market the Track as an asset to the state, and provide a focus for walkers seeking information and guidance.
Over the last few weeks, the volunteers were thanked and recognized at a series of events. Most volunteers work apart from HQ, so coming together and connecting at these events is always great!
Some volunteers were recognized for particular levels of contribution during the financial year just past. A total of 19 volunteers contributed over 500 hours, 19 volunteers over 300 hours and 52 volunteers over 100 hours during 2020-21. Many more made a consistent contribution but didn’t meet these thresholds (e.g. because they didn’t have the same travel requirements to their maintenance section).
The loyalty of long serving volunteers was also recognized: 26 volunteers marking their 5 year anniversary, 7 volunteers 10 years, 8 volunteers 15 years and 3 who have been participating consistently for 20 years.
The following providers are acknowledged for their contribution to this volunteer recognition:
BTF staff and office volunteers
Lake Monger Recreation Club
Peaceful Bay Progress Association
Prontos Gourmet Catering
Big Apple Bakery, Donnybrook
TownsEnd Café and Catering, Albany
Michael and Susan Grimm, Albany
Paul Harris, Peaceful Bay
Sea to Summit
Zanthorrea Nursery, Maida Vale
Barrecas Winery, Donnybrook
Rusty Roo Design, Walliston
Action Trophies, Mandurah
9 November 2021
The not-for-profit Bibbulmun Track Foundation has received a grant from Lotterywest for $81,400 for a project to upgrade and improve online resources.
Minister for Emergency Services; Racing and Gaming; Small Business; Volunteering Hon. Reece Raymond Whitby, MLA along with the Minister for Finance; Lands; Sport and Recreation; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests the Hon. Dr Tony Buti, MLA presented the grant to the Bibbulmun Track Foundation’s Chair Kath Brodrick today. The Marketing and Tourism Manager Ashley Gibson and volunteers Issy and James were excited to be able to move forward on this project.
The funding will contribute to the development of a new website to improve information about the Bibbulmun Track for volunteers and the wider community.
The new website will also include a portal with better functionality for the Bibbulmun Track Foundation’s volunteers – who number in excess of 500 – to support reporting on conditions along the Track and build cohesion.
The Bibbulmun Track Foundation is an incorporated, not-for-profit organisation established to provide support for the management, maintenance and marketing of the Bibbulmun Track.
The Foundation is recognised as the primary focal point for community-based support and involvement for the Track, promoting the Track to potential walkers and maintaining the Track through a volunteer maintenance program.
The Hon. Reece Raymond Whitby stated, “The Foundation’s new website will vastly improve available valuable resources including education, safety information and trip planning, and further encourage participation and connection with the natural environment.”
Minister Buti, who is planning to hike the Track himself next year, agreed that “education and preparation is key to a safe hike so this website will be an extremely valuable resource to bushwalkers who want to attempt one of the world's best tracks.”
"The Bibbulmun Track is an icon of Western Australia and like many trails throughout our State, it's growing in popularity” he said.
"WA is currently enjoying a huge resurgence in bushwalking, with participation increasing by more than 45 per cent in the four years to June 2020."
The Foundation thanks Lotterywest for supporting this important project which we aim to launch in 2022.
9 November 2021
On 9 November 2021, Albany’s new Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail terminus was officially opened on York Street, ready to guide visitors directly to the heart of the city.
Work on the $178,000 project started in April to move the southern terminus of the two trails from Proudlove Parade near the old visitor centre to Alison Hartman Gardens.
The new terminus features decking, bike racks, seating and signs, and provides easy access to the Albany Visitor Centre.
The concept design was developed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, which funded the project in partnership with the Great Southern Development Commission. Construction was managed by the City of Albany.
At the official opening of the terminus on Monday, Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens said it was a fitting way for hikers and cyclists to celebrate the start or completion of the trails.
The new terminus complements the visitor centre’s role in promoting tourism in the Great Southern region, catering to the significant increase in active walking and cycling holidays we’ve seen develop worldwide over the last year, and now locally, she said.
The Great Southern Adventure Trails project will raise the profile of the Albany region and is great for the Albany community and families to enjoy this wonderful part of the world.
4 November 2021
LANDSCOPE is WA's PARKS, WILDLIFE AND CONSERVATION MAGAZINE, produced by DBCA. It is a magazine devoted purely to Western Australia's parks, wildlife and conservation. It aims to develop community awareness and appreciation of the State’s natural environment and biodiversity and promote community involvement in and support for its protection and conservation. Each beautifully designed, seasonal issue of LANDSCOPE features wonderful stories and articles written about parks, people, plants, animals, conservation, recreation, research, discoveries and so much more...all complemented with amazing photography.
LANDSCOPE is perfect for anyone interested in travel, camping, 4WDing, nature, the great outdoors or simply learning more about beautiful WA. Now in its 36th year, LANDSCOPE has won state, national and international awards for many things, including environmental journalism, communication, science writing, design and excellence in printing and production.
BTF members receive a 10% discount on the following:
- LANDSCOPE Subscription
- LANDSCOPE Gift Subscription
- LANDSCOPE Subscription plus Calendar package
- LANDSCOPE prints
If you are already a member and don’t have the discount code email us.
Here are some links to LANDSCOPE articles that can be downloaded:
21 October 2021
With a 1000 kilometre Track and 53 campsites there is always something to be done and BTF volunteers and Parks & Wildlife staff have been very busy with both practical work and with planning.
Due to the increasing scope of maintenance being undertaken by the Foundation a dedicated maintenance manager was appointed in May. Improvements to the maintenance program will include the provision of more training opportunities for existing volunteers and an introductory training day and mentoring opportunities for new volunteers.
This is a summary of work in the field undertaken over the past year – and a preview of what is in the pipeline.
Newmont Boddington Gold, Eyes on the Ground Maintenance Program 2020 -2021 FY
Maintenance activity picked up in the second half of 2020, following the COVID-19 related disturbance earlier in the year. By the end of the financial year the number of hours logged by volunteers was 20% above the average of previous years. District Field Days bring the maintenance volunteers together for work and training days, supported by the support volunteers in planning, logistics and resourcing. There are usually six events in each calendar year, one for each PaWS District, normally during the autumn and spring work periods.The circumstances early in 2020 resulted in a concentration of Field Days in the spring period. Work focused on Yourdamung, Schafer, West Cape Howe, William Bay and Noggerup Campsites and the Track in the vicinity of each of these.
Carrying the momentum into 2021, Field Days have been held at Mount Cooke, Arcadia, Torbay, Woolbales and Maringup Campsites and the nearby Track. As a result of this focused work these campsites have been reconditioned, repaired and renovated. The work on sections of Track in the area involved significant clearing of vegetation regrowth, signage upgrade and/or renewal of erosion control structures. In association with their presence at Field Days, members of the support volunteer team completed other more technical tasks, such as brushcutting of regrowth in the Pingerup Plains and replacement of the retaining wall at Maringup Campsite.
Support Volunteer Projects
In addition to their assistance at Field Days and tackling tasks reported by maintenance volunteers, the support volunteer team continued to develop and implement strategic projects including:
- Further Track stabilization work at Conspicuous Cliff, Quarram Dunes and Mt Hillier and the monitoring and maintenance of previous work and survey/planning for future erosion control.
- Planning, procurements and preparation of five tonnes of material airlifted to various points in the Albany District.
- Extensive erosion control works either side of Sandpatch Campsite relaying conveyor belting and installing significant numbers of log water bars and steps.
- Assisting the PaWS Project Manager to develop the scope of work and schedules for campsite upgrades funded under the WA Government economic stimulus package.
- A realignment at Ficifolia Road to significantly reduce the amount of road walking.
- Preparation of multiple Disturbance Activity System (DAS) proposals for future realignments.
- Extensive maintenance of Mt Wells hut surrounds and fire tower.
- Improvements at Mt Cooke Group Campsite including weather proofing the shelter, installing seats and building steps.
- Preservation maintenance and inspection of River Road Bridge.
- Painting of large quantity of jarrah marker posts.
Ongoing works include:
- Removal of obsolete boot cleaning stations.
- Installation of new notice boards and signage in the shelters.
These projects involved close liaison with the Recreation and Trails Unit and with the Parks and Wildlife Districts who provided support with logistics and materials.
Recreation & Trails Unit Projects
The Southern Trail Terminus was completed in early September, providing an iconic and fitting departure or arrival point for Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail users. The facility integrates nicely with the existing park setting and was built and finished to the highest standards of quality and workmanship. The project was largely funded through the WA Recovery Plan and a grant from Great Southern Development Commission, with City of Albany project managing the construction phase.
With funding through the WA Recovery Plan, good progress was made on upgrades to eight of the aging campsites. Shelter upgrades were completed at Gringer Creek, White Horse Hills, Yourdamung, Boarding House, and Yabberup Campsites. This involved verandah extensions, new roofing, and new water tanks and plumbing plus additional tent sites.
Tenders have been received for the remaining package of works, comprising shelter upgrades at the remaining three campsites, Harris Dam, Gregory Brook and Grimwade and toilet replacements at all eight sites. This work will be rolled out as budget permits over the remainder of the financial year.
Monadnocks Group Campsite
Planning is well underway for the new Monadnocks Group Campsite, with a site selected approximately 450m east of the existing standard campsite, featuring spectacular views to the east. The new campsite will provide groups with an appealing two-night hike option combined with Mt Cooke Group Campsite and relieve the pressure on the standard campsites along the popular Monadnocks section. The various environmental and heritage surveys and approvals are underway, and the campsite design is also progressing well.
Perth Hills realignments
A package of nine potential realignments within Perth Hills District are steadily being evaluated, with the corridor evaluation stage well underway. Aboriginal heritage surveys and desktop flora surveys have been completed on most, resulting in some dropping off the list. Two have been selected to pursue as the highest priorities; one southbound from Helena Campsite, and the other southbound from Dookanelly Campsite. Dieback surveys will be the next key step for these.
Nullaki Peninsula route
Planning of a formal alignment along the Nullaki peninsula is progressing, with several options investigated, and a conceptual alignment mapped out and ground truthed. The alignment is intended to provide a formalised, sustainable trail linking the Wilson Inlet sandbar crossing with the existing trail along the northern shoreline of the peninsula. Importantly it will skirt around the threatened saltmarsh community near the tip of the peninsula and be designed to prevent erosion within the sensitive foredune vegetation.
The redesign and update of Track maps by Parks and Wildlife was completed during the year. New cardboard packaging for the northern and southern map packs was also developed. The new maps are printed on specialist paper resulting in a product that is more environmentally friendly compared to the previous plastic maps.
Other trail projects
Several trail projects funded through the WA Recovery Plan are underway that will complement or improve the Bibbulmun Track. In William Bay National Park, a dual-use trail is under construction between Elephant Rocks and Waterfall Beach, providing a fantastic loop walk when combined with the Bibbulmun Track. Planning for the Valley of the Giants trail network is progressing well, with the draft concept plan including upgrades to the Bibbulmun Track and several new trails linking with the track. In Wellington National Park near Collie, work is progressing on the Wiilman Billya trail, which will form a five-day hiking loop with the existing Bibbulmun Track and Wellington Spur Trail.
2021 – 22 FY so far:
- Led by Support Volunteers, a large group of volunteers spent two days clearing and improving the Mt Dale loop – a delightful spur off the Bibbulmun Track.
- Volunteers put some hard work into clearing and improving Ball Creek Campsite and surrounds.
- Two sections along Lights Beach were remarked.
- Parks and Wildlife and BTF volunteers managed to pave a way forward in finding a suitable route on the Nullaki Peninsula – here’s hoping the surveys and checks can provide a long-awaited final solution for an alternate route.
- Field Day at Blackwood Campsite
What’s in the pipeline…
- Two erosion control campaigns in Albany District (between now and Dec 2021)
- Preparation of loads for helicopter lift for South Coast erosion control campaign 2.
- Five erosion control campaigns on the south coast between May and November 2022.
- Field days.
- Erosion control in Dwellingup & Wellington Districts.
- Various realignments when/if approvals come through.
- Ongoing maintenance program.