Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.
14 December 2020
Pemberton Discovery Tours have been operating in the stunning Southern Forests Region for over 10 years. Owned and operated by highly knowledgeable and environmentally conscious locals Toni and Graeme Dearle, you’re guaranteed to not only have fun, but enjoy a unique and educating experience as they guide you through the stunning region they call home. Join Pemberton Discovery Tours Eco adventure on a half day tour enjoying fresh air, scenic drives and space whilst exploring the unique diversity of the Southern Forests & Valleys region.
Discover the majestic Karri Forest giants, landlocked Yeagarup Dunes, coastal Heath and the coastline to the mouth of the Warren River near Pemberton with owner and guide Graeme onboard his comfortable 4WD vehicle.
Tour depart daily and include a picnic lunch or afternoon tea. Bookings are essential. Call us on 97760484 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info visit us online at www.pembertondiscoverytours.com.au
Did you know?
You can book a Bibbulmun Track Transfer service in advance on the Pemberton Discovery Tours website! It’s super quick, easy and you’ll get email confirmation once the booking is locked in. Please get in touch over the phone first to confirm pricing and availability. Book online here!
14 December 2020
Blue Moon Forest Lodge is one of the most beautiful places you could ever imagine. The huge, completely private, self-contained, top level accommodation of this magnificent house is yours to enjoy, with private wheelchair accessible parking and entry.
Blue Moon Forest Lodge are passionate about their region and in offering you the most enjoyable holiday possible and they are proud to be announced as a 5 time Superhost on Airbnb.
There are 100 acres of natural and some partly cleared forest to explore. Walk to your hearts content but we do recommend that you stay within sight of the boundary fences. Stunning Glenoran Pool is only a 10-minute walk from Blue Moon Forest Lodge.
There is a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare your lunch or evening meals. No need to go to town to eat – so bring some good wine, perhaps use the barbecue to prepare a nice meal and relax, either indoors or in the warmer weather, on the huge surround verandas and enjoy the most beautiful scenery you could ever imagine. Keep your eyes peeled in the evenings as often you will see kangaroos go bounding past or rabbits digging away on the front lawn.
Enjoy a chat with your host Bill. Bill is a most interesting character. A 5th generation West Aussie with a broad knowledge of the fauna and flora of this region. Bill is the Deputy Chairman of Southern Forest Community Landcare with a primary role of maintenance of the environment of our magnificent freshwater river systems. Their group is responsible for feral animal control, weed control, soil improvement techniques, advice to Farmers and Horticulturists.
Not far from Blue Moon Forest Lodge is a range of experiences. Enjoy the stunning and globally unique landscapes and forests, listen to the sounds of the birds. Sample the amazing range of foods and delicate wines. Explore the Manjimup Heritage Park. There is so much to do, you will not want to leave!
This is the perfect base for Bibbulmun track hikers. You can leave your car at Blue Moon Forest Lodge in absolute safety, hike out in the morning and arrange transport back to the Lodge at the end of your day.
Enjoy the luxury of a hot shower, a comfortable bed, a glass of local wine and a good meal. All facilities are provided.
We have had several groups stay at Blue Moon Forest Lodge for 3 or 4 nights. They bring a friend with them who drives them out in the morning and picks them up to return to the Lodge in the evening.
We will happily help out with transport if requested in advance.
Book online or make an enquiry here.
3 December 2020
The Friendship Trails project is an initiative of the World Trails Network, whereby trails in different countries team up in the name of partnership, mutual publicity and international cooperation. It is hoped the concept of Friendship Trails will spread internationally to promote the culture of walking and boost tourism. This will promote the sharing of information regarding building and maintenance of trails and management of trail organisations. The Bibbulmun Track Foundation aims to identify nine international trails to pair with each of the nine sections of our Track.
We have established two Friendship Trails with the Bruce Trail in Canada (Balingup to DRV section)
and the Jeju Olle in South Korea (Denmark to Albany section).
An agreement has been signed with the Transcarioca Trail in Brazil (Kalamunda to Dwellingup), but progress has been delayed due to COVID-19. A fourth agreement is being established with the El Camino de Costa Rica (DRV to Pemberton section).
Impact of COVID-19 on World Network Trails.
COVID-19 affected all trails world-wide, including our partners…
Jeju Olle, South Korea
“We are still asked to refrain from big gatherings, but small gatherings are now allowed, with the condition of wearing masks at all times. As such, we have resumed our programs and outdoor events.”
“In Korea, we had seen rapid decrease in cases until couple weeks ago; however, we have just had group infections which could lead to a wider spread than the first wave in Korea. Consequently, Korea now has stage two social distance rules which limits gathering to 50 people at indoor events and 100 people at outdoor events.”
Bruce Trail Conservancy, Canada
“We have resumed our hiking program with restrictions on group sizes. The hikes must maintain social distance, there is no carpooling or organised overnight trips allowed We also have not resumed our larger events and are taking a very cautious approach to fully reopening. Most of our staff are working from home and our region is requiring masks in all indoor public spaces. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100, with social distancing measures.”
The Thousand Miles Trail Association, Taiwan
“The Thousand Miles Trail Association (TMI Trail) has been back to normal since May, with restrictions on public gatherings lifted. However, people still have to give their names and contact details at gatherings and events, practice good personal hygiene and wear face masks if they cannot keep a safe distance from others or when using public transportation. All our events that were postponed from February to April have resumed and people are eager to get outdoors”
Cotswold Way National Trail
“All activities stopped on March 23rd and staff are still working from home. Our volunteers continued to walk as part of the Governments exercise outdoors allowance in the first few months, but with restrictions lifted they are now walking the Trail as before, avoiding busy times and carrying hand sanitizers! We have not restarted our guided walks. Our work parties only restarted in early July with maximum groups of six. The countryside has been extremely busy and we have seen more people out walking and picnicking than ever before.”
Paths of Greece
“We went into lockdown soon after the first cases, and this helped our country to have very low numbers of infections. The price to pay was the impossibility to go outdoors, especially for city dwellers. During lockdown, the amazing thing was that Greeks - for the first time in history—started walking like crazy in the cities! In late May, restrictions were lifted and people started exploring our trails again. However, due to closed borders we lost the spring hiking season. Now in summer, the pandemic seems uncontrollable and almost all of our trails are closed.”
The Bibbulmun Track Foundation is doing well. The Western Australian border is closed, and COVID-19 cases have remained manageable. The Track is very busy with people who would normally go overseas looking at alternatives. Our Marketing Manager has been encouraging people to get out into our beautiful outdoors and our membership has shown a small but steady increase. We cancelled or postponed many of our events but are now running them again.
To all our Friendship partners, the BTF hopes everyone is able to keep well throughout this challenging time and that it won’t be long before we can visit each other’s countries again.
23 November 2020
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the Foundation really couldn’t achieve what it does without the work of all our volunteers. Whether holding the fort in the office, carrying out Track inspection and maintenance, guiding events, collecting and processing Track user statistics, and more – every one of our nearly 450 volunteers is truly appreciated.
To recognise this contribution, all volunteers were invited to a “thank you” morning tea on 15 November. This annual event includes the acknowledgement of volunteer contributions made during the previous year, as well as the recognition of long-standing volunteers. It’s an opportunity to share the successes and challenges of the year, and catch up with other lovers of the Track.
Volunteer Manager Helen Grimm thanked volunteers for their efforts during the year – for continuing their contribution if they were able during the period of ‘lockdown’ and travel restrictions, and for making up for lost time when restrictions lifted. She thanked all volunteers for their ongoing commitment and dedication, especially when working in isolation from the core of the organisation.
Volunteers also heard from Board Chair Kath Broderick, and from Support Volunteer coordinator Charlie Soord about some of the projects completed during the year.
Regional events were also held in Albany (for Albany District volunteers) and Peaceful Bay (for Frankland District volunteers).
19 November 2020
In the Vision Survey undertaken in 2017, members were asked
“Are there any sections of Track which, if an alternative is available, you think should be realigned?”
While two-thirds of respondents indicated that realignments of the Track were not needed – 31% felt strongly that the Track should be taken off gravel roads and 4WD tracks where possible.
In some circumstances, use of roads as part of the Track is unavoidable. Constraints include: local flora and fauna, private property, Dieback disease and water catchment areas.
However, the list of suggested realignments was compiled along with input from BTF staff and volunteers.
A small SV team set about walking them all over several seasons to determine where realignment wasn’t necessary but improved erosion control – with regular maintenance – would be sufficient. The final list, about 75% of the original, included track sections in Perth Hills, Wellington, Blackwood and Frankland Districts.
Based on requests made to P&WS before the vision survey, approvals were granted for three realignments to bypass severely eroded track between Helena and Waalegh. They were constructed during 2017/2018 and have made a great improvement to walkers’ enjoyment.
Realignment approvals must be submitted using DBCA’s Disturbance Approval System (DAS). From the DAS opening statement “The objective of the DAS is to inform the assessment of risk to environmental, social and economic values of a proposed activity on lands managed by the DBCA. The purpose is to ensure approved activities are consistent with departmental objectives, associated management plans, land use categories, and to remove or minimise impacts to As Low As is Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).”
To speed the process two SVs, who volunteer in the department’s Recreation and Trails Unit, have been trained in submitting online DAS proposals. They soon discovered the necessary complexity in gaining the first approval. Time spent with local P&WS staff, particularly Flora and Fauna Conservation Officers and Regional Aboriginal Engagement, resulted in desktop and field survey reports that were attached to the DAS.
In early October approval was received for the first proposal, a short realignment in the Quarram Nature Reserve between Boat Harbour and Parry Beach. That realignment was constructed in early November, the final part of the South Coast stabilisation work under the NRM Grant.
Preliminary work has started on DAS inputs for Perth Hills and Wellington District realignments, while further DAS proposals will start for three in Frankland. One Frankland realignment will move the track off Ficifolia Road, vastly improving walker safety.
Almost all work for the planned realignments has been, and will be, performed by support and sectional volunteers.
Construction will start in 2021. In the meantime, the Foundation’s volunteers will continue with their maintenance and other project work to improve the Track in line with our Vision for the next 10-20 years.