Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.
14 March 2022
Thanks to the WA government's Natural Resource Management grant, preparations are underway to repair sections of the Bibbulmun Track in the Boat Harbour region, which will include stabilising sand, addressing erosion, maintaining signage, as well as restoring stairs and other structures. The preparation of this project is the culmination of months of detailed planning and is a major milestone in the Boat Harbour works.
The transport of materials and equipment to remote areas of the Track required substantive coordinated planning and logistics by Bibbulmun Track Foundation volunteers. Works will stabilise the Track similar to what was achieved on Conspicuous Cliffs and sections near Parry Beach in 2020.
In late February a team of Bibbulmun Track Foundation Support Volunteers travelled to Walpole to cut, drill, sort, bag, strap and mark over 10 tonnes (33 loads) of materials at the Parks and Wildlife yard in readiness for airlifting to selected drop off points beside the Track on both sides of Boat Harbour. While that was underway other support volunteers marked the 22 carefully chosen stockpile locations to make them more visible from the air.
In close collaboration with crew from Frankland Dept of Parks and Wildlife, 33 loads of materials and equipment were loaded and transported to a paddock near Parry Beach ready for helicopter delivery to the designated stockpile locations beside the Track in March.
The strong partnership between Bibbulmun Track Foundation and Parks & Wildlife to secure and mobilise materials and equipment has meant remote sections of the Track can be restored.
Actual stabilisation work will be carried out in four-day working campaigns starting in May and proceeding through the winter months until complete.
This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.
11 February 2022
The Bibbulmun Track Foundation offers a variety of events to suit all ages and most fitness levels.
From guided walks to learning how to cook amazing food on a fuel stove you're sure to find something that interests you!
Our events calendar is published online twice a year.
It includes day walks, overnight walks, ladies only walks, kids'events, and range of seminars and workshops.
There are still places available on our Easter trek - Great Southern Expedition. Experience walking along rugged coast lines and sandy beaches, coastal inlets and traverse high points overlooking the great Southern Ocean?
31 January 2022
The Bibbulmun Track Foundation (BTF) maintains a pool of 20+ volunteer guides who lead bushwalks on the Bibbulmun Track as part of our events program. The program aims to promote the Track as accessible to the broadest range of the population as well as educate and encourage community participation.
In 2009 the BTF overhauled its in-house Guide Training Program. The scope of the project was to design a training program which adhered to the then Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) and aligned itself to the Industry Training Package (SRO03 - Outdoor Recreation Industry Training Package). The scope also recognised that the program would be tailored to the BTF for its volunteers and implemented as an in-house only program.
The program includes the use of several training and assessment tools including a comprehensive manual, checklists, online assessments, videos, scenarios in-the-field mentoring walks, and training and assessment exercises.
The current training program has served the BTF, its volunteer guides and thousands of participants well since 2009 and has been incrementally updated as required.
Recently there have been:
- updates to the AAS (now the Australian Adventure Activity Standards – AAAS),
- the introduction of the Good Practice Guides (GPGs) and
- considerable changes to the industry training package (SIS - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package) released in 2019.
Outdoors WA identified that many non-profit bushwalking organisations are each running their own version of guide training and with limited resources. Consequently, training may not be fully compliant with the AAAS and the industry training package.
In 2021, the BTF successfully applied for a Hiking Participation Grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC).
As part of the project, the BTF
- updated its current Guide Training Program to incorporate the recent changes to industry standards,
- develop new and/or improve training and assessment tools where required,
- develop a template of the program so that it is easily transferable to other bushwalking organisations,
- develop and deliver a comprehensive workshop to ‘train the trainer’, sharing the BTF’s Guide Training Program enabling organisations to familiarise themselves with the program and proceed to train their own guides.
One of the project aims was to reduce the workload and cost for organisations that is required to develop such a program under the AAAS. The project was made available to WA based organisations that lead bushwalks in WA. While the BTFs Guide Training program is primarily set up for volunteer guides, the project was made available to the sector including WA commercial operators.
The intensive two-day workshop was held in January 2022 to train organisational representatives on how to develop a training program based on the Cert III in Outdoor Leadership and the AAAS. The workshop instructed participants on how to:
- use and adapt templates of the mapping matrices (the basis of the BTF’s Guide Training Program) to their organisational needs
- develop relevant training and assessment tools
- be compliant the the AAAS, the Core GPG, the Bushwalking GPG and the Camping GPG.
Participants in the workshop were from a range of areas within the industry including bushwalking clubs, community based non-profit organisations, outdoor youth groups and commercial tour operators.
The workshop, and the included resources, provided organisations with a template program to train their volunteer guides to the standard set by the Industry Training Package and the AAAS, ie the to the same level as a professional bushwalking guide.
Feedback from participants in the workshop was overwhelmingly positive and acknowledged the tremendous effort by the Bibbulmun Track Foundation in developing the project.
For more information on the AAAS and the GPGs, visit https://australianaas.org.au/
For more information on the SIS - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package and the Cert III in Outdoor Leadership, visit https://training.gov.au/training/details/sis
We wish to acknowledge the support of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries in making this project possible.
7 December 2021
What a year it has been! With the unprecedented amount of wet weather this year, we are seeing more track maintenance issues than usual. Flooding, washouts, diversions, trees down - our maintenance volunteers have more than likely come across them.
In the past 3 months we received up to 150 report requests for track and campsite maintenance.
As a result, everyone from maintenance volunteers, support volunteers, the office team and Parks and Wildlife officers have made a concerted effort in keeping the Bibbulmun Track open and safe for hikers.
On top of the weather generating so much track work, and since Covid 19 has limited interstate and overseas travel, we are seeing more individuals, families, schools and groups using the Track. The Track has never been more popular!
This year our maintenance volunteers have worked exceptionally hard and its almost unbelievable to think (considering may of our volunteers are retirees) - what they have achieved.
Much of the work is done by hand, using hand secateurs and tree loppers, which can sometimes take days to clear extensive overgrowth of vegetation. However, with the emergence of lightweight battery powered tools, we are hoping to acquire more in future to reduce the burden of work and time it takes.
Apart from clearing, some of the key tasks our volunteers have undertaken in the past 3 months are:
- Restored the Mt Dale circuit (a delightful loop off the Bibbulmun Track) after it had been closed for several months. Day walkers can now enjoy some beautiful scenery along this route.
- Nurtured the 900 trees and shrubs planted to revegetate the Blackwood campsite area after bushfires, despite the bleak and rainy weather.
- Refurbished handrails on One Tree Bridge over the Donnelly River.
- Walked kilometres to inspect track marking and tree stability where fires have been through, including remarking 19.7 klms of track after a prescribed burn.
- At campsites, volunteers installed or replaced shelter and camp signage, refixed gutters, installed gutter guards, installed or cleared tank drainage. They also sanded and oiled benches, tables as well as oiled exposed timber.
- Along the track near Mutton Bird campsite, 11 volunteers in 4 days installed 260 new/reconfigured log water bars for erosion control, (with many logs having to be carried in by hand), stripped down and rebuilt 14 metres of boardwalk, installed 16 waymarking posts and 11 regulatory signs.
- Some recently walked the south coast part of the Track to inspect kilometres of sand erosion for planned restoration activities in 2022. This work also involved calculating the logistics, materials required and helicopter drop locations - a major exercise for next year.
Our long partnership with Parks and Wildlife officers has also meant that we are able to work closely with them in the management of the Track and utilise each other’s skills, expertise and resources to have a world class track for everyone to enjoy.
26 November 2021
2021 WA Seniors Awards winners were announced on Thursday, 25 November 2021
Contributions of seniors, businesses and local governments celebrated yesterday included James Freeman who was recognised for the many years of volunteer work with the Bibbulmun Track Foundation.
The annual WA Seniors Awards celebrate and recognise the valued contributions of seniors, businesses and local governments within the community.
James (Jim) Freeman, formerly of Merredin and now living in Mandurah, is the WA Senior of the Year - Regional. Jim is recognised for his 23 years of dedication and volunteer service to the Bibbulmun Track Foundation since its inception in 1997. Jim has volunteered in the Foundation offices, lead events as a guide for the Foundation and maintained parts of the Bibbulmun Track for 20 years, which involved walking sections of the track four times per year, often involving eight-hour return drives from his home in Merredin.
The 2021 WA Seniors Awards were presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) in partnership with the State Government.
The Minister for Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch said the WA Seniors Awards have again recognised the very best individuals, local governments and businesses who contribute to an age-friendly Western Australia. Recognising and celebrating the great value older people bring to community life is so important and the WA Seniors Awards are a great way to celebrate older peoples' contributions.