Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.
12 April 2019
Growing up in Baldivis, Trevor Walley knew a low shrub whose yellow-green fruits, which he called “snottygobbles”, were sought out as bush tucker. The scientific name is persoonia saccata which is the shrub-like form and not as commonly seen as the persoonia longifolia pictured. The first popular book on Western Australian wildflowers, Emily Pelloes marvelous Wildflowers of Western Australia published in 1921, gives it the common name of ‘swottie bobs’. The next popular publication, West Australian Wild Flowers, first published by the West Australian in 1935 and running too many reprints and new editions, did not mention persoonias at all. By the publication of Rica Erickson et al’s Wildflowers of Western Australia in 1973, the whole genus persoonia was referred to as “snottygobbles’. Where did this odd name come from?
A name’s origins
Common names are part of the living, cultural heritage, reflecting ordinary people’s knowledge of the land around them. As part of getting to know Australia, settlers would have transferred familiar name to unfamiliar, but vaguely similar plants. A good example is the name ‘buttercup‘ given in Western Australia to species in the genus hibbertia, not at all related to the buttercup of Europe. But they do have golden-yellow cup-shape flowers that spangle the bush in springtime.
In the United Kingdom, yew trees have squishy fruits with a hard centre. Growing up in Wiltshire, Penny Hussey called these fruits ‘snotty gogs’ (or snotty globs’) and remembers that naughty small boys liked to put them where a girl could inadvertently squidge them—like down the neck of her blouse. The girls, of course, responded with obligatory squeals of disgust! Arriving in WA, the children would soon have discovered any squishy fruits, especially if shown them by Aboriginal friends. It is likely they simply transferred the name to their new land as an oral tradition.
Such things were not written down until much later and can change during this time, especially if they were part of the lore and language of school children. But once a name becomes formalised in a widely distributed publication, a common name ‘becomes‘ set.
So this is how we think the name snottygobble got here –via settlers’ kids. Although the plant was well known to be good bush tucker, alas no Nyoongar name—also transmitted in oral tradition—seems to have survived. Perhaps all the kids just like the name ‘snottygobble’—it is a super word—so that’s the one that remained in use.
12 April 2019
Introducing the 2019| 2020 Entertainment Book and the Entertainment Digital Membership with over $20,000 in value!
The traditional Entertainment Book that comes with the Gold Card and vouchers
The Entertainment Digital Membership that puts the value of the Entertainment Book into your iPhone or Android smartphone!
Support our Entertainment Fundraiser today by ordering your new Entertainment™ Book or Entertainment™ Digital Membership and you will be able to enjoy valuable offers as well as receive $20 Woolworths online offer and $50 Cellarmasters online offer!
$14 of your $70 purchase will go towards maintaining the Track, shelters and bridges.
1 April 2019
I purchased my first umbrella in 2016 and it proved its usefulness immediately when I was walking through Hungary in 38 degree heat on a bitumen road. The temperature dropped 7 degrees under the umbrella! It is wonderful in the rain because you don’t have to wear wet gear to stay dry, which makes you super-hot. This brilliant piece of gear saved my butt when walking into Northcliffe in a horrid thunderstorm being belted by hail; I escaped without bruises and stayed dry! The brand I use is called Swing Hands Free and it’s available online.
Snakes can be a problem and I always wear my Sea to Summit heavy duty gaiters in snake country, but I use debris gaiters to keep out sand, grit and gravel otherwise. There’s a plethora of official hiking brands of debris gaiters on the market, but I’ve discovered the Ultra Gam brand keeps 100% of all debris out. Designer style, come in super funky colours and they fix to the shoes with Velcro. You never have to pick stuff out of your socks or empty your shoes at the end of the day!
The Grab Bag by Osprey attaches to the shoulder strap adjustment on your pack and sits across the front of you. It’s an easy place to get at the things you need regularly; lip balm, knife, camera, phone, etc. when the side pockets of the pack seem way too far around the corner.
For carrying water I use the Source hydration system. You have the option of either a regular single hose or dual hose system. The dual system allows you to have both water and hydration salts ready loaded. The mouth piece has a cover so it stays clean outside the pack and the bladder can be refilled without taking it out of the pack, allowing you to top up water on the go without unpacking. A Sawyer filter can be attached directly to the system.
When you want to take a break in the bush there is often nowhere comfortable to sit down; fallen logs are often dirty, damp and moss covered. To alleviate this problem, Thermarest make two types of seat rests, also known as sit-pads or ass mats. (Ed: The latter term is used by Americans, who can't spell). Both function equally well and it’s a personal preference whether you prefer the fold-up type which is lightweight but bulky, or the blow-up type which is much smaller but heavier. Sources of this type of product include Wildearth and Military 1st.
A tent or not a tent? That is the question pondered by many walkers who are trying to reduce the weight of their packs. If you elect not to carry a tent, but still appreciate that you may not get access to a Track shelter for the night, the Z Pak tarp is the super lightweight answer.
Health is always a big concern for walkers, and looking after your body, both externally and internally when embarking on a strenuous trek is of paramount importance. These are a few suggestions that might help.
1. Rock Tape
Kinesio Taping gives support and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion. It is also used for Preventive Maintenance, Oedema, and to treat pain. There is an app for Android and Apple called Taping Guide that is a free download and works offline. You can buy Bibbulmun Track branded Rocktape here. Also check out www.rocktape.com/project/tapes-aint-tapes/
2. Cramp Stop
For cramps without chemical fix, Cramp Stop is a homeopathic remedy and is available online or in some health stores.
Traumeel is an anti-inflammatory which is homeopathic and not chemical based. Available from health stores in tablet and cream form.
4. Vital Greens
Vital Greens is a supplement for green veggies. A tablespoon a day in water gives you something different to drink and also supplies vital nutrients that you can’t get on the Track.
1 April 2019
In January 2019 a team of support volunteers returned to Swamp Oak Campsite to complete the shelter extension.
Over six days the front roof section was removed, old timberwork demolished, sleeping area extended, new rafters and posts oiled and erected, new roofing installed, and gutters and piping refitted. In addition, two new fire rings, three picnic tables and extra seating was installed.
This is the first of half a dozen campsite upgrades to increase the capacity of shelters and install additional tent sites and seating areas to meet increased demand. Walker feedback from our vision survey and workshop was taken into consideration by the Department who drew up the plans and liaised with our support volunteer coordinators.
Our sincere thanks to all the volunteers who took part in multiple trips to the campsite to plan and carry out the improvements including Lari McDonald, Hedley Amos, , Gordon Thomas, Ross Simpson, Ron Greenhalgh, , Tor Clarke, Charlie Soord and Mark Davidson. Thanks also to Department Dwellingup staff who delivered gravel, timber and other large items needed for the extension.
We are sure walkers will agree that they have done an outstanding job!
15 March 2019
In late February, Australia’s first 200 Miler ultra-marathon event, the Delirious W.E.S.T. 200 Miler, was held on the south coast. The actual course was 350 kilometres between Northcliffe and Albany along the Bibbulmun Track.
The gruelling race attracted 35 runners from six countries and 14 from interstate. Many of the 170 volunteers and support crew also travelled from outside of WA, booking out all the accommodation in Northcliffe and much of Pemberton prior to the event and staying in Albany over the final weekend.
Media attention was good and the events’ Facebook page gained 35,000 hits from people all over the world. Several highly ranked international runners are already signing up for next year and a film crew will follow the entire event from start to finish to promote it, and our stunning coastline, to the world stage.
The event organisers ensured that impact to the Track was minimal with all aid stations located off the Track and a zero-waste policy. Additionally $100 from each entry was donated to the Foundation for Track maintenance. More information here.