Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.
25 February 2019
It is always great to received positive feedback from organisations who have benifited from one of our services. Late last year one of our trained presenters visited the Bush Rangers from Emmanuel Catholic College to share with them some key points before they headed out on their camp. Some of the topics covered included expedition planning using maps, minimal impact guidelines (Leave No Trace), food suggestions, equipment for overnight walking and first aid and safety.
I just thought I would let you know that my Year 8 Bush Rangers Unit completed their walk from Fern Road through to the Perth Hills Campsite on the 15 November 2018 on a rather hot day. Oh and they did it with a little 2 hour detour as they went the wrong way at the beginning of the track (they were heading to Kalamunda!). We did stop and say a prayer of thanks when we saw that the Mundaring Weir bridge was open and we wouldn’t have to climb all the stairs down and back up again!
The students were constantly reminding each other of things you mentioned in your talk to them – stay together as a group, we need to slow down and walk together, our breaks start when the last person gets here! I honestly believe your presentation did a lot for them.
Our section leaders did an amazing job and managed to navigate the students all the way to the finish line where we had extra ice-creams waiting for the very hot crew. The camp was so successful that we are going to run it again in the same format this year. We will be in touch with you to ask you to come out and speak to the new batch of Bush Rangers.
Thank you again for your assistance and knowledge – it was greatly appreciated.
We are really glad the presentation had a positive impact and that the school will be doing it again.
14 December 2018
Walking over summer
If you are considering walking over this summer, please restrict your walks to day walks (duration of one day). We advise that you check the weather and fire forecasts. If the fire danger is Very High or above we recommend walkers don’t go out on the Track, or leave if they are already out. If in doubt, and the weather forecast is for hot (and windy) conditions, the recommendation is not to go walking.
Watch this video about bushwalker safety and fire. It shows how close a walker came to perishing in a bushfire in January 2018 at a Bibbulmun Track campsite.
It is usually too hot to walk in the peak of summer.
It is strongly recommended that you do not carry out any extended walk between December and the start of March anywhere on the Track.
If you do go out, you must be able to self-evacuate in the event of a bushfire as a rescue may not be possible.
The Track gets very hot and the bushfire risk is extreme. Temperatures can range from low 30s to mid-40s. In recent years the Track has been severely impacted by bushfires with the destruction of campsites and other structures which fire fighters were not able to save due to the ferocity of the fires. Much of the Track is difficult to access quickly in an emergency and more so during a bushfire.
Please plan to walk outside of these months and avoid putting your life at risk and the lives of those that may need to rescue you.
Day walks in the karri forest can be comfortable on cooler days (temperatures less than 27 degrees). We advise people planning a day walk to check the weather and fire forecasts. Again, if the fire danger is ‘very high’ or above it is strongly recommend people don’t go out on the Track. The south coast, although may be cooler, offers little protection from the sun due to the lack of a forest canopy and fire spreads more quickly in open bush and grassland. Even when walking in winter, always cover up and wear a hat and sunscreen.
Some key points to remember:
- Plan your visits for cooler periods of the year, avoiding the hot summer months.
- Check the Fire Danger Rating and do not go on the trails if the forecast is Very High or above.
- Do not do extended multi-day trips as it is not possible to keep up with changing conditions (extremely limited mobile phone coverage) and it is difficult to self-evacuate from the trail at short notice. You must be able to self-evacuate in the event of a bushfire.
- Avoid remoter sections of the trail where there is limited vehicle access.
- Abide by all trail closure signage, and any instructions from Parks and Wildlife and other emergency staff.
- Trails and parks may be closed on days when the Fire Danger Rating is Very High or above.
More info about total fire bans and permanent fire bans at specific Bibbulmun Track campsites.
More info about bush fires and safety.
Campfire bans are in place at many campsites on the Bibbulmun Track.
Walkers are not permitted to light any campfires or wood operated stoves where campfire bans are in place. Please carry and use a liquid fuel stove.
Campfire bans will begin from December 1. Once in place, they will continue to April 2019 depending on weather conditions. Please check the Section By Section guide (under Trip Planner) for any changes.
Check the Section by Section Guide relevant to the section you are walking for other impacts. There are likely to be some sections of the Track that will be impacted by bushfires this summer.
On certain days, a total fire ban will be in force where walkers are not permitted to light a fuel stove either. For information about locations of current total fire bans call 1800 709 355 or visit the www.emergency.wa.gov.au/.
No fires are permitted at any time of year at two campsites in the northern section (Yourdamung and Blackwood) and between the Mt Chance campsite (south of Northcliffe) through to Albany.
We strongly encourage walkers to always use fuel stoves to cook on whenever they are walking the Bibbulmun Track. Campfires are great to sit around, but they can have an adverse effect on the environment.
13 December 2018
Congratulations to our two winners:
"A Hiking Adventure" by Tanika Schoeman
"Rocky Pool Trail Walk" by Adayna Fozdar
It was extremely close between all entries so congratulations to you all!
Everyone will be receiving a small prize in the post over the next few weeks.
Thank you all for your participation we have greatly enjoyed reading all your adventures.
Below are the 4 top entries:
A Hiking Adventure
by Tanika Schoeman
We were walking along the Bibbulmun Track near Albany. It was a hot afternoon. We could smell the sea, but all we could see was the bush along the track. Dad was in the front. My sister and I were behind him and Mum was dreaming along at the back. We met a fisherman who told us that there was a whale stranded down at the beach.
It was very exciting. We decided to hurry along. Dad was panting. Cicadas were singing loudly. The sandy path winded up and down hills. I heard a rustle in the bushes. I wondered what it was.
Finally we were stumbling down the dune that would take us to the beach. I saw something in the distance. It was a big, black blob. We scurried along the shore. As we came closer, the blob started looking like a whale. I ran ahead. My feet were numb with cold from the icy sand and water. Would I be able to touch the whale?
At last I arrived. I was a bit scared and stood back. The others caught up to me.
“Wow!” said Dad.
My sister was gaping.
“Look at his eyes,” said Mum. The whale’s eyes were as black as the night.
At first we didn’t know whether it was alive. After some time we realised it was not. It was moving, but it was just the waves that were pushing its tail around. It had marks from where it had been washed up on the rocks. I was sad. Mum took a photograph. Guess what? I got to touch the whale! We stayed with the whale for a long time. I felt the scrapes on its body. We found the blowhole. It was tightly shut. The teeth were sharp and pointy. They were as big as my pinky. The skin was rough in places, but smooth in other places.
It was starting to get dark. It was time to go back. We had seen a beautiful whale.
“Goodbye, Whale. Thank you,” I said sadly.
We hurried back to the path and started walking along the track. The walk was uphill. We had to be quick, because it was getting dark. I pumped my arms hard, so I could go faster. I was sweating. Mum and dad were worn out. My sister asked for a drink. I was feeling so happy. I was sad the whale was dead, but happy we got to see it. In the trees I heard an owl hooting. Maybe it was a Boobook Owl.
When we arrived back at our tent, the stars were shining. We cooked sausages on the fire and went to bed early. That night we all slept well, listening to the sounds of the bush. Mostly it was quiet.
The next morning we carried on along the Bibbulemun track. We finished our walk and went home tired. We will always remember the day we saw and touched the whale.
Rocky Pool Trail Walk
By Adayna Fozdar
One sunny afternoon, the Fozdar family set off for a trail walk. This was our second attempt at this walk, because the first time we got a bit lost. But this time we didn’t because we parked at Jorgenson Park car park and followed the Bibbulmun Track signs to get to Rocky Pool. During the walk, we saw lots of beautiful wildflowers and lots of sticky brown mud. A funny moment was when Amin, my brother, stepped on some very stick and squishy mud. “It felt like my feet were sinking down and down and my brand new shoes got completely covered in mud”, Amin said.
The walk was very bumpy and sometimes very steep. But it was worth it in the end. Once we got there, we could see the Rocky Pool’s stream and the big towering rocks behind it. We dipped our feet in the stream. It was cold and refreshing. After that, we packed up and walked back to the car park. We drove home while watching the sunset.
I think this was a good walk in the end and I would recommend it for all family walks. ��
The Bibbulmun Track
I love my visits to the Bibbulmun track. Our heavy packs are full, chucked in the boot and off we go…
We drive to the start and have a little play. The carpark is mostly gravel, but there is bush on both sides of the road, so we have an energetic play in the undergrowth.
Though the walks are exhausting, I still like going through the bush because I get to see all the native plants and sometimes blue-tongue lizards too. Along the track, there are enormous logs and rocks that we stop at to explore while we rest and snack. I love it when Mum hands out chocolate to give us ‘Chocolate Legs’! The chocolate makes me walk faster and gets me up the steep and tiring hills. Occasionally we pass a yellow Bibbulmun Track wagul. Sometimes we even have a little competition to see who spots a wagul first.
We get to the hut and I’m really happy. I always write in the hut book and have a well-deserved rest. When I feel lively again, I love to play on the rocks, the logs and amongst the grass trees and the gum trees as I explore the bush. I like to get charcoal all over my face. I search for witchetty grubs in all the dead grass trees that have fallen onto the leaf-covered ground. I like to gather sap from the grass trees which I melt over the fire or keep to trade with the other kids. I also collect long sticks to roast my sausages and marshmallows on. We keep an eye out for firewood to collect.
In the evenings, I like to help light the campfire with fire starters and firewood. Then we cook a dinner of couscous, peas and German sausages. Yum! Sometimes, as a treat, we roast scrumptious, marshmallows on the campfire for dessert. Burnt, gooey ones are extra yummy! We enjoy a warm cup of soup after dinner. We play Spotlight or 44-Home before we wrap up warm, snuggle up in our sleeping bags all toasty and ready for a good night’s sleep.
In the morning we eagerly light the fire and warm ourselves up - it’s always cold at that time of day! After we’ve had our breakfast and packed up our belongings, the day warms up and we have our last play. Now it’s time to heave on our packs.
Once again we make our way down the track. As we get closer to the car, I start to look forward to going home.
Back in the carpark, we say goodbye to our friends and head off on the bumpy road leading home.
Yay! Home Sweet Home. I take off my sweaty boots, have a shower and wash my hair. That night I am happy to be back home, clean and warm in my very own bed.
What a great weekend away!
I’m looking forward to my next Bibbulmun Track adventure already!
The Bibbulman Track
By Jessica Gauntlett
The Bibbulman Track is in the middle of no-where; It has
A charred black forest, a boiling hot sun, a 3 sided hut, a long drop toilet
That always has spiders on its seat and is even home to the weirdest wildlife that I always search for.
My siblings, friends and I do what happy kids do, making cubbies out of sticks and leaves, warming our hands by the crackling fire, waking up to fog surrounding the valley, prowling around in the dark playing spotlight and carving weapons with our pocket knives.
Bringing home souvenirs of the bush.
26 October 2018
The Parks and Wildlife Service are currently undertaking a number of prescribed burns.
Make sure you stay up to date with closures and diversions along the Track.
Where prescribed burning operations impact on the Track, temporary diversions will be put in place. Where the Track is diverted, walkers should follow the Waugal trail markers on yellow metal posts. Walkers should always adhere to instructions on signs posted on the Track for their own safety.
Prescribed burning operations are dependent on appropriate weather conditions and as such, dates for operations are often not available until the day of the burn.
As soon as we know a burn is about to take place, we will post the information on the Realignments/Diversions section of the relevant Section by Section guide.
Please check it before you head out.
19 October 2018
The Bibbulum Track is now twenty years old and showing wear and tear at various places along its length often due to erosion from rain made worse by the Track running almost straight up and down hill in places. Conventional repair methods have produced short-lived results requiring frequent time-consuming maintenance. Wind has also accelerated erosion along the south coast particularly at Conspicuous cliffs where the delicate sand layer has disappeared in places to expose the underlying limestone base.
The rising popularity of walking and mountain biking has lead to developments in durable trail design, construction and maintenance, which are being applied to the Track in a strategic programme of realignments or stabilisation.
Walkers will have experienced recent realignments in the Perth Hills District near Mann’s Gully and Waalegh and Canning campsites where realignments have been designed and constructed to cross the slope rather than go straight down like the old route, with the intention of eliminating erosion from rain. The presence of rock in several areas provided a solid base enabling the route to descend before returning to join the existing alignment.
While realignments using the new design principles might produce a more durable trail they do require a range of lengthy and sometimes costly approvals and might bypass some of those spectacular views for which the Bibbulmun Track is renowned, such as the top of Conspicuous cliffs. In such cases boardwalks or stabilisation of the existing trail using plastic cellular pavers are options.
A group of Bibbulmun Track Support Volunteers has been trained by Parks and Wildlife staff and earlier this year assessed sites of erosion and inundation between Conspicuous cliffs and Parry Campground. The report recommended a mix of stabilisation and realignments some of which will be constructed over a number of years.
Following the findings of the 2017 Vision Workshop other sections of Track have been selected for possible realignment or stabilisation and, if feasible, will be included in an overall improvements programme for implementation by the Foundation’s maintenance volunteers supported by Parks and Wildlife.