12 April 2023
Over the past year, seven of the older style campsites along the Bibbulmun Track have received much needed upgrades with funding provided by the WA Recovery Plan, the Forest Enhancement Fund and the Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
Just over $750,000 was spent on increasing the capacity of some of the smaller campsites including verandah extensions and larger toilets as the popularity of the Bibbulmun Track continues to grow.
Group Campsite Project
An additional $250,000 was spent on the construction of a new Group campsite approximately 450m east of the existing Monadnocks campsite. These Group campsites are built for use by schools, scouts and other community groups on sections of the track that are already regularly used by groups, to relieve pressure on the standard campsite and the impact on the individual walker experience.
The new Group campsite, named ‘Alyi-wa Miya’ by the traditional owners, meaning ‘look out camp’ is a large, open, roofed structure with just one back wall and picnic tables under the roof where classes can be held. Two water tanks are fed from the colour-bond roof and there is a large, two cubicle toilet close by. Twenty tent pads and a firepit with log seats complete the amenities and allow for the group to be close, but still spread out, around the shelter.
When combined with the existing Group campsite further south at Mt Cook, groups can now do a 2-night 3-day walk, carrying all their supplies in packs on their backs and benefiting from being out in nature and sleeping in the West Australian bush.
If you want to use these campsites with a group don’t forget to fill in a Notice of Intent form (NOI) so you don’t clash with other groups.
The Campsite Upgrades Project
Working to a tight budget as construction costs began to escalate, the DBCA Project Team, led by Trails Coordinator, Stephen King, and Project Manager, Paul Chauvel, prioritised the tasks to be done into a significant package of upgrade works across several of the aging campsites.
Shelter extensions and upgrades were completed at seven sites:
- Gringer Creek,
- White Horse Hills,
- Gregory Brook and
- Boarding House campsites.
This involved verandah extensions, new roofing, and new water tanks and plumbing with picnic tables placed under the verandah extensions.
Toilets were replaced at four sites:
- White Horse Hills,
- Boarding House and
- Gregory Brook.
Tent sites and paths were upgraded at:
- White Horse Hills and
- Grimwade campsites, increasing the number of tent sites available.
Further funding was received through a Forest Enhancement Fund grant to complete upgrades at Yourdamung campsite. Tent site and path works were completed in November 2022, and replacement of the toilet is scheduled this summer.
The Harris Dam campsite works were put on hold due to the limited budget, but the planning has been done and can be actioned when funds become available.
There is still a problem with 4-wheel drive and other off-road vehicles accessing the campsites to set up their own camp and encroaching on the enjoyment of walkers and diminishing the experience. Gates are to be installed at each end of Herold Rd, excluding unauthorised access to both existing Monadnocks campsite and group campsite. Walkers are requested to take photos of any offending vehicles and send them to the Recreation and Trails Unit at DBCA for possible further action.
The department (DBCA) and the Bibbulmun Track Foundation (BTF) continue to work closely together on maintenance issues;
- to identify sections of the Track that need attention,
- do the planning and the prioritisation,
- apply for funding,
- ascertain whether the work needs to be done by a private contractor or whether the BTF’s Support Volunteer team can do it, or whether it might be a combination of both.
The District teams are engaged and informed, and they coordinate and supervise the work to ensure the Bibbulmun Track’s high standards are consistent.
Out of the 470 Bibbulmun Track registered Volunteers more than 350 are Track maintenance volunteers who head out several times a year inspecting, reporting and doing the smaller jobs that need to be done to keep the Track in a tip-top condition.