Balingup

Balingup to Donnelly River Village | Distance: 58km

Along The Track

Another short section between towns, this section of Track is known as a section of transition. For the first time, south-bound walkers will see trees that appear nowhere else in the world. The jarrah, marri and yarri forests soon give way to the majestic karri forest, the second tallest flowering gum in the world. This transition signifies the reaching of the halfway point along the Track - a fabulous milestone for the end-to-end walker. An early morning at the Blackwood campsite, perched high above the Blackwood River, is typically characterised by the rising and falling mist in the valley below, whilst warming rays of sunshine penetrate the pine trees to the east. Walker encounter the famous cardiac hill as they descend to the Blackwood River. There will always be much discussion around the campfire whether it is easier going up or down! At Gregory Brook campsite, the brook bubbles by as walkers look high up to the flowering banksias in the spring. Following a few more rail formations, walkers soon arrive at the small village at Donnelly River - time to take off the boots, relax on the verandah of the general store and watch the emus and kangaroos try to steal your ice cream!

Find out more in Along the Track.

Highlights

  • Golden Valley Tree Park.
  • Amazing displays of orchids in the spring.
  • Swimming at the Mt Jones dam.
  • The Greenbushes Loop trail.
  • Outstanding views from Blackwood campsite.
  • Southampton Homestead.
  • The Blackwood and Donnelly Rivers.
  • Karri Gully picnic area and the first occurrence of the karri forest on the Track for walkers heading south.
  • Donnelly River Village - an old mill town converted into a holiday village with abundant kangaroos, emus and other birds.
  • This section of the Bibbulmun Track is twinned with a section of the Bruce Trail in Canada. Find out more about our Friendship Trails.

Interesting Places

  • Various arts and craft centres including the Old Cheese Factory Craft Centre and Lavender Farm.
  • Take the family for a picnic at the Golden Valley Tree Park.
  • Greenbushes Town and Eco-discovery Centre is a high quality interactive museum, which houses unique displays and interactive games to highlight the area’s environment, industry and heritage.
  • The Greenbushes tin mine is the world's largest producer of tantalum. Its lookout is worth a visit.

Day Walks

  1. Balingup to Scenic View and back (15.2km). 
  2. Golden Valley Tree Park to Scenic View and back (13.2km). Follow Southampton Rd south of Balingup. Look for signs to the Golden Valley Tree Park.
  3. Southampton Bridge to Blackwood campsite and back (7.8km, steep). Southampton Bridge is 15km south of Balingup on Southampton Rd.
  4. Greenbushes Loop trail.  15km (including 5km on the Track) circuit walk which links the old tin mining town of Greenbushes to the Track. Pick up the start of the Greenbushes Loop in Greenbushes.
  5. Karri Gully to Gregory Brook campsite and back (8km). Drive along the Brockman Highway from Nannup (approx. 20km) or Bridgetown (approx. 28km). Watch for signs at Karri Gully.
  6. Karri Gully to Donnelly River Village one-way (16.8km).  
  7. Donnelly River Village to Willow Springs and back (22.2km). From just south of Bridgetown drive along the Brockman Highway to Mokerdillup Rd. Look for signs to Donnelly River Village.

Overnight Walks

  1. Balingup to Blackwood campsite return (35.4km, two days, one night).
  2. Balingup to Karri Gully one-way (40.2km, two or three days, one or two night(s). 
  3. Balingup to Donnelly River Village one-way (56.2km, three days, two nights). 

Getting There

Balingup is 233km south of Perth, a drive of approx. two hours and forty minutes, via the Kwinana Freeway, Forrest Highway and the South Western Highway. 

TransWA operate daily to Balingup. Take the Australind train (the Perth to Bunbury train) from Perth city to Bunbury then the connecting bus to Balingup.

There is no public transport to Donnelly River Village. TransWa operate services to Bridgetown and Manjimup daily. A taxi operates from Bridgetown and Manjimup. Some accommodation providers will transfer you to the Track, provided you are staying with them.

To drive to Donnelly River, take the South Western Highway via Balingup to Bridgetown. Turn right onto the Brockman Highway soon after crossing the Blackwood River Bridge at the south end of the main street in Bridgetown. Turn left into Mokerdillup Rd and follow signs to Donnelly River Village.

Reflections from the Register

Blackwood campsite

It’s good to be back on the track again after spending a week back in the city. Certainly won’t miss all that noise and traffic. It’s good to see so many people going end-to-end. Spending the night here resting my sore legs.
Marko  07/09/02

We were looking forward to a long night’s sleep …but not to be. With horizontal rain and gale force swirling winds arriving in the form of a sooper dooper storm we had a very soggy night indeed. But this morning has more than made up for it -  a fantastic sunrise and the clouds have cleared!
Craig, Elyse and Mon 03/08/03

Gregory Brook campsite

Pickle me grandmother, strewth, crickey, it’s raining cats and dogs, the heavens have opened, rain, rain, go away, come back on another day. What further wonderful experience has Mother Nature in store for me today? At least the water tanks are filling up.
Paul Adams Oz   18/06/02

Just passing through from the Czech Republic.
Jarda, Petra and Martin  10/04/02 (Ed: That’s one hell of a long walk!)

Track Towns

  • Balingup

    Balingup is a popular destination for our Bibbulmun Walking Break packages as, in addition to lovely scenery, the town offers an interesting variety of shops and some fabulous places to eat.

  • Donnelly River Village

    The half-way point of the Track is the historic mill town of Donnelly River Village (DRV) nestled in the valley of the river from which it was named. DRV is now a holiday village famed for its tame wildlife and tranquil forest setting.

Weather

Full weather details available from Balingupand Donnelly River Village.

Maps and Guides

Parks and Wildlife Service

Blackwood District

Mumballup (Donnybrook-Boyup Brook Rd) to Willow Springs (Gold Gully Rd)
Including Noggerup campsite to Gregory Brook campsite
 

Contact: Andrew Sandri (blackwood@dbca.wa.gov.au)
Telephone: (08) 9731 6232

Opening times: 8am - 5pm, Monday to Friday

Address:

South West Highway
KIRUP WA 6261

Donnelly District

Willow Springs (Gold Gully Rd) to Pingerup Rd
Including Tom Road campsite to Dog Pool campsite

Contact: John McKenzie (john.mckenzie@dbca.wa.gov.au)
Telephone: (08) 9776 1207

Opening times: 8am - 5pm, Monday to Friday

Address:

Kennedy Street
PEMBERTON WA 6260

Visitor Information Centres