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Bushwalking with kids can be tricky in winter – Bibbulmun Track
Foundation volunteer Jim Baker shares some tips on getting the
best from day and overnight treks in the Perth Hills area
etting back to basics can be as
simple as taking the family onto the
Bibbulmun Track. There’s no TV,
no video games and no Facebook
on this world-class walking trail. Instead,
there’s the wonder of hills to climb, forests
to conquer and rivers to cross and, at day’s
end, there’s time around the campfire (or the
gas stove) eating marshmallows and food that
isn’t takeout, revelling in the feeling of an
honest day’s exertion.
Winter and spring are ideal for walking
on the Bibbulmun. There’s none of the
baking summer conditions that can lead to
dehydration, and rivers are flowing freely. In
spring, the flowers appear and temperatures
can be milder, but many prefer the colder,
wetter days for bushwalking. Provided you
pack the right gear, it’s easy to be comfortable
both day and night on the Bibbulmun, where
huts dot the track at 20km intervals.
TRIPS walk like a family
First things first
Planning your walk in advance is crucial. Get
the Bibbulmun Track maps and guide books
(from the Bibbulmun Track Foundation, DEC,
visitor centres and bookshops) and be selective
in choosing a section of track to walk.
Some sections are tougher than others —
find something within your capabilities as a
family. If your children’s first introduction to
bushwalking leaves them with acute memories
of being cold, wet and tired, their interest may
be destroyed forever. So plan in detail, and
involve the kids in the discussion. Use the notes
in the guide books to show them where you are
taking them, and what they are likely to see.
Consider how you will get to the track.
Access by car is limited, so study the maps –
entry points are marked with red car symbols,
which indicate places where the track crosses
a road. You can park your car at these access
points, although they are not car parks as such.
It’s important to ensure that the kids’ first experience of
bushwalking is memorable for being good fun.
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