Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents 46 Scoop Traveller January - June 2012
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Having run a number of Wilderness Intervention Programs on
the Bibbulmun Track, two inspirational ladies share their tips for
attempting the legendary walk end to end
harmaine Harris and Wendy Nelson
took the opportunity to walk the
Bibbulmun Track from Albany to
Kalamunda, taking 53 days to make
the trip over the Christmas period.
While the Bibbulmun Track is not always
the best place to be in the height of summer,
especially in the northern section, where the
risk of bushfire is great, it can be a safe and
enjoyable experience if you are aware of the
risks and take some sensible precautions.
How to avoid the heat | Walk in the coolest
part of the day by making an early start.
Rising at 2am and leaving camp around 3am
is one possibility. Walking by head-torch for
the first couple of hours and listening to the
forest wake up is a magical experience, the
birdsong especially amazing! Early starts make
it possible to arrive at the next campsite by mid
morning, ready to enjoy the surrounds.
How to avoid the beasties | Fly nets, repellent
and mozzie coils are a must, especially along the
south coast, while a free-standing tent becomes
an effective refuge from the bugs each day. If
you’re thinking to avoid the snakes by walking
in the cool mornings, be aware that it’s possible
to see tiger snakes hunting at 3.30am...
How to remain safe | Always carry a PLB
(personal locator beacon), plus maps, track
notes and compasses... and know how to use
them! There is phone reception and it’s possible
to recharge the batteries on mobiles when you
reach a town. Always carry emergency phone
numbers, including each District DEC office in
case you need to alert them to bushfires or get
advice. Carry two litres of water a day, with
added Gatorade powder. Hats and sunscreen
are a must, and wearing ‘Skins’ helps prevent
muscle soreness and sunburnt legs.
The Track is less crowded in summer
allowing a more personal experience. There
are still late wildflowers on the coastal section
and if you walk early in the mornings, you
can enjoy long lazy days in the camps – and of
course the weather will be glorious!
• Glen Mervyn Dam south of Collie.
• The cold water rapids near Dwellingup are
• A note in the journal at Grimwade campsite,
near Balingup will direct you off-track to a lake
in the middle of a pine plantation.
• Giant tingle forest in the Valley of the Giants
around Walpole and the majestic karri forests
of the Pemberton region.
• Spectacular sunrises, the most memorable
being along Mazzoletti Beach near Denmark.
• Wildlife is plentiful, even in summer, including
a friendly quenda at Torbay campsite and a
quokka at Warren Campsite.
A footnote from the
Bibbulmun Track Foundation
While it’s not advisable to attempt an
‘end-to-end’ in the summer months, shorter
walks in the karri forest in Pemberton or tingle
forest near Walpole can be comfortable on cooler
days even in summer. The south coast may be
cooler, but it offers little protection from the sun
due to the lack of a forest canopy.
Remember these tips apply for day walks or
overnights, so do your planning, pack some common
sense and plenty of water, go with a positive attitude
and enjoy yourself. www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au
The Bibbulmun Track passing Peaceful
Bay (Photography Tom Saunders).
Sunrise on Mazzoletti Beach
(Photography C Harris).
Charmaine and Wendy walk the Track..
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