I have just found that i hadn’t posted this summary of the Bibbulmun Track. So here goes.
Overall I give this track a very high rating as a long walking track. It was not an adventure or a Kiwi tramp, as such, but a damn long walk, through a beautiful piece of Australia.
I think I would have got more out of it if I had been more interested in the flora and fauna. All the other walkers I came in contact with were Australians who were particularly interested in the flowers, trees and birds. They were looking for the different species during the day and spent the evenings discussing their finds and looking up apps or books to identify them. I am quite ignorant on these areas so had little to add. A blue flower, a yellow flower, a small flower is about the limit of my knowledge.
It was a long walk for sure but compared to others I have walked it was technically and logistically easy. The track was designed to be able to be walked by anybody who has the inclination, the time and the stamina to walk 1,000km. The days average about 5 hours walking between campsites so this makes it a good way to experience long distance walking.
Each campsites has a 3 sided sleeping shelter that sleeps at least 12. This includes a good sized undercover area for cooking and hanging out. There is always water tanks, toilets and cleared tent sites. I did not need to use my tent at all as I always managed a bed space in the hut.
There is usually other tables outside and most campsites have a firepit. Cell phone and internet coverage was widespread along the track and at most huts.
There is vehicle access to all the huts for maintenance and many places to access the track by car along the way. This makes it an ideal track for section walkers. I must have walked across at least 300 red dirt roads, fire break tracks or 4 wheel drive tracks however there were not many vehicles to be seen as many were closed due to die back which is a disease killing trees.
The track is well marked with Warguls (markers on trees or posts) and can be downloaded onto a number of different apps. These only use GPS so do not need internet or cell phone coverage. It is easy at any time to see exactly where you are and where you are heading. I only took wrong turns a couple of times because I was not really being observant rather than it being badly marked.
The track is very well maintained by volunteers. Apparently there is a waiting list! There were some trees across the track but usually clear paths had been cut around the tree. Some parts needed the bushes on either side trimmed but usually not for any distance and they were not prickly gorse bushes to contend with.
The terrain was mostly flat with a few wee hills each day that help to increase fitness. There were no difficult mountains or scrambling and all the creeks and rivers were bridged. I walked through some knee deep puddles on the Pinjerup Plains but there is no mud to get stuck in.
Australia is known for it’s dangerous and poisonous wildlife such as spiders, ticks and snakes but the cooler weather meant I only saw 5 snakes and they were all slithering away from me. One huntsman spider showed herself in hut but they are not harmful and eat the mosquitoes and flies. I had to deal with only two ticks. Maybe I was particularly lucky.
Also because of the nice cool weather organised by Garry, I had very little trouble with flies and mossies. I wore my head net at 2 camps and used my Deet about 4 times.
The four inlet crossings are manageable although the one at Denmark now requires car or boat ride around. One has canoes to use. I did get a ride around the Torbay inlet and had the guidance of a surfie on another one.
Only in the first 10 days out from Perth is there a need to have assistance with resupply for food and fuel. After that the track passed directly through small towns where anything needed on trail can be purchased. Most places stocked New Zealand Back Country meals. This helps the local economies who are all struggling.
Accommodation is available in these places so a rest day can be taken with a bed, a shower, the chance to wash clothes eat “normal food” and have a beer or two. I spent about $60 a night on accommodation including a basic hotel room, a caravan, backpackers room or cabin at caravan park. My cheapest was at Peaceful Bay where I paid $20 for a tent site and actually slept in the camp kitchen on a table.
I used the same gear that I had for Te Araroa and found it quite adequate. My pack was smaller and lighter than most other walkers and this probably contributed to my overall performance.
So if you are contemplating doing a bit of a walk then this is a good one to do.
I believe most people who are regular trampers / hikers / bush walkers could leave this trail for their last one. Achievable into your 70’s or 80’s even. Also very good for those who haven’t done any long walks before as it is a perfect starter.
Go for it!