The Swan Walking Challenge uses WA’s own Bibbulmun Track, from now to be referenced as’ the Track’, as the basis for walking milestones. I have been lucky enough to have actually explored this amazing stretch of Western Australia and thought I could add further insights into the Track.

Setting the Scene

  • Some say the track starts in Kalamunda, stretching nearly 1000kms with the end point in Albany and others view it the other way around but it doesn’t matter as either way it adds to the same distance however the experience will change!
  •  From Kalamunda the Track meanders through the beautiful south west towns of: Dwellingup, Collie, Balingup, Donnelley River, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole, Peaceful Bay, Denmark and Albany
  • It is further broken down further into numerous, generally 3 sided Huts, with water tanks to stop off at for a break during the day or as an overnight stop over

Track Diversity

  •  The Track encompasses so many different landscapes

  • Crosses the habitats of a variety of fauna

 

  • Visually engages with a variety of flora along the way

Variants

  • You can travel the same stretch and have variants in experience influenced and changed even transformed by weather, time of day, seasons the recovery from bushfire, even by travellers you pass along the way

 

  • Our bodies are incredible things, capable of much more than many believe however none of us are immune or protected from injury or sickness and these too play a role in experiences on the Track

Recording The Journey

  • Each hut along the track plus generally a Visitors Centre in the towns have a log book in which all walkers are asked to record their visit
  • This log serves several purposes, it has a safety element that means in times of emergency eg fire or flood, emergency personnel are able to check the log book to ascertain who may be in harm’s way and what their intended destination is
  • The captured information also provides the Bibbulmun Track foundation with data pertaining to actual track use and acts as evidence of trekkers ‘End to Ender’s’ claim

Track Name

  • Many choose to fill in the log using a Track name and some of these names are worth a chuckle
  • I have used one to end this Blog

End to Enders

  • End to Ender- someone who has completed the length of the track
  • This may have been completed in one epic adventure
  • or have been completed over many smaller adventures that for some may have been stretched over many years
  • A few adventurers achieve a double End to Ender- they finish walking one way and immediately turn around and head back the way they came- unlikely to be a title I ever claim

Ramblings of a Trekker

  • We as individuals all have different wants, needs and expectations in adventures and walking the Track means different things to different people
  • You can at times meet a surprising number of people out in what  seems the middle of nowhere
  • Some walkers choose to be largely self-sufficient and carry what they need in a backpack and walk from hut to hut
  • Others walk with a day-pack and have a support network that drops them off & picks them up each day
  • Me,  I am not at this point in time interested in walking from End to End in one big adventure but enjoy getting away from everyday life and escaping reality for seven, fourteen or even twenty one days at a time

Your Pack

  • My pack weight varies but generally sits somewhere between 15-20 kg
  • While this might sound a lot, the key is in not only how you pack your gear within your pack but also ensuring your pack is set up/adjusted optimally for your body shape

  • Some trekkers walk solo, this isn’t for me and as such I am able to share the load carried with another.We each carry our own bedding; sleeping mat plus sleeping bag, toiletries- don’t forget your dunny roll!
  • You want to be warm at night, I feel the cold and so  carry a good sleeping bag finding a  balance between weight and comfort
  • Spare clothes, headlamp, water and various miscellaneous essentials that differ from person to person
  •  I like a pack of cards, a crossword selection and a small taste of chocolate each day
  • Between us we carry first aid, food, cooker and fuel for the cooker, tent; in case no room at the hut, you prefer to sleep in a tent (there are small camping spots close to each hut) or you walk through campsites and pitch up where you chose

Reasons for Trekking

  • The track represents different things to different people
  • I talk about trekking meaning walking however some souls challenge themselves to run the Track
  • Some are out there for personal achievement, some to lose weight, others for fundraising. Many travel from overseas for the sole purpose of completing the Track
  • You also find school, scout & guide groups frequenting the Track
  • I believe it takes a special kind of someone to lead these groups and I don’t believe I have the patience to be one of them.
  • I have however helped pack bags for these groups and you would be amazed by the items some have tried to bring…. hairdryers; what were they going to do for electricity? makeup, tinned food; think of the weight plus the rubbish as there are no rubbish bins along the track
  • Any and all rubbish you carry until you hit the next town

More Information

The Bibbulmun Track Foundation is a not for profit organisation that supports the management & maintenance of the Track, it relies heavily on volunteers many of whom also walk the track to assist with track maintenance. Check out their website for a wealth of information and resources:  www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au

Join us in our Swan Walking Challenge here

Trekking Name – Blue Eyed Babe

XOXO SA