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. If you haven’t already, you can follow my ramblings from the beginning:
Pemberton- Northcliffe- Walpole –Peaceful Bay
If you want to experience all of the variations in terrain, vegetation, landscape and views offered by the Track but have a very small window of opportunity to do it then this section provides a taste of them all.
The stretch out of Pemberton very quickly brings you to the Gloucester Tree, once a fire lookout it is now open to the public to climb (153 rungs) and enjoy the view.
You spend a couple of days walking through beautiful Karri Forrest and following the Warren River which include some fun ascents followed by their respective descents!
As you near Northcliffe you hit dairy country which changes up the view with lush green fields. On one walk growing over the Track, we walked under a peach tree ripe with delicious peaches.
Northcliffe is a small friendly town, depending upon the time of day you pass through the bakery has a good lunch selection, the Pub great dinner options.
On the southern side of Northcliffe, the campsites of Marinyup and Dog Pool nestle on the water and in the right weather provide beautiful settings in which to cool off.
From here the trees transition into the Pingerup Plains, and you find yourself travelling through what are often waterlogged swampy sections. Along many of these low lying stretches boardwalks raise you from the ground but often even these boardwalks fail to keep you dry. It is not unusual to encounter stretches in which you wade through anywhere from ankle to knee deep water.
This landscape is dominated by heath land, which is broken up by outcrops of granite and small groupings of trees. It is also an area that can put on a display of spectacular wildflowers.
Woolbales campsite takes you back to the granite outcrops found earlier along the Track.
The suspension bridge over Deep river messed with my motion sickness; much to the amusement of my companions.
The enchantment in the change of scenery as you move from these swampy heaths & sedge lands to the coastal plains comes with new challenges. Those presented by more open and exposed sections with less shelter from the sun, wind or the rain.
Walking in sand provides extreme variations in experiences. It is relatively easy to walk in hard & compact sand; the same stretch with extremely dry and loose sand is a hard slog. Walking up, down and along exposed limestone coastal ridges are also very different experiences which are changed significantly by the elements.
As something a little different, you know you are close to Walpole as you pass through the golf course
Walpole has a diverse range of both food and accommodation options.
Karri & Tingle Beauty
From Walpole thru Frankland River and onto Giants you re-enter the beauty and shelter of the karri & tingle forests.
Just 10km out of Walpole, you are winding your way through towering Giant Tingle Trees. They make you feel so small and insignificant.
The following day 13km out of the Frankland River campsite a whole new adventure opportunity presents itself at the Tree Top walk. I enjoyed the experience viewing the trees from up high however was mindful of the movements of others around me as they added to the motion of the platform.
Along this section, it is not unusual to have to create your own small mini diversions off track as newly, fallen trees are common and are often too big to climb over.
The Track enjoys the care of many volunteers they are amazing, clearing these fallen trees, trimming bushes/hedges, building/repairing stairs, bridges & boardwalks, caring for huts and generously replacing toilet paper in the long drops and for those huts where fires are permitted sometimes bringing in firewood.
You do however at times come across more unkempt overgrown, sections and realise and appreciate what a great job has been done on the other parts.
Back to The Coast
After Giants you climb down from the majestic forest, passing through the peppermints, transitioning back into the coastal landscape.
Conspicuous cliff is a memorable climb with a number of switchbacks culminating in not only a sense of achievement but also a beautiful view
The hut at Rame Head enjoys a beautiful view, it is also an interesting place to view a storm from.
The walk into Peaceful Bay crosses a number of small beaches and overlooks the ocean.
The photo below captures some seals playing in the water close to the shore.
Peaceful Bay offers the best fish & chips; the fish is caught on a boat run by the same family who run the store.
A sensationally diverse section of the track which is well worth spending time on.
It’s not too late to join us for our Swan Walking Challenge
Trekking Name- Blue Eyed Babe