Friday, 14 October 2016

Bibbulmun Track

Another trip that I’ve done while living in Brisbane is back to the southwest of Australia to hike the Bibbulmun Track. This is one of the world's great long-distance walking trails, stretching nearly 1000km from the Kalamunda National Park near Perth down to Albany on the southern coast of WA. It is the equivalent of walking from Paris to Rome and completion of this epic hike earns induction into the prestigious "End to End" club. 

Day one at the Northern Terminus

As I started from Perth on a hot February day, I wondered what was ahead of me. It would take me 48 days but the answer was an amazing adventure that would take me through the heart of some of the most beautiful forests and across some of the finest beaches that Australia has to offer. It would test me both physically and mentally but give incredible rewards.

Typical campsite on the track

The Bibbulmun Track can be walked in either direction but it is like a well cut jewel that shines whichever way it is approached. The scenery through the northern section was characterised by forests of jarrah and marri trees, granite outcrops and various native bushes. Comfortable nights were spent at campsites with a wooden shelter, drinking water, fireplace and the all important bush toilet. 

Land of Giants - a huge karri tree

The huge karri trees of southwest Australia are a highlight of the track. I was in awe of their size and majesty. After 730km of hiking through forests, bush, mountains and valleys I finally arrived at the coast. The crashing waves of the Southern Ocean added a new dimension to my adventure although the superb coastal views were sometimes hard earned as I slogged through the sand dunes! 

Views of the Southern Ocean near Albany

I will never forget arriving at Albany. I had made it! Along the way I had enjoyed spectacular scenery and seen a variety of wildlife. For seven weeks I was blessed with a serenity that is virtually impossible in our busy lives. The beautiful environment let me to contemplate, reflect and dream. Just like Australia itself, the Bibbulmun Track was a unique and very special experience. 

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