Location: Northern Terminus, Kalamunda to Perth Hills Discovery Centre, Mundaring
Trail Marker: Yellow triangle with black Wagyl (snake)
Duration: 7 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 9th April 2018
The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s greatest long distance walk trails, stretching 1000km from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills, to Albany on the south coast, winding through the heart of the scenic South West of Western Australia. The name derives from the Bibbulmun, or Noongar people, Indigenous Australians from the Perth area. I have chosen to hike this track in particular to honour the early indigenous inhabitants of the southwest who would walk long distances through the forests for ceremonial gatherings. The connection they have with the Earth is something I am looking forward to experiencing myself as I embark on this journey. You can read more about the history on the Foundations website by clicking the link here. But for now, lets get on with my journey!
My sectional end to end experience begins at the Northern Terminus. The Northern Terminus has recently had a face-lift and is now looking vibrant and welcoming, a great transformation that stands out to all who walk or drive by, really drawing awareness to this world class trail. The middle picture above is of the Waugal, the rainbow serpent of the Aboriginal Dreaming. These yellow triangle markers are spaced approximately every 500m and will help you make your way along the trail. The trail begins by walking through the Bibbulmun Spirit Poles, a conceptual interpretation of the six language groups of the South West as created by Sharyn Egan. The leaf shaped panels refer to the Coolamon, an indigenous carrying vessel. The stunning artwork was carved out of the panels by Gordon Mitchell. I spent a few moments here in silence with my hand on the Waugul, and took the opportunity to acknowledge the Bibbulmun people, the traditional owners of the track on which I was about to walk. I acknowledged them as the traditional owners and paid respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who were with me asking them to protect me whilst I walked this journey, their journey.
The Bibbulmun Track winds it's way through Jorgensen Park which is actually an old golf course before descending down in to the valley of Kalamunda National Park. This section is said to be quite challenging and sure enough it was. Highlights include Piesse Brook running down to Rocky Pool which is only a slight deviation off track and then it's a constant up and down winding through beautiful Wandoo, Banksia, Sheok and Jarrah forests to the Calamunda Camel Farm and on to the first hut of the track, Hewitts Hut. Figured I better get going so packed up my gear and continued on for my destination. I'd only walked about 1km before I came across some familiar territory as I crossed over a watercourse and started ascending.
The Dell to South Ledge Walk Trail that follows the Bibbulmun for a short while. Basically you continue up hill and are walking an old forestry road which parallels the Helena Valley River below. Continue along an old vehicle track passing through Wandoo. Jarrah and Balga Trees to The Golden Lookout at South Ledge providing views of the Mundaring Weir way down in the valley below. Switching from narrow to wide tracks and back to narrow again, the trail winds down to the Weir, which unfortunately for me, was closed so I had to take the detour around. After finding my way on the northern side of the wall I was able to get a nicer view of Lake C.Y Oconnor and from there I continued on to Perth Hills Discovery Centre.