Location: Rottnest Island
Trail Marker: Green Wadjemup Bidi markers
Duration: 2 - 3 hours
Cost: Rottnest Island entry fees apply
Date Hiked: 23rd October 2018
Kml Map File: Please click here.
Having completed my first part of the Wadjemup Bidi, it was time to tackle the smallest of the networks trails, the Karlinyah Bidi which is nice 5.9km one way trail that guides you through the beautiful bays of the northern beaches.
I was a little bit too excited to start this one and didn't get a pic of the trailhead sign, which if you read my Gabbi Karniny Bidi blog here, you'll see I mention it as my stopping point on that trail.
You may also notice that the trail marker is now outlined in green so I head off along sandy trails through low grasslands with views looking back over Lake Baghdad and out to the Wind Turbine.
It;s not long before the coastal views are visible as we approach the Armstrong Bay Sanctuary Zone.
A nearby interpretative panel talks about the evidence of Aboriginal occupation more than 17,000 years ago. Flakes of chert found in limestone sediment reveals an ancient tool making site. This chert would have been sourced from traditional quarries.
Did you know that before the last sea level rise, approximately 7,000 years ago, Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) was connected to the mainland?
The trail curves around Little Armstrong Bay and is supposed to go down to Catherine Bay however due to erosion at the bottom of the stairs that enter the beach, a detour is in place. Looking at the Rottnest website, at the time of writing this, it is still closed.
So instead of my first section of beach walking I was forced once again through low grasslands, up onto Bovell Way and followed that to the City of York Bay.
Catherine Bay as seen in the pic below. It's a shame it was closed off as beach walking was the thing I was looking forward to the most.
The trail heads down the road to a culdesac where it joins a boardwalk out to the beach. The City of York Bay, where adventure on the high sea ends in tragedy for the City of York ship and its crew.
Another interpretative sign provides further information on this tragedy that occurred in 1899, which sparked an upgrade in islands communication systems to prevent a repeat tragedy occuring.
and finally I get my first beach walk in of the Wadjemup Trail along Ricey Beach, the seasonal access from City of York to Ricey. It's easy to see how the devastation unfolded given the serated reef systems that line the bay.
The exit from Ricey Beach is well signed and takes walkers up to an audio box where listeners get the chance to learn from Aboriginal Elder Barry McGuire. This brought me joy as I had met Barry a few times now and always in awe listening to his dream-time stories.
The trail once again makes it way through low scrubland along the waters edge to one of the most spectacular beaches on the island, Stark Bay.
The Karlinyah Bidi information sheet asks how many terns you can see whilst walking on this section of beach. I had absolutely no idea what a tern was so had no idea what i was looking for so just continued the walk. It turns out that a tern is a black and white seabird related to the gulls, typically smaller and more slender, with long pointed wings and a forked tail.
Well there you go, I saw heaps of terns hahaha just didn't know they were referring to the birds I saw until I got home.
Stark Bay certainly lived up to it's title as one of the most spectacular beaches on the island but in all fairness, aren't they all;)
Once again the beach exit is very easy to find and the trail heads off through low shrubland up and over a few hills before arriving at the end of the Karlinyah Bidi.
Although there is no real defining trail end that signifies this, directional signage lets you know that if you continue on you will be on the next trail of the Wadjemup Bidi network, the 7.6km Ngank Wen Bidi.
A stone memorial recognises the 'Mira Flores', a wooden barque wrecked on 31st January 1886 which lies 900m north west. Once again poor communications with Rottnest contributed to the disaster but thankfully no lives were lost and most of the cargo was salvaged.
Hopefully this post inspires you to visit and if so, we would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. Please feel free to tag us in your adventures.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk, the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people & wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners paying respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.