Location: Rottnest Island
Trail Marker: Green Wadjemup Bidi markers
Duration: 2 - 3 hours
Cost: Rottnest Island entry fees apply
Toilet Facilities: Yes, at various locations
Dog Friendly: No
Date Hiked: 23rd October 2018
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.