WA’s world-standard Bibbulmun Track is the second of Australian Traveller’s epic bushwalks.  

 

What impresses most walkers as much as the giant trees, wildflowers and the remote coast is the infrastructure, which is unrivalled among Australian walking tracks.

The yardstick by which all other long-distance trails are judged, the Bibbulmun Track is a showcase of trees and seas in WA’s southwest.

Beginning in Kalamunda on Perth’s outskirts, it arcs across 964km to Albany, making for about 55 to 60 days of walking.

Popular and familiar enough to have been all but re-christened the Bibb Track, it began as an idea in 1972 and made its final steps into Albany in 1998.

What impresses most walkers as much as the giant trees, wildflowers and the remote coast is the infrastructure, which is unrivalled among Australian walking tracks.

There are 48 campsites along the track, spaced at roughly 20km intervals. Each has a three-sided sleeping shelter, picnic tables, water tank, toilets and spaces for tents, and all are free of charge.

Track signage borders on the obsessive, with the yellow triangles with black rainbow serpent (an appropriate moniker given the number of snakes along the track) located about every 200m.

The Bibb Track’s most appealing sections are in the south, beyond Pemberton. The full highlights reel can be had by walking the 61km section between Walpole and Peaceful Bay (three or four days), revealing the largest trees and the most rugged coast.

Along this section the Bibb Track has the good sense to pass right by a couple of the southwest’s major freaks of nature: the Giant Tingle Tree, with its burned-out trunk wide enough that early visitors used to park their cars inside; and the Valley of the Giants, with its canopy-level Tree Top Walk.

Sky-scraping trees abound on this section, at least until you cross the South Coast Hwy, stepping suddenly out from the enchanted forest and into a coastal heathland all but devoid of trees.

On reaching the coast you can do a spot of whale watching from a platform at Conspicuous Beach before enjoying the wild solitude of the Gap. A bonus of this section is that it has two of the finest campsites of the entire track: Frankland River and Rame Head.

For a purely coastal experience, the 58km section between West Cape Howe and Albany (three days) is difficult to top. Begin at Lowlands Beach to give yourself a full look at West Cape Howe NP with its spectacular cliffs.

As you cross the cape ridge, views open out all the way to the headlands around Albany, providing a virtual mud map of the walking ahead. To get to the town you must first walk or wade across Torbay Inlet before passing beneath the cliff-top turbines of Albany’s wind farm.

 

If you want to experience the Bibb Track’s drier north, consider walking through the proposed Monadnocks NP. Joining the track beneath the power pylons on the Brookton Hwy, it’s a 68km walk through to the Albany Hwy (four days), with a couple of opt-out points along the way.

Setting out through jarrah and marri forest, it’s a day’s walk into the park, where the trail skirts the Darling Range before climbing across a trio of granite peaks, including Mt Cooke, the range’s highest point. 

 

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