The Bibbulmun Track is an achieveable goal for many people wanting to embark on a through-hiking adventure. If you are looking for a more back-country version of the camino, without losing too much in comfort, this is the perfect track for you. If you are out to roam across wild lands, there are probably better alternatives out there.
This approximate 1000km walk leads through the jarrah, marri and impressive karri forests of the southwest of Australia. The route has been much affected by recent bushfires, leading to destroyed shelters, diversions, and days of walking through black, sooted lands. The Bibbulmun Foundation however works hard to keep up with it and keep the route going, in spite of the challenges of continuing fires.
Before starting Te Araroa, we had decided for ourselves that when New Zealand winter arrived we would fly in to Perth and explore WA for the remainder of our time down under. So we already had the flight when we began to learn about the Bibbulmun Track. On the road in New Zealand we met several hikers who had already completed the route and made us enthusiastic about the idea. So when we reached the finish and fell into the post-trail black hole, we made up our mind. There had to be more walking before we were heading home. Only, large forest fires made it impossible to traverse the entire route during the Australian summer of 2015. We gambled and decided to head over anyway, in the hope that they would restore everything by the time we got there. As we arrived the track had only just opened again for a few days.
The Bibbulmun does not offer the same, grand contrasts nor the wilderness feeling as Te Araroa, but it is a charming, beautiful walk and a great insight into the southwestern Australian ecosystem. We especially enjoyed the mighty karri forests and the untamed south coast. Seeing whales splashing in the roaring waters of the southern ocean definitely made this into a worthwhile walk, and the last 4 days into Albany were absolutely fantastic. We learned a great deal about the challenges we were looking for, and what our next projects would look like.