[WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

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[WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby Eljimberino » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 4:13 pm

Hi All,

I put this on my blog but I'll paste my idea here as well to see if anyone is interested in scoping these walks out together.

Been out walking for the last couple of weeks. Had the urge to fly somewhere… somewhere over east or overseas to go walking, and walking, and more walking. And then, as walking will do, I had a different angle and a different idea to pursue. More walks in the south west of Western Australia. I drew up this mud-map that someone might find useful one day.

The image shown is indicative. The black line is the Bibbulmun Track. The red line on the left is the Cape to Cape. The other lines are walk ideas I’m hoping to scope out over the next twelve months. In my opinion, there is a strong desire to boost walking infrastructure at regional levels.

There has almost always been talk of extending the Bibbulmun to Esperance. The red line going to Esperance is there to show that extension. I’m going to see who I can rustle up to walk that with me. (I’m not a fan of coastal and/or beach walking, so I’ll be looking to get off the beach as much as possible.)

A circuit from about Walpole heading up the Shannon River and then heading east over the Stirling range and then following one of the rivers down (Palingup?) to a small town like Wellstead to link back up with the extended Bibb track to Esperance. Walkers can then walk back to Albany if they want.

Extending the southern end of the Cape to Cape to join the Bibbulmun track, probably at Karri Valley resort.

Extending the northern end of the Cape of Cape following a disused rail line into the Ferguson Valley and then up to meet the Collie River at Birkup, from Birkup follow the Collie River to the Wellington Dam and join the Wellington Spur trail that already comes off the Bibbulmun track. [The latter part of this walk I have done three times now and it is excellent]

Extend the northern end of the Bibbulmun track from Kalamunda and connect up with the old walking track that goes to New Norcia via Bells Rapids. From New Norcia follow the Moore River to the coast. Huts along here would be good.

Create a loop from North Bannister where the Bibbulmun crosses Albany Highway and take walkers out to Narrogin where the Avon River starts. Follow the Avon river through York, Northam and Toodyay and ultimately meet up with the extended Bibbulmun track from Kalamunda.


If anyone out there finds this post and is inspired, please get in touch. I am always interested to hear from other walkers.

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 6.09.41 pm.png
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby Donovan » Fri 13 Jul, 2018 12:01 pm

Hi JP,

Interesting ideas there. I've been thinking a fair bit about where more trails can be built in WA as well.

While the idea of a Albany to Esperance extensions sounds good, I've come to the conclusion that the walk would be highly compromised due to the difficulty of finding a suitable route through that area. Straight through Fitzgerald River NP is unlikely as it was knocked back by the EPA when they were going to build a multi-day right through the park, and there are other sections like Two People's Bay that are off limits too. There are also a lot of rural properties in the way. I feel like such an extension also waters down the Perth to Albany neatness of the walk.

Same problem with cutting across to the Porongurups - it is baically surrounded by farmland on all sides. And would be kilometres of pretty boring walking just to get there, and then there are restrictions because of Dieback.

I am intrigued by the idea of linking Cape Leeuwin through to the Bibb down the coast though. An area that seems ripe for walk trails but has none is D'Entrecasteaux National Park apart from the bit of the Bibb at Lake Maringup. It would be great to see something through there - either a Bibb spur, a linking trails as you suggest or its own small walk.

Personally, I'd like to see more multidays in the 2-6 day range that are self-contained (ie not linked to the Bibb or Cape to Cape) so that they have their own character, and preferably in other regions of WA than the South West. We should have a Kimberley multiday or a Pilbara multiday and more!
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby Redtail » Fri 13 Jul, 2018 2:24 pm

There is quite a bit happening in this space. May I suggest you get in touch with Dave Osborne, president and exec officer of Bushwalking WA. Here's the web page http://www.bushwalkingwa.org.au/. Take a look at the news section on the right-hand panel, and you'll see what I mean.

Especially this: http://www.bushwalkingwa.org.au/book-project-2018.html
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby Eljimberino » Sat 14 Jul, 2018 2:05 pm

Hi, thanks for your replies.

At this stage I'm more into exploring every idea rather than ruling anything out.
Boredom is a state of mind not reliant on the landscape.

Landscapes can be built around walks as readily as walks being built in landscapes. Walks alter the values we hold to place.

I've emailed Bushwalking WA about documenting their short walks as I can see the value in getting short walks established.

At the moment I keen to build websites that document all walks carried out.

Cheers
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby Gunner55 » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 11:12 pm

Further to one aspect of this topic, I have been set the challenge by a friend (maybe soon to be ex-friend?) of walking pretty much along the coast from Augusta to Walpole. ANy suggestions re existing tracks, river crossings to be aware of, potentials for fresh water and food drops, existing tracks to leverage (other than beach, beach, beach, and joining up with Bibbulmun at Mandalay beach) would be very welcome as I scope this out. Cheers

And on another note further to this, a few years back when camping at Pt Anne in Fitz River NP there was a track under devp, just behind the dunes or on top of them, east from Pt Anne for about 10-15kms that was actually great - but not officially opened. Still can't see if that has become a formal track yet, and would assume it would be continued all the way over to Hopetoun...any word on that??
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby Eljimberino » Sun 09 Sep, 2018 5:23 pm

Hi Gunner - yes the Fitz walk is well know. There was going to be a walk from Bremer to Hopetoun, but it never got officiated.

Let us know how your walk from Augusta to Mandalay goes.. There should be plenty of water and a filter should be enough to get you by.
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby GraemeSpedding » Sun 16 Sep, 2018 11:09 am

[quote="Gunner55"]Further to one aspect of this topic, I have been set the challenge by a friend (maybe soon to be ex-friend?) of walking pretty much along the coast from Augusta to Walpole. ANy suggestions re existing tracks, river crossings to be aware of, potentials for fresh water and food drops, existing tracks to leverage (other than beach, beach, beach, and joining up with Bibbulmun at Mandalay beach) would be very welcome as I scope this out. Cheers

...if you get as far as mandalay, there is a coastal route to the old original lost beach,avoiding the bubblegum track and the heading part way up and around mt Hopkins to boggy lake and then on thru the scrub to a mapped creek, down to the coast and then along to circus beach.
From here you can get GARY Muir to pick you up in the naughty lass and float you over to Walpole.
Good luck with the coast from Augusta.
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby 10001110101 » Tue 18 Sep, 2018 10:06 pm

Donovan wrote:
Personally, I'd like to see more multidays in the 2-6 day range that are self-contained (ie not linked to the Bibb or Cape to Cape) so that they have their own character, and preferably in other regions of WA than the South West. We should have a Kimberley multiday or a Pilbara multiday and more!

I couldn't agree more. I'd also like to see some closer to Perth. John Forrest, Walygunga, Avon Valley and other national parks and state forests in that area all have some great walks, but it'd be nice to see some of them extended to overnighters, or linked up if at all possible to make multi-day options.
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby north-north-west » Wed 19 Sep, 2018 11:33 am

Donovan wrote:Personally, I'd like to see more multidays in the 2-6 day range that are self-contained (ie not linked to the Bibb or Cape to Cape) so that they have their own character, and preferably in other regions of WA than the South West. We should have a Kimberley multiday or a Pilbara multiday and more!


Oh yes. There are some wonderful off-track options in both regions, but something for those who prefer not to have to navigate for themselves wouldn't hurt.
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby farefam » Thu 10 Sep, 2020 1:08 am

Not quite on topic but....

Walking the south coast from Augusta to Mandalay Beach then along the Bibbulmun Track to Walpole looks potentially feasible. I am scoping it out myself for a future adventure. The terrain itself is not very difficult; the big problem is the lack of surface fresh water.

On satellite view there are lots of long stretches of sandy beach walking and some mostly shortish stretches of limestone cliff tops to be walked.

Total walking distance is about 190km, which would probably take 9-10 days. The final 26 kilometres or so from Mandalay Beach to Walpole is along the Bibbulmuan Track. There is also about 4.5 km of coastal track walking along the way at Point D'Entrecasteaux. So about 160kmof the traverse is off track, with the vast majority of that distance being along beaches. In some places near the limestone cliffs the beaches are only quite narrow, so you may need to wait for low tide there.

At the Augusta start of the coastal traverse you'd either have to arrange for a boat or find a friendly fisherman to drop you from Augusta across the mouth of the Blackwood River, or else do a long taxi trip via Alexandra Bridge to East Augusta. It would be best to walk west to east to keep the prevailing southwesterly winds behind you.

At the 54km mark is the Donelly River. That may have fresh water if you follow it inland a bit.

At the 74 kilometre mark and 81km mark are two creeks that cross Yaegarup Beach. These also look good candidates for fresh water if you follow them inland a bit.

At the 92 kilometre mark is Salt Springs Creek. It's name seems rather dubious for its prospects of being drinkable.

At the 106 kilometre mark, Windy Harbour is the only settlement along this stretch of coastline. The Parks WA site says there is drinking water at the campsite there and a small kiosk.

At the 127km mark Broke Inlet is usually crossed at the beach sandbar. Broke Inlet itself is salty and I don't recall seeing any creeks nearby on a previous kayaking visit there. There are no other major river/creek crossings along the way (Deep River is crossed by a suspension bridge).

I don't know if there is water available at Banksia Campground, which is about 3km west of Mandalay Beach. Otherwise the next water would presumably be at Long Point campsite on the Bibbulmun Track to the east of Mandalay Beach (Mandalay Beach itself is at about the 157km mark).

At about the 177km mark there is a small freshwater creek on the Bibbulmun Track shortly before the Deep River suspension bridge.

Elsewhere the major problem will be finding fresh water due to the sand/limestone nature of the coast. I doubt the coastal traverse would be feasible for that reason in Summer or Autumn. The area is unpleasantly cold and wet and windy in Winter so early Spring would probably be the best time to attempt it. I expect you would need to carry about 3-4 days water supply for most of the duration of the trip until you have reached the Bibbulmun Track capsite near Long Point.

TransWA bus services run from Perth to Augusta and from Walpole to Perth. Or you could resupply at Walpole and then do the Bibbulmun Track from Walpole to Albany.
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Re: [WA] South West Walking Masterplan Ideas

Postby farefam » Fri 09 Oct, 2020 8:26 pm

Did a scouting trip recently. Edit to my previous post; the Donnelly River at the 54km mark would not be potable as it passes through pastureland higher up. The creek at the 74km mark is actually the Warren River which is also not potable (too salty). The smaller creek at the 81km mark is Manjimup Creek. This may be potable. Would definitely carry a water filter though. Finding water does really seem to be a major problem if attempting to traverse this section of coast. The wildflowers atop the limestone cliffs are very nice in early October.
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