Hiking the full Bibbulmun Track will take you an impressive 1000km, all the way from Kalamunda to Albany. Why not give yourself a break though and hike the Pemberton to Northcliffe section instead!
- Climbing the Gloucester Tree (72m)— but take off your pack first
- Brisk dips in the Warren River — you’ll most likely need it after 3 days of hiking!
- Campfire yarns
On a whim, the crew decided to walk the Pemberton to Northcliffe section of the Bibbulmun Track. Now for those who aren’t local to the wild west, the Bibbulmun Track is a long distance trail spanning 1000km in length, weaving through some of south-west Western Australia’s most iconic towns.
Although this was one of the shorter sections of the walk, it still proved to be an uphill, downhill, uphill battle. For beginners, like us, I’d recommend at least a week of preparation as you’ll be walking at a steady pace for 3 days, with little supplies.
Split into 2 cars, we left Perth in the wee hours of the morning, all pumped for the journey we were about to embark on. This excitement quickly dissipated with the realisation we would a need car at the start AND endpoint of the trail. After a quick 3 hour return trip, it was time to hit the legs.
With 40km to cover over the first 2 days, there was no time for dilly-dallying. If we were to reach the campsites each day before dark, we would have to walk like we’d never walked before. This plan was quickly thrown out the window with each and everyone one of us becoming distracted by the amazing scenery. The trail boasts incredible views as you weave your way between the giant trees of Karri Forest. Think Endor from Star Wars.
A few too many games of eye spy later and we had made it to camp (in surprisingly good time). At each campsite, there is a small wooden hut keeping you elevated from the night creepers, a fire pit and a rainwater tank. Unfortunately, the hut was full with more adept and well-prepared hikers, so the dirt is where we lay our heads.
Morning 2 followed along the same lines as the first morning; wake up, tucker down on some grub and get those legs a-movin’. Leaving a little earlier in the day gave us plenty of time to take in the sights and settle in for a long lunch along the beds of the Warren River.
Rolling into camp, we were met with yet another full hut, so we decided to stoke up a campfire elsewhere and settle in for a few drinks. Campfire moments like those, make the pain all worth it.
By the third day, we were spent, body and egos aching. Ready to walk on out of the forest and into the arms of the closest country pub.
Feeling shattered, we all slumped into chairs with a cold froth and shared with each other what we had just accomplished.
A friend once said to me, “It’s not the hiking itself but where the hiking takes you. The places you would not be able to see otherwise.”
Would I do it again? Perhaps. Would I recommend it? 100%
- Light hiking pack
- Good pair of hiking shoes
- Plenty of water or water purifiers – rainwater tank available at each camp
- Camera capable of capturing astro shots and tripod
How To Get There
For the Pemberton to Northcliffe section, head south from Perth on the State Route 2, follow Google Maps to Pemberton.
To complete the entire Bibbulmun track start at Kalamunda or Albany.
55km split over 3 days