Bibbulmun Track // Pemberton to Northcliffe (WA)

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!


Highlights

  • Climbing the Gloucester Tree (72m)
  • Brisk dips in the Warren River
  • Campfire yarns
  • Star photography

The Lowdown

On a whim, the crew decided to walk the Pemberton to Northcliffe section of the Bibblulmum 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 three days, with little supplies.

Split into two 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 end point of the trail. A quick three-hour return trip and it was time to hit the legs.

With 40km to cover over the first two days, there was no time for dilly-dallying. If we were to reach the campsites each before dark, we would have to walk like we’ve 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 two 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? 100%.

A couple of must-do’s:

  • The famous Gloucester Tree is well worth a climb for the view – but take off your pack before you climb the 72 metres to the top.
  • Take a dip in Warren River. You’ll most likely need it after three days of hiking!

Essential Gear

  • Light hiking pack
  • Good pair of hiking shoes
  • Plenty of water or water purifiers – rain water tank available at each camp
  • Camera capable of capturing astro shots and tripod

 

How To Get There

Activities

  • Star Gazing
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Camping

Skill Level 

Ranges: Intermediate

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain 

55km split over 3 days

 


Check out these other crackers…

What I Learnt Hiking K2K in a Day

Chasing Rivers // Fitzgerald River National Park (WA)

Leave No Trace: 10 Tips To Tread Softly in Our Wild Places