Tackling the 1000km long Bibbulmun Track is not a task for the faint-hearted so our seniors walking group decided to walk a small section – 22 kms from Kalamunda to Mundaring Weir.
This is a challenging walk and not suitable for those with mobility problems. It’s also worthwhile to get a trail map from the Perth Hills Visitors Centre in Kalamunda.
Parking in the supermarket car park in the centre of Kalamunda, walkers need to cross the road and go through a suburban street before starting on the actual track.
The track is generally well maintained but there are parts with small pebbles and gravel underfoot. Some areas have deep ruts, possibly due to heavy vehicles maintaining the overhead power lines.
There were a few climbs, not all steep. The group was tested several times when the track split as it was not at all clear which direction to take as there are a number of circular trails on this route.
A welcome comfort stop was made at the Calamunnda Camel Farm on Paulls Valley Road. There are no other toilets on this stretch of the trail, leading some of our party to ‘go bush’! The Camel Farm has a kiosk selling coffee, tea and a few snacks.
On this Sunday morning, quite a few people were walking the shorter trails and it was fun watching children and adults enjoying camel rides. There was also a small unsolvable mystery – why would anybody push a shopping trolley halfway along the track and then dump it?
Views were good looking over to the valley, Piesse Brook and a forest onto the higher ground on Hewett’s Hill. The only place to see the Mundaring Weir is from a viewing platform that was about eight kms from the end of the route.
Disaster struck as the group was contemplating cool drinks and food while almost at the end of the walk. The track across the weir wall had been closed as part of a $14 million upgrade. It was unanimously decided to do more research before the next walk.
At this point, the group had two options – opt for the shorter walk along Mundaring Weir Road to the Mundaring Weir Hotel or take the longer path from the pump station. The road option was quickly discarded, as there are several blind corners and the road was busy. So everyone headed back to the pump station, climbed almost 200 steps to the path and added an hour to the six-hour walk. It was a tired but happy group of seniors who gratefully reached the Mundaring Weir Hotel for a well-deserved lunch.
This stretch of the Bibbulmun track is an exhilarating although exhausting walk. Signposting could be improved and the provision of at least one toilet between Kalamunda and the camel farm or between the camel farm and Mundaring Weir would considerably improve the experience.
Information: Perth Hills Visitors Centre
50 Railway Road, Kalamunda
Phone: 08 9257 9998
Public holidays: 10am-4pm
Facilities: Refreshments and toilets at the Calamunnda Camel Farm. No seats en-route.
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