The Bibbulmun Track – Pemberton to Northcliffe

Continuing my journey along the Bibbulmun Track with a 3 day section, from Pemberton to Northcliffe

Monday, 28th October 2013 – Day 32

Mikey and I saw Andrew off at the bus stop, and then went for breakfast; he would be missed. The day was relaxed; posted back some clothes and saved 900 grams, collected my food and shopped for extras, did some washing. Mikey had to go to the hospital after his blister began to leak, and they patched him up well, he needs to get the dressing changed when we get to Northcliffe in 3 days time.

Tuesday, 29th October 2013 – Day 33

Away at 6 am, we were taking it easy to ensure Mikey didn’t aggravate his popped blister. Despite this we made good time.

Day 33: enroute to the Gloucester Tree
Karri near Pemberton

First stop was The Gloucester Tree, just outside Pemberton. This is a fire watchtower you can climb, I didn’t as it looked too much a task for someone with a fear of heights. Besides, we had somewhere to be.

Day 33: No way am I going up there!
The Gloucester Tree

We took a side trip to The Cascades, a series of rocky falls on the Warren River.

Day 33: The Cascades
The Cascades
Day 33: Mikey and The Cascades
Mikey and The Cascades
Day 33: Bridge over Lefroy Brook
Bridge over Lefroy Brook
Day 33: Mikey on track
Mikey on track

The remainder was a succession of small climbs, along the river. Mikey was spooked by a couple of snakes, including one very big Dugite. He also spotted an impressive moth dead on the track.

Day 33: Dead moth
Dead moth
Day 33: Perfect day
Perfect Day

We were at Warren Campsite at just gone midday. We joined Ann, a 64 year old Australian from Perth who was also End to Ending, and had arrived in Pemberton the day before.

Day 33: Warren Campsite
Warren Campsite
Day 33: Z Packs Hexamid Solo
Z Pacls Hexamid Solo
Day 33: My Z Packs Hexamd Solo
Z Packs Hexamid Solo
Day 33: Warren Shelter Fireplace
Warren Shelter fireplace

A lazy afternoon spent, with the luxury of a bit of a siesta, it’s not all hard work on the Bibb!

Wednesday, 30th October 2013: Day 34

Slept very soundly in my tent, once I had got used to the kangaroos moving around nearby, and woke at 4:30 am to a sunrise that just told you it was going to be a hot one today. We were on our way by just past six, and it proved to be a tougher day than expected.

Day 34: Sunrise at Warren
Sunrise at Warren
Day 34: Shelter n sunshine
Shelter and Sunshine
Day 34: Karri near camp
Karri near camp
Day 34: Me crossing bridge
River Road Bridge

Once over River Road Bridge, it was a series of hills in dense foliage along the Warren River. I have to say the river sections are not my favourite; you rarely see the river, or get a view worthy of a photograph, and I always wish they were done with. Today, the first 11 km was just this!

Day 34: Warren River
Warren River
Day 34: Me by Warren River
Me by the Warren
Day 34: Mikey by Warren River
Mikey by the Warren

I left Mikey at McAlpine Road, he was out of sorts and wanted a power nap. This gave me the opportunity to speed up. We were away from the river now and the forest opened up. There were still the countless fallen trees to negotiate, but rather that than a vista of nothing.

Day 34: Track scene
Track scene
Day 34: Track near Wheatley Coast Road
Track scene

At Wheatley Coast Road, the track meanders around some private property, and some open paddocks, always a delight to see!

Day 34: Wheatley Coast Road
Wheatley Coast Road
Day 34: Last hill before camp (hopefully)
Last hill before camp
Day 34: Approaching a clearing.
Day 34: Wildflowers no.1
Wildflower
Following the perimeter of the field
Following the perimeter of the field
Day 34: Brook Road
Brook Road

Eventually, the track reaches a small private reservoir, and the Schafer Campsite is situated on its banks. I arrived just after midday.

I met Ann there, just finishing her lunch and about to tackle the next 14 km into Northcliffe. Not for me, though, the 33 degree heat was too much to walk in.The beauty of this campsite is there is a roped off area for swimming in the reservoir. I took the opportunity to cool off.

Day 34: Schafer Shelter
Schafer Shelter
Reservoir with swimming area by Schafer
Reservoir with swimming area by Schafer

Mikey arrived an hour or so later, and the rest of the day was quiet as we escaped the heat. Late afternoon, the temperatures triggered an explosion of flying termites. They were everywhere, even covered the surface of the lake and, coupled with the flies, made for an irritating evening meal. Eventually, all I could do was retire to my tent to escape the worst of it.

Thursday, 31st October 2013: Day 35

Up at 5 am, the termite onslaught had abated; it must have been one of those 24 hour things. We saw the remains of them all the way to Northcliffe, 15 km away.

Day 35: Karri Hill Road
Karri Hill Road
Day 35: Flood plain
Flood plain
Day 35: Remains of yesterday's flying termite swarm
Remains of yesterday’s flying termite swarm

Today was the easiest day of the whole journey, so far. Following the Karri Hill Road, and then passing through Jane National Park.

Day 35: Yubari "Road"
Yubari Road
Day 35: The flies are up!
The flies are up!
Day 35: Unwelcome passengers
Unwelcome passengers
Day 35: me at the foot of a Karri
Me at the foot of a Karri
Day 35: Small reservoir by Smith Road
Small reservoir by Smith Road

We then came to some open farmland as the track skirts a few properties, and we had an encounter with some cattle, which took me back to walking in the UK.

Day 35: negotiating cattle
Negotiating cattle

The final section was through Northcliffe Forest Park, where there was some evidence of controlled burning.

Day 35: Evidence of burning in Northcliffe Forest Park
Evidence of burning in Northcliffe Forest
Day 35: Northcliffe Forest Park
Northcliffe Forest Park
Day 35: Boardwalk near Northcliffe
Boardwalk near Northcliffe
Day 35: Wildflowers no.4
Wildflower

On the edge of town, we reached a sign that said 335 km to Albany; almost a third of the way left to go now.

Day 35: Northcliffe and a third of the way to go!
Northcliffe and a third of the way to go

We booked into the Bibbulmun Break Motel. The owners, Alan and Glenda, are two of the nicest people you could hope to run accommodation; if you are ever this way, stay here!

We got Mikey’s foot redressed at the local nurse point, checked conditions for the track to Walpole, and then a small matter of finding room in my rucksack for eight days worth of food!

Published by Moorland Walker

Paul is a backpacker, tor bagger, Bibbulmun Track End to Ender and West Ham supporter. He moved down from London to live in Okehampton in 2016, after realising he was spending most of his weekends on Dartmoor and it just made sense to make it permanent!

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