Background: The Bibbulmun Track is a walking trail from Kalamunda (on the outskirts of Perth) to Albany, a port town on the south coast. It passes through spectacular karri forests, low-lying plains and a wild and remote coastline.

I walked the whole track in sections over two years, and finished today at Kalamunda. My longest single hike was 335km over 16 days in April this year, from Walpole to Albany.

I've put together a bit about 'the Bibb' on my blog, here:

You can follow along at or

Me at the finish line today!

My favourite photo of the trip.

Ask me anything!

Comments: 704 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

Rarest__Pepe392 karma

Congratulations on finishing today! Would have been an amazing feeling. I am a Perth local and would love to be able to do an end-to-end one day. I would love to know what your overall highlights (and maybe lowlights) of the trip were? Congrats again!

aussiesolohiker245 karma

Thanks! I'm forever encouraging people I know to do it, it's shown me a side of WA I never really knew existed.

My highlight was watching the morning mist flow through the Pingerup Plains from the top of Mount Chance at sunrise. Nothing but natural beauty in every direction.

My lowlight was suffering from hyponatremia near a remote campsite and being genuinely worried I was about to have a heart attack. More on that here:

Rarest__Pepe38 karma

Your blog posts are great to read... looks like you really did have quite the adventure! Love it ๐Ÿ˜

aussiesolohiker18 karma

Thanks! I'm just getting the blog off the ground, I love hearing that people like reading it.

ParisGreenGretsch16 karma

What's Perth like? When I retire I'm going to make a radical change.

aussiesolohiker48 karma

Paradise on earth.

FEADC39 karma

Weeeeelllllll......... wouldn't go that far. I'm looking at you Armahole

aussiesolohiker34 karma

Every city has its downside. I honestly can't think of many places I'd rather live.

FriendOfTheDevil72158 karma

How do you fund your long treks? How do you take the time off work to do these long ones?

aussiesolohiker107 karma

My longest sections were 16 days and 8 days, both of which were using regular holiday time. It's a pretty cheap holiday once you've got the gear - you only spend money on the days you visit towns.

MeltdownInteractive102 karma

Well done, see any interesting wildlife?

aussiesolohiker243 karma

About a billion kangaroos, plenty of beautiful red tail cockatoos and a few snakes in the southern sections. I'm yet to encounter an echidna or a quenda!

EDIT: I forgot I snapped this pretty decent roo shot!

deerheadapparition83 karma

Firstly congratulations!

1) longest stretch with no water? Did you treat water?

2) how much food did you need to carry?

3) which months did you hike in?

4) would you recommend it to a non Australian?

5) did you have any scary wildlife encounters?

6) have you done other hikes like this before?

aussiesolohiker145 karma

Thank you!

1) my longest stretch without water was only a day. Each of the shelters has a water tank, which always has water in winter. I once heard a rumour that a tank at Mount Chance shelter was dry, so I had to carry a (very heavy) two-day supply of water there, but the rumours turned out to be exaggerated. The tap was just partly clogged!

2) The longest I've gone without a food resupply was eight days, between Balingup and Pemberton. The bag was pretty heavy the first few days, but most of my meals were dehydrated so it wasn't unmanageable.

3) Between May and November each year.

4) Absolutely! Walking the Bibbulmun is a stunning way to see Western Australia (and the only way to see many of the beautiful places it visits)

5) I had a few times when I nearly stumbled on a snake, but they always slithered away before I trod on them.

6) Nope! Next year I'm hoping to do the Pacific Crest Trail, which is about 4 times as long!

TheUnforgiven1359 karma

Where are you from? I'm an Albany native and would love to know what you thought of the area. I personally believe we have one of the best stretches of coastline on the planet.

aussiesolohiker57 karma

I couldn't agree with you more, the south coast is awe-inspiring. I'm from Perth and I love our beaches, but there's nothing like the wild power of the southern coast.

marktx43 karma

Have you thought about doing the whole thing at once, while only resting at night?

aussiesolohiker67 karma

I'd love to, but I've got my sights set on the Pacific Crest Trail next year. If I get back and I don't find a job quickly, I may just do that.

marktx12 karma

Will you be doing the PCT all at once, or will you be breaking it up over a long period of time?

aussiesolohiker38 karma

All at once is the plan ๐Ÿคž

MeditatingLemur25 karma

What creature comfort did you miss most? And what food are you most looking forward to have now?

aussiesolohiker49 karma

DAIRY. I never realised how much I loved fresh milk, yoghurt, ice cream and all the other dairy products until I couldn't have them. Thankfully I could take cheddar cheese, which lasts a long time if stored properly.

(I guess that answers both questions ๐Ÿ˜…)

burg1125 karma

what foods did you eat along the way? how do you prepare your body's hunger for the change?

aussiesolohiker71 karma

My typical daily diet was:

Breakfast: Oats and sugar (with fruit if I'd recently left a town), coffee, muesli bar.

Lunch: Turkish wrap with rehydrated hummus, salami, cheddar cheese and cherry tomatoes. One or two chocolate bars.

Dinner: A dehydrated meal I'd prepared at home. My favourites were chilli con carne, Thai yellow curry and spaghetti Bolognese. Hot chocolate and a chocolate bar.

Snacks: Nuts, M&Ms, beef jerky, muesli bars.

When I was in towns I absolutely stuffed my face, especially with dairy products and fresh baked goods.

I didn't really prepare myself for the hunger, I just managed it as best I could.

Comrade_ash19 karma

What boots?

aussiesolohiker33 karma

Trail runners. Initially Merrells, which fell apart, followed by Salomon XA Pro 3Ds (love the quick laces). I did wear a pair of Scarpa boots on an 8-day section from Balingup to Pemberton that was especially wet.

TheQueenOfFilth18 karma

Congrats! It's on my bucket list for sure.

Ended up having a kid though so how doable is it with a little one? Any particular sections more suitable for kids?

(Bearing in mind we have equipment sutable for kiddie hiking and camping)

aussiesolohiker23 karma

There are definitely sections suited for kids, how old are they?

Ball Creek shelter is only 2km from the nearest road access, ditto Brookton. If they're a little older, they might be able to tackle a multi-day in the Darling Range section where the campsites are only about 10km apart.

Philieselphy17 karma

My dad was a friend of Geoff Schafer (spelling...) Apparently he founded the Bibbulmun. He was a fascinating and kind of odd guy. Do you want to hear the 2 or 3 things I remember about him?

aussiesolohiker13 karma

Yes please! I'd love to know more about its history.

evilistics17 karma

So did you just continue where you left off? Did you just bus it there and back between towns?

aussiesolohiker12 karma

It was a bit here and there. Mostly driving with lifts at the other end from track angels and friends, although I did take the bus home from Albany.

STXDakota17 karma

Did you lose, gain or maintain weight ?

aussiesolohiker38 karma

I've lost 20 kilograms since I started, including 5 kilograms on my most recent section! It wasn't entirely down to hiking though, I also joined the gym (to keep fit for hiking). I'm now a healthy 81kg.

STXDakota11 karma

Thanks for the reply, interesting. Did you do a lot of trail running or mountain hiking to prepare?

Also, how did your body adapt to the long days of walking? I'm thinking like back, hips, ankles feet etc - did they adapt well or were you completely messed up after every day walking?

aussiesolohiker30 karma

On my first sections, I experienced crippling foot and knee pain that nearly made me quit hiking altogether. Instead, I went to a podiatrist who fitted me for orthotic inserts, and a physiotherapist who taught me a stretching routine to counteract my patellofemoral syndrome (maltracking of the kneecap). The orthotics cured my foot pain immediately, and the stretching routine fixed the knee pain and generally made me feel less shattered at the end of each day. It took a lot of work getting my calves and quads in shape as well, mostly just from hiking and city running / biking.

vrkas12 karma

Orthotics make a big difference. I have flat feet and hiking is so much more fun when your shins aren't on fire.

aussiesolohiker10 karma

^ truth

Alkaladar15 karma

How many Kms did you average a day?

aussiesolohiker94 karma

Roughly about 20, but I've been known to push up to 35 if I know there's a pub waiting for me.

Blakesta44415 karma

Holy shit, I might have seen you today, did you go with a group of people all wearing yellow bags?

aussiesolohiker23 karma

I was with a group of people at Kalamunda, but we didn't all have yellow bags ๐Ÿค”


r u ded?

aussiesolohiker35 karma

Nah, just fukd.

marble_god12 karma

Iโ€™ve been on the bibb for a few day hikes and am about to head out for my first overnighters now that Iโ€™ve got my sleeping gear sorted. Itโ€™s a fantastic trail and Iโ€™ll do it end to end next year I hope.

Did you carry a tent and if so, which one? During winter are the shelters ever full? Iโ€™d hate to plan a multi-day overnighters without a tent and rock up to a full shelter!

aussiesolohiker16 karma

Best of luck! Make that end to end a priority, it's worth it. I had a ZPacks Duplex. Very expensive, but when it's your only guaranteed shelter for 1000km, it's absolutely worth it. I used it at almost every hut, it felt a lot cosier and more private than the shelters.

princessopp10 karma

Do you prefer solo hiking or group hiking? (yes, I see your username too. :P)

aussiesolohiker22 karma

I enjoy hiking with friends, but long solo hikes are my favourite! There's nothing like going on a big adventure in the wilderness where you're not dependent on anyone for anything.

drphildobaggins9 karma

How many times did you die?

aussiesolohiker10 karma

Only twice!

HappyslappedBrit9 karma

Are you going to walk the 600 miles home or do you think you'll take a cab?

aussiesolohiker6 karma

I walked home ๐Ÿ˜‰

shaokim9 karma

Did you encounter any big spiders, snakes or other nightmarish things? It's a silly question, but I'd be hard-pressed to go if you have encountered them.

aussiesolohiker16 karma

A few spiders at the wooden shelters, but I left them alone and they returned the favour. I saw plenty of snakes in the southern coastal section, but almost nowhere else. I was also worried about them when I started, but you get over that pretty quickly. A bit of common sense (stomping your feet in overgrown sections) will generally keep you safe.

givnv9 karma

How did you cope with the flies???

aussiesolohiker37 karma

By not hiking in summer!

TimothyDahBomb8 karma

Amazing! Do you have any plans to do other lengthy hikes in Australia?

aussiesolohiker16 karma

Close to home I've still got to do the Cape to Cape Track from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, which defeated me on my first attempt (nightmarish blisters).

The Larapinta in the Northern Territory looks amazing, so that's also on my list.

thecolouredline5 karma

I've done the Larapinta in full but with a support vehicle and day packs with a bunch of mates and I would love to do another hike that's similar. Very inspring stuff! If only I wasn't a casual I could take the time off ๐Ÿ˜…

aussiesolohiker3 karma

I hope you can make it work!

imaginary_mary8 karma

Did you run into bad weather at any point? If so, how did you protect yourself from it?

aussiesolohiker15 karma

I actually finished today in driving rain! It wasn't so bad, because I knew there were fresh clothes and a hot shower waiting for me.

I ran into plenty of rain, it's something you just deal with as best you can with rain gear. When it's not raining, I dry items of clothing by hanging them off straps on my pack while I hike.

DawsonDownunder7 karma

Congratulations. Sand Groper here... massive effort and envious. good thing you finished today. It's great weather for ducks. Not so much a long walk.

aussiesolohiker4 karma

Given the weather over the whole hike, it was a fitting end.

Ramikaoko8 karma

What was your favorite orchid on the way? Any luck with the Queen of Sheba?

Also what was your best piece of gear?

Edit: I see a fellow thru hiker, I upvote!

aussiesolohiker4 karma

King and his Carriage, definitely.

My favourite piece of gear was my ZPacks Duplex tent. It's my palace!

HGleoz7 karma

Usually human can walk at 5km/h. So you just walk during 4h per day ?

aussiesolohiker30 karma

With a 15kg pack on your back, over rough ground, 4km/h is closer. Add on a couple of breaks, lots of photo stops and a long lunch stop and I'm generally 'on trail' for about 7-8 hours each day.

HGleoz7 karma

Oh ok, sorry for my dumb question!

aussiesolohiker14 karma

Not at all!

phbin6 karma

If you had only 2 weeks to walk approx 25-30km/day is there any particular stretch of trail youโ€™d recommend?

aussiesolohiker13 karma

Walpole to Denmark. It's got the best variety of an part of the trail - karri forest, giant tingle trees, and the amazing southern coast.

theyosua5 karma

Congrats mate! While I'm sure there were parts that were just overwhelmingly beautiful, within 1000k I'm sure there were boring stretches too. How did you keep from boredom then? music? (Personally I trek w audiobooks and I like monstrously long fantasy epics)

aussiesolohiker7 karma

I also love audiobooks! Besides that, music and my own thoughts. I got quite good at daydreaming.

DarkBlueMullet5 karma

What was your motive and incentive? Also, how can you afford it, in terms of not being at work? Thank you.

aussiesolohiker4 karma

The thrill of adventure! I've only used my regular leave at work so far.

jakejuliett5 karma

Congratulations! How does a hike that long effect your mental well-being, either day-to-day or by the end of it?

aussiesolohiker7 karma

It made me realise what's important and what isn't. I no longer view my career as the reason for my existence. We're on this planet for a finite period, we should do whatever we can to make it count.

chippychopper5 karma

Whatโ€™s the best pub meal you had at the end of a hike? I used to do sections of the Bibbulmun with my Dad and there was nothing quite like a good pub steak after days of dehydrated food.

aussiesolohiker4 karma

Honestly, sweet pastries in Walpole after 7 days out. 10/10 apple danish.

StrNotSize4 karma

How much stuff did you start out with? How much stuff did you get rid of along the way?

How did the hike change you and how did it not change you?

aussiesolohiker4 karma

To answer both questions, I became a lot more minimalist - both in hiking and in life. I pared back my gear quite a bit, and realised how much unnecessary junk I had in my everyday life at the same time.

TheLuckyNalgene4 karma

Iโ€™m from the USA and Iโ€™m curious about the sort of differences in predators, poisonous plants and insects there. Are there any of those three things to worry about on the Bibbilmun Track?

I did the Pacific Crest Trail all in one go in 2012. Start April 10th and finished August 21. You, too, can ask me anything. I see you plan to do the PCT one day. PM me if you have very many questions

aussiesolohiker3 karma

Honestly it's nothing to worry about - if you've done the PCT there's no question you can do the Bibbulmun. There are snakes, but probably fewer than the rattlers in SoCal.

Saving your profile for PCT questions! Is there one piece of advice you'd give wannabe thru-hikers above all others?

GroveStanley4 karma

What were your thoughts of Mt Cooke? What time of day were you there? Did you happen to stay at Nerang camp? Are there rules about camp fires?

My girlfriend and I (Perth locals) are doing an overnighter with some mates from Sullivans Rock to Nerang and back next weekend for my birthday. Congrats on completing the Bibb!

aussiesolohiker4 karma

I've done Mount Cooke loads of times, it's fantastic! My favourite was a sunrise trek in the rain, the mist made it absolutely magical. That said, I'd definitely recommend the walk to Monadnocks over Nerang. Much more interesting, and the views from Mt Vincent and Mt Cuthbert are stunning.

aussiekinga4 karma

Do you always start where you left off, or was it more Hodge podge? How did you coordinate pickup (I assume your phone goes flat on the longer hikes)?

aussiesolohiker8 karma

Mostly a hodge podge. I took a battery pack for my phone, and did car shuffles with fellow hikers for the really remote bits where there's no other access.

Hotfingaz4 karma

What was the most introspective discovery you found while on your trek?

aussiesolohiker22 karma

That it really is about the journey, not the destination. Finishing today was satisfying, but it's the moments on the trail I'll remember more than the ending.

IgottagoTT3 karma

American here. I heard about this hike and my first reaction was: 90% of the animals and a good number of the plants in Australia will kill you, given half a chance. Is it dangerous to be out there?

aussiesolohiker3 karma

Certainly no more than any American trail. No animal has ever killed a Bibbulmun Track hiker.

QuantumD3 karma

Do you often walk smaller tracks still, or is it big-time only now for you?

What would you recommend for people start with if they wanted to get into this, should they aim for the stars or start with smaller local walk tracks?

aussiesolohiker9 karma

I like day walks, but I'll rarely bother with anything less than 10km (only because I want to get my petrol money's worth).

Small tracks can be great, but the real appeal of hiking for me is feeling like you're on a real adventure, which I really don't get a sense of when I know my car is waiting for me at the end of the day. I'd recommend tackling a relatively short overnight hike (perhaps a return loop), then moving on to a multi-day.

b455m4573r3 karma

What kind of boots do you wear?

aussiesolohiker6 karma

Trail runners mostly! I'm a fan of my Salomon XA Pro 3Ds.

Puzzysl4yer3 karma

Well done! I currently live in Albany and am now curious about the track. What preparations did you have to make and what is the best time of the year to walk?

aussiesolohiker8 karma

Hiking is it's own preparation really - I did shorter sections at first, then built up to longer ones. Most people hike in autumn and spring, but I love winter because everything is flowing!

Beans793 karma

How are you getting home?

aussiesolohiker13 karma

I live here!

Sheckles3 karma

Did you see any snakes?

aussiesolohiker3 karma

Only about 50.

dales09933 karma

Congrats - I did the full hike about 2 years ago too, itโ€™s a huge achievement.

What sort of differences did you see from start to end of the hike? (Equipment, personal weight etc.)

aussiesolohiker3 karma

About 20kg in personal weight (although a lot of that was due to other exercise), plenty of tweaking of equipment. I swapped out my tent, my cooking pot, and a bunch of other equipment. I also decided it's worth taking a proper camera.

OroOroAra3 karma

What will you walk next?

aussiesolohiker4 karma

The Pacific Crest Trail next year. Can't wait!

Samaeq3 karma

Read above that you generally had 15kg on your back. Seems heavy, but I do much shorter jaunts. Iโ€™m considering the AT in a few years. What was your essential gear?

aussiesolohiker6 karma

15kg at most, when loaded up with 8 days of food and 3L of water. My average was 11-12kg. I've pared down my gear pretty well, take a look at the blog post above for my list (specific gear reviews still coming).

StephtheWanderer3 karma

How frequented is this trail? Are you out in the bush or are there plenty of fellow hikers?

aussiesolohiker6 karma

Variable. I went 8 days without seeing another soul, but in the sections near Perth I saw 10+ people a day.

shabong3 karma

You're cute! Wanna hang?

aussiesolohiker4 karma


shabong4 karma

Wanna bang?

aussiesolohiker4 karma

That depends.

mycatisabrat3 karma

How many drop bears get ya?

aussiesolohiker12 karma

I put Vegemite behind my ears every morning, no drop bear is touching me ๐Ÿคž

CenterOfTheUniverse3 karma

How many drop bears did you have to fight off and what did you use to defeat them?

aussiesolohiker7 karma

Since I adopted the Vegemite method, none, thank God ๐Ÿ™ Every hiker should use it!

blitzinger2 karma

Are there alligators?

aussiesolohiker4 karma

Australia has crocodiles, but not this far south.

T0-rex2 karma

How do you go to the toilet?

aussiesolohiker7 karma

The campsites have drop toilets/privies, in between you dig a hole!

Cupcake_111 karma

๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ I gotta question. Why?

aussiesolohiker1 karma

More importantly, why not?