The South West region in Western Australia offers some of the nation’s best national parks and amazing landscapes, making it ideal for hiking and camping adventures. One of the most challenging trails is known as the Bibbulmun Track, which is one of the longest paths on the planet at a length of about 600 miles.
(photo credit: barkochre)
The Bibbulmun Track starts off in Kalamunda, which is just north of the major city of Perth. It winds its way through the South West and then down along the South Coast and ends up in the town of Albany. If you want to conquer the entire hike it can take anywhere between about 6 and 8 weeks. However, the track is also divided into different sections for those who want to hike certain parts of it. If you decide to tackle the whole 600 miles of trail, there are plenty of places to stop along the way for a rest as there are close to 50 different camp sites on it.
Another popular hiking trail is known as the Cape to Cape. This path is about 84 miles long and starts off at the lighthouse in Cape Naturaliste. It travels over the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge and then winds up at Cape Leeuwin. There are several campsites along the way and the entire hike usually takes between five and eight days to complete. This trail is also divided into smaller sections if you’d like a shorter hike.
The trail offers some exceptional coastal and forest scenery as much of it is along the coastline. You’ll also see plenty of headlands, cliffs, rock formations and caves on the walk.
At 3 miles long, the Bluff Knoll Bush Walk isn’t as long as the Cape to Cape and Bibbulman trails, but it’s just as exciting because of the awesome views. This hike travels through the beautiful Stirling Ranges, which are on the Southern Coast just north of Albany. There’s plenty of wildlife along the path, with reptiles and birds everywhere. It’s especially amazing from August to November because of the added beauty of the wildflowers. However, if you’d like to try longer hiking and camping trips in the Bluff Knoll, they’re available, just make sure you can handle the cold nights.
The Meelup Reserve Trail is 9 miles long and another wonderful Western Australian coastal hike. It starts out in Dunsborough and finishes in Meelup. If you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of seals, whales, and dolphins along the way as well as a variety of land animals, snakes and birds.
For those who like riverside trails, you’ll be interested in the Luke Pen Walk, which is also on the South Coast near to Albany. This trail follows the Kaglan River and is about six miles long. It takes about four hours to complete and offers splendid views of the countryside and river.
If you’re just out for a pleasant day and aren’t looking for a long hike you can head over to Crooked Brook Forest near the town of Bunbury and enjoy the Forest Path. This is a short concrete path that travels in a loop. It’s ideal for people who aren’t very mobile and offers barbeques and picnic tables. There are also some longer hiking trails at Crooked Brook with the longest being about six miles. There are plenty of other fine trails in the South West region of Australia, such as Nancy’s Peak, the Margaret River trail, Oak Grove Walk, and Mount Frankland.