Lake Maringup to Dog Pool Bibbulmun Track

Lake Maringup to Dog Pool

Bibbulmun Track

Start

Lake Maringup

Time

5-9 Hours

Finish

Dog Pool

Date Hiked

3rd June 2018

Length

25.9km

Campsite Style

Nornalup

Elevation

540m

Traditional Custodians

Bibbulman People

The Hike - A beautiful afternoon and evening at the Lake Maringup continued into the morning with another comfortable sleep thanks to my upgraded sleeping mat and new socks. With a late sunrise I found myself awake before dawn and kept an eye out of my tent at the dark skies to make sure I was up and about for the pre-dawn light show and eventually the sunrise. Noticing a change in the light I extracted myself from the warmth of my sleeping bag and put the thongs on to go inspect the changing light from the edge of Lake Maringup. It was a beautiful spectacle as a tiny sliver of cloud added just enough for the light to bounce off it and settle in all kinds of lovely warm tones. Initially a deep orange and yellow, as the sun edged ever closer to the horizon the sky changed to a purple and then finally a blue hue.

The actual sunrise was a bit muted with a tiny section of orange largely masked by the large amounts of blue now filling the sky. I returned to the shelter to find Brett up and about, getting his gear together for a morning beverage. I thought that seemed like a good idea so got out my new coffee system and fired up my stove. I was expecting the Swiss couple that had walked in at 7pm the previous night to be up and about but Brett said they had left before dawn. We were both perplexed as to why you would walk the track and not at least make time to spend some daylight hours at some of the campsite along the way given that is what the Bibbulmun is highly praised for. I mulled over their potential reasoning while I drank my coffee and ate my dry granola, coming to the conclusion that while you miss out on seeing some of the campsites at night, they would at least be spending lunch at every other campsite along this section (although they would have missed two of the best in Mt Chance and Lake Maringup given their schedule). Even though I had my longest day of the trip at 26km ahead of me, I was in no rush this morning. This section looked pretty flat on the map elevation chart (although my GPS clocked 540m of vertical ascent for the day) and I wanted to enjoy the loveliness of the campsite for as long as I could.

 

Eventually though I packed away my gear and said my goodbyes to Brett before heading off and passing the lake for one last farewell. The bright blue of the morning sky was reflecting off the surface so I took a couple of quick snaps and headed into the Karri forest, ready to tackle another day of walking in this amazing part of the state. With the area surrounding Lake Maringup being a lush heaven of tall trees and thick undergrowth I expected that to continue as I started the day and was not disappointed with the scenery. With the track initially heading east, it meant that I was shooting directly into the low morning sun, making it hard to truly capture the extent of the Karri trunks poking out from the tunnel of thick undergrowth. Reminding me very much of the Karri forest leaving Boarding House, the tall canopy and the enclosed feeling of the ground plants was a welcome relief from the mostly burnt forest I had been seeing since leaving Northcliffe. Now well into my trail groove I was just enjoying soaking it all in as I meandered along the track admiring the shredded Karri bark lying everywhere and the various fungi dotting the forest floor (managed to get a few non-blurry shots). I had a laugh at the small sections of boardwalk that had been installed at various points. While very much appreciated when things are a little wet, they are more of a token gesture as Ben and Donovan pointed out in the podcast episode of this section.