Noggerup to Grimwade Bibbulmun Track

Noggerup to Grimwade

Bibbulmun Track

Start

Noggerup

Time

5-8 Hours

Finish

Grimwade

Date Hiked

17th September 2018

Length

22.4km

Campsite Style

Standard

Elevation

522m

Traditional Custodians

Kaniyang People

The Hike - With overnight rain arriving, my run of good weather had come to an end but I do enjoy a drizzly day in the forest so was happy for the change. My fellow campsite users were up and about as I went to get water for a morning beverage. Given our short conversations last night I was confident they were not hiking all the way to Grimwade today as they were "taking it easy" and doing some "off-track hiking". I packed up my wet tent and possessions before filling up my water bottles and finally departed just after 9am. Refusing a generous offer of a joint from the two middle aged stoners, I was happy to be back on my own as I re-joined the 4x4 track that led in and out of camp. Making sure I exited the correct way, the start of the day involved some lovely mature Jarrah forest with a good variety of wildflowers and some fungi. Starting with a moderate hill is not a polite way to begin your day but it hardly seemed like any effort with all the colour dotting the forest floor.

The moody conditions suited me just fine as the greys and blacks of the Jarrah trunks came through a lot better in the photos. Reminding me of the Sika Trail in nearby Wellington NP, this was a lovely start to the day. After going through a mid of a 2000s trance mood for the first two days I was back into something a bit more relaxing and in touch with walking through the damp forest. This meant I spooked an emu a bit too quickly and didn't manage to get a photo of it as it scurried away into the distance. Moving on I came across a small gully that had some old tree trunks fashioned into stepping stones that meant I didn't have to worry about getting the boots wet early on in the day (not that it would have been an issue). A rusty muffler or piece of scrap metal attached to a tree stump provides a point of interest as you begin on 4x4 tracks through some taller Jarrah forest. It may not be to everyone's taste but I quite enjoy racking up the kilometres in this type of forest and just getting into a rhythm. Spotting an orchid brought me out of my rhythm momentarily before an intersection with another 4x4 track. Given there wasn't to photograph besides long forest tracks, wildflowers and orchids (not a bad problem to have), I got a wide panoramic of this intersection because it looked kind of cool and I love seeing so many trees in one shot. Leading up to the crossing of Mandalay Rd, the emergence of more Marri trees with their gnarlier and thicker bark became apparent.

 

Livening up the sometimes dull looking Jarrah forest, these provided some variety but also more gum nuts on the track so watch your ankles. Making a turn to run parallel with Mandalay Rd, the track became very messy with a large number of fallen branches, trees and general debris littering the surrounding area. Occasionally you'll have to step over a log or two but it is much better than some sections of Warren to Schafer. A small downhill section leads down to a gully where I decided to stop for a bit of a rest in the drizzle. Looking at the map I was coming up to some virgin Jarrah forest and this had me intrigued as to how different it would be from the rest of the surrounding forest. I'm generally easy to please but I wondered what made this bit so special given the amount of forestry tracks in the area that they decided this bit wasn't to be chopped down. At my rest point I admired the mossy features on some of the peppermint trees before getting up and mentally preparing for the upcoming hill. It's not steep or long but still a good calf burner as you ascend up into forest similar to what you have been experiencing all morning.