Kalamunda to Hewett's Hill
24th April 2018
Directions - The Northern Terminus is very easy to locate, drive to the roundabout where Mead St and Railway Rd meet and find an entry to the Coles car park. The trail head is across Railway Rd, you can't miss it.
The Hike - Kalamunda marks the start of the Bibbulmun Track for those heading north to south and the location of my very first steps on the track over 10 years ago. With a planned finish date of 2019 for my sectional end to end I thought it would be best to put my most hiked section of the track up on the website to complete the full experience. As I've completed this in pieces over the years, this will be more of a guide/love letter to the Darling Range section. With more than a few trips out to the popular day hiking spots in the area I have a few photos from each trip that I've pieced together here, hence why they don't look like they're from the same day.
The starting point at the Northern Terminus has recently been upgraded to provide more spectacle and meaning for those departing the hills suburb of Kalamunda. Previously I found it to be a bit weird that a 1000km journey started opposite a Coles car park with little more than a small information shelter and a little wooden gateway. The area now feels like a quality trail head and links back to the aboriginal heritage/knowledge of the land and the seasons. For the life of me I don't know why I haven't taken photos of the new layout but I'll get there this year and update the page accordingly. When you take your first steps through the new gateway and onto the track it is right into the forest for 50m before you are faced with a tarmac road and a bit of a shock. I've said it before in my other post about this first section and also on the podcast, it's a weird start that is unavoidable given the location of the Northern Terminus in relation to the surrounding housing. Luckily the walk down Spring Rd isn't too long and you soon see the red coloured wooden board with yellow writing that will become familiar as you walk the 1000km to Albany (or even if you are just doing a day walk). While you won't be walking in thick or natural forest straight away, this mix of open fields and tall eucalypts makes for a better start than you'd expect after leaving such a populated area.
As you approach the edges of Jorgensen Park, an old golf course that has since been converted into a popular dog walking area, you get a feel for where the old fairways used to be. A fair amount of rehabilitation work is occurring in this area to clear up the streams and convert the bushland into something more natural. I kind of enjoyed the dense wattle that lit up with bright yellows in winter and spring (see gallery) but understand why they are doing what they are doing. Walking up the hill and through some more mature forest you reach the edge of one of the bigger open spaces at Jorgensen Park and the chance to see some locals walking their dogs. Skirting around the edge or walking through the middle of the field (your option), you reach the forest on the edge of Kalamunda National Park and climb up to a lookout spot that is just magical at sunrise. With views looking over the Piesse Brook Valley, this is a spot I always stop at for at least 10 minutes just to sit in the stillness and breath it all in. From here you can trace your journey for the next few kilometres as you descend down into the valley and rise up again before reaching the power lines that are a spec on the horizon. I've spent quite a few sunrises here and it's not a bad way to start a days hiking.