Kalamunda to Mundaring
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 - This was the first hike I published when I started The Life of Py many moons ago as I had spent plenty of hours training on this particular section of the Bibbulmun Track during my younger years. At the time of the first post I didn't have my camera with me for a reason I can't remember so the page for this hike never really did it justice. To amend this I organised a re-shoot and this time I would extend it all the way out to the Mundaring Weir Hotel. You can view the archived version here if you want to but the updated hike is a magical tale of quicksand, camels, thieving 28s, spooky tents, bromance, missing persons, acro-yoga, hill people and a wet, dark finish. This is going to be a long read so pause here if you haven't already brewed up a tea or coffee and go do that, we will wait.
The northern point of the world famous Bibbulmun Track is a place many end to enders feel either a great sense of accomplishment or trepidation, depending on whether they are starting or finishing the 1,000km adventure. For me this first section to Mundaring Weir is one I know like the back of my hand (which was well tested at the end of the hike) and every visit is like seeing an old friend. Sharing this hike with me today were good friends Aron, Tom and Mel along with new friend from the group hikes, Kiera. Aron was with me on the Kattamordo so had experience on a day long hike, Tom and Mel have done half-marathons and trekked in Patagonia so were right as rain (Tom even came off a 12 hour night shift straight into this hike) but for Kiera this was going to be a personal best. The meeting time was 8:30am due to Tom having to get home after night shift and get ready but this proved useful as I was still nursing a wine hangover from a particularly enjoyable work function the night before. Waiting at the Northern Terminus picnic table was Kiera and when we arrived she was talking to a Bibbulmun expert. He gave us tips on the hike to come and explained he had covered more that 25,000km on the trail in his lifetime. He was trail running to Hewitt Hill Campsite so we would see him on his return journey. The start of the trail is one I have always been perplexed by and surely must cause some confusion with those doing it for the first time. You go through the little landmark and off into the forest, only to come across a suburban road and houses 100m later with no obvious direction to take.
It isn't until a further 200m down Spring St that you are pointed back into the forest and can begin your journey. Seeing as how this wasn't foreign to me we all scrubbed our boots at the first dieback station just off Spring St and continued on towards where the trail meets up with Jorgensen Park. Tom, Mel and myself were here last Sunday as part of dog week so it felt a tiny bit like déjà vu. Stopping at the top of the hill to overlook the valley containing Piesse Brook, everyone snapped some photos and lamented the lack of a photo competition on this hike (sorry guys, group hikes only). The downhill run to the picture perfect section next to Piesse Brook was a breeze as we admired the wildflowers coming into bloom but we weren't without incident. There are very small sections of squishy mud that disguise themselves like hard rock and Mel discovered just how deep they were when she stuck her foot into one and was consumed by the muddy chasm. Later retellings of the story involved Tom heroically rescuing his wife from a ravenous quicksand deposit whilst shirtless and being attacked by a puma. While it wasn't quite as bad as that, Mel did have uncomfortable mud up past her ankles and it required a good wash when we arrived at Piesse Brook. One of the best stretches of this hike is just past the steep section of loose rocks as the trail makes a turn east and turns into a single file track running parallel to the flowing waters of Piesse Brook.