Rame Head to Peaceful Bay
20th August 2019
The Hike - After a fantastic first three days on the track between Walpole and Denmark, I had scheduled in a shorter day into Peaceful Bay. At only 12.5km, most hikers see this as an opportunity to double hut, enjoying lunch at Peaceful Bay before continuing on to Boat Harbour. When I first started planning my sectional end to end, I made a point of not rushing sections and slowing down where possible. If that meant I had a few short days like the one into Harris Dam or here into Peaceful Bay then so be it. Making the decision much easier to not double today was the famous fish and chips that can be found at Peaceful Bay, plus the opportunity for a swim in the sheltered waters. I had specifically upgraded my hiking towel for this trip to something bigger and brought along a pair of board shorts so the only thing that would stop me going for a swim would be big swells or a school of sharks swarming in the shallows.
Waking up to a stunning sunrise, the Rame Head Campsite is perfectly positioned up on the hill to take in the beauty of the rising sun. Facing east and being able to see right across to Peaceful Bay and beyond to Little Quarram is really cool, even more so if there is a think mist floating over the ocean. I was fortunate to experience a really cool light show as the sun started to peak over the horizon and pierce the early morning clouds. Unfortunately I had once again not remembered to change my camera settings from trying to capture the rising moon the previous night so my early shots did not turn out. Luckily I caught it early and managed to get a few of the sunrise as it would have been devastating not to have any photos showcasing the loveliness.
With a light day distance wise and not much to do in Peaceful Bay except eat and swim, I took my time around camp, hoping for another visit from my kangaroo friends but they didn't show up. Another great advantage of the shelter facing east is you are warmed by the morning sun as you're going about your business of packing up and having breakfast. Enjoying a second hot beverage was a luxury I allowed myself as it felt right and I always pack extra just in case. I ended up leaving after 9am, figuring 3-4 hours was plenty of time to reach Peaceful Bay for a nice spot of lunch. With another sunny day forecast in the low 20s, I would get more ideal weather as I hiked near the coast, albeit with slightly saturated photos given I was walking in an easterly direction towards the sun. The trail to start with takes you out of camp on a sandy 4x4 track where you begin a long descent down towards the coast.
Unfortunately the 4x4 track will be home for about 3km and this is the first time for this section that it felt like you were using a track for expedience. With muted views towards the coast, there doesn't seem to be anything of note inland to make this an enjoyable experience. The track was realigned through here many years ago because of safety reasons, which is a real shame because you look at the map and there are some long beach stretches that look pretty cool that I know the old alignment visited. One day it would be nice if there were two options, one if you don't mind the risk of the coastal walking and the weather is fine and then the current alignment if you aren't comfortable with the rugged coast or if the weather is terrible. Staring into the sun, I was having to chose the direction I was shooting as straight ahead wasn't producing the best photos. Concentrating on what was at my feet instead and the occasional ocean view, I found enough to keep me interested with a few very sandy sundews along with a decent variety of wildflowers.
Reaching the end of the 4x4 track alignment, you pass a management gate that has a cool Bibbulmun Track sign attached to it and you can start enjoying your day. Leaving the 4x4 track, you head along the edge of a little valley that was a welcome relief from the glare and monotony of the previous 3km. Although still leaving you exposed to the elements, the single track allowed for a much closer experience with the land and compressed what I like to call the "Hiker Shroud", the space you are immediately aware of and can interact with. Sometimes it's fun to have a wide open trail and when you have expansive views or tall trees this is great but when you are on a 4x4 track through sandy scrub it is less than ideal. The wildflowers through here were excellent and I stopped quite a lot, including trying to photograph the bees that were buzzing around. After walking through typical scrub you'll find in these coastal sections, you come across a dieback station that I'm not entirely sure gets maintained. It does provide a seat if you want to have a rest and while I was partaking in said rest, a kangaroo popped out of the scrub behind me and then proceeded to stare at me for a while.