Boat Harbour to William Bay

Bibbulmun Track

Start

Boat Harbour

Time

6-9 Hours

Finish

William Bay

Date Hiked

21st September 2019

Length

23.2km

Campsite Style

Nornalup

Elevation

420m

Traditional Custodians

Minang People

Part One - After receiving news at Peaceful Bay that the Parry Inlet was not passable, my night at Boat Harbour would unfortunately be my last for this trip. Arranging an 11am pickup, I wanted to be up early so I wasn't rushing through the 12km between Boat Harbour and Parry Beach. With the trip cut short it was a bittersweet morning at Boat Harbour. On one hand I would be spending extra time with my family in Funbury (was due to head there for my nephew's birthday after the trip anyway) but it would have been nice to hike through to Denmark as planned. The location of the shelter means you have to wander the few hundred metres down to Boat Harbour itself if you want to take in the sunrise but on this occasion I decided to sleep in and start packing for an earlier than usual departure. My aim was to be out of camp by before 7:30am but I dawdled a fair bit and I eventually left at 7:45am.

With a fair amount of dune walking to do in the 12km, maintaining a 4kmph average with photo breaks was going to be tricky but if it was anything like the section after Middle Quarram from the day before, I think I could easily put the jets on given the same same scenery that the coastal sections can serve up. Leaving camp, I walked down to the official Boat Harbour, passing another toilet block (nice to know you have options if camp is busy) that is there to service the 4x4 campers that visit Boat Harbour. A sheltered cove, Boat Harbour is a really cool place that I wish I had time to explore the previous evening. The granite headland contains some smaller beaches and cool rocky platforms that make it a popular spot for people to visit, hence the 4x4 camping location. Spotting the beach entrance for the first time is pretty cool and you can see your morning ahead of you with the coastal cliffs extending off into the distance. While you do get to see some nice views of the rugged limestone cliffs, the majority of the walking will be done inland so really enjoy the bits close to the coast while they last. The sheltered cove of Boat Harbour is one of those places as you head down to the beach and walk along the bay until you reach the other side. Being a calm morning, the water was like a mirror and it was really peaceful. There were no campers around so I had the whole place to myself and it felt a lot more like a secluded spot than the beaches around the Quarrams on the previous day. 

Steve had mentioned on the podcast that the other side of Boat Harbour can be confusing as people like to move the markers to be along the 4x4 track. On my visit they were in the right place and so when I reached the other side of the bay I climbed up onto the path and headed south towards the rocky platforms. Taking in the last views of Boat Harbour, the track then takes you over another small headland and onto a much bigger beach. This one also has 4x4 access (like pretty much every beach on the south coast unfortunately) but once again I was lucky to have it all to myself. I do enjoy a good morning beach walk and in the cool winter air (part one was completed in late August) I settled in for the last of the beach walking for my morning. Keeping an eye out for the beach exit given my issue getting off Back Beach the day before, this one is very easy to spot thanks to the staircase leading up into the dunes. Looking down the coastline to the east before you head inland to the stairs was pretty amazing with the jagged limestone formations being battered by the waves. Contrast that with the gentle looking sands back towards the west and it was quite a spectacle.