Bobakine Nature Reserve

Bobakine WalkGPS Route

Bobakine Nature Reserve

Directions - Bobakine Nature Reserve is about an hour and 15 minutes east of Perth. Follow Great Eastern Hwy until you reach the Old Coach Rd turnoff. Turn left here and then an immediate right onto Eadine Rd until you reach a left turn for Smith Rd. Turn left onto Bobakine Rd and follow this through the farm area until you see the Bobakine sign on your right.

The Hike - After a fantastic introduction (an entrée if you will) at Clackline, I was ready to move on and experience the second of the WalkGPS hikes I had planned for the WA Day public holiday. As with most of the WalkGPS hikes, this requires a membership to the website and a way of navigating using the downloadable GPX file and PDF track notes. I was using AllTrails and as I discovered at Clackline, there were some idiosyncrasies I needed to adjust to before getting things entirely right (and even then it was still difficult). After snaking my way along Bobakine Rd through the various farms, I was happy to see a healthy stand of Wandoo leading all the way up a moderate hill that is home to the Bobakine Nature Reserve. 

Parking my car on the side of the wide gravel road opposite the old CALM logoed Bobakine Nature Reserve sign, this marks the start of the walk. Unlike Clackline, there are no fences around the reserve at this point, a good thing for wildlife coming and going from this small oasis in a large sea of cleared land. Starting up AllTrails and checking the notes, it seemed the first section was all along vehicle track, which suited me just fine given my lovely experience at Clackline. Initially the scenery is a bit dull and muted with the track following along the border of the reserve and away from the stunning Wandoo you can see at the start. It does provide a lot of variety compared to the rest of the hike with less Wandoo and more sandy heath mixed with some lovely Marri trees. Straight off the bat there was a splash of colour provided by some red wildflowers that belong in the Calothamnus grouping (perhaps One Sided Bottlebrush), the white flowers of a budding Sundew and a flowering Parrot Bush.

An unexpected treat was waiting just up the track as it narrowed slightly with the emergence of a Woolly Bush. These were never my favourite plant growing up because they were just haphazardly planted in gardens around the area I lived in and looked really awkward. Out here in their natural environment and when I found them near West Cape Howe, I am a convert to their overall appearance now. While the grey conditions didn't make for eye-popping vistas of the farmland to the east, it did provide a more even lighting for this first section and I was able to pick out some of the details as I hiked along. Character filled tree trunks, lichen on the rocks and Parrot Bush flowers were in abundance along here and I'm sure in spring there would be a lot more to see. Reaching the first turn of the hike, the vehicle track heads uphill to the west and towards the Wandoo Woodlands that I was very much looking forward to seeing.