Denmark to Albany
Munda Biddi Trail
8th September 2021
The Ride - Well, this is it, the final post, the final section of the 1065km Munda Biddi Trail. We'd started all the way in Mundaring almost three weeks earlier, nearly been reduced to a party of one after the first day but soldiered on to have the finishing line in sight. At a tick under 76km in length and no campsite to break it up, most people automatically think that this is going to be one of the hardest days on the trail. Having ridden almost 1000km so far, including a 104km day coming into Denmark, this was going to be a gentle ride in the park so to speak. I make no apologies for the length of this post, I had great fun photographing this day so in order to fill the page around all the galleries, I need to waffle a fair bit.
I'd done the hard yards already, even on this leisurely schedule and with a rest day in Denmark behind us, this was the equivalent of my run into Paris along the Champs-Élysées, sipping champagne after toiling away in the Alps and Pyrenees. Replace Champs-Élysées with York Street, champagne with Staminade powder and the Alps with the hills around Walpole and you get the idea. Despite 76km to get through, we had a relaxed morning as we waited for Mark from the Blue Wren to arrive and open up his shed that our bikes were stored in before we made our way to breakfast. As we had already sampled Ravens the previous morning, we thought we would mix it up and chose the Bibbulmun Cafe for our final day on the Munda Biddi. Fuelled up and raring to go, we made our way towards the Denmark River and picked up the Mokare Heritage Trail as it meanders down towards the bridge near the Wilson Inlet. I love this stretch of pavement as the gentle flow of the river combined with the lush Karri forest provides a serene experience on bike or foot.
Aron zoomed on ahead, wary of the pace we'd averaged so far over the journey and wanting to get to the finishing line at a good hour where Jen his partner would be waiting (with his terror of a dog Pablo). I wasn't so fussed and would continue along my merry way, stopping to photograph everything that took my fancy, of which there was plenty along here. This was my first time doing this trail in the morning time and I was impressed with how much better the lighting was given the sun was on the righthand side of the river. Compared to the previous two days, we were blessed with perfect weather today, with light cloud and only the slightest chance of rain. Reaching the bridge, this would be new territory for me as the Bibb requires you to get a lift to the Nullaki Peninsula to continue walking towards Albany while the Munda Biddi follows the edge of the Wilson Inlet as it avoids the coastline altogether. Joining what is both the Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail and the Denmark-Nornalup Heritage Trail, this was one of the highlights of the whole day and one I made sure I slowed down to fully appreciate.
Dotted along the Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail are a series of shelters, beaches and lookouts in various states of disrepair to explore and most are accessed off little side trails. Figuring I had enough time, after the first couple I decided that I would stop in at all of them just for funsies. The first side quest was the Koorabup Shelter and it was a short walk from the main trail to reach possibly the most intact shelter. It's a small place with a picnic table under a wooden gazebo and I'm going to be honest when I say that it isn't the most appealing place to have a picnic. Fantastic if you want to be murdered but maybe just head back to the Denmark River and choose a nice spot near the bridge. Jokes aside, this may have been a better spot when it was built as part of the the 1988 heritage trail cash splash that occurred on trails all over the state with only a handful remaining to this day. The second shelter is at Bandicoot Point and requires more of walk to reach but is in my opinion, the best location of all the shelters.
Right on the edge of the Wilson Inlet, it's a shame the wooden structure is now a ruin as it provides a marvellous vantage point to soak in the inlet views. I spent more time here than any other place, walking around and photographing the lovely Paperbarks lining the water, admiring the moss and lichens growing everywhere and staring out across the Wilson Inlet towards Mount Hallowell. It was such a beautiful day with long white clouds reflecting on the still water that I remarked to myself that it felt like something you'd see in New Zealand. Prying myself away from this stunning location, I joined my bike up on the main trail and continued on, wondering how far in front of me Aron was. As I was following the edge of the water, I could ride at a decent speed in-between side quests but I spent so long at each one that I had no chance of catching my riding buddy. After a brief stop at the Springdale Drain (also home to a nearby beach that must be interesting after some rains), I arrived at the Minang Shelter, the last of the wooden structures along this part of the trail. A little worse for wear, it's still useable but I decided to move on after taking a couple of photos.