Walpole to Booner Mundak
Munda Biddi Trail
Booner Mundak Hut
7th September 2021
The Ride - With a brief stay in Walpole before a planned two nights at campsites, it had been a warm and enjoyable rest in this South Coast town. With all the closures of businesses down here due to staff shortages, there wasn't a cafe to have breakfast at while we were passing through. After packing up our bikes and saying goodbye to the owner of Tingle All Over, we set off into the middle of town to meet Aron's mum and partner for breakfast at the bakery. After a basic but enjoyable snack of a cheese and tomato toastie and coffee, we applied some sunscreen and said goodbye to Aron's mum and partner.
Today would see us climbing up into the Tingle forest around Valley of the Giants, meander around the Frankland River and then head north into the great vastness of Mount Frankland South National Park. The weather forecast was a sunny day in the mid 20s, which I wasn't too thrilled about given the thicker forests of the South West are much harder to photograph in bright sunshine. There would also be a lot of climbing in the first half of the day with some of the more infamous ascents of the whole trail (looking at you Boxall Road). Starting the Strava at the bakery instead of the Visitor Centre, I knew roughly where the trail exits town so took us towards Inlet Street and then left at Park Avenue but after not seeing a Munda Biddi marker yet, we checked the map to see where we needed to go. Turns out we should have been north of the highway and then the trail crosses over further east of town before heading along the Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail.
Eventually we found the trail and made our way along a familiar section, having hiked it back in 2019 when I started the Walpole to Frankland River day on the Bibbulmun Track. Following a vegetated corridor of compacted gravel, this makes for pleasant riding in the morning air and it wasn't long until we had reached the Coalmine Beach area. I was a bit bemused when the Munda Biddi markers point you along the road and away from the path leading you along the edge of the water but figured it might cut in a bit later. Unfortunately it doesn't but you do get to see the Nornalup Inlet after one of the parking areas as it takes you past a lookout shelter. Taking the opportunity to connect with the water after spending the past couple of weeks in the forest, it was looking a lot better than my previous visit (cold, wet and windy). With some pleasant views looking across the inlet, we both snapped some photos and moved on to the highway crossing. This marks the entry to the wonderful Karri and Tingle forest that will be home for the first half of the day.