Munda Biddi Trail Northern Terminus
Carinyah Campsite Munda Biddi
Munda Biddi Trail Marker

Mundaring to Carinyah

Munda Biddi Trail

Start

Northern Terminus

Time

3-5 Hours

Finish

Carinyah Hut

Date Ridden

21st August 2021

Length

44.7km

Elevation

788m

Traditional Custodians

Wajuk People

Directions - The Northern Terminus is located at Mundaring Sculpture Park on Jacoby Street in Mundaring. From Perth head along the Great Eastern Highway Bypass until you reach Roe Highway. Turn left and then right again at Great Eastern Highway, following this all the way up the hill until you reach Mundaring. Turn right onto Nichol St and the car park is located at the end of this road. The Northern Terminus sign is within the park right in front of the car park.

The Ride - The Munda Biddi Trail. This one was always a "one day" adventure, perhaps something I would do after a full E2E of the Bibbulmun Track but with my podcast partner completing his sectional E2E over the course of 2020 and inviting me on a couple of sections, I thought it would be fun to plan one for 2021. With no end to the global pandemic in sight and WA getting away relatively easily from the rolling lockdowns, I began planning this trip late in 2020 and thought it would be nice to do it with someone. I asked long time adventure buddy Aron aka 1A1R if he would like to ride from Mundaring to Albany and he said yes, I don't think fully appreciating what was involved at the time. 

With a rough date set for spring 2021, we both set about researching gear, buying bits and pieces and developing a spreadsheet of the planned itinerary with what gear we would each carry. Over the summer I hopped back on the road bike to get the fitness up and fell back in love with cycling again, an activity that had been on the backburner since I started the website in 2014. Unfortunately training slowed down over the winter but Aron and I still got out every now and then along the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail (RRHT) and Kep Track. After an early August holiday to Exmouth, the last three weeks before our departure was spent getting gear ready and doing some last minute riding. The start date came around quickly and after handballing all my work projects off to my colleagues, I was happy to be off for three weeks and beginning a 1065km ride towards Albany through some really nice parts of WA. With a planned 77km first day complete with some of the biggest hills of the entire trail, an 8am start was decided so we had plenty of time to get through the day including a breakfast stop at Mundaring Weir Hotel (MWH). Joining us on this first leg to breakfast was my podcast partner and his wife, both on their e-bikes, with Caris (my shorty) and Jen (Aron's partner) driving from the Northern Terminus to breakfast after seeing us off.

Not helping our early start was an oversized truck trying to get up Great Eastern Highway, blocking both lanes and slowing everyone down to 20kmph all the way up the hill. Taking the backroads, we arrived to find everyone there and getting various bicycles ready for the day's journey. With plenty of faffing, securing bags to bikes and checking gear wasn't missing, we were ready to pose for photos at the trail head and get on the bikes. The old Chinese proverb "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" is a little different for bikepacking but the principle is the same, just replace step with pedal turn. Having done this first section a few times on a combination of the RRHT, Kep Track and Kattamordo HT, I knew it was going to be an enjoyable downhill run to the breakfast stop at the Mundaring Weir Hotel. Reaching the turnoff on the RRHT, I love this spot because I look at it and it feels like endless possibilities are down that path as you can literally ride all the way to Albany by taking that turn. Running either side of Mundaring Weir Rd, the forest through here is quite lovely and I was stopping often to take photos and enjoy the late winter wildflowers that were on display.

Covering the 7.5km downhill in a leisurely 30 minutes, this bikepacking malarkey was turning out to be a pretty easy pastime. Caris and Jen were waiting at Mundaring Weir Hotel and it appeared we were going to have the place to ourselves for breakfast, something I've found to be the case on weekends and very odd considering all the trails around the area. The mood was quite jovial as we tucked into a hearty breakfast that we would need to fuel our bodies up the hills that were coming. With full bellies, we said goodbye to our loved ones for the week (they would be meeting us in Nannup) and headed off from MWH. Following Mundaring Weir Rd for a short distance as it heads down into the valley, on the day we passed through there was a Munda Biddi crew there working on the realignment that takes you off the road so watch that space in the immediate future. At the bottom of the hill you turn right and follow the trail as it heads along the Helena River and pipeline feeding the lower dam. From here it's a really fun and scenic section of the trail and you switch between single track along the edge of the river and the wide vehicle tracks that service the water pipeline. There is a really nice series of granite boulders on the single track that I really enjoyed when I first came through here on the Golden Helena Valley Loop and I fell behind a bit as I stopped to photograph them. 

 

With Donovan on his unloaded e-bike, I wasn't going to worry about keeping up on this first day as the expectation was that he would leave us at some point as his finishing spot for the day was Jarrahdale. With that in mind, we all went along at our different paces through here with Donovan and Aron riding together for the most part as I stopped to take photos before catching up. Crossing the Helena River, this was the highest I've seen the water here as most of the year there is nothing to worry about. It's a fun splash to get through and I stopped at the pool located here to get some photos of the character trees that line the edge of the water. This also marks the lowest point of the day at 104m ASL (elevation wise) and the start of the biggest climb of the entire trail up to the 388m ASL maximum. Having ridden this section last year with Donovan, I wasn't too worried about the climbing, we just had to pace ourselves and enjoy the scenery along the way. Passing through a lovely stand of Wandoo, you skirt the edge of a farm before tackling the new diversion that takes you off a steep vehicle