Munda Biddi Trail Manjimup
Old Cottage in Deanmill
Munda Biddi along Record Brook Manjimup
Avocado Farm Manjimup
Manjimup Football Oval
Blue Fairy Wren Manjimup
Bikepacker on the Munda Biddi
Munda Biddi Trail

Karta Burnu to Manjimup

Munda Biddi Trail

Start

Karta Burnu Hut

Time

2-3 Hours

Finish

Manjimup

Date Ridden

31st August 2021

Length

23.7km

Elevation

421m

Traditional Custodians

Bibbulman People

The Ride - Part Two of our ride from Donnelly River to Manjimup with a lunch stop at Karta Burnu to recharge the batteries (human batteries that is e-bike riders). The morning had been everything I had hoped for and more thanks to a relaxed time in Donnelly River before riding through some excellent Karri forest and along the edge of the river. Karta Burnu is a bit of an odd placement for a campsite as it's only 24km from Donnelly River but I guess it's there to break up the town to town section between Nannup and Northcliffe and provide a free accommodation option.

As I said in my previous post, I wasn't really feeling this spot thanks to the cleared land after so much forest. It would be nice if the campsite was within the forest on the switchbacks or further along the Donnelly River but it is where it is and I didn't plan on staying here anyway. Hoping to get into Manjimup at a decent hour before the shops closed, it was a fairly short lunch break and we were soon off again on our merry way. Leaving camp, the scenery as you continue to ride uphill is a bit underwhelming thanks to the uninspiring farmland and recently replanted plantations. There are patches where you drop in and out of some nice scenery but after the brilliance of the riding through the Karri forest leaving Donnelly River, this doesn't really compare. With the Munda Biddi heading inland as it makes its way to Pemberton via Manjimup and Quinninup, this meant this whole section sees you travel in an easterly direction. Almost like a bit of preparation for the south coast, I didn't mind this as the afternoon sun would be behind us and the photos would look better for it. 

 

Eventually you leave the patchy farms and plantations behind and start to see some much better looking farms with thicker forested sections. Spotting some wildflowers lifted my spirits and provided  a splash of colour to the forest as the climbing deceased and we started heading downhill. After many kilometres of ascending, the ability to freewheel was a delight and the descent towards Record Brook would mark a return to some really nice scenery. The final part of the downhill sees you duck under a fallen tree that looks a bit dangerous from a distance but most riders won't need to duck to get under it. Switching from the vehicle track to some lovely single track, the riding along Record Brook is top quality thanks to the lush feeling of the undergrowth and some truly spectacular specimens of Karri. From here you head uphill again but the gradient is pretty gentle so you can tootle along and admire the thick boi trees that pop out from the undergrowth at regular intervals. 

Record Brook might be a familiar name to many who follow the plight of the Donnelly River as downstream from here is where they want to build a dam so a co-op of farmers can benefit from the destruction of this beautiful area. The scheme has many flaws that the CSRIO have pointed out in their investigations and it would be a crime if it was allowed to go ahead. If you value the environment then please keep tabs on the Don't Dam the Donnelly movement and help out where you can. Leaving Record Brook behind, you join another vehicle track as you continue to ascend through the forest that changes from Karri to mixed Jarrah/Marri. With a lovely tract of unburnt forest ahead, I took my time through here, admiring the Hibbertia and Pink Fairy Orchids that popped up on the side of the trail. Popping out of the forest, we reached avocado country with this next stretch taking us past some of the green gold growing regions of the South West. I'm a big fan of an avocado and don't mind paying a good price for them so it's a shame to see large areas around Manjimup and Pemberton being cleared to service the market (which is now flooded, hence the cheap prices). 

 

You aren't here for a lesson on supply and demand so back to the riding. The roads around here have thankfully been left with some verge trees that give the area an idyllic country feel as the golden trunks of the Karri trees stand tall among the greenery. Little dams and lakes are common through here, making it odd that they feel the need to build a giant dam in the middle of the forest. Riding along Jarnadup Road, this felt more like traditional bike touring with backcountry lanes connected various farms and small towns, with a return to the forest not too far away. With a few ups and downs through this section, we eventually reached a junction where the trail heads left but for reasons I can't remember now, we headed right. Luckily we still ended up in the old mill town of Deanmill and used our powers of deduction to head into town instead of continuing on the path we had taken. With the sawmill no longer operating, the town is still inhabited and serves as sort of a satellite suburb of Manjimup. It was like stepping into a time warp with the old timber cottages setup in a way that reminded me of the Dharma Initiative village from Lost but in a good way.