Wadandi Track North
Busselton to Yallingup Siding
Directions - The trail head is located right near the Busselton Jetty, about 2.5 hours from Perth. Driving along Bussell Highway, take the right turn at the roundabout for Causeway Road and follow this towards the foreshore as it becomes Queen Street. Take a right at Marine Terrace and turn left into one of the many car park servicing the Busselton Foreshore. The official trail head is located to the west of Equinox Restaurant, look for the series of cube shaped information boards.
The Ride - Busselton is not the first place you think of when it comes to trails but this large holiday town on the shores of Port Geographe has a lot going for it in other ways. The big attraction is the recently renovated Busselton Jetty and foreshore area that is now home to a brewery, several cafes, restaurants and a large playground/grassed area for families to use. It also happens to be the northern end of the Wadandi Track, an incomplete old rail trail that stretches 108km from Busselton all the way to Augusta. Many trail enthusiasts will be aware of the section of trail that runs between Cowaramup and Witchcliffe (previously named the Rails to Trails) but there is another small 16.5 km section that is open running between Busselton and the Carbanup River.
With my podcast partner joining Rail Trails Australia as a WA representative, he was keen to cycle the northern section of the Wadandi Track and see how far we could get until we lost even just a basic idea of where it would have existed. Plans were made to tackle this in October 2021 and the plan being that we would meet at Busselton Jetty, cycle the first part to a predetermined location where Alissa would pick us up and then drop us off at Cowaramup to tackle the southern section. Donovan was running lead on this one so I just had to get myself to Busselton Jetty with my bike and enjoy what would be an excellent day of riding through the South West. Waking up super early for the long drive from Fremantle to Busselton, it was forecast to be a pretty perfect day and I was excited for a late season adventure with my mate. Having just completed the Munda Biddi the month before, my bike fitness would be much better than our previous rail trail experience on the Kep Track, so it would just be a case of enjoying the journey. Having spent a few holidays in Busselton at the Broadwater Resort when I was younger, we never really ventured to this side of town so I was keen to see what it was like after many years away.
I arrived a bit before Donovan and Alissa so grabbed my camera and headed towards the jetty to take some photos of the stunning morning. The calm waters of Geographe Bay were looking a treat and the various shades of blue combined with the white accents of the jetty made for a pleasing visual. With the jetty offering some great snorkelling and diving, I have plans over the summer to return and enjoy the marine life that call the pylons home. Donovan messaged me when he arrived so I headed back to my car to get everything sorted before meeting him near the official trail head. It was nice to see the trail head given a bit of investment with some information cubes suggesting that the trail is being taken seriously (there are plans to complete the full 108km trail sometime in the future). Saying goodbye to Alissa, we headed off along the foreshore bike path and enjoyed the great views over the bay and passed plenty of people out making the most of their Saturdays. The path is a nice way to start and pretty representative of what it would be like for the ride towards Vasse. Donovan was in charge of navigation and was aware the Busselton Health Campus was the turning point for us heading inland. Unfortunately the campus isn't visible from the coast path so we sailed straight past it after crossing the bridge over one of the many drainage channels.