Wadandi Track South
Cowaramup to witchcliffe
31.3km (One Way)
2-3 Hours (Ride)
Directions - Located between Cowaramup and Witchcliffe in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia, the trail head is located just off Bussell Highway in Cowaramup at Pioneer Park. Look for the Wadandi Track markers and head south along the pavement into the park.
The Ride - The Wadandi Track is an incomplete 108km rail trail that run between Busselton and Augusta but only has a couple of sections that are still accessible. The most popular of these sections in the stretch running between Cowaramup and Witchcliffe, previously called the Rails to Trails. While it can be experienced as a walking trail, the long, straight nature of this trail, plus the long length, means this one is best done on two wheels.
Having set aside a full day to tackle the two open sections of the Wadandi Track with my podcast partner, this would be the second section we would ride today. After enjoying the northern section before lunch, we were picked up by Alissa and driven to Cowaramup where we would start the second half of the day. Getting some fuel into the bodies thanks to a lovely roll from the bakery in Cowaramup, we refilled water bottles and set about finding the trail leading out of town. With this ride being less of a mission to locate where the old rail formation is and more of a "for pleasure" ride, this is the section I had been looking forward to the most. Heading into Pioneer Park, it was nice to see plenty of people enjoying this fine day and a Brenton See mural up against one of the sheds. Heading west from the park, the trail heads away from Bussell Highway and onto the old rail formation starting from the old Cowaramup Station. There is some railway paraphernalia to highlight the history of the area and it was good seeing it preserved to connect back to the old railway line.
This marks the start of the long and straight riding as you head towards Margaret River. This is why this is best done on a bike as it's over 5km before you even get even the slightest hint of changing direction and while the scenery is pretty, I imagine after an hour it would start to feel the same. For us on the bikes it was fun to sail through here at speed, only stopping to take photos, something I was doing a lot more than Donovan. I love this time of year in the South West as the variety of wildflowers that can be found is amazing and never gets dull to me. Spotting them while riding at 20kmph plus can be a bit difficult but after spending three weeks on the Munda Biddi, my high speed spotting skills had been honed to a degree. Early on there were some good finds with some bright white Pimleas, Purple Flag, Yellow Flag, Blue Leschenaultia and many varieties of Wattle. It wasn't just the wildflowers that were impressive, the narrow strip of forest through here was great to see with a corridor of Jarrah, Marri and the occasional Karri tree.