Bibbulmun – Donnelly River to Balingup Tour

A half way point on the Bibbulmun Track, this section boasts spectacular views of the Blackwood Valley and majestic forest walking. – 58km walked over 4 days! $1,290pp – 4 Days ex Perth, moderate terrain, 58km

This 58 km section of the Bibbulmun Track, from Donnelly River Village to Balingup is perfect for forest lovers! It passes though some of the most beautiful stands of karri trees in the south west of Western Australia as well as taking in Blackwood Valley and the Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup.

It’s a moderate and sometimes challenging section, with a number of hills and many uneven (although mostly firm) surfaces. Each afternoon we’ll take you back to comfortable accommodation, with beautiful surrounds, to relax with your fellow walkers. Enjoy all of the sights, sounds and smells of the track without compromising on comfort.

Tour Length:
58 km
Distance walked:
5.1km – 24km
Difficulty:
Moderate – some steep hills; See FAQ
Dates:
28 – 31. Aug 2018

Highlights of this walk

Escape to the southwest forests, in the heart of Karri, Marri and Jarrah country, for four great days of walking the Bibbulmun Track. Enjoy relaxing back at your accommodation each evening and enjoying a delicious meal with new friends.

Walking Tour Itinerary

A guide will accompany you as you walk between 5 and 24 km each day. Each day you will start up where you left off the previous day completing the whole 58km of this section. In the evening you will return to comfortable accommodation and a delicious meal.

This section is moderate with some challenging steep hills. By carrying only a day pack people with a moderate level of fitness will be able to complete the walk. We recommend that you do some training first, as preparation always makes the experience more enjoyable.

The below itinerary may change due to weather.

 

Day 1 Drive from Perth, walk Donnelly River to Willow Springs

Day 1 Drive from Perth, walk Donnelly River to Willow Springs

12.7km

Today starts with a morning pick up in Perth. We then travel South to Donnelly River where we will start the days walk.

After a picnic lunch in the beautiful surrounds of this old logging town, we will head North along the track through majestic Karri forest. Keep an eye out for the old railway sleeper bridges that were used to cross some creeks.

We finish todays walk at Willow Springs, another mill site with the remains of the old arboretum.

After a short drive, we will reach our accomodation in Bridgetown for the evening.

Day 2 Willow Springs to Southhampton Bridge

Day 2 Willow Springs to Southhampton Bridge

24km

From Willow Springs we’ll continue heading north. We will journey out of the heart of Karri forest, passing Gregory Brook shelter. The old rail formations which feature heavily through this section provide gentle grades and comfortable walking.

Keep an eye out for wildflowers in the regenerating vegetation.

Day 3 Southhampton Bridge to Hay Road

Day 3 Southhampton Bridge to Hay Road

16.3km

We’ll start todays walk along the banks of the Blackwood river, before hitting our big challenge for the morning, the aptly named Cardiac Hill.

You will be rewarded for your effort at the top with stunning views of the Blackwood valley, a real highlight of this section of the track!

There are a few ups and downs to test your legs and then some easy walking on the Greenbushes loop before our pickup location for the day.

Day 4 Hay Road to Balingup

Day 4 Hay Road to Balingup

5.1km

Todays walk is only short but finishes at the spectacular Golden Valley Tree Park. Housing over 1,000 different species of trees from Australia and all over the world, it’s a unique and interesting place to spend some time wandering around.

We will stop for lunch on the way back to Perth, arriving into the city at around 4pm.

Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.
Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.

Accommodation

We stay at two different accommodations. The first night we stay at Bridgetown Valley Lodge, where we will stay in motel style rooms and enjoy a delicious two course dinner cooked by your host Jeff.

For the last two nights, we will stay at Balingup Hillview Retreat, 1km from the centre of Balingup town. We will stay in three chalets (twin share/double) and enjoy breakfasts and dinners together in the largest one, prepared by your guides. There’s a magnificent view over the Balingup valley from the balcony so bring something warm to wrap up in and enjoy a cuppa or a glass of wine out there while you wait for dinner to be served.

 

What to bring

Recommended Clothing and Equipment

  • Day-pack – one with a sturdy waist strap is best to help take some weight off your shoulders. In wet weather, a waterproof cover and/or a bin bag to wrap your belongings in can be handy
  • Shorts/long trousers and shirts for walking as many sets as you wish. Quick-dry material is best. Don’t wear jeans for walking
  • Socks whichever thickness you’re comfortable walking in
  • Boots/shoes for walking (make sure you wear them in well)
  • Windcheater or lightweight jumper for walking
  • Waterproof jacket*
  • Sun protection – hat, glasses, sunscreen
  • Casual clothes for evenings – it does get chilli in the evenings in Bridgetown and Balingup but we’ll have a fire at Balingup Hillview Retreat.
  • Torch/headlamp (to walk between chalets after dinner)
  • Any preferred first aid supplies, such as your favourite blister treatment! (Your guide will carry a full first-aid kit)
  • Water bottle/s or camelback 2 to 3 litre capacity
  • A lunch container (with small freezer brick if desired)

Optional items

  • Fly net
  • Waterproof trousers. Some people love them and some hate them. Personally, we don’t wear them; but there have been times, especially on very wet days, when we have wished for a pair!
  • Camera and charger/batteries
  • Gaiters for snake bite protection are recommended unless you are wearing long pants and long socks
  • Small towel to carry during the day
  • Snacks and alcoholic drinks – there will be time to purchase more during the week
  • Walking poles

*You have to expect some bad weather at any time of the year down south so bring wet weather gear even if the forecast is fine.

Food

Breakfast comprises cereals, fruit, yogurt and toast, with juice, a variety of teas and fresh brewed coffee.

You will pack your lunch in the morning from a selection of salads, meats, cheese, spreads and bread, which your guides lay out for you and prepare fresh each day.

Your guide will carry tea, coffee and a home-made cake for morning tea. Fruit is also available for you to take with you. Feel free to bring additional snacks if you feel you need them. Lollies, muesli bars, nuts, seeds and dried fruit are popular options. There will be time for you to purchase alcohol and other supplies while on tour.

Most evenings your guides will prepare some nibbles for you to enjoy while dinner is being prepared. Dinner is a delicious and nutritious two course home-prepared meal. We use fresh, local ingredients where possible.

Please let us know of any dietary requirements before you book – we can happily adapt our menu to most dietary needs. Assistance is always appreciated with clearing away and washing up.

Transport

We use a well serviced and maintained air-conditioned minibus to drive from Perth to Donnelly River and back, and to and from the Bibbulmun Track each day. As the transport from Perth is provided at no additional charge, discounts cannot be offered if walkers choose to find their own way to Donnelly River.

This walk includes

icon-meals
All meals, homemade from the best ingredients

We pride ourselves on providing you with fresh, wholesome food. Enjoy healthy breakfasts, delicious home-made morning teas, fresh picnic and packed lunches, fruit and hearty two course dinners each day.

All transport via air-conditioned bus, departing from and returning to Perth

Central pick-up points in Fremantle and Perth CBD. Transport each day to and from the track.

icon-accommadation
Comfortable accommodation in Bridgetown and Balingup

Enjoy the delightful Bridgetown Valley Lodge for the first night and the scenic views from Balingup Hillview Retreat for the other two nights.

Emergency support

Wilderness first aid trained guides carry radios, satellite phones and a full first aid kit so you can walk without worry.

Excellent itinerary and planning

Drawn from 14 years experience.

Professional guiding and support from local guides

We go the extra mile to make sure your tour will be memorable. We guide you on each walk, tell stories about the surroundings and make sure you return home feeling better than ever.

About Walking Tours In General

How hard are the walks?

The difficulty of the walks ranges from tour to tour, from easy to challenging. We design all of our walking tours to be achievable for those with a moderate level of fitness. We do recommend doing some training before most tours, because physical activity is always more enjoyable if you are physically prepared. We will send you information about how to train when you book.

When on tour we find that a positive mental attitude is most important and that if you focus on the scenery, the company and the moment, and not on the kilometres, then you find yourself reaching your destination with little problem. You can always have a day or sometimes an afternoon off to relax if you feel like it. If you have any concerns about your fitness or ability to complete a walk, give us a call on (08) 6219 5164 and we can talk you through it.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Do I have to twin-share accommodation?

Our tour prices are based on rooms being twin share (two single beds in one room) or double (one double/queen bed in a room, shared by a couple). If you are travelling alone, we will give you a room with someone of the same sex. Sometimes, depending on the accommodation, it is possible to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have a room to yourself – please ask us if this option is available when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Will I hold up the group if I’m a slow walker?

We find a lot of people who haven’t been on a walking tour before worry about this, but it’s rarely an issue. We keep a comfortable steady pace with plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the scenery along the way. Usually the group will spread out over a couple of hundred metres as we walk.

Normal walking pace on a formed surface like a road or footpath is around 4.5 – 6 km per hour and we tend to average just over 3 km per hour on bush tracks. It’s not a stroll but it’s not a brisk walk either. If you feel you may be slower than this, try some longer training walks to increase your walking fitness.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What is the average age of Inspiration Outdoors’ guests?

About 80% of our walkers are aged between 45 – 75. Our youngest guest has been about 35 and our oldest was 82. We get a roughly 60/40 female to male split.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

What’s the food like? Can you cater for my dietary needs?

We serve simple, nutritious and delicious food on tour, using fresh and local ingredients as much as possible. Of course, if you like, you can indulge in some less nutritious treats as well – you’re on holiday after all and Emily bakes a mean cake. Breakfast, home-made morning tea, lunch, fresh fruit, pre-dinner nibbles and a two course evening meal are all included. We are happy to adapt our menu to suit many dietary needs including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets – please ask when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Are your walking tours just for “bushwalkers”?

Our walks are for anyone who enjoys walking and nature – bushwalkers or not. Our walks are conducted in safe, supportive and fun environments and you don’t need specialised equipment or experience to undertake them. We give you information about what you will need to bring and how you should prepare for each tour and we’re always here to answer any questions or concerns.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

Do I have to walk every day on tour?

Of course not – it’s your holiday and you should do what you feel! Relax at the accommodation, come for a drive, get dropped off in town or go for a stroll of your own. On some days there is also the opportunity to walk for part of the day. This last option depends on whether there is vehicle access to the track.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What do I have to carry when I walk?

Very little. A water bladder or bottles, a rain jacket, some personal first aid supplies and, on some days, lunch. You will probably want a camera as well. We return to accommodation each evening so there is no need to carry a large backpack.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What people have said

What a fantastic week! Thank you both so much.

Dee, Albany to Denmark

A wonderful walk made special by the organising skills of Inspiration Outdoors who plan for and do cover every eventuality – and their knowledge of the land we passed through was exceptional. Can highly recommend.

David, Albany to Denmark 2012

Pricing

AUD $1,290 inc GST ($150 single supplement)

Hold your place with a $350 deposit

Money-Back Guarantee

Our number one priority at Inspiration Outdoors is to ensure our guests have a great experience on EVERY tour.

We can't guarantee the weather, bush fires or events beyond our control, but we do guarantee that:
– your guides are professional, friendly and hard working.
– your itinerary is well organised and thought out.
– the particulars of your tour (accommodation, transport, food etc), are as described on the website and in the tour notes.

We stand behind our guarantees. If you come on a tour with Inspiration Outdoors and we do not fulfil these promises, we will give you your money back.

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What happens after I book?

After you have paid a deposit and filled in a registration form, we will send you any extra information you may need, including a list of what to bring and how best to prepare for the tour.

Payment in full is required at least six weeks prior to the tour (bookings can still be made within six weeks of tour start date if there are places available). We will email or call you to remind you when this is due.

Finally, we will contact you prior to your tour to confirm pick-up times and locations. If you have any questions or concerns at all before or after you have booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can go through them with you.

What are my payment options?

Payment can be made by:

  • Direct deposit
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Can I cancel my booking?

We hope that you do not need to cancel your booking. However, if you do, our cancellation fee, based on the notice given prior to the departure date, is:

  • More than 12 weeks: $50 administration fee
  • 6 to 12 weeks: loss of deposit
  • 4 to 6 weeks: 25% of full tour cost
  • 2 to 4 weeks: 50% of full tour cost
  • less than 2 weeks: 100% of full tour cost, no refund

If you have any concerns about cancelling, please take out travel insurance covering this contingency. This policy will be adhered to despite the most compelling and compassionate circumstances.

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