The bush was green and wet, and alive with rivulets of runoff that occasionally crossed the track. Raindrops still clung to leaves and gleamed in the sunlight, and the occasional gust of wind would shake them off the soaring tree canopies and onto our heads.
We set off under a thick blanket of fog, which made for some spectacularly eerie views through the dense native forest in the early morning. As we ascended the first hill of the day, an ominous droning noise pierced the mist, escalating from a drone to an almighty din as we climbed.
I was looking forward to the achievement of walking into Albany, and completing my longest hike yet. I was looking forward to showers, hot food and a real bed, but I knew I’d miss the spectacularly uncomplicated nomadic lifestyle I’d been leading for the past couple of weeks.
I was sad to leave the majestic karri forests behind me, as both the Vanderbijls and the guidebook had warned me there would be no more tall trees between here and the finish line. Still, I was glad that the weather was holding up and I was managing to stay cool and dry.
Within minutes of leaving camp I nearly stumbled over an enormous tiger snake, who either didn’t seem too fazed by me or was deliberately playing it cool. Eventually, the snake slithered off into the grass in front of me.
The dramatic weather only enhanced the wild, exposed feel of the coast, particularly as roaring winds whipped up even bigger waves to crash against the shore. The whole experience was loud, uncomfortable and awe-inspiring.
I made it to Boat Harbour shelter in the mid afternoon, and headed down to the harbour for which it’s named for a refreshing swim. When I got back, the early signs of a spectacular sunset enticed me to head back up to the cliffs to witness it. To say it was worth the effort would be an understatement.
I rounded a corner past a tall bush only to startle a kangaroo, who had been snoozing right next to the track. He propped himself up with his arms and stared at me bleary-eyed while I tried to frame a photo.
This massive tree is so big there’s a boardwalk running through its hollowed base. It’s the centrepiece of a pretty spectacular walk trail you can access by car.
I’m an Australian long-distance hiker, a journalist, a proudly terrible baseball player and a big fan of all things Western Australia. I’ve walked the entire Bibbulmun Track, and have my sights set on a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I run this blog to record my adventures and help others go on their own. My three favourite things in life are hiking, sugar and the Green Bay Packers.
The track took us through some spectacularly thick karri forest where you’ve really got no option but to follow the waugyls. The morning sun streamed through the canopy, making for a real Fern Gully vibe on the forest floor.
Accessing the water requires wading through a reedy bog, which wasn’t too pleasant, but worse was the mass of floating particulates that we had to swim through once we were in.
This section was the start of my longest hiking trip yet by far – 16 days and 335km from the tiny town of Northcliffe to the southern terminus in Albany.
Solo hiking is an amazing challenge. Let's go... and keep going!
A writer from Perth, Australia
The origin of Adventure
Dog-friendly adventure guides and gear reviews
Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography
My journey before, during, and after the PCT
Hiking adventures in Australia and beyond
A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.
The best longform stories on the web
The Art and Craft of Blogging
The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.