Denmark – Albany
Denmark → Nullaki → Mutton Bird → Albany
Leaving Denmark, a decision has to be made on how to cross the Wilson inlet. In 2021 there were four options, none of them good. 1. Cross the inlet at the mouth. 2 Take the ferry. 3. Get a car ride to the ferry drop off point. 4. Walk around the inlet to Nullaki.
The official Bibbulmun route does not cross at the mouth because the other side houses a fragile ecosystem and there is no established track. In 2021 the ferry was not running leaving us with option 3 or 4.
We opted to walk along the road around the inlet as we were idealistic about completing the Bibb with connected footsteps. In the end, the road walking took us less than a day but it wasn’t very nice and we would recommend getting a lift. The worst part is a 10km or so walk along the highway with a very limited and slanted shoulder. The rest is not as bad, involving a footpath or quiet country roads. Either way it is a lot of bitumen. There was also no water whilst walking around the inlet. After completing the detour, we walked up a snake-infested sandy path to Nullaki shelter. Here we met a lovely hiker who gave Maddie some electrolytes and made her some chai tea to help with her sickness.
The sand dunes, cliffs and beaches from Nullaki to Albany was some of the best walking along the entire trail. The coast was remote and wild, and we both agreed that this coastal walking was more memorable than the Cape to Cape (which we had walked a month prior). We crossed the Torbay inlet at low tide without issue, enjoying the barefoot ocean walking.
The worst part about this section were the mosquitoes. Every campsite we stayed at from Denmark to Albany had thousands of mosquitoes, more than we had ever seen anywhere. Consequently, we decided to set up our tent each night. As the sun was coming out and temperatures rising, we saw plenty of snakes in this section. Whilst we never had any issue with them, we kept a keen eye out after seeing so many in such a short time and nearly stepping on one or two.
We were fortunate in the last few days to meet the ‘Pack Animal’, a man who supposedly lives on the Bibbulmun track. He told us he had walked the track end-to-end 30 times! Whilst he has a mixed reputation, we enjoyed his company over a short break and he had plenty of good stories to tell.
On the last day, Tom got a tick on the walk into Albany. It was a big kangaroo tick, which appeared to have died after being squashed in Toms sock, and came out quite easily. The last 10km passed slowly as the walk follows a footpath into Albany, an anticlimactic end to what had been a thoroughly enjoyable walk. In Albany, we stopped for a quick photo at the Southern Terminus sign, bought some lunch at Federick’s Cafe and booked accommodation at the 1849 backpackers hostel. Here, the drug and alcohol scene was thriving, but we still thoroughly enjoyed the complementary pancake breakfast! Sad to have finished the hike, and keen for some more adventure, we rested up for a day or two before hiring a car and making our way to the Stirling Ranges.