Having ridden the Munda Biddi Trail from end-to-end unsupported I thought it was time to summarise in one post the Munda Biddi Trail and to hopefully provide a useful quick and dirty guide.
(Updated July 25, 2014)
The Munda Biddi Trail is a 1,000 kilometre long distance cycling trail, described by the Munda Biddi Foundation as a “nature-based off-road cycling experience”. Unfortunately the marketing department at the Munda Biddi Foundation has let the truth get in the way in my view and this description really does not reflect the reality of the Trail which is more a mix of some single-track, a lot of forestry and country dirt roads and a fair amount of bitumen riding; not quite the nature-based off-road cycling experience suggested by the Foundation. Please don’t get me wrong but; there is some great riding to be had on the Trail, but it is not all off-road or a necessarily a great experience. More so south of Collie where the rush to spend the Royalties for Regions funding before the 2013 state election got in the way of good trail building.
That said the Trail is an experience and a chance to get a fair bit of riding in that takes you off the highways and at times provides a great riding experience. Riding between Karta Burnu Campsite and Willow Springs is in my view one of the best parts of the Trail providing a fair bit of fun single-track. So I would recommend doing it but once should be enough … a bucket-list tick-off maybe?
End-to-Ending the Munda Biddi Trail
My comments above reflect my experience of the Munda Trail having had my first ride of the Trail in April 2008 and finally completing my section end-to-end of the Trail in November 2013. I took four rides and 21 days to complete the Trail but a keen fit rider could comfortably do it in two plus weeks I would suggest.
My riding of the Munda Biddi Trail is describe in a series of blog posts. I first rode the Trail in April 2008 when at the time it ended at Collie. Of course today it goes right through to Albany, a total riding distance of around 1,077 kilometres,
- April 2008 – Mundaring to Collie – Seven days
- July 2011 – Nannup to Donnybrook – One day
- July 2013 – Albany to Donnybrook – 11 days
- November 2013 – Collie to Donnybrook – Two days
A Quick and Dirty Take on the Munda Biddi Trail
Mundaring to Carinyah Campsite – Munda Biddi Trail
The Munda Biddi Trail northern trailhead can be found at Sculpture Park in Mundaring and its southern trailhead outside the Albany Visitor Centre in Albany. Along the way there are 12 campsites to camp at as well as the Trail also goes through 10 towns providing more comfortable sleeping options.
Starting at Mundaring in Sculpture Park the Trail heads south to the first campsite at Carinyah. On the way you will pass by the Mundaring Weir and get your first taste of the infamous Western Australia pea gravel. This section also has a “touring route” option to ease the pain of some of the more serious climbing.
Carinyah Campsite to Wungong Campsite – Munda Biddi Trail
From Carinyah you continue riding through the bush to Wungong Campsite which is to the east of Jarrahdale. On this section you pass through the Gleneagle Picnic Area on the Albany Highway. This is an exit option if required.
Wungong Campsite to Dandalup Campsite via Jarrahdale – Munda Biddi Trail
The next campsite is an easy day’s riding south of Jarrahdale at Dandalup Campsite. This section provides an opportunity to “refresh” at Jarrahdale on the way through. The Trail also passes through the Balmoral POW Camp No. W20 which is worth taking out time to explore and learn a little about Western Australia’s World War II history. South of Jarrahdale there is a short “touring route” again to provide some relief from the climbing. The Trail also passes the North Dandalup Dam before dropping down to the Dandalup Campsite. There are great views over the escarpment to had here.
Dandalup Campsite to Bidjar Ngoulin Campsite via Dwellingup – Munda Biddi Trail
From Dandalup the next campsite is Bidjar Ngoulin some 72 kilometres to the south. This section of the Munda Biddi Trail passes through Whittakers Mill (now closed for camping) on the way Dwellingup so there is an opportunity to break up the section here. It also pass Oakley Dam, a great swimming spot if the weather is good. The Trail also goes through the Marrinup No. 15 P.O.W. Camp and home to the Marrinup Mountain Bike Trail.
From Dwellingup it is a rather short ride on to the Bidjar Ngoulin Campsite (28 kilometres). As the Trail passes by the Baden-Powell and Nanga camping areas there are options for camping with basic facilities, through personally I think it is worth heading through to Bidjar Ngoulin campsite. Bidjar Ngoulin is on a creek providing a really nice backdrop to the campsite.
Bidjar Ngoulin Campsite to Yarri Campsite via Lake Brockman Tourist Park – Munda Biddi Trail
From Bidjar Ngoulin campsite the Munda Biddi Trail leaves the Lane Poole Reserve on the way to Lake Brockman and the Lake Brockman Tourist Park (~ 35 kilometres). The Lake Brockman Tourist Park is the only camping option in this section (other than bush camping) or one can push on to the next campsite at Yarri, a further 48 kilometres south.
When I rode this section from Bidjar Ngoulin to Yarri campsite in April 2008 I choose to overnight at Lake Brockman Tourist Park.
Yarri campsite is the last campsite on the Trail before Collie, the second town and resupply point on the Munda Biddi Trail. It is also the first town heading south easily accessed by public transport. It is also one of the smallest campsites on the Munda Biddi Trail.
Yarri Campsite to Nglang Boodja Campsite via Collie – Munda Biddi Trail
From Collie the Trail heads into the Collie river valleys (and hills), passing Honeymoon Pool (camping option) before climbing out of the river valley to the Nglang Boodja Campsite, one of the nicer campsites on the Munda Biddi Trail.
Nglang Boodja Campsite to Nala Mia Campsite via Donnybrook – Munda Biddi Trail
From Nglang Boodja Campsite the Trail quickly leaves the bush behind for a bit of dirt road riding into the Ferguson Valley and then the rest of the day’s riding is pretty much bitumen riding with the exception of a little fun near the Crooked Brook Forest. From the Forest the Trail plays “road rider” skirting by Boyanup on the way to Donnybrook. On the outskirts of Donnybrook the Trail again hits the dirt but it is scrappy boring fire trail riding here in a loop around to the south of Donnybrook. Felt like kilometres for the sake of kilometres but I suspect it was probably better than taking on the South Western Highway.
Donnybrook again provides a re-supply point and public transport access point to the Trail.
Continuing south the Munda Biddi Trail follows mainly bitumen and dirt roads through to the Nala Mia Campsite which is actually in Jarrahwood mill town (this is not a bush camping experience by any means). This is another one of those “why is there a campsite here” places as the Nala Mia Campsite is about 27 kilometres to the north of Nannup. Riding from Donnybrook straight through to Nannup is quite doable in a day. I guess the Nala Mia Campsite provides an opportunity to “camp” out-of-town as again one could ride on to Nala Mia Campsite skipping through Nannup on to either Donnelly River (Donnelly Village) or the next campsite south, Karta Burnu campsite.
Nala Mia Campsite to Karta Burnu Campsite via Nannup and Donnelly Mill – Munda Biddi Trail
From Jarrahwood (Nala Mia Campsite) the official Trail route actually follows the Sidings Rail Trail which is rather bland riding of a slowly descending rail trail into Nannup. However, if time permits, there is an alternative, the Old Timberline Trail. The Old Timberline Trail leaves the Siding Rail Trail at Cambray Siding and rejoins again just outside of Nannup. The Old Timberline Trail has a great little campsite on a creek called the Sleeper Hewer’s Camp so there is an alternative to Nala Mia campsite. The Old Timberline Trail passes through Barrabup Pool and Workman’s Pool and provides some exciting and fast single-track riding. I know I had a blast on it and highly recommended it over the boring Sidings Rail Trail. Check it out! The Munda Biddi Foundation sells a map of the Sidings Rail Trail/Old Timberline Trail.
Nannup is a cute little town providing resupply options, a pub, nice pizza and really not much else :). I don’t believe there is any public transport to Nannup but.
From Nannup there is a fair bit of bitumen riding as the Munda Biddi Trail has to get through the farming country before going bush again near Willow Springs. From Willow Springs the Trail passes through Donnelly Mill where there is commercial accommodation as well as free camping at the Bibbulmun Track shelter (old school shelters). After Donnelly Mill the Trail goes through the Greens Island camping ground before some cool single-track riding up to the Karta Burnu Campsite. This campsite is just 23 kilometres north of Manjimup so I am really unclear as to why it is here.
Karta Burnu Campsite to Yirra Karrta campsite via Manjimup, Pemberton and Northcliffe – Munda Biddi Trail
The Munda Biddi Trail leaves Karta Burnu campsite passing through Deanmill (not much here) and then merges with the Deanmill Heritage Trail into Manjimup. Manjimup is the next town heading south where there is good re-supply options and public transport access to the Trail.
From Manjimup there is a jump to Pemberton. This is a 84 kilometre section with no campsite; the only bit of relief being Quinninup (a pub and that is about it here). Makes you wonder why the Karta Burnu campsite was not located around the middle of this section instead. This is probably the hardest section of the Munda Biddi Trail due to both the distance and some climbing in and out of valleys.
Pemberton again provides a resupply point and public transport access as well as local mountain biking trails. Continuing south from Pemberton the Trail drops down into the Gloucester National Park (enjoy the zig-zag here), the home of the Gloucester Tree before popping out at Northcliffe. Northcliffe is another small town with resupply options (and public transport access) and like Pemberton it has a connection with mountain biking being the home of the Karri Cup.
Continuing south from Northcliffe the Trail heads back into camping country, but first passing by the Boorara Tree Recreation Site (a nice spot for a break), with the next campsite being Yirra Karrta campsite.
Yirra Karrta campsite to Kwokralup Beela Campsite – Munda Biddi Trail
From Yirra Karrta campsite the Trail takes you to Kwokralup Beela campsite which is yet another campsite close to a town, Walpole in this case. On the way to Kwokralup Beela you need to cross Deep River. This can at times be closed resulting in a diversion via the Fernhook Falls. There are strategically placed warning signs to direct riders if the crossing is closed.
Kwokralup Beela campsite’s location means it seems to be bypassed a lot with riders continuing on to Walpole or Yirra Karrta campsite if heading north. The campsite is 31 kilometres north of Walpole. Despite this Kwokralup Beela is well worth a visit or better still an overnight stay as it is on the banks of the Frankland River and provides a great swimming hole.
Kwokralup Beela Campsite to Booner Mundak Campsite via Walpole – Munda Biddi Trail
From Kwokralup Beela Campsite, Walpole is just down the Trail some 31 kilometres. The Trail climbs out from the Frankland River to the Swarbrick Recreation Site, a place well worth taking a bit of time out of your day to pause and reflect. There is a great art work based reflective walk here. From Swarbrick Recreation Site is pretty much easy-going downhill riding to Walpole.
Walpole provides another re-supply point on the Trail along with public transport access.
From Walpole as you continue south to the Booner Mundak Campsite you ride into the tall timber country of the south-west. A nice change in riding conditions. Some nice climbing and descending to be had on this section of the Munda Biddi Trail for sure. There are a couple of highlights along this section, namely the Monastery Landing Recreation Site and the Tree Top Walk Recreation Site and hills and more hills 🙂 Once you leave the Tree Top Walk area is pretty straight forward riding on to the Booner Mundak Campsite.
Booner Mundak Campsite to Jinung Beigabup Campsite – Munda Biddi Trail
From Booner Mundak Campsite you stay out in the “bush” as you head further south pass Mt Lindsay to Jinung Beigabup Campsite. The riding on this section is pretty much all bush roads and is much more undulating than the terrain profiles suggest. I found this to be one of the more remote sections in the southern half of the Trail.
Jinung Beigabup Campsite to Albany via Denmark Munda Biddi Trail
Alas the remoteness ends pretty quickly as you ride on from Jinung Beigabup Campsite, quickly descending to the coast at Greens Pool. From Greens Pool there is a nice bit of newly developed trail through to Lights Beach before you are back to bitumen for the ride into Denmark. Denmark again provides a re-supply point and public transport access. It also marks the end of Munda Biddi campsites with nothing more on the Trail which comes to an end on the next day or two of riding at Albany.
The ride through to Albany is 84 kilometres but not hard riding. From Denmark the Trail connects up with the Denmark Nornalup Heritage Trail before climbing up the Hay River into farming country and then back down again to Youngs Siding where again a bit of looping towards the coast takes place. To me this is one section that needs realignment. It would be great if the Trail was closer to the coast following more an alignment similar to the Bibbulmun Track here. Anyway after Youngs Siding the Trail picks-up the Torbay Rail Trail at Torbay through to Elleker and then it basically follows the bitumen on through to Albany. Not the best way to end a ride of the Munda Biddi Trail but an okay way to get your journey started.
The Munda Biddi Trail ends in Albany at the Albany Visitor’s Centre.
|Mundaring (Northern Trailhead)||Carinyah Campsite||41||41||Map 1 Mundaring to Jarrahdale|
|Carinyah Campsite||Wungong Campsite||35||76||Map 1 Mundaring to Jarrahdale|
|Wungong Campsite||Jarrahdale||26||102||Map 1 Mundaring to Jarrahdale|
|Jarrahdale||Dandalup Campsite||34||136||Map 2 Jarrahdale to Nanga|
|Dandalup Campsite||Dwellingup||45||181||Map 2 Jarrahdale to Nanga|
|Dwellingup||Nanga||16||197||Map 2 Jarrahdale to Nanga|
|Nanga||Bidjar Ngoulin Campsite||12||209||Map 3 Nanga to Collie|
|Bidjar Ngoulin Campsite||Lake Brockman Tourist Park||33||242||Map 3 Nanga to Collie|
|Lake Brockman Tourist Park||Yarri Campsite||40||282||Map 3 Nanga to Collie|
|Yarri Campsite||Collie||34||316||Map 3 Nanga to Collie|
|Collie||Nglang Boodga Campsite||46||362||Map 4 Collie to Jarrahwood|
|Nglang Boodga Campsite||Donnybrook||48||410||Map 4 Collie to Jarrahwood|
|Donnybrook||Nala Mia Campsite (Jarrahwood)||45||455||Map 4 Collie to Jarrahwood|
|Nala Mia Campsite (Jarrahwood)||Nannup||27||482||Map 5 Jarrahwood to Manjimup|
|Nannup||Donnelly Mill||37||519||Map 5 Jarrahwood to Manjimup|
|Donnelly Mill||Karta Burnu Campsite||24||543||Map 5 Jarrahwood to Manjimup|
|Karta Burnu Campsite||Manjimup||23||566||Map 5 Jarrahwood to Manjimup|
|Manjimup||Pemberton||84||650||Map 6 Manjimup to Northcliffe|
|Pemberton||Northcliffe||44||694||Map 6 Manjimup to Northcliffe|
|Northcliffe||Yirra Kartta Campsite||50||744||Map 7 Northcliffe to Walpole|
|Yirra Kartta Campsite||Kwokralup Beela Campsite||50||794||Map 7 Northcliffe to Walpole|
|Kwokralup Beela Campsite||Walpole||31||825||Map 7 Northcliffe to Walpole|
|Walpole||Booner Mundak Campsite||52||877||Map 8 Walpole to Denmark|
|Booner Mundak Campsite||Jinung Beigabup Campsite||74||951||Map 8 Walpole to Denmark|
|Jinung Beigabup Campsite||Denmark||42||993||Map 8 Walpole to Denmark|
|Denmark||Albany||84||1077||Map 9 Denmark to Albany|
Munda Biddi Trail Maps
There are no guidebooks for the Munda Biddi Trail like there is for the Bibbulmun Track but there is a series of nine maps covering the Trail from Mundaring to Albany. The maps are pretty reasonable and a resource worth getting if you are planning to ride the Trail. The maps are not cheap but at $11.00 a pop and there are nine of them, so you are looking at $99 for a set. Ouch.
There is also a map available for the Waterous Trail if you feel like a shorter two-day ride south of Dwellingup and a map is also available for Sidings Rail Trail and Old Timberline Trail which provides an alternative route into Nannup from Jarrahwood.
These maps can be brought online from the Munda Biddi Foundation.
Public Transport Along the Munda Biddi Trail
Accessing the towns along the Munda Biddi Trail is possible via either Transwa and/or South-West Coach Lines (the exceptions Dwellingup and Nannup). Transwa and South West Coach Lines will take your bike for a small fee ($15 to $20). There is no bike friendly public transport to Mundaring.