Earlier this year, my daughter Kate walked the Bibbulmun Track, a 1000-kilometre walking track stretching through the forest from Kalamunda, an eastern suburb of Perth, to Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. It took her 63 days. She wrote about her experience in this month’s issue of the “Bobby Dazzler Newsletter”. If you’d like a free email subscription to the six-issues-a-year newsletter – which is mainly about the Australian Outback – just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention Kate, and I’ll make sure you get a copy of the issue about Kate’s adventure.
The “Bibb” as the track is called takes you through some of the mighty forest lands of south-west Western Australia, home of the jarrah and karri trees, among the world’s tallest trees.
The picture above shows Kate and a burnt out karri tree. Karris (eucalyptus diversicolor) can grow to over 90 metres (300 feet). The jarrah (eucalyptus marginata) manages only about 45 metres (147 feet), but its timber is regarded as one of the best general purpose hardwoods in the world. The figure of the man standing beside the jarrah tree gives you an idea of its height. It is claimed that jarrah wood contains a high level of alcohol – which can somehow be extracted. Australian bush poet Dryblower Murphy wrote a poem called “Comeanavajarrah”.
Construction of the railway line from Port Augusta to the north (which began in 1878) used some one and a half million karri and jarrah sleepers from Western Australia. Some of them can still be seen beside the long abandoned line.