This morning I was adamant I was going to get some uni work done, so I sat down at my laptop and stared at a blank screen for 20 minutes before I realised I had nothing to write. So, I blew off uni work and went in search of sun and solitude.
I’ve hiked Baldwin’s Bluff three times in the last few years, the first time with a 12 kilo child strapped to my back, the second time carrying about 15 kilos more than I am today but even though it was easier today it wasn’t a simple climb.
Arriving at the National Park after paying the $12 entry fee you can park right where the trail starts in the picnic area. You first walk up to the vehicle access track until you see the second trail sign where the incline steepens and the hike really begins. The bluff trail is a 6 km trail and 4 kms of that is basically straight up or straight down. The trail is challenging for the average walker with some steep, rubble sections and some enduring milder inclines until it pancakes out at the top where you basically double back on yourself at the top of the Scarp until you reach the lookout with views down to Serpentine Falls and through the valley on one side and down to South West Highway and the farm lots on the other.
It’s a beautifully punishing trail on your way up and just when you think you’ve reached the top, you round the corner to yet another short, sharp incline until you see the trail marker bringing sweet relief as the trail flattens out. There are many viewing spots on the way up which I took full advantage of as I caught my breath.
Taking stock of the view I sat for a good half an hour with my peppermint tea, apple and a curious magpie until descending again. Most of the trail is lined closely with brush on either side that are alive with the buzz of many bees; so if you’re headed out don’t forget to pack the antihistamine!
On the way back down I passed two groups of tourists who had seemingly underestimated the trail. One group had no water bottles and one of them was even wearing sandals and a handbag. I was impressed they’d made it as far as they had but they looked pretty defeated so I’m not sure they made it – my point is, don’t underestimate this one it has a lot of loose rubble and without real ankle support I would have suffered.
It is hard going, but the view is worth it!
Get amongst it.