Gill Goes ... Trekking The Bibbulmun Track End To End Again... Day 2... Mutton Bird to Torbay

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July 25th 2020
Published: November 5th 2020
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Day 2

Mutton Bird to Torbay 12.4km

What a sunrise!

Short km day planned for 3 main reasons

• 7km of beach walking - not a huge deal but sometimes the sand is sinky and the gradient steep which makes it more laborious, and
• Torbay Inlet possibly impassable and requiring an approximately 18 km detour walk around
• I really want to have lunch at the coffee shop at Cosy Corner which is a short diversion from the track (didn't make it last time as it was at the beginning of the day and still closed!)

So... up early but it was 07:35 before I left camp. This was good timing for a sunrise, breakfast and first morning packup, not going be so good for the tides with high tide at the Torbay Inlet. Took an hour of hiking and marvelling at views to reach the Mutton Bird Lookout and another 20 minutes on nicely compacted beach sand to reach the Torbay Inlet. There were a few 4WD parked on the beach and some surfers in the water. Said hello to everyone I passed trying to look supremely confident, one of the guys assured me it would be easy to cross- only thigh deep... Well... for about 30 mins I walked up and down that inlet trying to guage the depths, it is generally recommended to cross close to the ocean but it looked deep and fast to me. The inlet near the sand dunes looked tantalisingly shallow in lots of sections but then there was always dark black patches of impending doom bang in the middle to get across. I repeated this trudge fully clothed two or three times, then less fully clothed without my pack but with my poles at the ocean end to give it a test run. That did not work for me. I bailed at waist high and getting deeper (clearly the surfer in the 4WD was 7 feet tall if it was thigh high for him!), I didn't think I could cross alone safely carrying my pack and remain alive. Dejectedly I backtracked and got dressed ready to do the extra million km detour, when the surfer (who clearly had been watching) pulled up next to me in his 4WD. The conversation went like this:

Surfer- So you're not gonna do it?

Me- Nope

Surfer- How come? It's not thaaaaat bad

Me- Maybe not if you're a 7 foot surfer with advanced swimming skills and not hauling a 14kg back pack it isn't

Surfer- Yeah


Surfer- So what are you going to do?

Me- Oh, walk 18km around to get back on track and another 7km to the hut

Surfer- Really?

Me- Yep... Don't suppose you're heading to the highway?

Surfer- Yeah I am


Surfer- So where do you need to get to?

Me- The other side of the inlet (as in about 60m away!!)

Surfer- Do you want a lift? I can drop you there, no problem

Me- Oh, no really just the highway will be fine, I don't want to put you out (thinking please say it's no problem and insist I take the lift the whole way round)

Surfer- It's no problem! I insist. I'll take you the whole way around

Me- Oh... are you really sure? (lets 2 seconds elapse) .... thanks, that'd be so awesome (Gets in the car very quickly...)

So... Geoff the surfer drove me all the way around, stopping at the Elleker Servo to buy a coffee, before depositing me on the beach 60m from where we had the initial coversation. Legend.

Buoyed by this kind deed the beach walking was pretty easy. After the headland which was easily passed I had to detour up off the beach to avoid a fast flowing creek- well marked diversion requiring some bush bashing to avoid massive puddles and then some bashing along eroded dunes. Finally up a set of wooden steps to reach the Cosy Corner Picnic Area. Good place for a quick break, however, I ended up spending about 20 minutes here picking up rubbish and binning it- how hard is it??? No idea what I was thinking (not thinking) at this stage because despite my carefully mapped out detour to the road that would get me to the coffee shop I didn't take the right path. By the time I traversed the gigantically huge steps and walked through a nice little shaded area I was a couple of km past where I should have turned. Somewhat peed off as I had REALLY been looking forward to a Cosy Corner roll, a Cosy Corner coffee and a big fat Cosy Corner slice.


Got into Torbay hut at 12:05 and had a sulky lunch. Contemplated keeping on going for the 16.5km to West Cape Howe but that would mess my schedule up too much- basically Geoff was going to meet me at Wilson Inlet on Day 4 and drive me around to Denmark where we'd stay at the Rivermouth Caravan Park for the night. He had headed into the uncontactable never-never south of Albany after saying good bye to me at the southern terminus so the plan was set in stone. So... it was to be a cruisy afternoon at Torbay- the picnic table 50m up the hill from the shelter was where I spent my afternoon. Sensational spot. It was also quite a busy spot as about a dozen day walkers came through, did a lot of chatting, scored an orange!

Once again set up my tent in the shelter as the mossies came out, a very inquisitive bandicoot also came out. Clearly used to people it wasn't going to be happy with me- I never drop a single scrap of food- ever- especially when I have been deprived of a much anticipated feed at Cosy Corner. Tonight's culinary treat was savoury mince and instant potatoes- not bad but the cauliflower and green lentils are way ahead in the food ranking scale. Scored a jumping tick up near the toilets- it died a fast death before latching on! Secured every bit of food in the plastic box and fell asleep at hikers midnight- about 20:30.

Woke to rain at 23:11. Bliss.

Snake Count- 0 (0)

Tick Count- 1 (3)

Fall Count- 0(1)

Other People in the Shelter Count- 0 (0/2)

Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22


Small Creek Down to the BeachSmall Creek Down to the Beach
Small Creek Down to the Beach

The diversion this year made it for much easier hiking. Last time we had to get around a very wide creek detouring into the dunes where were on unmarked 4WD track past free campers with very ferocious dogs.

The sand dune erosion required some bush bashing and skirting around and having to hang onto branches at times
Cosy Corner Steps at 9.7km Cosy Corner Steps at 9.7km
Cosy Corner Steps at 9.7km

Kind of steep from the bottom but not particularly hard

6th November 2020
Views to Peak Head

If only but when
Western Australia has so many tracks to follow. Coming from Sydney I yearn for the WA border to open so I can return to WA to so follow. Sigh!!!

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