Above the gum trees – Kalamunda to N.Bannister, Day 6

My original plan was to walk to Nerang campsite which would have been around 30 km, but I didn’t break camp early enough! What a lazy toad I am.

I would only get as far as the Mount Cooke campsite and therefore make just 14 km of trail.

Despite the short distance, today was going to be an epic one because the track finally went above the endless jarrah forest and there would be some worthwhile views, and worthwhile they were!

It was a very sweaty climb up to the bald rocky tops. I was going to stop for lunch and take in the views with my crackers and cheese, but the swarms of bush flies made stopping and eating impossible.

I ended up biting large chunks of cheese on the way down, following the rock cairns.

Cheesy smile and descent

On the way to Mt Cooke campsite I stumbled upon another blue tongue lizard. This one was an aggressive little fellow and wasn’t too keen to let me past. He was sitting right in the middle of the track, no doubt enjoying the early spring sunshine.

I’m watching you hiker trash

There are two campsites at Mt Cooke, a group one that is usually reserved for scouts, guides etc and the normal Bibbulmun one. I had a little look around the group campsite and was suitably impressed with the facilities, especially the new toilet block.

500 metres further on was the normal Mt Cooke site which a couple had already made camp. It was 3.30 pm and I really wanted to walk on to the next campsite, but it was 15 km away and involved an ascent and descent of Mt Cooke itself.

I’d be walking in the dark as the light fades around 6.15 pm this time of year. I did not want to share another camp.

I decided that I’d camp wild somewhere on the way to Nerang. I headed back towards the group camp to collect some water. I arrived and it was still deserted. I really wanted a night away from other hikers and decided to stay.

If a group turned up late then I would pack my stuff away and go back to the main camp. No groups showed, probably because it was not the weekend and I was in for a blissfully quiet night.

Hiker trash camp with Kmart standing proud

The male of the couple suddenly showed up around sunset and it spooked me a bit. He questioned why I didn’t want to camp with them to which I replied that I just wanted to be alone, which was actually the truth.

He didn’t seem too impressed. Then he departed with a bag of flour that had been left for hikers to use.

I was finally on my own. Just me, a few kangaroos and the southern cross twinkling high in the night sky. Bliss.