Island running tracks offer something for everyone

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Health, Fitness and Wellbeing, Running

Physical Training Instructor, Leading Seaman Physical Trainer Gregory Smith kneeling on the new running track at the HMAS Stirling Sports Oval. (photo: CPOIS Damian Pawlenko)
Physical Training Instructor, Leading Seaman Physical Trainer Gregory Smith kneeling on the new running track at the HMAS Stirling Sports Oval.

HMAS Stirling and Fleet Base West personnel may have noticed a number of unusual marker posts with various coloured geometric shapes popping up around Garden Island recently and wondered just what they are.

Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Greg Smith said the markers were route guides to three running/walking tracks that were recently established on the island.

“The different markers and colours specify different tracks,” he said.

“Each track is different in length, ranging from orange being the shortest at 5.65 km, green being 6.8 km and the longest is blue which is 8.8km.”

Leading Seaman Smith said the three routes would take participants to various parts of the island, some more challenging than others, but there were also a few hidden gems to observe along the way.

“Orange and blue start from the oval. Orange takes you in a loop from the east to the west side of the island with a few light hills on the way,” he said.

“On the orange track, if you look closely enough you may find a few old bunkers that were built on Garden Island during World War II.”

For the more adventurous participants, Leading Seaman Smith suggested tackling the blue track.

“Blue is our longest run, it begins on the Stirling Oval, takes you through the base heading towards the accommodation units, past the access gate on the main road then veers towards the beach,” he said.

The track also takes participants on a scenic run down to Cliff Head, which is the settlement site chosen by Captain James Stirling in 1829.

This site formed the first free colony in Australia, however it was soon abandoned as the Swan River Colony developed over the next few years.

The running/walking routes complement the new running track that was recently installed at HMAS Stirling as part of the 3A upgrade project.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20201412.