A group of Navy walkers have completed one of the longest walking tracks in the country, arriving in Albany, Western Australia after a relay-style adventure training activity.
With ‘boots on the ground’ Navy’s team entered the port city during the recent Western Australia Day long-weekend.
The group paused for a breather onboard the Brig Amity, before completing the final few kilometres to the southern terminus of the trail.
HMAS Stirling’s adventure training facilitator Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Glenn Askew, who led and walked the event from start to finish, said that it was a mammoth and memorable undertaking.
“All in all it’s been a successful event and I credit the efforts of the support crew,” he said.
“The transportation of Navy members to the track, the back-up of the Clearance Divers through to the catering was pretty much spot-on,” Chief Petty Officer Askew said.
“We left at 8 o’clock every morning and walked an average of 27 kilometres per day getting into the overnight campsites before dark.
“I adjusted the walking tempo depending on the group’s capability.
“The community engagement along the route and at the overnight stops was brilliant.
“Locals from the different town-sites heard Navy was coming through town via the bush-telegraph,” he said.
Between April and June, about 100 Navy personnel walked the 1002 kilometre track in teams from start to finish, in a relay style format, swapping out over the 28 stages.
Commanding Officer Captain Brian Delamont, who walked a number of stages, presented a $1,650 cheque on behalf of Stirling to Beth Sawyers from the Bibbulman Track Foundation.
During the presentation he reiterated that the key for Navy was to make the track accessible to people who wouldn’t normally do it.
“We met people from all over the world and Australia who walked the track, and it’s only made possible through the work that the volunteers undertake and the great facilities they’ve maintained,” Captain Delamont said.
“I don’t know how your volunteers got the chain-saws into the bush to cut up some of those enormous logs on the route,” he said.
Around 100 Navy personnel participated in the staged adventure training activity to walk the 1,002 kilometre Bibbulmun Track from start to finish.
The Bibbulmun Track runs from Kalamunda, east of Perth, to Albany and the name comes from the Bibbulmun, or Noongar people, Indigenous Australians from the Perth area.