Uncover Bickley Battery
Ngank Yira Bidi is part of the greater Rottnest Island ‘Wadjemup Bidi’. The trail is a major new recreation and conservation initiative that involves the construction of a ~45km network of trails that will provide an exploratory narrative of the Island’s environment, connecting you with the beautiful natural features, abundance of wildlife and rich cultural history that the island has to offer. There will be five primary walks linking facets of the islands diversity.
The alignment of the trail was designed to allow walkers to hop on and off of the Islands bus services between sections.
Ngank Yira Bidi explores many significant historic military sites as well as diverse landscapes from coastal headlands and bays, to woodlands and inland lakes.
Ngank Yira Bidi starts in The Settlement, Thompson Bay (where the ferry arrives at the main jetty) and meanders through the south west corner of the Island through Bickley Battery and up to Oliver Hill. Traversing the Defense Heritage Trail out at Kingstown.
Discover the first sculpture installation on the Island, The Osprey “Beachcomber” by artist Fleur Marron made from 80% recycled material and then the walk ventures west towards the picturesque Henrietta Rocks, where there is an old ship wreck that is easily accessible from shore.
The Henrietta Rocks beach access structure, installed in 2012, gives easy access to walkers and beach goers and acts as a perfect vantage point to view the striking turquoise surrounding ocean and the snorkelers exploring around the “Shark” shipwreck. The Western Australian Planning Commission in partnership with Caring for Our Country provided substantial financial support for the ‘Coastal protection and rehabilitation at Henrietta Rocks’ project in the form of a Coastwest grant. The grant application was written and submitted as a collaborative effort between the RIA, Rottnest Society and Winnit Club and enabled the implementation of a beach access structure leading down to the beach, built using recycled plastic and composite fibre and for the informal tracks and eroded areas to be revegetated with plantings, stabilisation matting and brushing. Interpretative signage was also installed at two locations, displaying information on the wreck and Aboriginal culture. Additional facilities were installed, including: seating, bike racks, jarrah post-and-rail fencing, recycled bin enclosure facilities and vegetation screening to enhance visitor experience.
At this point the walk continues on along the beach and then takes a inland turn heading north into the centre of the Island. You will pass the Rottnest Island air strip and arrive at the beautiful Serpentine Salt Lake where you can expect to experience a diverse range of birdlife, both resident and migratory.
The peaceful walk along the lakes edge will take you up to Oliver Hill, where you can explore the 9.2inch Word War II gun. There are Rottnest Voluntary Guides on duty 364 days of the year; for a small fee guides can lead you through the underground tunnels, divulging the mesmerizing history that the deep dark depths of the shafts contain.
After you have completed your tour, or had a spot of lunch taking in the 360 degrees view, you may wish to relax on your journey back to the Settlement on the Rottnest Island train “Captain Hussey” (check the train schedule before you leave the settlement, as it may be on a restricted service in off peak times. Also be aware that the train can be busy during peak periods and it is recommended you get your ticket before you set off). Or you may wish to continue your adventure, heading back to the coast through the woodland heath, to uncover the splendor of Salmon Bay.