Discover the Salt Lakes
Gabbi Karniny Bidi is part of the greater Rottnest Island ‘Wadjemup Bidi’. The trail is a major new recreation and conservation initiative that will be implemented in sections over a six year timeframe, which started in July 2013. It involves the construction of a ~45 kilometre 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.
The second section of the Wadjemup Bidi, Gabbi Karniny Bidi, starts from The Settlement and heads west out Digby Drive. Elevated panoramic views can be experienced within 500m of the settlement from Vlamingh look out; which is accessed next to the European cemetery. The walk then continues past Lake Herschel and meanders through the lake systems.
You will come across a “walk on water” boardwalk which allows you to pass along the southern edge of Lake Vincent. The boardwalk has been purposefully constructed to be walkable during high winter water levels. The Rottnest Foundation was successful in receiving a $100,000 Trails Grant from the Department of Sport & Recreation (supported by Lotterywest), which enabled the development of this boardwalk.
Following Pink Lake Road the walk heads for Little Parakeet Bay. The Department of Environment and Conservation [Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW)], as of 1st July 2013] provided financial support to the Rottnest Foundation for the re-development of Little Parakeet beach access in the form of an Environmental Community Grant under the ‘Interpretation and Sustainable Recreation in Natural Areas’ program.
This grant enabled the old degraded stairs to be removed and two new composite stairways with stainless steel handrails to be installed. A compacted limestone pathway and additional post and rail jarrah fencing was installed to provide defined and safe entry points to the stairs. More bike racks were installed to accommodate the popularity of the site and a new bin surround was provided to manage waste. Improved site drainage by way of coir logs and brushing was installed to address any erosion issues. The eroded areas were rehabilitated with native plant species to improve stability and environmental amenity of the site. Interpretive signage was installed to communicate sustainable management messages about the fragile coastal environment. This project was completed in December 2012.
Gabbi Karniny Bidi then continues along the coastline all the way up to Bathurst Lighthouse. By this time you will be ready to stroll along Thomson Bay for a well-deserved refreshment back in the Settlement.
Gabbi Karniny Bidi can be experienced at different times of the day within different seasons of the year, each offering completely different experiences. On a crisp winter morning the heavy dew will be reflecting the rising sun. Overcast days with intimidating clouds will be pierced by the stunning view of the fresh white of Wadjemup Lighthouse in the distance. On balmy summer evenings expect to be treated to a spectrum of burning sunset colours across the lake and a view of the dipping sun from one of the newly installed bench seats which have been purposefully placed to encapsulate the best views!