Rottnest Foundation is working in partnership with BHP Billiton to implement the Karlinyah Bidi and Wardan Nara Bidi sections of the Wadjemup Bidi project.
The Wadjemup Bidi project is a 45 km network of trails that provides a new low impact recreational opportunity that connects the community to the Island’s unique natural features, abundance of wildlife and rich cultural heritage, whilst also doubling as a management tool to address conservation issues associated with visitor use of the Island.
For more information on the partnership between Rottnest Foundation and BHP Billiton, please click here.
Anna Aitken (Specialist Social Investment Programs Corporate Affairs- BHP Billiton) and Fran Ferreira (Manager Social Investment Iron Ore Corporate Affairs- BHP Billiton) visited Rottnest Island on the 27th of April 2016 to view progress of the trail’s development.
After a slightly bumpy ferry ride to Rottnest, the day started with a meet and greet with members of the Wadjemup Bidi Project Team.
- Jeff King Rottnest Foundation Chairman
- Rosalie Small Rottnest Foundation Grants & Sponsorship Coordinator
- Eilidh Graham Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) Walk Trail Coordinator
- Holly Knight RIA General Manager of Heritage, Environment, Risk and Safety
- Rodney Carmichael RIA Walk Trail Operations Officer
- Ben Howell BHP Billiton Walk Trail Operations Officer
Firstly, Anna and Fran were shown the concept and location that has been chosen for the upcoming Major Trail Head sign that is being installed in the Settlement.
The group then hopped in cars and drove to the south side of BHP’s walk trail section where we stopped at one end of Strickland Bay and walked a newly cut part of trail to Narrow Neck to view the whale sculpture created by Aboriginal Noongar Artist Peter Farmer.
In between showers of rain, we drove on to the West End of the Island, where we strolled along the West End Boardwalk and appreciated the beautiful views. We sat down and enjoyed our packed lunches before walking to the Cathedral Rocks Seal Viewing Platform where everyone enjoyed the New Zealand Seals flipper-sailing and sunning themselves.
In the afternoon we explored the north side of the trail, where we viewed the new beach access at Ricey Beach and then walked the newly cut trail down to Catherine Bay on to the beach via the new beach access that was installed by the Green Army.
Little Armstrong Bay was our last stop, which is in critical need of repair due to the numerous informal ad-hoc access tracks and erosion that is damaging the site. Formalised beach access at Little Armstrong is planned to be constructed using BHP Billiton funds in winter 2016.
The re-alignment and construction of formalised beach access at key bays along the Wadjemup Bidi is critical to stabilising the fragile coastal environment aiding to conserve and enhance the sites for future generations.
Anna and Fran were very happy with progress to-date and enjoyed their time on the Island.
The trail sections funded by BHP Billiton will be open and walkable by the end of December 2016.