The final leg of the journey, Map 9, sees most of the ride along old rail trail, some of it right next to Wilson Inlet. After departing Denmark, there are several small shops along the route, but no huts or accommodation (see notes for alternatives).

To get the full ride gpx or the ride route summary, select the "Route Sheets" tab above, and click on the download buttons for each.

The local Noongar name for Denmark is Kwoorabup, which means 'place of the black wallaby'. Near the Denmark River mouth on the former railway reserve is some old railway stock and a railway turntable - the Munda Biddi trail goes within 50 m of this, so do stop. The old Post Office, used now as a school, was relocated there in 1988. The alcove at the front has a photo display of Denmark's history. Wilson Inlet is the largest inlet on the southern coastline at 20 km wide. It is fed by the Denmark & Hay Rivers, both of which we will ride over. For more information on Denmark, see my Denmark Nornalup Heritage trail overview.

Denmark is a medium sized country town with a supermarket, several eating out options and all the usual facilities. I am unsure if any shops carry bike spares but try the hardware. Denmark Cycles is available on 0410 999 506, as I think Gareth operates from home. Rickett's, on the main street, sell dehydrated meals, gas cylinders and camping supplies. The Denmark visitor centre is at the junction of the South Coast Highway and Ocean Beach Rd - again we ride right passed. It is located 500 metres west of the Denmark town centre and is open seven days a week 9am to 5pm. See: www.denmark.com.au

Wilson Inlet was formed about 6000 years ago in the last Ice Age. Formerly a lake fed by river flow that was blocked by moving sand dunes, the rising sea level broke through to form the inlet. As with many southern inlets, a sandbar blocks the opening into the sea when the river flow drops in Summer. Since 1931, the inlet has been opened mechanically. This was originally done to stop the railway line (now the Munda Biddi) from wave damage, and to prevent the flooding of farm land in Winter.

Along the Inlet are Aboriginal fish traps, some dated at approximately 4000 years old.

My Map 9 highlights video is here. It starts in Denmark, then continues along the Wilson Inlet (keep an eye out for the 4000 year old Aboriginal fish trap) on old rail line. It also follows the Torbay Rail trail before ending in Albany.

To see more on the ride along the Wilson Inlet, see below:

The loop from Hay River to Sleeman Rd is pretty average, although you do get Hay River views for the first couple of kilometres. I don't suggest you ride along the South Coastal Highway (or the Lower Denmark Rd - see below). However, if you do, ride on the gravel shoulder and make sure you can bee seen by approaching vehicles doing 110 km/hr. If you follow the Munda Biddi Trail from Hay River/Keith Rd to Sleeman Rd it is a distance of 11.4 km. Via the South Coastal Highway it is 5.1 km.

From Lake Saide Road to Tennessee Rd South is 10.4 km via the Munda Biddi. A lot of it is old form, and one section is very pretty - see the photo of Francis Rd in my gallery. There is a 6 way junction in this section with no markers at all - my route sheets should help you find the right route quickly. Via the Lower Denmark Rd the distance is 4.4 km.

Similarly, following the Munda Biddi up Bornholm North Rd to Kronkup Rd North is 6.4 km and includes a reasonably big hill. Via the Lower Denmark Rd it is 4.4 km. The road is 90 km/hr, windy and hilly road with gravel shoulder. Both roads are signposted from the Lower Denmark Rd. I have not ridden this section, and I don't like the look of it for cycling when I have driven it.

As the name suggests, Young's Siding was originally a siding on the railway line which linked Albany and Denmark. There are now few signs indicating where the tracks used to be, although the main street still carries the name Station Street. The town has a general store, a volunteer fire brigade shed, district hall and 13 houses. I had intermittent phone signal here and at Cosy Corner, and most of way in to Albany.

We pass a small sign for Wilgie Hill Siding, that was there from 1921 to the closure of the train line in 1957. Wilgee is the Noongar word for the red ochre. Further down the trail is the Torbay Hall, built in 1912.

Ellker was originally known as Lakeside due to its proximity to Lake Powell, but it did not develop initially. The town emerged as a railway junction between the Torbay line, which served timber sawmills in the area, and the Great Southern railway, and it was renamed Torbay Junction in 1908. In 1921, it was renamed Elleker on the recommendation of a former member of the Albany Road Board who lived in the area, after Ellerker in Yorkshire. The reason for the omission of the first "r" is not known. The general store is a a good place to stop with snacks and drinks. The ride from Elleker into Albany is nearly all on sealed road, with just a short section on a gravel road.

Torbay is named after Tor Bay, a bay on the coast to the south originally named by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1801. It was named after Tor Bay in Devon UK, the home port of Admiral Richard Howe's Channel Fleet, for whom Flinders had served as a midshipman from 1793 to 1794. Flinders identified a number of local features with Lord Howe-related names, including Torbay (the bay), Torbay Inlet, Torbay Head and West Cape Howe. Torbay Head is the most southerly point on the mainland of WA and the most westerly point of the Great Australian Bight. On the bay, Cosy Corner is a well-known, popular family beach with picnic and camping facilities. It is only couple of km from the Munda Biddi - see my track notes on how to get there. There is a cafe about 1 km from the beach (currently opened 9am - 4pm weekdays and 8am till 5pm on weekends, but that may change with the seasons). There is camping at Cosy Corner East. The Bibbulmun Track passes around the edge of the bay, coming down from the steep hills above Cosy Corner and following the beach and across the mouth of Torbay Inlet to near Shelter Island.

In 1886 railway contractors C & E Millar established sawmills at Bornholm (a small township located near Bornholm road, which we will ride along) to supply timber for the construction of the Great Southern Railway (Beverley to Albany railway). Timber was initially shipped out by sea to Albany, and later by tramline to Elleker. In 1889 the Torbay Estate, of 26,000 acres, was granted to Millars in consideration of extending the railway from Elleker to Torbay and establishing working sawmills there. The two Bornholm mills were shifted to Torbay and enlarged. A prosperous timber settlement was in evidence at Torbay for about six years, employing nearly 200 mill hands. By 1895 most of the suitable timber at Torbay had been felled. The railway was again extended to Denmark in 1895 and a new mill built on the west bank of the Denmark River. The Millars secured 20,000 acres of Karri forests around the Denmark Hills, and the Denmark town sprang up in conduction with the milling actovity. In 1898 Millars Karri and Jarrah Forests Limited offered the Torbay Estate back to the government provided they could retain ownership of the strip of land occupied by the Elleker-Torbay railway, which is now the Torbay Heritage trail. The rest of the land was subdivided and sold for agricultural purposes in 1900. By 1905 the local timber was exhausted and Denmark almost become a ghost town until the government purchased the Millar's town, property, railway and land in 1907. A small but steady stream of migrants began to arrive to develop farming.

You can see one of the trains used in the local area at the Bassendean Railway Museum. 'Kia Ora' is an example of one of the smaller locomotives originally used on the timber lines in WA. It was built in 1884 and placed in service with the Melbourne Harbour Trust as number 2. The locomotive was sold around 1885, and eventually was bought by C & E Millar and arrived in Albany in 1887 for use at the Torbay mills. The locomotive was transferred to Yarloop in 1895 and it was there that it received its first name, 'Beetle'. The locomotive was later renamed 'Kia Ora' by Reynolds Driver, the Yarloop manager, who came from New Zealand. 'Kia Ora' was transferred to Jarrahdale in 1905 before being sold by Millar's to the Public Works Department in 1909, initially to Carnarvon to work the jetty tramway. 'Kia Ora' was transferred in 1949 to Roelands quarry and later to Bunbury in 1954 to work the jetty. 'Kia Ora' was donated to the museum for preservation in 1962.

The 1922 Group Settlement scheme was designed to encourage migration to the area for ex servicemen, unemployed families and those looking for a new start in life. As the Denmark Albany Railway extended westards to Nornalup in 1929, the conditions of these settlement farmers improved. However, the tough conditions, the inexperienced settlers and the Great Depression forced many off the land. It was not until World War 2 that Denmark's outlook in the dairy and vegetable industry started to improve. Tourism was also popular, firstly with American sailors visiting Albany, then Perth tourists, who came to see the big trees.

Albany is the oldest permanently settled town in WA. With Mount Clarence to the east and Mount Melville to the west, Albany city centre is at the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour, which York Street, the main street in town, gently slopes towards. Albany is truly a harbour city filled with character, history and charm. There are many beaches surrounding Albany, with Middleton Beach being the most popular, and the closest to the town centre. Its coastline is a place of outstanding & spectacular natural beauty. Albany is also the southern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track walking trail as well as the Munda Biddi. Albany is a major country town with full facilities, several supermarkets, many options for eating out, and a couple of fully equipped bike shops.

In 1826 Major Edmund Lockyer arrived on the Amity, from Sydney, and founded a a military outpost of New South Wales. This was to stop any plans by the French to claim WA. The official postal service began in 1834 and the first town jetty was established in 1837. The construction of the railway in 1885, between Perth and Albany, brought with it more settlers and more opportunities. The 1890's gold rush brought more prosperity, and during this time many of the historic buildings on Stirling Terrace were built. Princess Royal Harbour was the only deep-water port in WA until the opening of the Port of Fremantle in 1900 by CY O'Connor. After this decline the town's industries became predominantly agriculture and timber.

It has a number of historic tourist sites including the Albany Convict Gaol & Museum (1852), The Princess Royal Fortress (commonly known as The Forts, 1893), The Old Post Office (1834) and Patrick Taylor Cottage, ("the oldest dwelling in WA, 1832"). There is a memorial to the World War 1 ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Desert Mounted Corps on top of Mount Clarence. The memorial consists of a statue of an Australian mounted soldier assisting a New Zealand soldier whose horse has been wounded and a wall bearing the words "Lest We Forget". Albany was the last place in Australia that the ANZACs saw and is therefore a prominent memorial. The first commemorative dawn service was held there on Anzac Day, 25 April 1923. A dawn service has been held ever since and currently around several thousand people participate each year. The Anzac Peace park commemorates that Albany was the last Australian soil the original Anzacs saw. The Park is very close to the end of the Munda Biddi and is shown clearly on the town map.

The Brig Amity is an exact replica of the original vessel which brought the first white settlers to Albany from Sydney. Built in 1975, the Amity is placed a few hundred metres from where Major Edmund Lockyer and the party of forty-five arrived in the Princess Royal Harbour on Christmas Day 1826. Open to the public, for a small entrance fee you can look above and below deck to see how the crew members lived during their journey. It is positioned on the water front just a few hundred metres West from the Munda Biddi terminus.

Today the city of Albany is a thriving port city home to over 30,000, so has all the facilities you will need at the start or end of your trip. The Albany vistors centre is situated in the old railway station at the southern end of the Munda Biddi Trail - I assume you will ride the trail right to the very end and not stop short on the main street in Albany! The Brig Amity with the museum, as well as the Anzac Peace park are all located a short distance away. This spot is the Transwa coach stop, and it is also the trail head for the Bib track. Open every day 9am - 5pm except Christmas Day. See www.amazingalbany.com.au

Distances:
Denmark to Youngs Sidings (27 km)
Youngs Sidings to Elleker (31 km)
Elleker to Albany (18 km)
Total Map Distance: 76 km

GPX files I have available:

Denmark to Albany (all map 9)
Denmark to Hay River (Dec 2014)
Hay River to Cosy Corner (Jan 2015)
Kronkup to Albany (Dec 2014)
Lights Beach to Greens Pool (Jan 2014)
Albany to South Coastal H'way (Jan 2014)
South Coastal H'way to Denmark (Jan 2014)
Denmark to Youngs Siding (Dec 2015)
Youngs Siding to Elleker (Dec 2015)
Elleker to Albany (Dec 2015)

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks near Perth and in Western Australia. This page is on the Munda Biddi Map 9 bike trail.