Wadjemup Bidi Project
Wadjemup Bidi Project
The Wadjemup Bidi Project aims to protect, preserve and raise awareness of both the environmental and cultural values of Rottnest Island. As a major tourism and conservation initiative, it involved the development of a trail network that provided an exploratory narrative for visitors, connecting Rottnest’s beautiful natural features to its cultural history in an environmentally sustainable manner. The trail sets the benchmark for sustainable coastal interpretation.
The project allows visitors to traverse the Island’s unique landscapes along the Wadjemup Bidi; a series of walk trails that takes in spectacular coastal headlands, stunning inland lakes and both natural and man-made attractions. The 45km Wadjemup Bidi is made up of five sections, with each unique section displaying culturally and environmentally significant landmarks to interpret and experience. "Bidi" in Noongar means "trail" or "track". The Whadjuk Noongar are the Traditional Owners of Rottnest Island.
The project was designed in a manner that allows for the majority of the trail to be constructed in small stages, utilising efforts from volunteer and community groups, and Aboriginal youth training schemes.
Rottnest Island Authority acknowledges the generous support of the following:
The 5 sections of the 45km Wadjemup Bidi are:
- Ngank Yira Bidi (9.4km / one way approx. 3-4hrs): This section traverses the south east corner of the Island from Thomson Bay to Oliver Hill — where you'll explore the remnants of coastal defence systems installed during WWII.
- Gabbi Karniny Bidi (9.7km / loop approx. 3-4hrs): Starting from Thomson Bay Settlement and heading west along Digby Drive, this section meanders through the lake systems including a magical stroll along the Lakes Boardwalk which the impression of “walking on water”.
- Wardan Nara Bidi (10km / one way approx. 3-4hrs): Walk along the coast of Salmon Bay and then cross through to the middle of the Island to explore the WWII guns and tunnels. Take in panoramic views from Wadjemup Lighthouse and then continue west to the world class surf break at Strickland Bay. Learn a bit more about Rottnest Island's surfing history by watching a short documentary accessed by scanning the QR code located on the informative sign or inside the surfing hut at this location.
- Karlinyah Bidi (5.9km / one way approx. 2-3hrs): Beautiful long sandy beaches and calm swimming lagoons within the reef; there will be a favourite spot for everyone. Enjoy the excitement of rugged sections of trail, but be aware of seasonal access in high seas.
- Ngank Wen Bidi (7.6km / one way approx. 3-4hrs): A marine wildlife haven with New Zealand fur seals visible from the viewing platform at Cathedral Rocks. The West End boardwalk is a great place to spot dolphins, and the seasonal migration of humpback whales.
The development of a cohesive network of walking trails aspires to control and manage the access of visitors traversing the Island, while encouraging visitors to appreciate the cultural significance, multiple histories and environmental dynamics of the Island. This is key to ensuring the reduction of informal access which has caused significant environmental degradation of the surrounding coastal formations and vegetation. The integration of interpretation and trail design to communicate the diverse values of the Island will ensure visitors continue to respect and protect the Island.
The Rottnest Island Wadjemup Bidi Project focused on achieving sustainable management to facilitate the following objectives:
- Reduce human impact on the coastal dune systems
- Rehabilitate erosion areas
- Create opportunity to improve visitor yield and numbers
- Create opportunity to communicate educational and sustainable management messages
- Protect the visitor from coastal risk issues
- Enhance visitor experience
- Create training, employment and business opportunities
For more information on the Wadjemup Bidi Trail, please visit The Rottnest Foundation website.