Posted by Ian FAIRNIE on Jan 29, 2024
Steve “Sertinly" Knows Bibbulmun
Our first guest presenter for 2024 was Steve Sertis, the Events Manager and Lead Guide for the Bibbulmun Track Foundation. 
Steve is passionate about the Bibbulmun Track and has completed 13 "End-to-End" journeys, taken thousands of children and adults on Bibbulmun Track events and has been a Track maintenance volunteer since 1997. More recently he led the 25th Anniversary End-to-End finishing in Albany on September 13th, 2023. 
Steve has a wealth of bushwalking experience and a profound knowledge of the Bibbulmun Track. Nobody knows the Bibbulmun Track quite like Steve!  That’s probably because he has completed four end-to-end hikes in one go, plus another 9 times where he has taken a year to finalise the complete walk. Around 200 people complete the end-to-end each year, coming from all corners of the globe.
There are 52 campsites along the track, with water, a bush toilet (BYO paper!) and shelter for between 8-24 people. Groups are not allowed to populate the shelters until after 6.00pm so individual walkers can find a place to sleep.  There are also flat areas outside the shelters for people to set up their tents.
Steve told us the timber in the northern part forms part of the Jarrah forest ecology, which is incredibly diverse when you stop to have a look around, while the southern half is dominated by giant Karri trees.  The southern part of the Track from Mandalay beach to Albany doesn’t have much tree cover as it runs along the coast but it has spectacular views of the Southern Ocean.
Steve recommends walkers have a 12-15kg backpack supported on your hips, and a beacon locator for emergency assistance.  Smart phones are not very smart without reception and the Apps available are all overseas based and out of date by two years or more.  Walking shoes/boots need to be broken in - meaning don’t buy them the day before if you plan to head off on the Track.  And while a more expensive option, you should shop for them at camping/hiking stores (not the Athletes Foot or BCF!).
Finally, have a look at the Bibbulmun Track websites, there so much great information there.
Thanks for a great presentation Steve.