Getting to and from the Munda Biddi Trail

How to get there:

Getting to/from Albany:

Most riders can get to/from Mundaring (TransPerth train then ride the Railway Heritage Trail - see below). The most enquiries I get are how to get to/from Albany. In summary, your options are:
 - Munda Biddi Shuttle Services 
 - Transwa bus
 - Fly
 - Drive or get a lift
 - Get creative - maybe try AirTasker can help?
More info on these options is below.

Riding to the Trail

My route sheets include good routes to ride to Mundaring, Jarrahdale, Dwellingup and Boyanup. I also outline a couple of routes that joins the Munda Biddi at various points between Mundaring and Dwellingup. I have also included a few "short cuts" like a few options for riding from Collie to rejoin the Munda Biddi instead of back tracking the same 20 km you came in on, how to get straight to Donnybrook, and how to go straight from Denmark to Jinung Hut. Make sure you can be clearly seen when riding on country roads as vehicles are travelling much faster than towns. I wear a reflective fluro vest and turn my tail light to flashing. Ride predictable and follow all road rules.

Metro Area Trains (Transperth)

The trains from Perth to Armadale, Midland & Mandurah are part of the public transport system, so run regularly and you have no need to book. Avoid week day rush hours (see limitations below) and you will have room for you and your bike, and even an unhooked trailer. From Mandurah there are 3 options I outline in my "Map 2 Getting there/Back" section on how to get to the Munda Biddi. The least attractive option is Pinjarra up to Dwellingup- the road is too dangerous to be enjoyable. All are up hill onto the Scarp, so be prepared for some big hills. Refer to Map 2 for detailed route sheets.

Similarly the Armadale train doesn't need to be booked, and you have 3 options on joining the Munda Biddi ( "Map 1 Getting there/Back"). Again, all are up hill onto the Scarp, so be prepared for some big hills. Some of the routes are not as pleasant as you will be sharing the road with vehicles doing up to 110km/hr.

The Midland train and ride to Mundaring is outlined in my route sheet on Map 1.

Metro Area Buses (Transperth)

Bikes are not allowed on Perth buses. It is a shame that we do not have the bike carrying racks like on the Canberra buses, as below.

Jarrahdale and Dwellingup are public transport black holes-there is no bike carrying public transport to either of them. You need to get a lift or ride to them. My route sheets give you some good options to ride there after catching a train that keep you off the busiest roads.

Transperth Bike rules are:

Bikes are not permitted on Transperth train services during peak periods (Weekdays only) under the following guide lines:
Bikes are not permitted on train services travelling towards Perth city between the hours of 7.00am and 9.00am weekdays
Bikes are not permitted on train services travelling away from Perth city between the hours of 4.30pm and 6.30pm week days

Bikes cannot enter, depart or pass through Perth, Perth Underground or Esplanade Stations in any direction during the above peak periods. If you wish to travel from Perth, Perth Underground or Esplanade stations with your bike during the morning peak, you will need to ride to City West, Canning Bridge, Leederville or McIver stations and board from there. As above, during the morning peak, bikes are only permitted on board services travelling away from the city.

Should you wish to travel to Perth, Perth Underground or Esplanade stations with your bike during the afternoon peak, you will need to disembark at City West, Canning Bridge, Leederville or McIver stations and continue your journey by bike. As above, during the afternoon peak, bikes are only permitted on board services travelling towards the city. See more here

Munda Biddi Shuttle Services

The Munda Biddi Shuttle is a dedicated regular shuttle service to get riders to and from the Trail.  It takes riders and their bikes (spaces for 8 bikes on a purpose built bike trailer) from Perth direct to Albany on a Saturday, with the return trip on the Sunday as required.

Pick ups: Approximately 8-9am from anywhere in Perth metro area (e.g Perth Airport and hotels, private residences), arrival in Albany about 1-2pm. MBSS drops you to your accommodation in Albany. This is the same travel time as a car would take, and is door to door. The service runs on two weekends of each month between March and November, with the trips generally a fortnight apart.

Munda Biddi Shuttle Service is now running a highlights package. It takes approximately 6-7 days to "cover" the southern half of the Trail between Nannup and Albany, but you will ride the most scenic and fun sections, and drive the less exciting bits. Contact them directly.

MBSS arrangements are flexible to suit riders' travel plans. Please check website for latest schedule and pricing. See www.mundabiddishuttle.com or email at contact@mundabiddishuttle.com.au

This what they look like:

Country Trains & Coaches

The Australind train service to Bunbury runs twice a day and must be booked, although I have heard you can buy a seat at departure if they are available. I paid $32.10 in Dec 2015 for a full adult fare. Bikes are welcome at $15 each but there is limited space (usually a couple). You can only get on or off with your bike at Perth or Bunbury - not at the stops in between. From Bunbury it is about 20 km to join the Munda Biddi ( see how to get there on map 4 route sheets).

Transwa coaches service most country towns and will carry bikes but must be booked ahead of your travel. I have heard of riders turning up and paying on the day, but only if there were seats available. The buses services Munda Biddi towns like Albany, Denmark, Walpole, Manjimup, Pemberton, Nannup, Donnybrook, Northcliffe and Collie. Bikes are $15 extra and most buses only have space for 2. I have heard of riders whose bikes were booked on to the bus being turned away because there was no space left in the storage area (in that case, there was many prams, who were given priority over bicycles). The adult fare one way to Albany is $63.30 (Oct 2016) and the trip is fairly slow at 7 hours, as it has to stop regularly along the way. The Perth terminus is the East Perth terminal, so you have to find your own way there. The Visitor's Centres in towns along the Munda Biddi will be able to advise you, book seats and usually the bus stop is outside their door . Or you can phone 1300 662 205 or visit www.transwa.wa.gov.au

South West coach lines offer a similar service with bikes costing $20 to take. Their stops include the domestic and international airport, Bunbury, Boyanup, Collie, Donnybrook and Manjimup. See www.transdevsw.com.au/express

Driving there

If you have to drive to the Munda Biddi, it is essential you pack everything to make sure you get to the start of your ride ready to go. This increases in importance the further you travel - you don't want to get to Albany when you realise you forgot your helmet, gloves or something similar.

On the longer trips getting to the trail I worry about the bike getting damaged in transit. Even on the back of my car, I strip off all the small looser items ( like my water bottles, tool bag, cycle computer, pump) so they can't fall off. At least in the car I can throw in my bigger bike tool kit with a few extra spares in case something does go wrong. I chain the bike on the rack just in case a passer by wants to liberate my bike while I am parked some where.

The 420km trip to Albany is approximately 5 hours with minimal stopping time.

See my article on what you will see on the Albany Highway drive here.

Credit Card Tourism

When I re rode the entire Munda Biddi in 2014 for this website, I broke it down into stages. This was mainly because I was collecting so much data that I need almost daily access to power points, computers and internet. I did a couple of 3 day rides, but most of the Trail was done with my family backing me up, and we stayed at local accommodation. This meant they would often have to drop me to the Trail in the morning, and pick me up at night as I rode a whole map while staying two nights in the same accommodation. This works for me because my family were:

  1. Happy to spend most of the day by themselves in the countryside
  2. Confident enough to navigate to some pretty remote locations to pick me up e.g. the corner of Middle and Trent/Rose Rd on Map 8
  3. Patient enough to wait at the end point ( I think an hour was the longest wait they had after our agreed meet time)

Having a back up vehicle meant I could ride with out luggage, cover more ground, then back up all my collected data on my computer, recharge my devices, have a decent meal, a proper nights sleep and have a shower. My family got to share in my passion for the Munda Biddi and help with research at the Visitors Centre, local museums and tourist attractions, which they both enjoyed. They love the bush, and were happy to spend a day exploring before picking me up later. This may not work for your partner/family, but it is an option to consider.

Flights to Albany

Virgin currently flys to Albany daily (with 2~3 flights daily). Flights cost between $125 to $350 one way (Nov 2014). It is a 70 minute flight. Albany airport is 11 km northwest of Albany just off Albany Highway. It is about 30-45 mins ride from town. I believe Virgin are no longer going to service this route, and Rex will take over, but I have not confirmed this.

From the Virgin website: Bicycles will only be accepted as checked baggage if packaged in a hard or soft manufactured bike box. Bike boxes may be purchased at the airport check-in counter. Before bicycles can be accepted for uplift, they must be disassembled and packaged . Oversized baggage can be checked in, provided each item does not exceed 32kg in weight. Excess baggage is charged per piece and can be pre-purchased as additional pieces to the included allowances or purchased by pieces at the airport at a higher rate. See www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/plan/baggage/oversized-fragile-items

My routes to ride to and from the Munda Biddi Trail:

These routes are detailed on my Route Summary sheets with each relevant map.

Map 1:
Midland to Mundaring - 18km
Pickering Brook to Maddington Train Station
Carinyah hut to Challis Train Station via Brookton Highway - 21 km
Gleneagles to Armadale via Albany Highway - 25km
Armadale to Jarrahdale via Nettleton Rd - 28km

Map 2:
Mandurah to Dandalup via Lakes Rd, then up to Dandalup Hut - 35km
Mandurah to Pinjarra to MB at Kesseners Rd via North Spur Rd - 36km

Map 3:
Collie to Bunbury Train station via quiet roads - 63km

Map 4:
Bunbury Train Station to Boyanup to Munda Biddi - 20km
Donnybrook to Boyanup on to Bunbury train station - 38 km

Riding the Trail in sections, without a car

One of the common questions is how to ride "loops" on the Munda Biddi. Here are some suggested Munda Biddi rides you can do without needing drop off or pickups, from an over nighter to a 5 day trip, all using trains to and from Perth central. Full directions including the road sections are available on my Route sheets.

Map 1: Mundaring to Jarrahdale

3 days

1. Train to Midland, Railway Heritage Trail To Mundaring (uphill, 18 km), overnight at Carinyah hut (40 km)
2. Carinyah hut to Wungong Hut (34km). Overnight there or at Jarrahadale (additional 28 km)
3. Jarrahdale to Byford via Nettleton Rd (30 km), Armadale train to Perth

See diary Oct 2010 for a record of a similar trip

Alternative: Train to Maddington, Mason & Bird Trail to Pickering Brook, then join Trail there

Map 2: Jarrahdale to Dwellingup

3 to 4 days

1.Train to Armadale, ride to Jarrahdale via Nettleton Rd (uphill, 30 km), onto to Dandalup hut (34km)
2. Dandalup to Dwellingup (42km)
3. Dwellingup to Pinjarra to Mandurah train station (43 km)

Also, Waterous Loop- 2 days, overnight in Bidjar hut. See May 2013 diary

Map 1 & 2:

3 to 5 day ride

1. Train to Mandurah, ride to Pinjarra, ride to Hines Rd (uphill, 33km). Onto Dandalup hut (8km)
2. Dandalup hut to Jarrahdale (34 km) an stay, or onto Wungong hut (24 km)
3. Wungong hut to Carinyah hut (34km) (or ride to Brookton Hway (27 km) to Kelmscott train station (21 km) (3 days)
4. Carinyah hut to Mundaring (58 km), then Railway Heritage Trail to Midland (18km), catch train to Perth

See diary May 2013 for a record of a similiar trip

Map 3 & 4 Boyanup to Dwellingup:

4 - 5 days

1. Train to Bunbury (arrive around noon), ride to Boyanup (20 km) and join MB. Onto Nglang hut (uphill, 27km)
2. Nglang hut to Yarri Hut (57km)
3. Yarri hut to Bidjar hut (77km) or stop in Logue Brook Dam on way
4. Bidjar hut to Dwellingup (27 km),on to Pinjarra, to Mandurah (43km) and catch train home.

Reverse these rides, as riding the opposite direction changes the ride a lot.
Or get dropped at a start position and ride the Trail, then home.
My route sheets will detail all changes in direction, distances and road conditions on the routes getting to and from the trail.
Remember to check the conditions of using Perth trains (see here).

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks near Perth and in Western Australia.