Using mobile phones on the Munda Biddi Trail

Most of the Munda Biddi is without reliable mobile phone service - expect it only in towns (Mundaring, Jarrahdale, Dwellingup, Collie, Boyanup, Donnybrook, Nannup, Manjimup, Quinninup, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole, Denmark, Albany). You may not get a signal in Jarrahwood, and it was very weak at Donnelly River. So when you get a signal at a hut or on a hill top, it is a bonus. Turn off Blutooth and Wi fi and dim your screen for longer battery life. I use Telstra, which has the best coverage. Results also vary due to your handset, so when I have indicated I had coverage at a hut, it doesn't guarantee you will.

Smart phones are brilliant. Most of my photos from on the trail were taken with one, and I think they have come out really well. They are handy back up in case you are lost ( Map function or GPS). They have heaps of entertainment for lonely nights in the hut (I like talking books). But I don't think they can be relied on as a primary navigation tool - that is the job for the Munda Biddi maps.

Do not plan on using my website on the Trail. Although my website is classed by Google as mobile friendly (the new standard came in April 2015), all the tabs do not come up on a mobile phone - you need a tablet or lap top to see it all. My site is basically to help you research & plan your ride before you leave home.

You can use your smart phone as a GPS. You can get .gpx files from me and load the route into your smart phone but use it as a back up only. Use the Munda Biddi maps and the markers on the trail as your main navigation aid, with a hard copy of my route sheet summaries or the .gpx files as a back up. A GPS it will only tell you if you are on the Trail or not. Tracking your route on a smart phone only will chew through the battery - my phone would not last 1 full days ride with the screen on all the time. See more on the separate page "Using GPS on the Munda Biddi".

'Emergency +' is a handy phone app that was developed by Australia's emergency services and allows emergency operators to pinpoint your exact location using GPS, as well as providing information about who to call in non-emergency situations. The free app also includes SES and Police Assistance Line numbers as options, so non-emergency calls are made to the most appropriate number.

Download it for iPhone:

Or Android:

I carry a spare mobile phone power source. I have two to choose from - one has about 1.5 phone charges in it, but it does have a small solar panel in. I have it mounted in a clear topped bag on the bike, so hopefully it picks up a bit of charge during the day. However to fully charge it from the sun does take 2 days, so it really is just a back up for a day ride on the trail. I have another battery that has 3 or 4 phone charges in it as well.

Make sure you have a fully charged phone with you when you are on the Trail . I n the event of an life threatening emergency try to call 112, which may be able to contact emergency services even without service coverage.

Note: my iPhone will switch off if sitting in the sun on a hot day, because it has over heated. It last happened in Dec 2015, on a 34 degree day. Obviuosly, you want the phone where it is visible, which means it gets the Sun. But if it overheats, it is then useless.

Telstra phone signal at the huts:

Carinyah hut, Map 1, is the closest hut to Perth, and is often utilised by day riders. I had no phone signal here, but about 1km back up the track (towards Perth) there was Telstra coverage.  See more on Map 1.

Wungong hut, Map 1, is a popular day ride with cyclists. I had no phone signal there. See More on Map 1.

Dandalup Hut, Map 2, has wonderful views off the Scarp on to the coastal plain . As a result, it has the best mobile phone service of all the huts. See More on Map 2.

Bidjar Ngoulin hut, Map 3. I had no phone signal there. See More on Map 3.

Yarri hut, Map 3, is a small hut perched half on the form overlooking a small stream. I had no phone signal there. See More on Map 3.

The Lake Brockman Tourist Park at Logue Brook Dam had a weak Telstra signal.

Nglang Boodja Hut, Map 4, is a small hut located on the side of Riches Gully, not far from Honeymoon Pool on the Collie River. I had a weak phone signal there. See More on Map 4

Nala Mia hut, Map 4 is located in the town site of Jarrahwood, a tiny hamlet without any shops. I have not been able to get a signal there, but other riders have (try standing on the slight rise with the tree line near the hut - the signal is better there apparently). See More on Map 4.

Donnelly Mill has no mobile phone service, but does have a Telstra pay phone.

Karta Burnu hut, Map 5, is situated on the top of a hill overlooking a valley. I had a weak phone signal. See More on Map 5

Yirra Kartta hut, Map 7. I had no phone signal there. See More on Map 7.

Kwokralup Beela hut, Map 7. I had a weak phone signal there. See More on Map 7.

Booner Mundak hut, Map 8. I had intermittent phone signal there. See More on Map 8.

Jinung Beigabup hut, Map 8. I had a good phone signal here as it is only about 10 km from Denmark as the crow flies. See More on Map 8.

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