Last weekend, I ventured out for a beautiful bushwalk through the Rugged Hills Nature Reserve near Toodyay here in Western Australia. It’s a rarely visited, basically unknown little corner of the world. And it’s stunning.
It was a freezing cold (by our somewhat warm-blooded standards), sunny morning – basically perfect bushwalking weather. The track through the reserve is essentially a figure eight, and on this occasion, I took the eastern loop. The track is a gravel path through the bush and is easy to follow. The chances of getting lost were minimal, which is always a bonus.
There was still a little dew on the ground, and plenty of spiderwebs glistening in the early sunlight. The path takes you up and down some reasonably steep hills, past wandoo forest, grass trees, across a little stream here and there. Occasionally, you’ll hear some crashing about in the undergrowth and a family of kangaroos will peer at you quizzically before bounding off into the bush.
There were wattles flowering and red bark peeling off the trunks of gum trees. A fresh flush of green has sprung up since the first rains a month ago.
The best part was the silence. Well, a silence filled with bird song and the occasional rustling of leaves and twigs cracking underfoot. Shafts of light filtered through the trees and long shadows danced over the red path.
All up, it took a little over an hour, but it was glorious. Highly recommended!
All the info:
Rugged Hills Nature Reserve is West of Toodyay, Western Australia (roughly an hour and a half drive from Perth). There are a number of access points, but an easy one is off Ridley Circle. There are no facilities, so take water. Mobile phone reception is generally good. In summer, there is an increased risk of snakey encounters. Leave them well alone. In all probability, you won’t see another soul!