Environment, flora & fauna
Q: Why can’t I access the Trail using other roads shown on the map?
The other roads shown are often in disease risk areas (DRA). Use of any vehicle (including bicycles) in DRA is illegal because they spread the destructive ‘dieback’ root disease by transporting spores from the soil. Some roads are not accessible for safety reasons or due to negative impact of vehicles on conservation areas. Support vehicles can only be used on the gazetted (gravel/sealed) roads marked on the map. Cyclists are asked to take the details of any vehicles found in DRA and report the registration, make, model and colour to the Foundation even if they are unsure whether the vehicle is permitted to be there or not.
Q: When is the best time to ride the Trail with respect to weather and wildflowers?
Autumn, spring and parts of winter are the best times to cycle the Trail (any time between April and early November). October and November can be hot, cold and all points in between. Overnight temperatures in late winter and early spring can get below freezing in some areas. Rain usually starts in May (earlier in the south) and the wettest months are July and August. In the northern half we tend to get heavy rain then it stops, although there can be lots of drizzle along the south coast.
It is recommended that beginner cyclists avoid riding during the hotter months from December to March. Remember to always carry warm clothing when camping out, even in summer, because the evening temperatures can drop rapidly.
Spring in the jarrah forest is a true delight with the wildflowers in bloom. The wildflower season starts in the north about August and gradually blossom from then on heading south. September and October tend to be the peak times but this can be earlier or later depending on the season in any particular year. The flowers vary along the Trail in terms of variety, abundance and season.
We avoid running events during the Western Australian summer months (December through to February) and do not recommend riders attempt the MBT during this time. Apart from the ever present threat of bush fire, the Trail is not at its best, being very dry and the pea gravel (refer to the recent FB post on pea gravel) makes for unpleasant, hazardous riding.
Q: Why do I see Dieback Free signs and what am I supposed to do?
Even though the Munda Biddi Trail does not pass through the designated Dieback Disease Risk Area (the red hashed area marked the map), the Trail does pass through some small pockets of clean or disease-free bushland. Along the Trail there are areas currently signed 'Dieback Free' between Jarrahdale Rd and the Balmoral POW camp. People cycling in this area should not be alarmed by the signage; it's primarily aimed at earthmoving and harvesting contractors. However cyclists are encouraged to stay on the trail at all times and you can reduce your risk of spreading the disease by brushing down your tyres before entering these areas.
Q: Are there any snakes on the Trail?
Snakes are common along the length of the Trail yet rarely seen. If you do see a snake on the Trail, approach with caution. Quite often the snake will feel surface vibrations and move away before you even recognise it’s there. Tiger snakes, which are highly venomous, are fairly common near swamps, wetlands and karri forest while dugites occur in drier areas.
Beware walking through thick undergrowth and ensure that your first aid kit includes a snakebite bandage. See the first aid tips in our Health, Hygiene and Safety page.
Q: What pests are there?
March flies and ticks in late spring or summer, mosquitoes, sand flies and midges are common most of the year in varying quantities. Insect repellent or covering up is recommended. A mosquito net is also useful in the open fronted shelters or some cyclists use the shell (sealed inner) from their tent. Protection from mosquitoes is essential to prevent possible infection with Ross River Virus. Yet another reason to carry a tent with you! Refer to the Health, Hygiene and Safety webpage for more information on pests.
Q: How can I minimise my impact on the environment?
Cyclists are asked to adhere to the Leave No Trace principles and the Code of Campsite when using the Munda Biddi Trail.
Remember to leave the Trail and its facilities in better condition than you found them. That way you and others will benefit from what the Trail has to offer.
- Don't put any rubbish into the fire pit or the toilet (you bring it in, you take it out).
- Don't throw organic matter into the bush (eg apple cores) as it greatly impacts on the health and indeed survival of our native animals.
Q: What animals am I likely to see whilst out on the Trail?
It is likely you may come across a variety of different animals on the Trail, especially if you are camping overnight as most are nocturnal. Some animals on the trail may include the western grey kangaroo, brushtail possum, Gilbert's potoroo, tammar wallaby, numbat, woylie, chuditch, dibbler, brush-tailed phascogale, western pygmy possum, western brush wallaby and the western ringtail possum to name a few. Birds are more commonly seen due to being around during the day and include twenty-eight parrots, galahs, magpies, spinifex pigeons, kookaburras, Carnaby's (Short-billed) and Baudin's (Long-billed) cockatoos, western corella, red-capped parrot, western rosella, western wattlebird, western spinebill, red-winged fairy-wren, red-eared firetail, western thornbill, white-breasted robin and the western bristlebird.
Q: What flowers may I see when on the Trail?
Depending on the season and area, you may come across the following types of wildflowers whilst riding the Trail: glow wattle, common cats paw, kangaroo paw, sticky tail flower, woolly, scarlet, firewood, oakleaved, cut leaf, sceptre and showy banksia, swamp bottlebrush, aniseed boronia, wispy spider orchid, waxflower, cowslip, pink fairies and vanilla orchid, karri dampiera, Cranbrook bell, donkey orchid, bridal rainbow, wedge leaved dryandra, showy dryandra, pink enamel orchid, mottlecah, rose mallee, Albany blackbutt, coral vine, flame grevillea, pink pokers, emu tree, scarlette runner, hooded lily, rabbit orchid, pixie mops and many more.
Q: What is Parks and Wildlife?
The Department of Parks and Wildlife became a part of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions on the 1st of July 2017 and is now know as the Parks and Wildlife Service. The Parks and Wildlife Service is the manager of the Trail with the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation, a non-profit organisation, ensuring that the Trail remains a long distance off-road cycling trail of international significance and quality.