Ngank Wen Bidi, Rottnest Island
About the Trail
The most western section of the Wadjemup Bidi is named the Ngank Wen Bidi. The meaning of the Whadjuk Noongar name in English is "the place where the sun is waning or dies", or in other words “the place of the setting sun".
The trail allows you to circumnavigate the West End, taking in all of the best spots along the way. Three trails intersect each other at Narrow Neck and the Ngank Wen Bidi is the one that will guide you to the most western point of Rottnest Island.
There is access infrastructure along the northern coast, with the fist port of call being a stroll along Lady Edeline beach. The beach is spectacular all year round and is nice and secluded when the weather is coming in from the south. A set of stairs at the west end of the beach links to a bus stop, and also allows you to jump on the trail and head towards Marjorie Bay.
Marjorie Bay is one of the Islands best kept secrets. The boating community have known about this little gem for decades, with the bay being decorated with yellow mooring buoys. The eastern end of the beach boasts a natural lagoon within the reef. This is a popular spot for cooling off in the summer months, and remains protected from any currents and swell.
Continuing west, the trail snakes in to Mabel Cove. Look out for the crocodile rock! Heading off in to the scrub it won’t be long before you emerge to the views of Eagle Bay. The crystal clear turquoise waters are breathtaking.
The trail then arrives at one of the Islands highlights, the Cathedral Rocks Seal Viewing platform. From here you can have a rest, take in the view and be entertained with the frolicking antics of the New Zealand Fur Seal Colony. Please remember to respect the wildlife and remain on the viewing platform. Free to use binoculars are available for a closer look.
Following the limestone path to the south, head for the West End boardwalk. The specifically designed boardwalk allows access on to Cape Vlamingh, whilst protecting the nesting shearwater seabirds, who burrow in to the ground. The views from the boardwalk are incredible, especially in the humpback whale migration months. Humpbacks and southern right whales can be seen off of Rottnest Island heading north at the beginning of winter, and heading back down south between late August and November. Their recognizable blow of misty air and vapor can easily be spotted off the coast, and commonly very close to the land. Free to use binoculars are available at the top of the boardwalk.
Once you have taken in the highlights of the most western point, head back towards the bus stop and follow the trail along the southern coast. The views looking back along the south coast of the Island are beautiful. The contrast between the land, limestone and ocean are breath taking. Be sure to take care on this section of trail. The ocean is not accessible from the southern side of the Ngank Wen Bidi, as the Island rises out of the ocean via extremely dangerous limestone cliffs. The views are fantastic and worth the trip, and you can always have a dip in the ocean at the end of the trail at either Strickland Bay or Lady Edeline beach.
Note: Cathedral Rocks Seal Viewing Platform and West End boardwalk are wheelchair accessible. These can be accessed by bus, but not by the Ngank Wen Bidi trail.
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