The Wadandi Track showcases the heritage of the former Busselton to Flinders Bay Railway including the industries and communities which it served from 1884 to 1957.
Open to walkers and cyclists, the track allows people to experience the diversity of the Margaret River Region including the rich local history, Aboriginal and heritage values, natural environment and local industries.
Users are treated to spectacular sights and sounds along the track including pristine forests, plantations, vineyards, agricultural land and granite outcrops.
Located in one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots, the track is an excellent place to see some of the range of rare flora and fauna found in Australia’s South West.
The railway line was built in the 1880s by prominent timber businessman M. C. Davies, who laid a number of lines to take timber from his mills to jetties at Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay for export.
By 1916 the timber industry had declined and the railway from Augusta to Margaret River was bought by the WA Government.
It was extended to Busselton by 1925 to service the remaining timber industry, the original group settlements, farming and domestic passengers.
As the road network improved, more of the cartage was done by trucks and the Busselton to Flinders Bay branch railway eventually closed in 1957, after which most of the rail line and sleepers were salvaged for other uses. A handful of sleepers and rail line can still be spotted today and some major elements of the railway infrastructure remain in place. These include the original railway formation, cuttings, embankments and many of the bridges and culverts.
Since the closure of the railway, several roads and some public facilities have been constructed on the trail reserve.
Some parts of the reserve were leased to adjoining landowners. While all of these leases have lapsed or were terminated, some of the activities that were permitted under the conditions of these leases are still taking place within the reserve – including grazing, plantations, dams and quarrying of local resources.
The Wadandi Track is built on a former railway line. Its hard, unsealed surface is wide with some gentle gradients. No bushwalking experience is required. It has no steps or steep sections and is suitable for wheelchair use in summer. Sections of the track are not well drained and may become muddy and unsuitable for wheelchair use during winter.
The Wadandi Track runs between Cowaramup and Calgardup Road. The trail passes through natural bushland, vineyards and farmland to provide cyclists and walkers with a diverse landscape to enjoy.
The Wadandi Track was formally named in recognition of the traditional owners of the land. The word Wadandi translates to mean ‘People of the Sea’.