Course Description and Maps

The Great Southern Stage Run delivers a life changing odyssey for all runners with a challenging 200+km course through a wild and untouched landscape.

Starting amongst the Tingle and Karri trees at the Valley of the Giants in Walpole, runners will traverse an incredible array of Great Southern landscapes en-route to the spectacular finish line on the Torndirrup Peninsula at Albany. From windswept beaches and cliff top tracks, to picturesque bays and quiet coastal hamlets – this is a journey that you’ll never forget.

FORMAT:

  • 3 days of racing
  • 4 legs each day
  • Designated checkpoints as team change-over spots

Course summary

(All distances +/- 2km)

Day 1 – Thursday 17th November

  • Race start at Valley of Giants, Walpole, WA.
    • Leg 1 – 17km : Valley of Giants to Conspicuous Beach
    • Leg 2 – 17.8km : Conspicuous Beach to Peaceful Bay (35km total)
    • Leg 3 – 22.5km : Peaceful Bay to Boat Harbour (57km total)
    • Leg 4 – 12.3km : Boat Harbour to Parry’s Beach (campground) (70km total)
  • TOTAL Day 1 = 69.6km including 1,259m ascent


Day 2 – Friday 18th November

  • Race Start @ Parry Campground
    • Leg 1 – 14km : Parry Camp to Lights Beach carpark
    • Leg 2 – 14.6km : Lights Beach carpark to Wilson Inlet Ferry  (28km total)
    • Leg 3 – 22km : Nullaki Ferry to Lowlands Beach (50km total)
    • Leg 4 – 25.8km : Lowlands Beach to Kennedy Camp  (75km total)
  • TOTAL Day 2 = 76km including 1,419m ascent


Day 3 – Saturday 19th November

  • Start @ Kennedy Camp
    • Leg 1 – 18km : Kennedy Camp to End of Sand Patch Rd
    • Leg 2 – 12km : End Sand Patch Rd to Panorama Caravan Park (30km total)
    • Leg 3 – 16km : Panorama Caravan Park to End of Frenchmans Bay Rd (46km total)
    • Leg 4 – 10km : End of Frenchmans Bay Rd to Camp Quaranup  (56km total)
  • Race finish at Camp Quaranup, Tornidurrup Peninsula, Albany, WA.
  • TOTAL Day 3 = 56km including 927m ascent

GRAND TOTAL: 202km

Overview course map

Course Highlights and Details

The course described on this page is provisional and is still subject to some (small) changes.

DAY 1

  • Leg 1 Valley of Giants to Conspicuous Cliffs Beach carpark – Approx 17km

Starting in the Valley of the Giants tourist attraction amongst the giant Karri and Tingle trees, all leg 1 runners do a circuit around the treetop walkway and then runners  make their way towards the coast on the Bibbulmun Track before arriving at the picturesque and dramatic Conspicuous Cliffs Beach carpark.

  • Leg 2 Conspicuous Beach carpark to Peaceful Bay boat ramp – Approx 17km

Runners continue on the Bibbulmun Track for 8km but then divert off the trail to run 5km at water level, along the beaches and spectacular rocky headlands below the dunes to Rame Head before turning north for the calm waters of Peaceful Bay.

  • Leg 3 Peaceful Bay boat ramp to Boat Harbour – Approx 22.5km

This leg has a bit of everything as it follows an inland route that includes a canoe crossing of Irwin Inlet(to be confirmed – depends on water levels) and long sections of double track through the hinterland. The course returns to the coast for more spectacular coastal views on approach to Boat Harbour.

  • Leg 4 Boat Harbour to Parry’s Beach (campground) – Approx 12km (70km Total).

Another mixed and varied leg with some more spectacular cliff-top running to begin with before runners meandewr behind the coast and finish with superb views to the east to finish at Parry’s Beach.

>>CLICK HERE<< for an interactive course map on Plot a Route
(PROVISIONAL COURSE – may be some changes)

DAY 2

  • Leg 1 Parry Camp to Lights Beach – Approx 14km

This leg commences with a long beach run through to the spectacular Greens Pool and then on to a newly constructed section of trail to Waterfall Bay before arriving at Lights Beach

  • Leg 2 Lights Beach to Wilson Inlet – Approx 14.6km

This leg heads inland to climb through the Karri Trees to Mt Halowell for brilliant views over Denmark and the surrounding coast before descending to Denmark where it meanders through the streets to the Rivermouth Caravan park.

  • Leg 3 Wilson Inlet to Lowlands Beach carpark – Approx 22km

Runners commence this leg with a 3km crossing of Wilson Inlet in a power boat (!) after which you follow the Bibbulmun Track through some remote hinterland country, winding your way through the dunes to the coast at the stunning Lowlands Beach carpark.

  • Leg 4 Lowlands Beach carpark to Kennedy Camp – Approx 25.8km

A challenging (and long) leg along the Bibbulmun Track to West Cape Howe (WA’s southernmost point) providing spectacular views across the Southern Ocean to the south and to the pristine beaches such as Cosy Corner, Shelley Beach and Dingo Beach to the east. Finishing at the Kennedy Camp.

>>CLICK HERE<< for an interactive course map on Plot a Route
(PROVISIONAL COURSE – may be some changes)

DAY 3

  • Leg 1 Kennedy Camp to Sandpatch Rd (Albany Wind Farm) – Approx 18km

Starting with 4km on the beach before a rock hopping section past Mutton Bird Island, the leg then provides some dramatic clifftop run with a wild ocean on one side and majestic wind turbines on the other. This leg is seriously “atmospheric”!

  • Leg 2 Sandpatch Rd (Albany Wind Farm) to Panorama Caravan Park – Approx 12km

After 3km along the cliff top, the course leaves the ocean and crosses the Torndirrup Peninsula to the protected waters of Shoal Bay before following the bayside coastline to Panorama Caravan Park .

  • Leg 3 Panorama Caravan Park to End of Frenchmans Bay Rd – Approx 16km

This is a varied leg and includes some tough coastal bay running, a few short sections on the road, a spectacular section down to Salmon Holes and Misery Beach and then finish after passing by the Albany Whaling Museum.

  • Leg 4 End of Frenchmans Bay Rd to Camp Quaranup – Approx 10km (59km cumulative)

The last hurrah to the finish takes in pristine and sheltered beaches with white sands and granite outcrops as you run along beaches and over headlands to the long sought finish line at the old quarantine station at Camp Quaranup. A rewarding conclusion to an epic journey.

>>CLICK HERE<< for an interactive course map on Plot a Route
(PROVISIONAL COURSE – may be some changes)


Trail textures and terrain

The course provides a remarkable variety of terrain from start to finish, from sandy trails winding through the dunes to rock hopping around the coastline – and everything in between.

If there is one terrain that is most prevalent it is sand! There are long sections of beach and hinterland running where the terrain will be soft underfoot, sapping your energy and making progress frustratingly slow at times. So prepare your body and match your mindset to the soft trails and then you’ll be ready when it comes.

Trail Marking

The course will be marked with a variety of permanent and event specific course markings – although runners will have to remain VERY AWARE of where they are to ensure they are on the right track.

When the course follows the Bibbulmun Track there will be no other course markings and runners will follow the permanent markings of the track.

When the course deviates off the Bibbulmun Track the route will have to be navigated by using the mapping app on your smartphone to follow the correct course.

Runners will be required to have the entire course route on a mapping app on their phone so they can self navigate and check their location along the track if in any doubt at any time. It is the runners responsibility to ensure they follow the designated race route. We recommend either the Maps.ME or Gurumaps free apps.

Checkpoints and on course support

Checkpoints will be established at the start / finish of each leg and will provide relatively basic foods for runners like fruit buns, sandwiches, fruit cake, fruit, lollies, sports drink, bars and more (exact menu tbc). These items are available for all runners but priority will be given to solo runners given that team runners finish (or start) their run at each checkpoint.

There will be no other water points on each leg other than at the checkpoints. So runners must be self sufficient for hydration / nutrition / equipment for the entire length of the leg they are running.

Teams and/or support crews can only provide physical assistance and support at the designated checkpoints at the start / finish of each leg. No other assistance (other than verbal encouragement!) can be provided between checkpoints.

There will be very few, if any marshals mid-way along each leg so runners must be self-sufficient and able to run independently for the entirety of their leg. Having said that, we will be supervising all sections of the course, we will have sweep runners and we will ensure that all runners get through and are accounted for.

The Bibbulmun Track

The Great Southern Stage Run follows large sections of the Bibbulmun Track between Walpole and Albay. The Bibbulmun Track as a whole is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching 1000km from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills all the way through to Albany, winding through the heart of the scenic South West of Western Australia.

The course does not follow the track exclusively as we deviate off the official route on a number of occasions where we think there is a more scenic option and to break things up.

We are proud to be Bronze Level sponsors of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation and Rapid Ascent will donate money to support them. We strongly encourage entrants to also make a donation to help preserve the track and it’s surroundings.

>>CLICK HERE TO DONATE<<