FKT: Clinton Arnold - Wiilman Bilya Trail - 2023-10-16

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 20h 5m 0s

Day 1 (approx 29km):

Started Wiilman Bilya trail anticlockwise in Collie on morning of Saturday 14 October 2023 with Matthew Spencer. Orginal intention to do the walk in 3-4 days at a leisurely pace. Commenced at 7:00am. Intending to do approximately 29km and finish first day at Potters Gorge campsite.

Made it to first campsite (Nyingarn) around midday. Had lunch and relaxed for a bit.

Left Nyingarn. Approximately 20-25km in, Matthew's ankle began to flare up. Hiking had aggravated a pre-existing injury. We moved some of his gear to my pack and decided to re-evaluate how we were doing at Potter's Gorge campsite.

Arrived at Potter's Gorge campsite and discovered Matthew's ankle had massively swollen up. Decided that he would stop there and we'd work what we'd do tomorrow. 

Day 2 (approx 59km):

Matthew's ankle had miraculously righted itself overnight. No longer uncomfortable to stand on and swelling had gone down. We loaded my pack with as much of Matthew's gear as we could fit. Decided we'd push on and if the ankle deteriorated hitch a ride at a road instersection.

Passed another group of hikers on the way to Arcadia campsite heading in the opposite direction. As we reached Arcadia, Matthew's ankle again began to get aggravated. Took a rest break at Arcadia.

Pushed on again towards Yakkan. Matthew's ankle was deteriorating. We decided to get him out at the next major road crossing and I would hike the rest of the route as quickly as I could. I began front-carrying Matthew's bag with mine on my back. We waited at Mungalup road intersection and tried to flag a ride. Eventually a car pulled up and took Matthew back to Collie.

I began walking on. Reached Yakkan campsite just after 4pm. Filled up water and prepared oats, but ate them on the move to maximise daylight. Estimated finish time on watch at this stage was about 11:40pm (and was consistently coming down as I walked).

Reached Kooboolong after 8pm, well after the sun had set. Was already feeling a little beaten up, so took a brief break before pressing on. Hit an absolute wall with about 15km to go. Took regular breaks from there and kept shuffling forward into Collie. Finished at 3:05am on 16 October 2023.


Beginning and end of the trail are lacklustre as you leave/enter Collie, as you are walking alongside busy roads and houses. However, when the trail actually follows the Wellington Reservoir there are some fantastic views.

If someone wanted to do this faster there's a lot of time to be shaved. Our packs were loaded for 4 full days and we brought plenty of luxuries that could be cut for weight. Also had plenty of leisure breaks.

FKTers will need to be aware that the dam bridge (just past Potters Gorge campsite) is notionally only open 9-5 (although when we rocked up around 7:30am it was already open). In any event, if you're trying to do the track quickly anticlockwise that should still allow more than sufficient time to clear it before it shuts.