24 hour, 7 days a week Pupper washing comes to Collie!

No more long drives home with stinky creek dog in the car, this service allows the dog owner to shampoo, condition, flea treat and blow dry old mate well before he gets on the nose.

Installed in 2016, Mucky Pups Dog wash was born after local owners Rachel & Steve were left stranded with 3 ripe pooches and no where to turn. Dog sitting for both pairs of in-laws the couple had to make a trip to nearby Bunbury and took the dogs for a ride. There they stopped by the Pet store for supplies and noticed the Dog Wash machines at the rear of the building.

“We used these types of machines when we lived in Perth, they’re brilliant. I wondered how one would go in Collie. We called up a mobile dog wash business and they were booked solid for months. We started making some enquiries and here we are a year later”

Located on the main street of town at 134 Forrest St,  its centrally located, with easy vehicle parking and is housed under an awning for protection from the weather. The unit takes $5, $10 & $20 notes as well as gold coins. The offending dog is placed into the stainless steel trough and secured with a collar chain if need be. Once the timer starts after $10 is deposited, you’re off and racing. The rotary dial makes it easy to go through the sequence of washing. Ending with a nice blow dry.

“We keep the unit open 24/7 –  its thoroughly cleaned and disinfected daily. We wash our dog in it, not nearly enough mind you – the problem is the Australian Made shampoo and conditioners are that good the dog stays smelling fresh for weeks, not a very good business model for us!” 

Washing old mate is childs play!

We have fun at Central Park!

Today we checked out the new Central Park development, right in the middle of town.

Conveniently located in the CBD, the park is fully accessible all year round and features grassed picnic areas, free electric barbecues, tables and seating, landscaping, toilets and change rooms as well as the magnificent water playground and Wagon 537.

It’s a great place to spend an afternoon whether in the warmer or cooler months. The playground is well shaded with trees for the warmer months and close by is a beautiful gazebo for Mum and Dad.

Now with the Wagon 537 located on site, you can grab a picnic lunch and coffee and either utilize the picnic tables or borrow a rug from the lovely staff of the wagon and have a picnic on the lawn under the shady trees.

At the western end of the Park sits the Bendigo Bank, Collie Music Shell, a proven hit with locals and visitors alike, the shell has featured music acts and been host to an outdoor cinema in the warmer months.

Beyond the Music Shell, just over the railway crossing sits the new Collie Art Gallery,  the culmination of 40 years of passionate lobbying, planning and fundraising. It was also the first time a purpose-built A-class public art gallery had been opened in WA since the Art Gallery of WA in the 1970s.

The design includes 150 square metres of gallery space, a 50-square-metre studio and storage and working space, designed to allow the gallery to host exhibitions of national and international significance. 

Collie Art Gallery was built as part of the Shire of Collie’s SuperTowns program and was made possible with funding from the Shire of Collie, Royalty for Regions and a half million dollar donation from the Collie & Districts Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank. Funding was also provided by Lotterywest and the Coal Miners’ Welfare Board to assist with internal fit out.

Since it opened Collie Art Gallery has hosted many significant exhibitions and welcomes inquiries from artists and their representatives.

The gallery offers a diverse range of workshops and development programs suitable for artists at all levels, from primary-school-aged children right through to seniors, absolute beginners to experienced artists. Artists with skills to share are encouraged to hold workshops at the gallery.

The gallery also offers a unique range of mainly hand-made crafts and artwork by local artisans for sale in the gallery’s gift shop.

Cool relief in the middle of town

Set in the middle of town as the centerpiece of the new Collie Central Park development, the Collie Splash Pad offers cool relief for locals and tourists alike with 45 randomly sequenced ground sprays and fountains. 

Taking only 7 days in total to complete, the exposed aggregate splah pad features large and small ground sprays operating at random intervals to deliniate various zones and “water rooms” and to keep kids guessing about which spray will come on next. Three bronze lizard sculptures help give the park some additional character.

The overhead shade sails help keep users sun-safe under the mid-day sun and a series of in-ground lights make the park as much of a feature at night as it is during the day.

A Cool Feature of the Park.

We experience the Scenic Drive!

Today we packed up some sandwiches and headed off to the Scenic Drive. The unsealed road runs from just past the turn off to Minninup Pool on Mungalup road in a north westerly direction and ends at Coalfields Highway just east of the township of Allanson.

Once turning off Mungalup road the road weirdly passes a junkyard before entering the forrest. This usually quiet road winds gently through the tall timber. Along the we way come across multiple left hand intersections. These are quite steep and have deep ruts from erosion over the years. Some care needs to be taken when descending down to the rivers edge, a 4×4 is recommended.

Being a relatively unknown spot to visitors, you can trust you’ll have each picnic spot to yourself. This has its pros & cons. We recommend taking a few shopping bags to collect any rubbish you may come across. On this particular day we come across very little, but we find quiet, natural spots like this may be used and abused. After a quick tidy up the vista is much more enjoyable!  

The Last turn off we come across has a gentler slope down towards the water, we park at the upper level near what looks like a pumping station. We walk further down a steeper section of road and come across a spectacular pool, fed by some rapids.

Another quick tidy up, this really is a special little spot. If you could brave the steep lower access road, this would make a great little day camp area.

We tackle the Mount Lennard 4×4 Track!

Introducing the Mount Lennard $WD track, open for day use only, with the trail head located at the Honeymoon Pool end of Lennard Drive. A great track with stunning views from the elevated summit.

 

 

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A 4×4, day use only track, closed seasonally to prevent erosion and disease spread – particularly Jarrah Dieback (phytophthora).

Make full use of your day in the Wellington National Park by stopping in at Kiosk at the Dam on your way past. Proprietors Stephen & Diane are welcoming and very knowledgeable about the Park and full of information. Stock up on their tasty offerings before heading off down Lennard Drive, a one way, single lane sealed road. Keep watch for the signposted picnic and swimming spots along the way as they are definitely worth a stop.

At the end of Lennard Drive, opposite the T Junction, you’ll find the trail head.
The track starts off fairly tame, then the challenge increases as you progress. There are some breath taking views along this track with access to the Collie river in a few places. The track itself is pretty fun to tackle, as it’s in hilly country.

Enjoy and as always follow good 4×4 etiquette and safety guidelines.

*Stick to the track
*Preserve the track
*Avoid damaging Flora and Fauna
*Wash your vehicle, paying attention to underneath to avoid spreading Dieback and weed seeds

Like and follow #visitcollie on Facebook for regular updates on the region Contact or visit the Collie Visitor Centre for more information.on

Today we find out about camping at Potters Gorge!

We recently checked out the new Potters Gorge Campground in the Wellington National Park, and isn’t she a beauty!?

 

The camp is well set up and features BBQ’s and tables at every site. The Toilet facilities are top notch and very clean, even odour free! Each site has its own area, which is important as no one wants to be on top of each other. There are 54 bays all together, plenty of room and most have water views or are a short stroll to the waters edge. There is wheelchair and pram access to most of the facilities. Generators are permitted during set hours, but why spoil the tranquility?

Bookings will be available through the Parks & Wildlife Service website from May 1st and for books after July 11th. This is a brilliant new addition and changes the game completely. No more rushing to the site hoping to get a spot. This way you can be safe in the knowledge your site is reserved and you may even be able to spend the afternoon touring the region.

Visit https://exploreparks.dbca.wa.gov.au/park-stay and search by the selected campsite.

Potter Gorge is a great location to explore the nearby attractions. Neighbouring Honeymoon Pool is well know and gets very busy especially over weekends and school Holidays. Being only a short drive away its perfect for a day visit. 

Also nearby is the Wellington Dam wall, Get a great view from the lookout above and maybe stop in at the Kiosk for some supplies and more info on the National Park. Lennard Drive is a gorgeous, sealed, one way road that starts just below the dam wall and ends at River Road, the drive has 4 stunning picnic areas that are also great swimming spots. 

Take a right at the end of Lennard Drive to access Honeymoon Pool, then continue on back to Wellington Dam Rd, right again to head back to the campsite. To visit Potters Gorge and not take in the scenery of the National Park is criminal! This is a short drive that is simply a must!

The scenic town of Collie is only a short drive away and the supermarkets are open all weekend to stock up on supplies. The town has all the necessary amenities, from a classic country bakery, 5 historic pubs that all have their individual unique charm and all offer those iconic country pub meals. Central Park in the centre of town features a great playground and free water park for those warmer months, free BBQ’s and a eclectic vintage train carriage cafe that truly is worth a visit.

All the above locations and attractions are featured in our “Recent Blogs” section.

 

Clean spacious campers kitchens

We visit Black Diamond!

The popularity of Black Diamond has exploded in recent years with the advent of Social Media. We visit it today to find out what all the fuss is about!

The limestone-based lake is part of the community of Allanson, which is just 5km west of Collie. To reach the lake, turn off the Coalfields Highway onto Ferguson Road, which is unsealed and opposite the turnoff to Allanson. Parking at The lake is about 600 metres along the gravel road.

Black Diamond ceased coal operations in the open pit in the early 1950’s. It was eventually filled with water and utilized as a recreational lake for swimming, diving and water activities such as canoeing and kayaking.

The lake is 750 metres in length and virtually sits on the banks of the Collie River, which flows just metres beyond the far end of the lake. On a clear, sunny day Black Diamond sparkles and radiates a magnificent azure blue colour.

 

Black diamond has been known to locals for generations, with the advent of social media the site has become a mecca for instagramers and day trippers alike, keen to get that iconic shot on the blue water. Unfortunately with any group of people there are those that do the wrong thing. The site is pretty raw, there’s no facilities – it’s not set up for hundreds and hundreds of visitors a year. So it goes without saying, we need to adhere to the signage at the entrance and lets look after the place.

Black Diamond is caught up in red tape and a lot of work is being done to allow the site to be improved. As always this sort of thing takes time, but those involved are confident of a positive outcome and it will allow the site to be improved. Recently the Department of Mines and Petroleum used rehabilitation funds to make safe the highwalls on the southern side of the lake. School kids from Allanson Primary planted over 700 native seedlings along the battered down banks. 

Unfortunately rehabilitation signs were ignored last summer and people walked, camped and even drove over the seedlings destroying the hard work of the local kids. Also please note: Black Diamond is a day visit site, no camping is available.

 

We visit the World Famous – Honeymoon Pool!

HONEYMOON POOL in the Collie River Valley is one of the best known swimming and camping spots in WA having repeatedly been voted amongst Australia’s finest.

Situated a couple of hours south of Perth it makes a great weekend or midweek getaway. 20 shady campsites are nestled amongst the weeping peppermint trees on the banks the Collie River below Wellington Dam.

Campsites are suitable for tents and small campers only. (If you like the luxury of a bigger van you will love Potters Gorge or Stockton Lake.) See our reviews of these sites in other blogs.

Most sites have their own picnic tables and wood BBQs. (Fires are not permitted in the warmer weather. Check the signs at the camp ground)

You can either bring your own campstove during fire restrictions or use the modern gas fired BBQs provided.

Honeymoon Pool Boardwalk.

The campground is currently accessible via a detour and is well signposted. The usual access from River Road is being upgraded from unsealed gravel to tarmac. Take care if you are not used to driving on gravel. 

The ranger collects the nominal fees of $11 per adult, $7 cons and $3 per child daily. You can’t pre-book and it is popular, so try to arrive early for the weekend or consider a midweek break instead.

There are flushing toilets but no showers and unfortunately it is National Park so Nip and Fluff will have to stay home.

What to do once you are there? Swimming, kayaking, bush walking, bird watching, exploring or just sit back and relax with your favorite cold beverage and watch the colours of the pool change from blues to golden browns to greens.

Bookings will be available through the Parks & Wildlife Service website from May 1st and for books after July 11th. This is a brilliant new addition and changes the game completely. No more rushing to the site hoping to get a spot. This way you can be safe in the knowledge your site is reserved and you may even be able to spend the afternoon touring the region.

Visit https://exploreparks.dbca.wa.gov.au/park-stay and search by the selected campsite.

The scenic town of Collie is only a short drive away and the supermarkets are open all weekend to stock up on supplies. The town has all the necessary amenities, from a classic country bakery, 5 historic pubs that all have their individual unique charm and all offer those iconic country pub meals. Central Park in the centre of town features a great playground and free water park for those warmer months, free BBQ’s and a eclectic vintage train carriage cafe that truly is worth a visit.

Check out other blogs for more information on attractions and things to do in the Collie River Valley.

All the campsites are shaded by beautiful weeping peppermint trees

The incredible Lennard Drive – Wellington National Park

If there is a more scenic drive in the Collie River Valley, we’ll eat our hat!

Lennard Drive is a one way, sealed road that extends from the bottom of the Dam wall in the Wellington National Park to River Road. Along this gorgeous winding route you’ll come across four stunning locations, all well signposted and including a small area to safely park your vehicle.

We highly recommend starting your visit to Wellington Dam by stopping in at the Kiosk, this hub is run by Diane and Stephen and they are a wealth of knowledge on all things “Welly Dam”. From the Kiosk you’ll follow the one way road down a winding section to the bottom of the dam wall. A small parking area after the bridge offers somewhere to stop and enjoy the view. Continuing on, keep an eye out for Lennard Drive on your right.

The Rapids, as the name suggests, is a fast moving section of the Collie river that rushes over granite rocks through the lush forest. This is the first spot on the drive you’ll come across.  We were given a word of caution on this location as it is very fast moving and potentially hazardous. Perhaps not suitable for people with small children. The Rapids features a toilet building, the only one we spotted during our visit along the drive. However there is a toilet block back at the Kiosk.

Continuing on Lennard Drive, Big Rock is next. By this time the river has slowed a little and enters the pool at a more civilized pace. Pouring over the huge granite floor  which rises up out of the water and creates a perfect picnic spot long the banks, this is more suited for older kids than the Rapids. Featuring an inviting shaded picnic table it really is something magic.

Back in the car and a short drive further ahead, following the river below, we arrive at Little Rock. We’re met by a convenient parking spot and a pram friendly path leading to the picnic area and then onto the waters edge. The river has settled now, and is cruising along nicely. Little rock is ideal for smaller children. The sloping granite banks are gentler and the water is far slower moving; pooling at the banks in a shallow section, then cascading over rocks into a deeper adjacent pool.

Little Rock

Our final stop on this adventure is the stunning Long Pool. From the parking area we follow the path, down the steps and into the shaded picnic area. Featuring three picnic tables at the waters edge, this spot is ideally suited to adults or older kids. The view of the waters edge is partially blocked by bushes, making it a gorgeous secluded and romantic location however difficult to watch over the littler ones. The water is accessed by a timber platform and steps with hand rails. The water is so clear its easy to see the bottom.

Not far from Long pool we reach the end of Lennard Drive. The “T” intersection offers a right turn onto River Rd which takes us over a bridge crossing the river and into Honeymoon Pool. From here you may continue on River Road back onto Wellington Dam road which is the entry and exit road to the National Park.

This drive is truly breathtaking, four terrific picnic and swimming spots in a row, a jaw dropping drive in between and mid week you’ll likely have it all to yourself. Please follow the signage in the area, show caution with kids near the waters edge and please take all your rubbish home as we did not see any bins along the drive. 

What does Drop Dead Fred, Sprocket’s Rocket and the Marri Meander have in common?

Collie’s newest mountain bike trail network, the Collie Wagyl Biddi, was officially opened recently, just in time for the Australia Day long weekend.

Hundreds of avid mountain bikers, as well as complete novices, have already had a go at the new nine-kilometre trail network with a series of connected trails built to beginner and intermediate level, including 4.5 kilometres of trails suitable for hand-cycles.

The Trail Head is located at Soldier’s Park on Lefroy Street in Collie and has toilets, water and parking, as well as a playground, skate park and barbecue facilities, making the trail a great all-round family experience.

The new trail is just one of many mountain biking trails in the region, including the world-class Munda Biddi Trail, Ray’s Trail, Two20 Trail, Dead Cats Trail and the Arklow Trail Network.

The trail names were chosen from more than 80 entries in a community competition. The overall network is to be known as Collie Wagyl Biddi. Wagyl being the mythical rainbow serpent that, according to legend, created the Collie River and Biddi, which means ‘path through the forest’ in the Noongar language.

The individual trail names are:

  • Drop Dead Fred – after a bag of bones was found during construction
  • Sprocket’s Rocket –a very popular suggestion after Eric’s cat and bike part
  • Wilman Trail – meaning ‘freshwater people’ after the local Aboriginal people
  • Marri Meander – due to the prevalence of Marri and nature of this trail
  • Rocky Horror – after the rock formations and nature of this trail.

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“Collie is fast becoming one of Western Australia’s premier tracks and trails hub, with a huge variety of experiences just waiting to be explored,” said Collie Shire President Sarah Stanley. “This new trail is perfect to showcase the type and quality of trails available in the region, attracting visitors to stay on and enjoy more trails, or return for another look.”

Long-time local trail advocate John Wallace said he was excited to see the trail up and running.

“So many were people riding it over the long weekend and social media buzzing with anticipation of a new destination to ride,” Mr Wallace said.

“The Collie town Trails are unique in that there are very few, if at all, opportunities in WA to have such quality trails right in the middle of a town.”

“We’re encouraging people to share their experiences of the new trails with the hashtag ‘#CollieTrails’.”

For more information on Collie’s trail network, contact the Collie Visitor Centre on 9734 2051

We ride the Sika Trail!

The Sika Trail is located in Wellington National Park 20 minutes west of Collie. It is a dual purpose trail, suitable for mountain bike riding and bush walking.

Starting at Kiosk at the Dam, it winds its way through some magnificent jarrah and marri bushland, passes Potters Gorge and finishes back at the kiosk, where you can relax with a cold drink and salad roll or hot coffee and delicious home baked cakes at the end of your ride.

The total trail is 10km but can be broken into two separate sections. It took me about an hour and a half to ride the section from Wellington Dam Rd/Potters Gorge to the Kiosk and back again, stopping along the way to rest and take photos and enjoying a refreshing swim at the end of my ride.

The trail is rated as moderate difficulty. Allow 3-4 hours to complete the entire trail depending on your level of experience and fitness.

If you are keen to have a ride but do not own a suitable bike you can hire one from the Kiosk at the Dam or Crank’n Cycles in Collie.

Be sure to carry enough drinking water and a light snack and let someone know where you are going in case of mishap.

See #TrailsWA for more information about this trail and other trails in the area including an interactive map

#CollieTrails