Holiday Shenanigans – check these ideas out!

It’s school holiday time again and thoughts of what to do to keep the kids occupied. We have four great holiday ideas to keep them busy for hours and have them sleeping soundly at the end of the day!

CURRAWONG PUMP TRACK

Currawong Pump Track - Potters Gorge, Wellington National Park

The Currawong Pump Track is located near the Potters Gorge Campground in Wellington National Park just two hours south of Perth, WA and only half an hour inland from Bunbury. The purpose built track is suitable for riders of all abilities and makes a great holiday activity for the kids. It will keep them amused for hours while you relax nearby or even ride a loop or two yourself.  So if you are camping in the region, don’t forget to pack the bikes!

All that activity is going to make everyone hungry! Picnic tables and BBQs are provided for you to cook up a feast to fill those hungry tummies. 

The day use car park is around to the right on the way in and there are clean long drop toilets provided. 

 

You can even camp right next to the track! Adults $11, Concession $7 and Children $3 per night. With so much to do in the area you could easily fill several days. Browse the posts on our website or Facebook page for more ideas or stop in at the Collie Visitor Centre. 


CENTRAL PARK IN THE CBD

This new modern Nature Play style playground is the centre piece of the new Collie Town Centre. It’s a definite favourite with both locals and visitors. There’s plenty of green grass to run around on and an array of fun and challenging play equipment to test skill and endurance.  They are sure to use up all that holiday energy they seem to have so much of.  Plus ample, shaded seating for the grown-ups and several food outlets nearby to keep everyone refueled, refreshed and on the go. It’s even got a free water playground to cool off in when the weather is warm enough.

Free Water Playground
Central Park Playground


REPLICA UNDERGROUND COAL MINE AND COALFIELDS MUSEUM

Once inside The Replica Mine it looks and feels like you are really underground. The guided tours are taken by retired miners with a wealth of knowledge and stories that bring the experience to life. The kids will be enthralled for ages. Hear them talk about the horses they worked with underground and the challenging conditions they faced. See the old hand held drills and other equipment that was used to mine the coal. Quite different to the modern machines used today.

The replica coalmine is attached to the Collie Visitor Centre and costs $5 for adults and $2 for children. Contact the Visitor Centre for tour times. They can often arrange a tour at a time to suit your group.

 

If you are on a tight holiday schedule, you can take a self-guided tour. There are plenty of interpretive panels and TV screens providing a peek into the past.

Replica Underground Coal Mine
Coalfields Museum

The Coalfields Museum, located in the old Road Board building, has recently had a make-over and is looking fantastic. The museum staff and volunteers have uncovered treasures they didn’t know they had, hidden away in boxes and store rooms. These items have now been catalogued, cleaned and displayed for visitors to marvel at. I have to admit to being a bit of a museum fan but I have never seen such an extensive collection as this. It includes the Golden Crust Bakery horse drawn delivery cart and the original Geldert and Sons truck. It was one of the first trucks to operate in Collie. There is early mining equipment and household items. There is even a typewriter with the last letter it was used for still in the machine!

Don’t forget to ask the staff for a treasure hunt sheet to keep the kids busy.

The museum is open Thursday to Monday and costs $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

You will find it just across the road from the Visitor Centre on Throssell St at the western entrance to town.

 

 

 

Rummaging around a Museum can be thirsty work but never fear because we have several great places to grab a bite to eat and something to drink. The ever popular McDonalds is located on the main street, but if you want something a little more upmarket we can recommend The Colliefields across the road.  They serve the most amazing meals, desserts and cakes to die for. They have milkshakes in 22 different flavours and the most decadent iced coffees and shakes you have ever seen. Soon everyone will be ready to tackle the next adventure. 

 

SOLDIERS PARK AND THE SKATE PARK

Soldiers Park is a serious kid’s playground in the middle of a large grassy area on the banks of the river. With swings and slides and bridges and tubes to test their balance and nerve they will play for hours. At the end of the day they are sure to be ready for a good nights sleep. There’s room to kick a ball and some serious concrete paths to ride a bike or trike. Bring a picnic or use the BBQs and stay for the day.

Soldiers Park Playground

 

The bigger kids will just love the nearby Skate Park. The Park incorporates a tight bowl and a number of other technical features for them to test their skills on. Bring a bike, skateboard or scooter and they will spend hours showing off to each other. It’s sure to be a holiday to tell the kids back at school about.

 

Collie Skate Park

Wellington NP, Lennard Dr & Honeymoon Pool – a magic family day out!

Two thumbs up from the kids!

Righto, Honeymoon Pool will be quiet today now that most visitors would have gone back to work or school, lets go out for a sausage sizzle and the kids can have a dip whilst the weather is still warm” 

It’s Tuesday following the Easter weekend and the kids have a pupil free day, it also may be the last warm day we’ll have – we’ve all been working on and off over Easter so its the perfect opportunity to pack up a few snags from Spry’s the local butcher and head out for a run in the car. 

15 minutes west of Collie along the Coalfields Highway is Wellington Dam road, take this turn and within a few minutes you’ll come across River Road,  the turn off to Honeymoon Pool. But alas, this gravel road is closed as they are sealing it. Never fear however, as this uncovers another true gem that you may have otherwise missed!

The detour takes us further along Wellington Dam road, passed the Potters Gorge turn off and into the heart of Wellington National Park. If you plan to check out Potters Gorge, now is the best time to do this as the detour is a one way loop. We didn’t stop at the kiosk at the Dam this visit, but we thoroughly recommend a stop here, it’s a great little cafe and a good opportunity for a toilet stop if you’ve arrived after a long drive. 

After the Kiosk, turn right and you’ll follow the one way winding road down to the dam wall. Here there’s an area to pull over the car and marvel at the huge jet of water shooting out from the dam base and into the river below. We continue on the same road and look out for the next right turn, it’s the one way Lennard Drive. Take your time travelling along this gorgeous road. Following the Preston River below, it’s not long until you’ll come across the first of four parking areas The Rapids, followed by Big Rock, Little Rock and Long Pool.

The Rapids can be, as the name suggests, quite fast moving and best suited to older kids or adults. The brave and adventurous may have a blast here but a word of warning from Stephen from the Kiosk, they have had people return bloodied and bruised from an encounter at the Rapids! You’ve been warned! We give the Rapids a miss and stop next at Big Rock. Leaving the car in the parking area we follow the path over the huge granite rock banks to bring us to the waters edge. A family are just packing up a picnic and leaving as we arrive, so we’ll have the place to ourselves. Here the kids are enthralled by the rushing water at the far side of the river as they play and splash at the gentler side closer to us. We kick our shoes off and shuffle across the moving water to the “Big Rock” in the middle of the river. The smooth granite river bed means the water is super clean but it also means it can be a little slippery so care should be taken!

With lunchtime approaching we move onto the next spot, Little Rock.

Here the same family we met at Big Rock are moving onto the next stop on their tour. Growing up we were totally accustomed to swimming in water holes and playing in the dirt, finding critters and exploring the natural world. But it seems the following generations have moved away from this type of caper, just a little bit. Maybe more so in the city. We found it amusing how the kids reacted to water that was icy cold and unlike the heated and chlorinated water they were used to. They absolutely loved it and were soon giggling, shrieking and having a wonderful time.

Little rock is a slower moving section of the river. Pooling gently then pouring between a natural rock wall to the larger pool below with a lonely rock standing sentry a little further out. Phillip (11) decided he wanted to swim out to the rock. Sure enough, with a little encouragement he conquered it! Just prior to leaving we spotted a hand sized fish desperately trying not to be swept down into the lower pool. The water is gin clear and the kids were amazed by this real life David Attenborough moment, right in front of their eyes!

Negotiating the slippery river floor at Little Rock.

Back in the car and a short drive later we come across Long Pool. The final stop along Lennard Drive before Honeymoon Pool. Definitely suited to older kids, who are confident swimmers. Long Pool is a calm, open pool, adjacent to a nice shaded picnic area. 

Entry to the water is via steps unlike the previous two stops where there has been a gentle slope into the water that suited the younger ones, Long Pool is deeper right from the entry. I could just imagine bringing a tractor tyre tube or pool float and relaxing in the shade of the Peppermints along the banks, truly stunning. 

Whilst on tour through the Wellington National Park and particularly Lennard Drive, we noticed how clean previous visitors had kept it. Rightly so, this is an area of stunning natural beauty, so the thought of littering or leaving a mess is the last thing on our mind, a bottle cap left at little rock was picked up and taken home to the bin, we’d encourage everyone to not turn a blind eye to even the smallest scrap of litter, if safe to do so, grab it and take it home.

Hanging out at Long Pool.

Finally its Lunchtime! The kids had been having so much fun, food was the last thing on their minds, but now everyones tummies were rumbling , it was time to pack up again and head down the road to the T – Junction that ends Lennard Drive. A right turn here takes us the the entrance to Honeymoon Pool.

It’s fairly quiet, after the hustle and bustle of the long weekend, a few campers linger and a handful of cars are in the day visit area. We take the esky and towels to the nearby picnic tables and the snags are soon sizzling on the BBQ. The kids have made a bee-line straight for the steps leading into the water. A couple of older kids and an adult jump off the platform above into the water below. This inspires Phillip to have a go. The sign warns “No Diving” which should be heeded. Care should be taken when jumping into a natural body of water. After witnessing several attempts by others, Phillip has a go himself. Instantly addicted to the thrill, the feat was repeated a few more times!

By now the sausage sizzle was ready, we sat down for a rest and some lunch. 

Soon after, the kids were back in the water, exploring the shallows, where they found a marron crawling around under the steps beneath our feet, the kids we’re amazed and spent quite a while studying the creature before returning to the shallows for a wade. 

Our day trip to the Wellington National Park was going down as an absolute classic. The kids had a ball with plenty to see and do. Lennard Drive is a stunning addition to a great day out to Honeymoon Pool.  If camping is not your thing, even though Potters Gorge and Honeymoon Pool are gorgeous, the scenic town of Collie is only 15 minutes down the road. A variety of accommodation options are available from modern motel and apartment style rooms through to the classic Aussie country pub experience. 

Wellington National Park gets busy during summer and school holidays or weekends, other times you will be enjoying the tranquility almost to yourself. Contact the Collie Visitor Centre for more information on accommodation options in the region.