Getting there and getting set up...
Glen Mervyn Dam is situated 20km south of the Collie CBD. The dam is popular with picnickers, campers and water skiers alike. The eastern side (highway side) is reserved for day use only. Perfect for a picnic and a swim, leaving the western side available for campers. To access the western side you take Best Road which is just prior to the main parking area. This unsealed access road features a small bridge taking you across a stream and into the forest. The first available camping areas are to your left soon after the bridge, they are waters edge and offer great views directly up the length of the dam. Well shaded by large trees and enough space for a large group or a few smaller groups.
You may continue on the access road a little further, keeping an eye out for your next left turn. Here you will be faced with a fork in the road. Take the left and it will lead you down a track to the first lot of campsites on the western banks.
The track has some erosion ruts but is accessible if you take your time and pick the best line. There are three separate campsites here. They are directly opposite the boat ramp and day visit area on the eastern shore.
Alternatively at the fork in the road, head right and follow the track for another few hundred meters to access the next few campsites. Here there is a large area that would suit many smaller camps or a few larger groups. Again the access road down to the sites has some erosion ruts but is accessible. At the time of our visit there was a family setting up a camper trailer on one of the sites. This area has the only supplied toilet facility at Glen Mervyn. BYO toilet paper is a must. If your site is too far from the toilets, please be responsible and dispose of your toilet paper in a bin bag to take home. Also there are no fires allowed at Glen Mervyn. So make sure you bring a camp stove.
Continue on the same access road and you will come across the sites on the south western shore adjacent to the dam wall. Being a free camp the facilities are basic. Everything you want or need must be brought in. And importantly, everything you bring in, you must take out with you again when you leave. There are no bins, so please practice responsible camping and follow the “Leave no Trace” philosophy. Overall Glen Mervyn was very tidy on the day of our visit, however we did still manage to collect quite a bit of rubbish to bring home. Some of the bush just adjacent to the sites are littered with toilet paper. Campers may not be aware but the world famous Bibbulmun hiking trail runs directly behind the campsites and over the dam wall. When we hiked this section of the trail a year ago it was covered in disposed toilet paper. It’s so bad in fact the Bibbulmun Track Foundation are actually considering re-aligning the trail away from Glen Mervyn due to the complaints from hikers having to wade through toilet paper on their hike. This would be a great shame as the sight of hiking along the shores of the dam are a true highlight in this section of the Bibbulmun and it would be a terrible loss if they were to deviate from it.
What to do once you're here...
Aside from your standard camping fare, there are also plenty of activities to keep you and the family amused once you’ve set up camp. Fish and marron are stocked in the lake. You may be lucky enough to hook Redfin Perch, Rainbow or Brown Trout. A freshwater Angling License is required to fish at Glen Mervyn. More information about licensing requirements and catch limits you can go to www.fish.wa.gov.au
Marron are a prized freshwater crayfish. The Marron season is very short to protect numbers and the breeding cycle. The season runs from 12 noon 8th January – 12 noon 5th February annually. A recreational marron license is required and there are restrictions on the way you may catch the shellfish. Massive fines apply to those not abiding by the rules.
As previously mentioned the Bibbulmun Track which runs 1000km from Perth to Albany passes right through Glen Mervyn. You can follow the Yellow Wagyl markers placed on trees from the dam wall to the Mumballup Pub. It’s about an hour or so bushwalk and you’ll be well rewarded with a great meal, a cool drink and perhaps even some live music!
Water skiing is also a popular past time at Glen Mervyn Dam. Most weekends during the warmer months there will be a few boats enjoying some high speed thrills. There rules which ensure the safety of everyone at the campsite.
There are signs displaying all relevant information and a map showing the limit of the ski area, information on the direction of skiing and info regarding the use of Jet Skis, speed limits etc.