Wildflowers – August

During August we start to see more colour appearing throughout the Collie River Valley

Collie Town Centre

This Tea Tree is growing near the Old Goods Shed and at the other end of Central Park opposite the Premier Hotel

Love these Yellow Native Hibiscus blooms that never really open

These are not natives, but they are fascinating they way the grow in amazing round clumps. You will find them at the end of the footbridge over the railway line near the Goods Shed

This pink Bottle Brush is growing under the railway foot bridge and it is a stunner

You will find mass plantings of these amazing pink Grevilleas at the back of Central Park along the railway line fence

Silver Princess is one of the most beautiful Eucalypts

This unusual Grevillea is growing near the Water Playground in Central Park

Another amazing Grevillea near the round-about opposite 8 Thai Ladies

Karak Trail

Purple Native Wisteria is flowering along the Karak Trail, especially amongst the Jarrah trees

Minninup Pool

You will need to be a bit of a stealth to find one of these Helmet Orchids

This unusual fungi looks like an upside down mushroom!

 

Mungalup Road

These stunning Eucalyptus flowers are right up against  the Golf Course fence on Mungalup Rd. 

More amazing Eucalyptus blooms along Mungalup Rd.  We think they look like little ballerinas in a tutu!

 

Rays Trail, Harris River Road

Cute little pink Fairy Orchid found on Rays Trail. One of the benefits of being a slow bike rider – you get to see the flowers as you go past!

A most peculiar, large fungi attached to a tree on Rays Trail. The top section was the size of a football.

Scenic Drive/Flora Road

 Another stunning Grevillea, found near the gauging station along Flora Road

Pretty little Hakea found near the gauging station along Flora Road

 

Wellington National Park

This unusual Grevillea is growing near the toilets at the Kiosk at the Dam. We think it is an introduced plant but still stunning with it’s most unusual form.

Bright yellow Hibbertia’s start flowering in the Winter and keep going right into Spring

Various types of ferns grow prolifically in rock crevasses throughout the Park

Sika Trail

The Sika Trail is located in Wellington National Park, just 2 1/2 hours south of Perth, WA. It is a 10 km, dual purpose trail, suitable for mountain bike riding and bush walking. The road is sealed all the way to the start of the trail and there is plenty of car park space available. 

Optional Starting Points

Starting at the Kiosk at the Dam, The Sika Trail, winds its way through some magnificent jarrah and marri bush land, passes Potters Gorge and finishes back at the kiosk. After your hike or ride you can relax at the kiosk with a cold drink and salad roll or hot coffee and delicious home baked cakes. If you prefer, you can start your walk/ride at Potters Gorge and finish with a refreshing swim in the lake. Or even take it slow and do both!

Stunning Views

The trail winds high above the river, offering  stunning views across the valley and Wellington Dam. This lookout (pictured) is only about 2-3 km from the Kiosk (walking clockwise). If you only had time for a short walk, you could just walk into the lookout and back to the kiosk again and take in this amazing view.

Another short walk option is between Potters Gorge campsites and the Kiosk. It’s only about 2 km return and lots of people follow the trail through the bush to the kiosk for an ice cream or ‘real’ coffee!

Grade 2 Trail

The trail is a Grade 2 trail and most people with minimal fitness will easily manage it. We tackled it clockwise (hiking) and although there were a couple of steep climbs, we felt we were going down more hills than we went up. Allow up to half a day, depending on how fast you like to walk, or how often you stop to take photos and just take it all in! Less if you ride.

Network of Trails to Choose From

The Sika Trail is part of a network of trails in the Wellington National Park that can be mixed and matched to create your own adventure. Choose from the Jabitj Trail that follows the river with spectacular views of river pools and rapids; the Kurliiny Tjenangitj that climbs high above the valley with views out across the distant hills or the epic Munda Biddi that extends from Mundaring, Perth in the north to Albany on the south coast of WA, after winding it’s way through WNP. The new Wiilman Bilya starts where the Sika Trail crosses the pipeline (dotted line on the map) and heads out to the Coalfields Hwy. Eventually it will wind its way right around the lake with a number of campsites along the way!

Follow the orange footprints

All the trails in Wellington National Park are marked by different coloured footprints. The Sika trail markers are orange and easily identified. (The blue marker is for the Munda Biddi that shares the trail for a short distance) Make use of the cooler weather to tackle the trails and be sure to carry plenty of water and a snack. Remember to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. But most of all, Enjoy the Collie River Valley!. PS These trails are all in the National Park so pets are not allowed to come with you, unfortunately.
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Campfire – Apricot Chicken

The great thing about this Apricot Chicken recipe is, you can start cooking within a few minutes of lighting the fire and it only takes about 20-30 minutes to cook. No more grizzly, hungry kids waiting for dinner after a big day of exploring.

We cooked this one indoors on the wood stove , but it is exactly the same, cooking outdoors on an open fire. 

Put a little oil in the pot and when it is hot, add the diced chicken and cook until the meat is just sealed. You can use any cut of chicken you like; breast, thigh or even chicken pieces. We used four chicken breasts for this batch; enough to feed the hungry hoards, but if you want less, you can reduce the amounts to suit. This quantity will feed four to six people, depending on how hungry they are!

HINT: When you are camping, you could dice the chicken at home to save time.

As soon as the meat is just sealed, stir through one litre of Apricot Nectar and one or two packets of French Onion soup mix. 

HINT Add one packet of soup to start with. You can always add more later on.

Pop the lid on and leave it to cook while you prepare the veggies. Make sure the fire is not too hot. If it is, either raise the pot higher above the flames or move it to the side of the fire. It should be boiling well, but not too vigorously, in case it burns. If in doubt, a slow boil is better than a faster boil.
Taste test, at this point to see if you want more soup mix.

Add your chopped veggies. We used two large carrots, one tin of corn (drained and rinsed) and two cups of frozen peas. You can use any veges you fancy, but carrots, peas and corn are our favourites. You can also add some diced potatoes with the other veges or cook some rice separately. Or to keep it really simple, serve with some crusty bread rolls to scoop up the last of the gravy.

HINT: If you are using tinned peas, add them a few minutes before serving, so they don’t go a mushy!

Cook until the veggies are just tender. If the gravy is too runny, you can thicken it with a small amount of self raising flour, sprinkled over the top and gently stirred through.

Serve in deep bowls. Enjoy!

For more campfire cooking and hints click here

Wildflowers – July

During July the wattles are a blaze of golden, fluffy blooms and other splashes of colour are starting to show in the undergrowth. It is also a great time to go hunting for mosses and fungii. 

Minninup Pool area

You will easily find these purple Hardenbergia blooms along any of the tracks around Minninup Pool

These tiny flowers were found  down the track to the right of the  Minninup Pool car park, near  Sandy. Lean in as they have a faint, but rather nice perfume.

Minninup Pool – We found these little sticky sundews, on the track to the right of the car park

Minninup Pool – Keep an eye out for these striking little blooms all around the Minninup area

You can’t miss those golden wattle blooms and the sweet fragrance that lingers in the air. These were flowering along the river banks near Sandy, to the right of Minninup Pool

Stockton Lake

Just about everywhere you look there are fluffy yellow Wattle blooms. Some of them are not native to WA and are inclined to take over, but they are still a pleasant surprise after weeks of cold and rain.

Wellington National Park

These tiny blooms can be found along the  Jabitj Trail, in Wellington National Park

Jabitj Trail, Wellington National Park

Keep an eye out for these splashes of purple Hovea along the Jabitj Trail, Wellington National Park.

Moss and fungi, living together. Jabitj Trail, Wellington National Park

These bright yellow Hibbertia’s start flowering in July and last for weeks!

More fluffy yellow Wattle blooms