Wildflowers October

The wattle is about finished for this year, but there is no shortage of colour smattering the undergrowth in October!

 Coalfields Hwy

Pink, orange and yellow Pea flowers growing in the reseeded area along the newer part of the Coalfields Hwy

Red and Green Kangaroo Paws making a stunning display along the Coalfields Hwy

 Collie Visitor Centre

Scented pink Boronia can be found in the Collie Visitor Centre gardens

These Geraldton Wax flowers have been blooming for weeks

 Griffin Bridge

You will find the bridge and a small parking area just off Mungalup Rd.

We are not sure what these tiny white flowers are called

Pretty white Myrtle with a hint of pink

A simple white Tea Tree growing along the river near the Griffin Bridge

Stunning orange Hibbertia

Harris River Road

This vivid blue Leschenaultia is prolific along Harris River Road

Not sure that these delightful looking pink and white flowers are natives, but they are definitely very pretty

Mornington Road

These sunny yellow Hibbertias can be found all along Mornington Road

The pretty white Pimeleas are actually made up of dozens of tiny flowers

Another amazing Pea flower. This one has loads of tiny yellow blooms on a tall stem

Minninup Pool

The classic red and Green Kangaroo paw can be found in many places in the CRV

Another stunning pea flower

Vibrant yellow Hibbertias can be found almost everywhere in the Collie River Valley

If you follow the track from Minninup Pool to Sandy and take the middle track to loop back to where you began, (just keep to your right) you will find these shiny purple Enamel Orchids along the side of the track.

You will have to look carefully to find the dainty Spider Orchids

You will find these spiky blooms along the banks of the river near the toilets

Cowslip Orchids are quite common along the track near Minninup Pool

Town Centre

Native hibiscus growing near the railway footbridge

Lovely frilly pink tea tree

Wellington National Park

We think this is a white Pimelea. It is growing prolifically throughout the National Park, especially along Lennard Drive.

There are numerous flowers belonging to the Pea family growing in WNP. This one has a broad prickly leaf.

Another delicate Pea flower with contrasting pink and orange petals

Stunning yellow Hibbertia

More vivid pink and orange Pea flowers, growing near Long Pool.

We are unsure what this delicate ballerina is called.

We found this Pea growing near Long Pool

Another prickly leaf Pea flower. This time the petals are yellow and burgundy

School Holidays Fun

Campfire Damper

Damper is a campfire staple and so easy to make. Once you have mastered basic damper, you can vary the recipe to make is sweet or savoury simply by adding different ingredients.

Light your fire a good hour before cooking, because you want lots of coals and not much flame to cook on. You can build the fire up quicker by adding small pieces of wood, rather than larger pieces. Once you have a good layer of coals you are ready to start cooking. Avoid adding additional wood during the cooking time so that the temperature stays fairly constant.

You will need four cups of Self Raising Flour, two cups of water and a splash of oil. These quantities can be varied to make a larger or smaller loaf. Just stick to four measures of flour and two of water. 

Mix the flour and water with a little splash of oil. The dough should be just a little bit sticky. If it is too dry, your damper will be crumbly and if it is too wet the damper will be heavy and doughy. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and knead lightly until it forms a nice round loaf shape.

Lightly oil a cast iron camp oven and place the dough in the oven. You can put a trivet on the bottom of the oven if you like to help stop it burning on the bottom.

Place the oven in the coals or just above them and carefully scoop some glowing coals onto the lid. Leave it for about half an hour and you will have a lovely round loaf of damper. You can use it like bread and make a sandwich or butter it hot, but our favourite is drizzling golden syrup over it!

Once you have mastered basic damper, you can add all sorts of other things. Make it savoury and add diced bacon, sun dried tomatoes and cheese or or sweet and add choc pieces or dried fruit.

Enjoy!

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Wildflowers September

September is a riot of colour in the Collie River Valley!

Minninup Pool

You will find these Cowslip Orchids in many locations around the CRV, but we snapped these on the track between Minninup Pool and Sandy. (Just around to the left)

The classic red and green Kangaroo Paws start appearing in September.

These Coral Peas can be found twisting their vines around other plants in the bush at this time of year.

Love this pink and white Myrtle

These bright flashes of red Scarlet Runner are easy to spot

Golden Crust Bakery Cart

Can you remember the days when fresh bread was delivered to the door each day?

Memories

My memories are of a bright red Tip Top motorized delivery van. Mum used to leave the money in the meter box, if she wasn’t going to be home and the baker would take the money and leave the bread. Can you imagine that these days?

The Horse

In Collie, up until 1964 householders had their bread delivered to their homes by horse and cart. The driver would put several loaves in his basket and deliver them to about three houses on one side of the street and then cross over to the other side and do the same there. The horse knew the route and would just meander along while the driver delivered the bread. It was pretty slow going in those days. The deliveries started around 7.45 am and finished around 4 pm.

The Museum

The original Golden Crust Bakery horse drawn cart is on display at the #CoalfieldsMuseum in Collie.
You will find the museum on Throssell St, opposite the Collie Visitor Centre. It is open Thursday to Monday from 10 am to 3 pm.
Entry is $5 each, but on school holidays, kids are free!

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The Timber Industry

.As you wander along the trails or back roads around Collie, it is hard to believe you are looking at a decades old secondary forest. In fact, a century ago, these beautiful tracts were very similar to the stands further south today with groves of huge karri and jarrah.

At the turn of last century, when timber getting was not blessed with any motorized assistance, it took a team of men up to a day to cut down a single giant tree.

The logs weighed many tons and were then slowly dragged out over the hills by horses or bullocks to tracks or rail heads. The timber industry even had its own narrow gauge rail systems.

In the early years of the 20th century, there were literally dozens of mills employing hundreds of men dotted throughout the forest, cutting our centuries old trees, to supply the ravenous demands of not only the railway in Western Australia and later the Intercontinental line to the eastern states, but for paving the roads of London. Jarrah was cut into blocks that were laid on end before tarmac became popular.

Of course the local coal industry also depended on jarrah with thousands of tons of massive posts cut to prop up the galleries that snaked below the ground each year. It was a lucky coincidence that the coal seams were literally directly below the forest.

Fortunately, most of the forests are now National Parks, so are protected from any future logging or clearing. Instead of timber harvester trails, the forest is now crisscrossed by a network of hiking and mountain bike trails. There are still a few old forest giants, standing proud as reminder of the former glory of the forest and what it could be again if left to grow unharvested for a couple of hundred years

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The Della Bus

The only way to get around.

Today, we may take getting around for granted, but how did people do it before cars were owned by almost everyone?

The Della Bus

Only a few decades ago in Collie the only way, other than walking, was the Della bus. Joe Dellavidova, a migrant from Northern Italy, started up a thriving carrier and bus company in Collie back in the early 1930s. The bus in the Coalfields Museum was one of his, a 1939 International, which has just received a major refurbishment and is now back on display in the museum.

The kerosene tin!

Joe and his crew shuttled all the miners to and from their jobs at the collieries in and around Collie, pensioners rode on mystery tours, children went to school and all the ladies in Collie took a Della bus to get the shopping. Locals called it the “kerosene tin”.
Old Joe even made sure that patrons to Collies two cinemas made it on time for the show, then got them home again. It was pretty much a door to door service.
The service faded, as cars became more common in the late 1950’s.
Do you remember riding in the Della bus?

You will find the Della bus at the Coalfields Museum, 161 Throssell Street, opposite the Collie Visitor Centre. 

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TraaVerse

NOW OPEN!

TraaVerse is a brand new local business offering trail transfers, kayak and SUP hire and small group tours.

Trail Transfers LR

Shuttle Service

If you are planning to hike or ride a section of the Bibbulmun or Munda Biddi Tracks, TraaVerse can arrange pick up or drop off to your start or end points. They have the capacity to carry four passengers, bikes and packs etc.

Or if you are heading down to ride the #collietrails and don’t want to leave your car in the middle of no where, TraaVerse will pick you up at your accommodation, drop you off at the trails and pick you up at the end of your ride.

Wellington NP is home to some amazing one way walking trails, such as the Jabitj and Wiilman Bilya Trails. TraaVerse Shuttle Service can pick you up at the end of your walk and take you back to your car or you can leave your car at the end of the walk and get TraaVerse to drop you off at the start.

Kayak and Paddle Board Hire

With literally miles of rivers and lakes to explore, why not hire a kayak or SUP for the day?

Small Group Tours

TraaVerse also offer small group tours of all the best places in the Collie River Valley in luxury 4WD comfort.

Visit the famous blue lakes, Black Diamond and Stockton Lake.

Explore Lennard Drive , Wellington National Park and take a dip in a secluded river pool, including the famous Honeymoon Pool or less known Long Pool.

Check out Wellington Dam from the lookout, followed by some scrumptious treats at the Kiosk at the Dam. 

Or kick back at Potters Gorge and enjoy a refreshing swim in stunning surroundings.

Bookings and Contact

To book in your shuttle service, tour or kayak/paddle board hire contact Simone or Dion on 0417 654 426

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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