Camping or Glamping – We’ve got You Covered

When you walk into Collie Canvas and Camping World the first thing you notice is the massive range of camping equipment on the shelves and lining the walls. Then you get that big country Hello that is so lacking in city stores these days.

 

A big friendly, 'Hello!'

Kaylene and Gary Evans have been running the store for over 26 years and have built up a vast knowledge of everything camping. They take pride in offering outstanding service to their customers and as a result people come from miles around to purchase the latest camping gadgets and equipment.

 

Camping

Whether you like to travel light and sleep in a swag with the basics or go for the whole glamping thing with all the mod cons, they will get you sorted in no time. They have a vast range of tents and bedding, fridges and eskies, tables and chairs, Webbers and gas stoves, chemical toilets and ensuite tents…….

 

What they don’t have you probably don’t need anyway!

 

What they don’t have you probably don’t need anyway.


Trail Friendly

For many years they have catered for the many trail users that pass through Collie during the cooler months. With both the Bibbulmun Track and the Munda Biddi passing close to town Collie Canvas and Camping World is the perfect stop for a replacement bottle of gas or some freeze dried trail food. While you are there you can check out the latest Jetboil cookers, grab some thermal underwear to protect against the colder southern mornings or an extra pair of thick trail socks. They also have a range of hiking packs suitable for day use or long hikes and everything you will need to set yourself up for your own epic walking or riding adventure. 

 


Butchering

Sausage making is a bit of a tradition in Collie and every year the locals call in for their supplies, with everything from knives to sausage making machines, fresh sausage skins and seasonings, vacuum sealers and freezer bags on offer.


Fishing and Ammunition Supplies

They also carry a range of fishing rods, lures and tackle and a wide range of ammunition and shooting accessories.


Canvas

Gary is the canvas specialist. He manufactures and repairs anything from ute canopies and tool bags to patio blinds and awnings. Industrial canvas and PVC products are custom made to your requirements.

So where will you find them?

The store is easily located on the corner of Prinsep and Johnston Sts; just look for the big green building down from the traffic lights.

 

They are also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/colliecanvasandcamping

 

And when you call in, don’t forget to let them know that you found them on #visitcollie

 
Just look for the big green building

STOCKTON LAKE – Waterside camping at it’s best

A couple of weekends ago I decided I should make good use of the lingering fine weather, knowing that winter will arrive eventually, so I threw some camping gear in the car and headed out to Stockton Lake 10 km east of Collie.

I didn’t have anyone to look after my old mate Dusty, so he came too. Yep, that’s right; dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead. The first thing you will notice when you arrive is the incredible blue of the lake. It’s an old coal mine and the water is crystal clear. Rimmed with white limestone cliffs, it is stunningly attractive, with the water sparkling iridescent blue in the sunlight. 


Waterside Camping

There weren’t very many people there so we were able to get a waterside spot. Yep that’s right; step right out of your tent or caravan only a few metres from the water’s edge. It was too cold for swimming this time, although that didn’t stop Dusty and a few young blokes showing how brave (or crazy) they were. Water skiing is allowed and in the warmer months there is usually a boat or two zipping around the lake with some pretty spectacular displays of ability and a good measure of shrieks and giggles from kids (and grownups) being dragged around on tubes and anything else that floats.

(We’ve had a couple of very dry seasons and the water level in the lake is pretty low, so it is closed for skiing at the moment. We’ll let you know when it is re-opened)


Magic Sunsets

At the end of the day, as the sun dips below the horizon, the deep blue fades and the lake’s surface reflects the colours of the sunset in a magic display of pink and gold.


Toasty Campfires

In the cooler months you are allowed to have a campfire, so we made good use of the opportunity to cook dinner over the fire and sit and watch the flames until sleepiness took over and we crawled into the tent. It was jolly cold and got down to about 2 degrees, but three doonas kept us warm and snug. There is a sign at the entrance telling you when you are allowed to have a campfire.


Misty Mornings

When we climbed out of the tent in the morning we were greeted with the site of the lake shrouded in mist and the glow of the rising sun breaking through the white. As the mist rose, it revealed the incredible blue of the surface of the lake, creating some stunning opportunities for photographs.


Plenty of Room

The campground is huge and sprawls around the edges of the lake. There’s plenty of room for the biggest motorhomes and caravans without the need for fancy reversing skills, to get a good spot. With no set bays, it’s ideal if you are travelling with friends and want to set up together. 

There are two blocks of toilets on the southern and eastern sides of the lake, but no showers or power. Generators are allowed; if you must.

Camping fees are very modest; $8 for adults, $6 cons and $3 for kids 6 and over. The friendly ranger comes around each day to collect the camping money.

It gets really busy on long weekends and summer holidays but other times and during the week you can often have the whole place to yourself.


What More Could You Want?

While you are in the area, don’t miss a visit to Collie Canvas and Camping World. 

You don’t very often find a camping shop like this outside the city. Their range is huge and the staff are really friendly and helpful. Just look for the big green building down from the traffic lights.

 

If you need supplies, there are two major supermarkets and a variety of specialty stores in the town of Collie. 

It also boasts numerous places to grab a bite to eat. A couple of our favourites in the colder weather are The Colliefields on the main street or Harris River Estate Winery, just 5km north of town on Harris River Road. Both have big warm fires to keep out the winter chill and that typical relaxed country atmosphere.

Harris Estate Winery
The Colliefields


How to Get There?

If you are travelling from Perth, you can turn off the SW Hwy at Wokalup and follow Mornington Rd through the hills as an alternative to the Coalfields Hwy. It’s a lovely winding country road, weaving its way through farmland and forest. Check out the google map below as there is a tricky dog leg in the road and we don’t want you getting lost out there.

Follow the signs into Collie and then take the Coalfields Hwy towards Darkan. 10 km east of Collie you will see Piavannini Road and the big blue sign to Stockton Lake. If you cross the railway line you have gone too far. The road is sealed all the way to the campground.

For more ideas of things to do and see in the Collie River Valley check out our Facebook Page or browse the blogs on our website.

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.

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!

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 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