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, where you can relax with a cold drink and salad roll or hot coffee and delicious home baked cakes at the end of your hike or ride. 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!

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!

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) and 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.

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 share the trail for a short distance)
Make use of the cooler weather to tackle the trails, carry plenty of water and a snack and 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 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

Minninup Pool – We found these on the track to the right of the carpark

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

You can’t miss those golden wattle blooms. These were flowering along the river banks near Sandy, to the right of Minninup Pool

Wellington National Park

Jabitj Trail, Wellington National Park

Jabitj Trail, Wellington National Park

Jabitj Trail, Wellington National Park.

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

Currawong Pump Track

The Currawong Pump Track is  located at Potters Gorge campsite/day use area, about 2 hours south of Perth in the Wellington National Park, just inland from Australind/Bunbury. The road is sealed all the way. There is ample parking and very clean, odour free, composting toilets. No drinking water available.

What exactly is a pump track?

A pump track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping” – meaning to create momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedaling or pushing. (Wikipedia)

But however you ride it, it is great fun!

Great fun for all ages

The track is suitable for all ages, from the littlest riders still on trainer wheels, with the cutest little log roll overs and some serious rollers and berms (banked up curves) for the bigger kids. We have even seen a few dads doing laps of the course!
If the older kids want a bit more of a challenge, the 10 km Sika Trail runs right through the area as well.

There is no seating in the direct vicinity of the bike track, so if the younger kids need supervision, it may be advisable to bring your own folding chairs. There is no shortage of shade to sit under though.

Make a Day of it!

There are gas BBQs, seating and shelters in the day use area and full on camp kitchens if you decide to camp out. 

The Kiosk at the Dam is a short drive away and offer ice creams, cold drinks, hot coffee, burgers, sandwiches, pies and delicious home made cakes! Choose to sit indoors or dine ‘alfresco’ with views of Wellington Dam and blue wrens at your feet, literally!

So next time you head out to the National Park, remember to pack the bikes. 

Currawong Pump Track

A short video by MTB Guidebook of the Currawong Pump Track

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Campfire Golden Syrup Dumplings

Perfect for those cold nights around the campfire! Serve hot with a little fresh cream or ice cream if you have it available.

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Make the Syrup

Put the following in a large camp oven and carefully bring to the boil
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp golden syrup

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Make the Dumplings

Make dumplings with
2 cups SR flour
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup water
Mix all together to a moist dough, roll into balls and add to simmering syrup

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Cook

Cook over a low fire of mostly coals.
They should take about 20 minutes to cook and be light and fluffy. Break one open with a fork to test.

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Enjoy!

For more campfire cooking recipes and hints, go to Campfire Cooking

King of the Forest- A Poem by Hannah

King of the Forest

One tiny seed sprouted in the forest
Another toppled down to the ground
That used to be he tallest.
The little seedling grew some more.
Now it’s leaves were in the sun.
It grew some more and more and more,
But growing wasn’t always fun.
The little tree became quite big,
As tall as all the other trees
It then grew just a little more
As far as you could see
Just to be the great KING JARRAH TREE

by Hannah, 10 years old