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

COMING SOON!

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

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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, Lennard Drive

These feather flowers grow en-masse throughout the National Park, but are particularly spectacular at Big Rock

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

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.

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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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

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