Top 10 Kayaking Spots in the Collie River Valley!

Kayaking Nirvana

So you’re here because you’ve just scored a new Kayak from Santa and you’re busting to get it wet or maybe you’re an old pro and are always on the lookout for new places to explore. Well, either way you’ve come to the right place!

We break down the ten best kayaking spots in the CRV. Collie is blessed with an abundance of freshwater, from the Collie River upstream from Wellington Dam, downstream or at one of our famous Blue lakes, you’ll find your own favourite spot!

So without further adieu and in no particular order…

10. Minninup Pool

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Glorious Minninup Pool, or Minny, is a stunning bend in the Collie River. Off Throssell Street, turn at Caltex, continue past the Collie Golf Course and keep an eye out on your left for the Minninup Pool sign.

Here the road arrives at a large bitumen car park shaded by tall trees. Access to the water is via the sloped grass. Facilities include a toilet and picnic shelters.

Enjoy Minny, it’s lovely – let’s keep it that way and look after it for everybody else to also enjoy.

To learn more about Minninup Pool, click here.

9. Sandy

Accessing Minninup Pool and taking the right hand track you’ll arrive at Minninups next door neighbour, Sandy as the locals call it, is a serene section of the Collie River. As the name suggests, this is a fresh water beach. 

Access to the water is fine but best suited to 4×4’s as the sand is quite soft in places so you’ll have to watch your step or your “Bogged!” photo will be all over social media! Park further back from the water under the trees if you’re not in a 4×4

As with a lot of the locations in this top 10, Sandy is a very special part of the Collie River. It is a truly natural location so there are no facilities including no bins.

We always promote the “Leave No Trace” philosophy. Everything we take in, we take out. There are bins at Minninup and also at the Collie Visitors Centre near the RV point. Or simply take all rubbish and belongings home. Photo Credit: Misty Kirkby.

8. Griffin Bridge

Kayak Griffin Bridge - low res

Griffin Bridge is next on our list and is also in the same neighbourhood. Past Sandy lies another nice spot to put the kayak in. A gentle slope into the water for access is great.

Enjoy paddling around the road bridge above, Why not paddle all the way upstream to Minninup and back, taking in Sandy on the way.

No facilities here, all belongings must be taken with you when you leave and disposed of.

7. Stockton Lake

Kayak Stockton Lake low res

There is nothing like paddling around on  the amazing blue waters of Stockton Lake.

You will find Stockton on the road towards Darkan about 10 km out of Collie.

The lake can get crazy busy on long weekends, but most other times and during the week you might have the place to yourself.

Toilets are provided and camping is permitted for a small fee  There is plenty of room for caravans and pets are permitted too!

 

6. Coal Discovery Site

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You will find the Coal Discovery Site on Ferguson Road off the Coalfields Hwy in Allanson. Just a bit further down the road is a Cul-De-Sac parking area and convenient spot to put the kayak in.

You can paddle all the way to Wellington Dam from this point.

Photo Credit: Rachel Roney

5. Potters Gorge / Wellington Dam

16km West of Collie sits Wellington National Park, which is home to Wellington Dam. Here there are numerous spots to drop the Kayak in. At Potters Gorge, choose the day area with shady parking, FREE BBQ’s & Picnic gazebos. Or Book a camping spot and settle in for a few days.

With a vast area of water to explore – Wellington National Park and Potters Gorge easily make it onto our top 10 list!

To read more about Potters Gorge click here

To book a campsite at Potters Gorge click here

4. Lennard Drive

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Lennard Drive is also in the Wellington National Park. This sealed, one way road starts just past the Bridge at the base of the dam wall and continues to follow the Collie River all the way to Honeymoon Pool. There are several picnic and swimming spots along Lennard Drive. The first is “The Rapids”. Look for the pool above the white water, you may find what you are looking for!

Once back on Lennard Drive look out for the signs “little Rock, Big Rock & Long Pool” you can thank us later!

To find out more about Lennard Drive click here.

3. Gelcoat Rapids

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Nestled away in the Wellington National Park, Gelcoat is a quieter spot than its glamorous neighbour, Honeymoon Pool. But it may just surprise you! 

Featuring 7 campsites right at the water, this is an ideal base to set up for the weekend and explore not only Gelcoat but the other sites that made the cut within the Wellington National Park.                                            Photo Credit: Renae Richardson

To find out more about Gelcoat, click here.

To book a campsite visit here.

 

2. Glen Mervyn Dam

20km south of Collie sits beautiful Glen Mervyn Dam. This free campsite and popular water skiing spot is suitable for kayaking.

It may not be all “how’s the serenity” with the roar of the ski boats zooming around, however there are a few spots near the dam wall, along the highway and down the far western end the Ski boats don’t venture.

Easy access to the water and toilet facilities available Glen Mervyn makes it onto our top 10 list.

To find out more about Glen Mervyn, click here.

1. Honeymoon Pool

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We did mention this list is in no particular order but hey, Honeymoon Pool had to be at number one!

World famous Honeymoon Pool also resides within the Wellington National Park. This exquisite camping and day visit location features free gas BBQ’s a toilet block and a gorgeous boardwalk over the water. You can book a campsite and enjoy a few days kayaking up and down the stream. Photo Credit: Rory McDonald

To read more about Honeymoon Pool, click hereBookings are available here.

 

Coalfields Museum

The Coalfields Museum is an absolute treasure trove of historical artifacts and every day items, giving a rare insight into life in Collie in days gone by.

The original Road Board Building built around 1900

The buildings the Museum is now housed in were built in approx 1900 and 1930 and were occupied by the Road Board.

They were converted into a museum and opened to the public in 1971.

Over the years the collection has been added to and today boasts one of the best collections in any regional museum.

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The newer brick building was built in 1930

Volunteers

For nearly 50 years the Museum has been cared for by a group of volunteers, passionate about preserving the past. During this time they have rescued and preserved many items that would have otherwise ended up lost forever.

In more recent times volunteers have commenced the huge task of digitally cataloging the entire collection and at the time of writing the they had already recorded 3976 items. But this is only the tip of the iceberg with many more thousands of items to go. 

It is not just the size of the collection, but the wide variety of things on display that is astounding. Items ranging from household objects, a mining display, war memorabilia, the Geldert Truck (likely the first truck in Collie), the horse drawn Golden Crust Bakery cart and old red pillar letter box to name a few.

The Museum houses an extensive collection of old bottles and glassware
One section of the museum is dedicated to mining
Years ago these were common on many street corners
Imagine cooking on one of these wood fired stoves in the summer. Before gas and electric stoves became available these old stoves and cookware items were used to cook food, heat water and to keep the home warm.

 You will find the Museum on Throssell St, opposite the Visitor Centre

They are open Thursday to Monday from 9 am to 3 pm

Entry fees are $5 for adults and $2.50 for children

Lennard Drive, Wellington National Park

Lennard Drive is a one way road, following the river down stream from the Wellington Dam and offers some stunning scenery and four great picnic/swimming spots along the way.

From the Kiosk, head down below the dam and across the river following the signs towards Honeymoon Pool. Look out for Lennard Drive on the right. Each spot is well sign posted and easy to find. Lennard Dr is sealed all the way.

The last flushing toilet is located at the Kiosk at the Dam so consider a pit stop before heading off. There is one long drop at The Rapids, but it is often rather smelly! 

The Rapids

The first stop is known as The Rapids and as the name suggests the river tumbles over the rocks at this point. The pool below the rapids is good for trout fishing we are told, but the real secret is a little further upstream.

The Secret Pool above The Rapids

As you leave the car park and head towards the river there is a single composting toilet to the right. (This is the last toilet until Honeymoon Pool) Follow the track past the toilet and you will come to a beautiful pool where you can swim or use the shaded tables provided for a picnic. This is probably my favourite stop along Lennard Drive, because there are steps down into the water and lots of shade.

Big Rock

The next stop is Big Rock, so named after the enormous granite rock that extends from the river bed all the way up the hill, across the road. It looks quite spectacular in Spring when the rock is carpeted with pink wildflowers.

Above the water fall is a shallow pool ideal for younger children. (Remember to always supervise children around water) The water flows over the rocks into a large deep pool. It’s  quite cold, because it is coming from the Dam just upstream and flows too fast to warm up in the sun. The kids will love lying on the warm rocks after cooling off in the chilly pool.

Little Rock

Little Rock is a favourite with families with young ones, because they can play in the shallow pools. Many kids, and adults, are put of by slimy. muddy river beds, but not so, at Little Rock. The pool has a solid granite base and is not slimy, although it can be a bit slippery, so take care in the water. With a wide expanse of water and trees lining the banks Little Rock offers some awesome photographic opportunities.

Long Pool

A while back, a photographer took a picture and labelled it Honeymoon Pool. You have likely seen the picture circulating around Facebook or Instagram, but it is actually Long Pool, a couple of km upstream from Honeymoon Pool.
The pool is big enough to swim in and there are are steps to access the water and tables nearby to set up a picnic in the shade of the trees. 
(Just a warning; because it is so lovely and shady and cool, the mozzies love it too, so remember to bring some insect repellent with you!)
It is a spectacular spot and on a sunny day the water reflects the blues and greens of the sky and surrounding scenery.

From here the road comes to a T junction. A right hand turn will take you over the bridge, down to Honeymoon Pool and eventually the Coalfields Hwy. A left hand turn and you have the choice of heading back into Collie or down into the Ferguson Valley.

Can you help?

We are very fortunate to have such beautiful places to visit and enjoy. Bins are provided at the Kiosk and Honeymoon Pool only, so can we ask that you plan to take all your rubbish with you while visiting Lennard Drive. This may mean packing a garbage bag or cardboard box at home to collect food wrappers  and drink containers throughout your visit. The money that would be spent on rubbish collection can now be spent on maintaining and improving facilities around the park.

With so many adventures to be had in the Collie River Valley we hope you will take the time to browse our posts and start planning your next adventure!

Collie Art Gallery

 The Collie Art Gallery was opened in 2015 and is the only purpose built, A Class Gallery to be built in WA, since the Art Gallery of WA was opened  in the 1970’s. 

Since opening

The Gallery has been host to many and varied collections of work. With 150 square metres of floor space and an additional studio, the gallery is designed to host exhibitions of national and international significance.

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You will find

the Gallery on Throssell St, near the Caltex petrol station. There is plenty of parking and easy access for people with disabilities. Alternate access is via the rail crossing from Central Park and the town centre.

Before entering the gallery, take time to consider the rammed earth construction of the building and the dramatic mirrored artwork out the front, entitled ‘Reflective Regeneration’.

Art Gallery Sculpture Reflective Regeneration

Recent Exhibition

Elemental, Land, Layers, Life by Visual Artist Carol Rowling at the Collie Art Gallery Dec 18 – Jan 19.
These amazing works are created using layers of canvas and an angle grinder and were inspired by the Australian landscape as seen from the air. There is an audio visual presentation with the artist, describing her inspiration and the creative process behind the work on display.

Elemental, Land, Layers, Life by visual artist Carol Rowling - Collie Art Gallery, December 2018

Collie Art Prize

In 2018 the bi-annual Collie Art Prize was offered for the first time and with the biggest cash prize on offer throughout regional Australia, of $50,000, it certainly attracted the attention of artists and art lovers all over the country.

In the first year, over 500 entries were received from all over Australia, showcasing some of the best works from across the country.

Open hours and what’s on

The gallery is open Thursday to Monday between 10 am and 4 pm and to find information about upcoming programs and events go to the Collie Art Gallery website. Most exhibitions are free.

After visiting the Art Gallery, you may also enjoy the Coalfields Museum further west, down Throssell Street opposite the Collie Visitor Centre and if you are interested in rail history there are several old steam locos at the Visitor Centre and another collection at the Bill Weirs Rolling Stock Shed. The Rolling Stock Shed is open Mon, Wed and Fri mornings and can be found at the eastern end of Central Park. The old Collie Railway Station is also open to visitors and offer traditional station lunches and Devonshire teas.

Big Rock – fun for all ages

Big Rock is the second stop along Lennard Drive and offers fun for all the family. You will find it just below The Rapids in Wellington National Park, Collie WA 

The name Big Rock comes from the enormous granite rock that extends all the way from the river bed, across the road and up the hill on the opposite side. It’s difficult to comprehend the scale of this rock from a photograph and the hill is way steeper than it looks here.
In spring the hill is covered with amazing pink wildflowers.
There is a picnic table, but no toilets at this spot. The last flushing toilet is located back at the Kiosk at the Dam and the next one is at Honeymoon Pool.

The pool above the waterfall

The shallow pool above the waterfall is great for younger children to play and splash around in.
On a hot day it’s nice to sit your chair in the shallow water and watch the little ones enjoy themselves, only an arms length away. Remember to always take care with children around water.
There is not much shade at this spot, so if you are planning on staying a while it is a good idea to pack some sort of shelter such as a large umbrella or gazebo.

The pool below the waterfall 

The large pool below the waterfall is deep and cold and great fun for older children and adults who can swim confidently. The amount of water coming over the rocks is dependent on how much water is being released from the dam upstream and if there is enough water coming down, older kids will enjoy sliding down the waterfall on inflatable tubes and other floating contraptions. 

Camping

Camping is not allowed at this location, but bush style camping facilities are provided at nearby Potters Gorge and Honeymoon Pool. These sites provide long drop toilets but no showers. Bookings are essential. Click here to book a site.
Full camping facilities including hot showers and all the mod cons are available  at the Collie River Valley Tourist Park just 20 minutes away in the town of Collie.

Minninup Pool – a favourite with locals

Located on a bend on the Collie River, just out of town, Minninup Pool has been a favourite spot to cool off on a hot day for generations. 

There are numerous, shaded picnic tables along the grassy bank where locals and visitors to the area like to sit and enjoy a meal or just take in the scenery.
Unfortunately there are no BBQs provided and fires are not allowed, but you are permitted to bring your own gas BBQ or portable gas stove and cook up a feast. Or keep it simple and grab some take away from town.

Minninup Pool is a day use only area but there are several great options for camping nearby if you want to extend your stay. Go to www.visitcollie.com.au/camping

Getting there…

Turn onto Mungalup Rd, opposite the Caltex fuel station, and look out for the Minninup Pool sign on your left, just over 2 km down the road.
Follow the winding sealed road for a few hundred metres and the river will open up into a wide pool in front of you. 

Swimming and kayaking

This section of the river is fairly deep making it perfect for swimming and kayaking. It is possible to kayak on calm water for several kilometres in either direction. 

The Amazing Blue Lakes – Stockton Lake and Black Diamond

Collie is home to several amazing blue lakes, but currently only two of them are open to the public; Black Diamond and the bigger but lesser known, Stockton Lake.

The lakes are old open cut coal mines that have since filled with water.  Rimmed with white limestone cliffs and the most amazing blue water they are really quite a stunning sight!

Stockton Lake

Stockton Lake is the bigger, but less known of the two and can be found 10 km east of Collie on the Collie/Darkan Rd.

Camping is permitted and although it does get very busy on school holidays and long weekends, at other times you can often get a spot close to the water.  There is nothing quite like waking up to the amazing view out over the lake.
You don’t need to book and there is plenty of room for the biggest motor homes. Camping fees are collected daily by the ranger. Adults $8, cons $6 and children $3 per person, per night. 

Toilets are provided, but no showers or power, so you do need to be a bit self sufficient. The road is sealed all the way to the campground. Fires are permitted in the cooler weather only. Check the signs at the entrance. Huge fines apply for out of season campfires.

The lake is popular for swimming, kayaking and skiing, although currently the boat ramp is closed and we are unsure when it will be reopened. (People have been launching boats at other locations, but do so at their own risk)

Pets are welcome at Stockton Lake, but it is highly recommended that they are kept on a lead at all times due to 1080 baiting being carried out nearby. 

Black Diamond

Smaller than Stockton Lake, Black Diamond has become one of the most Instagramed places in WA in recent years. The amazing blue water makes the perfect back drop for a selfie or group photo to add to the album.

People do not realize but the eastern half of the lake is on private property and the the land owners right to privacy should be respected.

Black Diamond is a day use only area and anyone setting up camp will be asked to move on and possibly issued a fine. Click here for camping options. Fires are not allowed at any time at Black Diamond.

But…, bring the picnic and the floatie and grab that shot for Instagram! 

If you don’t want to go to the bother of packing your own picnic, Collie has some amazing cafes and pubs where you can grab a light, healthy snack or full on feed. We love The Colliefields, Wagon 537 and the Federal Hotel Collie.

Can you help us?

The increased number of visitors in recent years has put Black Diamond under considerable environmental pressure. Human waste and rubbish left behind, risks contamination to the water and the trampling of areas undergoing re-vegetation is a concern. Here are a few ways you can help take the pressure off the lake.

  • The nearest public toilets can be found at the oval in the nearby town of Allanson; please use them and not the area around the lake.
  • Plan to take all your rubbish home with you or place it in the skip bins provided.
  • Seedlings have been planted around the edge of the lake and along the steep bank. Please observe the signs, stay off the area and allow the plants to grow.

Thank you for helping us ensure Black Diamond will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Warnings

Both lakes have a slightly higher than usual pH and may cause skin irritation in some sensitive people. It is recommended that you avoid spending too long in the water.

As with any body of water, the possibility of the presence of the organism that causes amoebic meningitis is increased when the water temperature rises. Both Black Diamond and Stockton Lake are regularly tested and warnings will be posted at the lake if there is any cause for concern. It is recommended, as a precaution, that you keep you head above the and do not allow water to get up your nose. 

The Rapids have a rather special secret

The Rapids are the first stop along Lennard Drive in Wellington National Park, Collie WA and they have a rather special secret!

The Rapids on the Collie River below Wellington Dam

The Rapids

Follow the signs towards Honeymoon Pool from the Kiosk at the Dam and watch out for The Rapids sign on your right. The one way road is sealed all the way, so there is no need for 4WD. Lennard Drive winds it’s way along the river, affording some spectacular views of the river below. Remember to observe the speed limit and drive carefully. 
Swimming at The Rapids is not recommended. The rocks are slippery and there is a real risk of falls and injuries, but tucked away upstream is something rather special!

The Secret

When you leave the car park and head down towards the river, there is a track on your right heading past the toilet. If you follow the track you will come to an amazing pool where you can swim or kayak. There are steps down into the cool refreshing waters and the  water is so clear that you can see the bottom.
Picnic tables are provided, so pack some goodies and plan to stay a while. There are no bins in this area. Please remember to do the right thing and take all your rubbish home with you. The money that would be spent emptying bins can be put to better use providing other facilities instead.

The Secret Pool above the Rapids

Camping

You can’t camp at The Rapids, but there are camping facilities a short drive away at Honeymoon Pool and Potters Gorge. (Click here for bookings) But if you prefer a bit more comfort, the Collie River Valley Tourist Park have camping facilities, onsite cabins and piping hot showers.

Go to town

The town site of Collie is about 20 minutes away and boasts two 7 day supermarkets, 24/7 fuel, several historic pubs, some excellent modern cafes, history, art, museums, kids playgrounds, free water park and a huge camping store.

Little Rock – A favourite for families with little children

Little Rock is the third of four amazing spots along Lennard Drive in Wellington National Park, Collie WA and  a favourite with families with little children because of the calm shallow water and rock pools to explore.

Getting there

You will find Lennard Drive on the other side of the river from the Kiosk at the Dam. Follow the signs towards Honeymoon Pool and head down below the dam wall and across the river.  About 750m along Falcon Road you will see the sign for Lennard Drive. Little Rock is another three km along and well sign posted. The road is sealed all the way.

Bring a picnic

Whether you are camping at nearby Honeymoon Pool or Potters Gorge, or just visiting for the day, Little Rock is the perfect spot to bring a picnic all year round. Tables are provided in a nice sheltered clearing with views of the river.

We encourage visitors to take all their rubbish home with them, because bins are not provided. When ever the #visitcollie team have visited this area we have been surprised by the lack of rubbish left behind. It would be great if we could all keep it that way for every one to enjoy.

Make use of the facilities at the Kiosk

The last flushing toilets and running water are back at the Kiosk at the Dam and the road in is one way, so we recommend a pit stop at the Kiosk before heading out to Little Rock. There are long drops at the Rapids, but the next flushing toilets are at Honeymoon Pool.

The peaceful sounds of the bush

Running water, frogs and birds…

(Sorry about the wind on the camera microphone.)

The town of Collie…

…is only 20 minutes away and it’s well worth taking the drive in and having a look around town. There are two big supermarkets to stock up on food supplies and lots of places to sit for a while and enjoy some good food and even local wine. If you are interested in history the Coalfields Museum, Replica Coal Mine, Bill Weirs Rolling Stock Shed, the old steam engines at the Visitor Centre and the  old Collie Railway Station are all worth a visit. Check with the Collie Visitor Centre for directions and open times.
Central Park is popular for families as there is plenty of room to run around and even a free water playground for the warmer weather.

Collie River Valley Tourist Park – the perfect base to explore the Collie River Valley

OK, so the idea of camping and waking up to the sounds of birds and the bush, sounds great, but going to bed without a hot shower, not so great!

Photo: Rory McDonald

Have you considered the Collie River Valley Tourist Park, where they have piping hot showers and immaculately clean facilities, including camp kitchens, stocked with everything, including the kitchen sink?

Located in the country town of Collie, just two hours south of Perth’s southern suburbs, it is the perfect central point to discover some amazing places away from the crazy holiday crowds along the coast.

Check out the amazing blue lakes, Black Diamond and Stockton Lake where the waters shimmer iridescent blue in the sun. Photo: Annette Messenger
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Grab a selfie at Black Diamond to upload to Instagram!
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Take a day trip to Wellington National Park and visit the famous Honeymoon Pool or find a spot away from the crowds at the pool above The Rapids or Long Pool, another great selfie spot!
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Allow enough time to walk one of the trails that meander through the park. The Jabitj Trail follows the river and there are several spots where you can stop to cool off or just enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Head over to Donnybrook for the day and take the kids to the Apple Fun Park, possibly the biggest playground you have ever seen. While you are there, visit one of the local fruit growers and purchase some fresh fruit straight off the tree!
Minningup Pool
Perhaps a lazy day at Minninup Pool, only a hop, skip and jump from the caravan park? Fill the esky with some culinary delights from The Colliefields, WAGON 537 or JAX-Diner and spend the day relaxing under the trees on the banks of the Collie river in between swimming in the cool waters.
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Looking for a bit of style? Take a run out to Harris River Estate Winery, only 5 minutes from the caravan park. Enjoy some lunch on the balcony and sample their exquisite, award winning wines, beers and ales.
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Wanting a bit more action? Take the ski boat down to Glen Mervyn and try some laps around the dam or hire a bike from the caravan park and check out some of the amazing trails in the area.

Food and history

For lunch try The Colliefields, Jax Diner or Wagon 537

At night, you can choose between a traditional pub feed, some excellent international cuisines, including 8 Thai Ladies or the usual fast food fixes.

A visit to CRV is not complete without calling into Collie Canvas and Camping World. The staff are super helpful and they have a huge range of products available.

Check out the Collie Art Gallery and Coalfields Museum & Historical Research Centre or browse the shops. There is always something to do in the Collie River Valley.