Today we rode Ray’s Trail!

Winter gave a brief pause, enough for us to throw the Mountain Bikes in the back of the car and head out to check out Rays Trail. Only a short 5 minute drive out of town along Harris River Road, Rays Trail offers convenient parking right at the trail head in a large gravel carpark. We offloaded the bikes and set off. 

We’re no MTB experts by any means, super novices in fact. But that’s the beauty of mountain biking, you don’t really need that expensive bike to have a great time. Rays Trail is a family friendly 8km loop and is largely set on the side of a large hill. So there’s plenty of fast downhill action. The flipside to that is there’s plenty of uphill to battle too! 

Featuring a log ride and plenty of small jumps and logs to negotiate there’s enough to keep most happy. We were kept company by a flock of noisy Red Tailed Cockatoos as we tackled the course. 

 

Rays Trail Log Ride

Setting off around noon we arrived back at the carpark around 2pm. We included plenty of breaks along the way for some water and photographs. Also Located on Harris River Road is the Harris River Estate Winery. An excellent choice for a lunch and cellar door visit. The winery also has Cabins for accomodation and are ideally situated to take advantage of not only Rays Trail but the nearby Martys and Dead Cats Trails.

It was a fun afternoon with a few challenging obstacles and more than a few fun fast downhill sections. Well worth a visit in our book!

Rays Trail Log Roll
Harris River Estate Winery

King Jarrah – King of the Forest

Royalty – Right here in the Collie River Valley!?

Only 25 minutes from the Collie CBD sits the King Jarrah Tree; the biggest tree in this forest. It sprouted a few hundred years ago before Captain Cook and his mates turned up.

How to get there

Take Mungalup Rd out of Collie and turn left onto King Tree Rd. Enjoy the well maintained unsealed road through the scenic forest.

You will find this forest giant at the end of the 45 m long board walk, where you can sit in complete silence, except for the bird song and gentle rustle of the wind in the trees.

King Jarrah is estimated to be between 300 and 500 year’s old and stands a majestic 36 m tall. It has survived bush fires, storms, lightening and insect attacks.

**King Jarrah is one of the few places we have visited where there has been not a scrap of litter to be seen. We would love to keep it that way. Please remember to take your litter home with you.

King Tree Road access.
Classic Aussie bush.
Discover King Jarrah!
King Jarrah himself.

Wheel chair friendly

With a small amount of assistance King Jarrah is accessible to people using a wheel chair or with limited mobility.

Please note; there are no toilets at this location. The nearest facilities (including disabled toilets) are located  at the Kiosk at the Dam in Wellington National Park, a 15 minute drive away.

We Ride the Sika Trail

Dual Use Trail

The Sika Trail is located in Wellington National Park 20 minutes west of Collie. It is a dual purpose trail, suitable for mountain bike riding and bush walking.

Starting at Kiosk at the Dam, it winds its way through some magnificent jarrah and marri bushland, 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 ride.

The total trail is 10 km but could easily be broken into two separate sections. It took me about an hour and a half to ride the section from Wellington Dam Rd/Potters Gorge to the Kiosk and back again, stopping along the way to rest and take photos and enjoying a refreshing swim at the end of my ride.

The trail is rated as moderate difficulty. Allow 3-4 hours to complete the entire trail depending on your level of experience and fitness and if you are walking or cycling.

Trail Section.
Great views.
Spot for a rest.
Alfresco in the National Park

Network of Trails to Choose From

The trail is part of a network of trails in the Wellington National Park including the Jabitj and the Kurliiny Tjenangitj  that allow you to ride all the way from the Kiosk at the Dam and Potters Gorge to Honeymoon Pool. The famous Munda Biddi that starts in Mundaring near Perth and goes all the way to Albany on the south coast also passes through the area providing multiple options for walking and cycling adventures.

Don’t Own a Bike?

If you are keen to have a ride but do not own a suitable bike you can hire one from the Kiosk at the Dam or Crank’n Cycles in Collie

HONEYMOON POOL – Winter Wonderland

After all the rain we have had Honeymoon Pool is looking a treat. Everything is covered with the most amazing green moss and fungi and looks like something out of a wonderland movie set.

It’s too cold for swimming but there are plenty of other activities to keep everyone busy and you are likely to have most of the campsite to your self at this time of year.


Walk Trails

The weather is perfect for hiking at the moment, so why not try one of the trails that pass through the park?


Kurliiny Tjenangitj

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Photo:Ashley Cooper-Grant
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The view across the valley from the lookout

The Kurliiny Tjenangitj starts at Honeymoon Pool and follows the river upstream before winding its way up the hillside to a lookout, with views right across the river valley and to the distant hills.


Jabitj Trail

Or perhaps the Jabitj Trail that follows the river all the way to the Kiosk at the Dam?

There is a whole network of trails, including the epic Munda Biddi that you can use to make your own adventure. Why not take the Jabitj Trail to the Kiosk and then come back along the Sika and Munda Biddi? Check out the map for more ideas.
Some of the trails are dual walking and mountain bike so don’t forget to pack the bikes.


All Day Campfires

Or maybe just relaxing by the campfire.

You can have a campfire all day at this time of year. There’s nothing like sitting around a roaring campfire till late into the evening, toasting marshmallows and watching the dancing flames

Bacon and eggs for breakfast, sausage sizzles for lunch and something in the camp oven for dinner. 

Limited firewood is provided, so you might like to bring some from home or grab some from The Kiosk at the Dam. 

And don’t forget you need to book your camp-site online before you arrive if you plan on staying overnight.

https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park-stay

 


Hit The Town!

The town of Collie is only a short drive away and the Visitor Centre will be able to give you plenty of ideas of things to do in town and great places to eat. The underground coal mine and museum are very popular and great indoor activities for this time of year. The Visitor Centre also offer hot showers if you want to freshen up before hitting the town after a couple of days camping out.

 

A Trail from one Gem to another – The Jabitj

The Jabitj Trail Head is located at the Kiosk near the dam wall in Wellington National Park. It’s a 6km point to point hike that should take around 2 hours to complete. Following the gorgeous Collie River and ending at the stunning Honeymoon Pool, its a trail that is suitable for the whole family and all fitness levels.

On a day where anything could happen...

On a day where anything could happen weather wise, we set off from the Kiosk at the Dam’s car park. The South West of Western Australia has had a series of cold fronts pass through over the last couple of weeks. Winter had announced its arrival. #visitcollie were hoping to squeeze a trail hike in over the next few days. The weather gods weren’t kind and the schedule was pretty tight. However it seemed Tuesday was the best day for it, so here we are.

The Trail Head is located opposite the Kiosk cafe, showing a map and general overview of the trail we learn that it’s 6km long, one way and is a moderately strenuous, undulating walk that occasionally requires climbing over tree trunks. We are to follow a green trail marker with a boot print logo. Not dissimilar to the ones we’re used to from the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi Trails.

Since this is a single point to point track we decided to take two cars and park one at Honeymoon Pool first. Then parking the other near the trail head. If this is not an option, it is possible to start your hike on the Jabitj then link onto the Kurliiny then onto the Sika which will take you back in a loop to the Kiosk. See the DPAW map below.

The Jabitj descends down from the top of the dam wall to the river bellow. This will be the steepest part of the hike, and it’s all downhill! Here we follow the water pipe line for a short section, then intercepting the Collie River we hear the rush of the white water and can just see the Dam wall in the distance. The scenery is strikingly beautiful. Green is the order of the day, recent rains have brought the bush to life, moss and lichen are on almost everything.

The trail takes us through some pretty dense scrub, or “Tree Tunnels” as miss 5 year old calls them. The tree tunnels carry on for quite some time, then all of a sudden we emerge in an open and airy section of the walk. Two hills jut up in front of us, the misty rain creeping through the gap between them. We can hear the river rushing below. It’s a great time to catch up with the family. With busy life stuff, interruptions and distractions its sometimes hard to just talk. Out here, we are free from all of that. #1 wife and I discuss everything from what we’ve been up to this last week, to strategies to tackle miss 5 year olds occasional outbursts.

The way is well marked, just when you’re thinking “we haven’t seen a marker in a while” one appears. Saying that its not really the kind of trail you can get lost on. It’s fairly straight forward, keeping the river on your left, there’s not too many places where you can get turned around.

We pause for a while to enjoy a sandwich and a drink of water before we set off to tackle the next section.

 

The Path runs adjacent...

The path runs adjacent to Lennard Drive, which is on the opposite side of the river and is an absolutely brilliant day out also. There are four locations along the drive where you can park and enjoy really magic picnic and swimming spots along the river. You can read more about Lennard Drive here. Since we were familiar with these four locations, we could gauge how far we were along to Honeymoon Pool. First it was the Rapids, then Big Rock, followed by Little Rock and finally Long Pool. It was pretty great to see these locations from the other bank. If you do this hike in the warmer months, we recommend packing the swimming trunks for a dip!

Along the walk...

Along the walk we are treated to information panels identifying local flora. These panels describe the Noongar use for the plant and a little bit of information about it. As the sun disappears and the clouds darken we quicken a pace just a fraction in anticipation of rain. We are now 2/3’s along the trail and expect to come across Long Pool soon. This will mark the last swimming spot along Lennard Drive which means Honeymoon Pool is close. Out of nowhere we come across a toilet. It’s magnificent!

It's not long until...

It’s not long until we reach the bridge that crosses the river just before Honeymoon Pool. Here the path crosses the road and follows the river for this last stretch. Here we come across a breath taking boardwalk and lookout over the river below. Its well worth a breather here before the final push towards Honeymoon Pool. 

Final Thoughts...

The Jabitj is an absolute cracker. The moderate difficulty rating stated on the trail head sign is probably about right. There’s a few ups and downs and on a couple of occasions we were huffing and puffing. Not enough to really get the heart rate up, but enough to let you know you’re alive. Some nice logs across the path to clamber over and duck under. A few surprises we will let you find for yourself, if you choose to tackle it. Allow 2 hours one way at a gentle pace, stopping for a sandwich and a drink. If you hate hiking up hills, definitely start at the kiosk and walk to Honeymoon Pool, the steep section at the dam wall was pretty impressive and we’re glad we were going down and not up!

Today we tackle the Kurliiny Tjenangitj Trail!

The Kurliiny Tjenangitj (Come and See) trail is a 9km loop commencing at Honeymoon Pool and is delineated by purple footprint markers. The #visitcollie team had heard so much about this trail, we just had to check it out!         

If you prefer, instead of doing the entire loop you can just do the walk to the lookout and back which is 5km return.

The trail is part of a large network of trails within the Wellington National Park, comprising the Kurliiny Tjenangitj, the Sika Trailthe Jabitj Trail and the world famous, long distance Munda Biddi.

As you can see from the adjacent map there are numerous trails within the national park, all with their unique features and offering a wide variety of distances and skill / fitness levels. The Kiosk at the Dam is a great central starting point, especially for the Sika & Jabitj Trails. You can find out more about the Sika trail here

We begin our adventure.

We left the car at Honeymoon Pool and followed the purple footprints upstream along the river to the bridge. There are a couple of boardwalk / lookouts along this section that are well worth pausing at to take in the scenery and take a few photos. The bird life in the area is prolific and there were numerous birds flitting around the tree canopy above. I don’t know the names of a lot of birds but I Iove seeing the brilliant flash of the blue wrens that abound the National Park.

Boardwalk Lookout

Continuing on from the bridge, the trail follows the same path as the Jabitj Trail, upstream along the river for about 1.5km and then heads north and loops around towards the lookout. We found a couple of spots along the river that would be great for a swim in the warmer months and made a note to revisit later in the year

Pro Tip: You can save a few kilometers by parking at the bridge on River Road and starting your walk there.

The Rapids

Now the real adventure begins! The climb up to the lookout is about another 1.5km and gets pretty steep at times. In the early part of the climb the bush was quite dense and dark with several logs to climb over. We were so glad we had brought a drink along. We stopped a few times to take in the tranquility of the bush, or at least that’s what we told each other. The truth is we were realising how unfit we were!

As we climbed higher the forest opened up and we could see right into the canopy of the trees below. But there was still a lot more climbing to do and we were appreciative of the steps that helped us up the otherwise slippery, steep hill. At this point we were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into and we were making good use of the water we had brought along!

The path ahead
Impressive timber

The summit.

It had been a steady ascent for some time, but then suddenly we were there – at the top! And WOW, the views over the river valley below and the surrounding hills were spectacular. It was so worth the effort. We could see all the way across to Big Rock on the other side of the Valley. (You can read more about Big Rock in our Lennard Drive blog here.)

The view from the summit

OK, so getting up there was one thing, but getting down was another! We had three choices: We could go down the way we came up, we could walk the rest of the 8km out and complete the loop or we could call a helicopter for a quick evacuation! (There was just enough phone signal to squeeze a call out!)

At this point the helicopter sounded like a good idea, but we agreed to stop and have a snack and then see how we felt. One always feels better after food!

We’ll let you in on a little secret. We had actually taken our mountain bikes with us. Yes, we had pushed them all the way up that huge great hill and lifted them over all those massive logs. I know, what were we thinking?! It actually turned out to be the saving of us, as we took the 8km trip to complete the circuit and it was downhill most of the way.

Downhill all the way home

The way down.

Completing the loop, the trail heads north then swings around to the east where it meets up with the Munda Biddi, then heads south, back down towards the river. Most of the trail is wide and easy going. Only the last section of the Munda Biddi going down to the river is quite steep. It’s marked with the purple footsteps all the way and is easy to follow. This section of the Munda Biddi is also part of the Sika Trail and connects Potters Gorge campsite and the Kiosk at the Dam. (Confused? Don’t worry, just check out the map and all will become clear!)

We crossed paths with another rider on the Munda Biddi and shared trail stories as one does, before he left us to continue on at a faster pace than we were able to keep up with. Well we had an excuse, we had just carried our bikes up that huge hill, he had only ridden from Mundaring, near Perth! 

Finally we arrived back down at the river and a short ride back to Honeymoon Pool for a BBQ lunch. It was so nice sitting under the graceful weeping peppermint trees watching the reflections dance on the waters of Honeymoon Pool. It was a real shame to have to pack up and head home! (You can read about Honeymoon Pool in our blog here.)

So, how long did the walk/ride take? 

We lost track of the time and considering ours was a hybrid adventure by foot and cycle it may be irrelevant, but we would definitely allow a good half day or more to complete.

So, was it worth it?

Absolutely! Just don’t take your bike up that big hill!

Today we went Full Throttle at the Collie Motorplex!

It’s Monday morning and the #visitcollie team are up and about early, we’re heading out to the Collie Motorplex to have a look at the facilities and in particular the track extensions and upgrades that are nearing completion.

Anna Farrell, Track Manager meets us and fills us in on what’s been happening at the track, up coming events and planned future upgrades. Coming off a huge weekend where the motorplex hosted the 2018 Ernie Hastie Memorial – the largest race meet in Western Australia outside of Perth. The track was buzzing with workers packing up and getting ready for the following weekends meet. Historic Motorcycle racing!

As we chat about the previous weekend and the ins and outs of managing a race track, we take notice of the massive  whiteboard calendar outlining what’s on for the entire 2018 season – Fully booked, right up until Christmas!

Anna offers us a tour and leads us through the club rooms, medical facilities, accommodation rooms and kitchen areas. We discuss upgrades to spectator areas that are on the horizon and Anna explains that the majority of the race events are free entry for spectators. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic or enjoy food supplied by the onsite canteen. All funds raised are put back into the local race club and track.

 

Photo: D1WA - Matsuri 1 2018 - Collie Motorplex

Track Upgrades.

Recently visited by WA Premier Mark McGowan and our Sports and Recreation Minister Mick Murray to inspect the recent upgrades, made possible by a $2.97 million dollar commitment from the State Government. The funding allowed for the track to be extended from 1.6km to 2.3km and improve competitor and spectator facilities. More recently an injection of $314,000 brought the track up to national standards in order to create opportunities for major motorsport events to held in the South West. Other than Barbagallo, north of Perth, the Collie Motorplex is the only sealed race track in Western Australia.

Premier Mark McGowan was impressed with the upgrades and stated the Motorplex was fast becoming a true asset to the town and the South West.

“I’m pleased to see the Collie Motorplex becoming a huge tourism drawcard for the town, it’s great for motorsport enthusiasts and great for local businesses and great for Collie”

Collie Motorplex track extension from 1.6km to 2.3km

"Jump in, lets go for a drive"

Just when we thought our time visiting the racetrack had come to an end, our host rustled some car keys from her jacket pocket and motioned for us to jump in the tracks car. It must be said, it’s the first time either of us had actually been on a racetrack. Anna took us for a lap around the existing 1.6km circuit – giving us an insight into what its like to run the operation. After the lap we started another, this time veering off to access the new, almost completed section. With some equipment still working on the edges of the track Anna explains:

 “The last lot of rain a few months ago gave us a heads up that this section of the track required more drainage works. Part of the gravel run off area was washed out and that was a great clue that we needed to reassess the area and improve it, and that’s what the guys are doing now”

We are cruising around a sweeping left hand turn when we come to a stop, our host tells us this is her favourite part of the track, its on a slight elevation affording us a nice little view down towards a sharpish right hander and the track facilities in the distance. We stop for a few photographs and a look around. 

The #visitcollie crew would like to thank Anna for the opportunity to view the track upgrades and taking time out of her busy schedule to give us a peek into the fascinating world of running a racetrack. If you’d like to see what’s coming up for the rest of the 2018 calendar you can visit the Collie Motorplex’s website here.

Track extension, looking down towards the facilities.

Another great day out option in the Region

With a racing calendar packed full of events every weekend right up to Christmas, the motorplex is another great option for things to see and do in the Collie Region. With the majority of events free or some with a minimal charge it really is a great little day out. Located only 14km to the South-East of the Collie CBD it’s an easy, family friendly day out that’s really affordable. As an added bonus, the absolutely gorgeous Stockton Lake is right next door. The blue lake, famous for its water skiing, camping and that incredible azure colour, is a must see on the way.

You can read more about Stockton Lake here.

Stockton Lake - Photo by @_cjlp13_

A weekend get away with a difference!

The cooler months are right around the corner, further south it comes even sooner (and even more so for us up in the hills). Collie is famous for its chilly weather and misty mornings. Our first instinct is to hibernate for the winter months and look forward to those warm days once again. However the middle of the year is a great time to get out and explore our state. 

 The Bunbury Geographe region, of which Collie is a part, is home to some terrific destinations all ripe for discovery. The area, is yet to be busy with holiday makers so the roads are quieter and there’s far less crowds to deal with. The 7 regions that make up #BunGeo all have something unique to offer, whether its picking your own fruit off the tree in Donnybrook or rummaging around the antique and quirky stores in Balligup to lingering on Bunbury’s cafe strip. Below we’ll outline what #visitCollie reckons is a pretty good itinerary to start you off in the region that’s got something for everyone.

Those gorgeous Autumn colours are here...now!

The Collie River Valley is located just over two hours south of Perth, Western Australia and boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the South West. Your GPS or Google Maps will tell you to head south from Perth along the Forrest Highway then, just before Bunbury head east on Raymond Rd to link up with the Coalfields highway. This is the traditional way to go, its a scenic route up the mighty Roelands hill, looking back west you’ll be treated to a stunning view of the coast below. However, we’ll let you in on a little detour off the main highway which is actually quicker and arguably even more scenic.

 

 

The “Mornington Road Way” starts off the South Western Highway just south of Wokalup (just south of Harvey). You’ll notice the large buildings of the Harvey Agricultural School on the corner. This winding country road gently elevates you up over the same hills that you may follow all the way from Armadale in Perth’s south. The South Western Highway may well be WA’s route 66 in some respects. The newer Forrest Highway is a more direct way south from Perth however, the now almost forgotten parallel highway next door offers an alternative for those seeking something different and interesting to watch roll past on the drive. Patience must be practiced, it’s single lane in most parts but offering overtaking lanes often enough to pass when need be. If you do take Forrest Highway, there are several good roads to take to cross over onto South Western Highway. Pinjarra Road and Forrestry Rd \ Uduc Road both bring you across to the SW Highway at both Pinjarra and Harvey – these are well placed for a bathroom or coffee break as they are both roughly halfway points on the trip.

 

Once turned onto Mornington Road, enjoy the trip from here on in, you’ll encounter little in the way of traffic and the vista is stunning. Use caution though – it is single lane and (in that is classic country road style) its gorgeously winding. Steady steady, you’re almost at your destination now! Follow the signage to Collie. The final T-Junction will be a right turn to the town centre, a left will take you to Harris River Estate Winery and the Harris Dam. The Dam is worth a visit, a beautiful BBQ area in a bush setting is a nice picnic spot. More on the Winery later!

Acommodation Options.

The Collie River Valley is famous for its camping, however there are plenty of accommodation options available if those chilly mornings in a tent aren’t your thing! If historic old country pubs are your more your style, you’re in luck! Collie is loaded to the eyeballs with them. The Colliefields Hotel has been converted into a cafe / backpackers that offers clean single, twin, double and dorm rooms at prices you can’t go past. The cafe serves a great range of food and really, really good coffee. Seriously. Alternatively, The Federal Hotel just up the road has that classic country pub vibe, with a family friendly focus and a great alfresco area the meals are generous and both have the open wood fires roaring in winter. If a modern motel or apartment stay is more your deal you can’t go past the Collie Ridge Motel, at the western entrance to town you won’t miss it!

You can read up more about the Colliefields in our recent blog here.

Colliefields & Federal Hotel

What to do...

Now that the bags are unpacked and you’re looking to explore we’ve an itinerary that’s so jam packed you’ll be battling to fit it all in, maybe pick the items that best suit your situation and there’s always next time to tick off the rest! 

Known for its power generation, Collie is fast shaking off those past stereotypes and emerging as a tourism destination. Still slightly raw and edgy it lacks a little polish found in some long established tourist towns, but you may find that’s half the charm! A mix of 1900’s architecture and modern built buildings means there’s a real eclectic mix of styles as you wander the streets of the town centre. With a compact CBD you can leave the car at your accommodation and enjoy a stroll around town. Nosing in the quirky gift shops or visit the great Bakery in the main street. Central Park is a real delight, featuring a terrific kids nature playground, a water park and a vintage train carriage re-purposed as a cafe, Wagon 537 serves up awesome coffees, milkshakes for the kids and some truly delicious food in their own unique style. You can read more about Central Park in our blog post here.

Collie CBD

Award winning winery.

Harris River Estate Winery is set on 24 hectares of vineyard and is a vine to bottle producer which means they produce everything start to finish, in house. The cellar door offers gorgeous views over the vines, dam and state forest beyond. Enjoy their Tapas style menu on the verandah as you while away the afternoon. This family run operation has expanded to also produce their own cider and have an in house mircro-brewery. On-site accommodation in one of their two cosy cabins is also available.

Harris River Estate

Go deep underground and back in time!

Take a step back in time with a trip underground in the replica underground coal mine. Situated at the Collie Visitors Centre, you can enjoy a guided tour with one of their three very knowledgeable, now retired underground miner tour guides. Bookings available by calling the Visitors Centre on 9734 2051 and arranging a tour. The Visitors Centre is open Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm Saturday 10am – 3pm and Sunday 10am – 2pm. Guided tours take around one hour or you may prefer a self guided tour which is possible during the visitors centre opening times, no appointment necessary. 

Replical Mine tours

Its too cold to swim, but you've got to check out...

Black Diamond lake is now an instagrammers hotspot. Made famous in recent times due to those incredible images on social media, the abandoned mine void hasn’t been in use since the early 1950’s. Now flooded, the limestone bottom along with a clear sky combine to radiate a magnificent azure blue. Even with the cooler weather, the site is a must see and worthy of a selfie or family photo before making plans to revisit in the summer months for a swim!

You can find our more by visiting our Black Diamond blog here.

Black Diamond Lake

You may think its hard to beat Black Diamond. But what if we told you BD has a bigger and arguably better cousin?

Stockton Lake is found a few kilometers east of Collie. Also an abandoned mine its also one of a series of blue lakes in the Collie region. Black Diamond is under a rehabilitation program and may not be available for camping for some time it is a day visit area only. Stockton however is a brilliant campsite. Large open sites suit large groups. The water is used for water skiing in the summer months. Well worth a visit for that classic blue water shot!

You can find out more about Stockton Lake by clicking here.

Stockton Lake

Wellington National Park is a true gem and worth a day in itself. Home to the famous Honeymoon Pool, Potters Gorge, the Kiosk, Wellington Dam wall and Lennard Drive you’ll have a ball immersing yourself in all things “Welly Dam”.

Honeymoon Pool needs little introduction – part of the Preston River (which is fed from the Wier wall) Honeymoon Pool is famous for its stunning natural setting. Also famous for its freezing water, but this time of year that won’t bother us! Featuring free BBQ’s and picnic tables plus a convenient toilet block, HP is the perfect spot for a family picnic and nature time with the kids. Follow the path along the river or take a left before you leave the area towards Gelcoat rapids for an incredible bushwalk along the whitewater. See if you can find the massive granite boulder, climb it for an impressive family portrait! You can read more about Honeymoon Pool in our blog here.

Honeymoon Pool

Lennard Drive is a one way, sealed road that extends from the bottom of the Dam wall in the Wellington National Park to River Road. Along this gorgeous winding route you’ll come across four stunning locations, all well signposted and including a small area to safely park your vehicle. The Rapids, Little Rock, Big Rock and Long Pool are dotted along this drive. Each one is breath taking and well worth a stop and photo opportunity. Another one to remember for your return visit in the warmer months. Continue on Lennard Drive after your stop at Long Pool, turn right at the end and you’ll arrive back at Honeymoon Pool. You can read more about Lennard Drive at our post here.

The stunning Long Pool

Find that bit of Culture!

The Collie Art Gallery was officially opened in 2015. This incredible building celebrates Collie’s thriving arts scene. The building consists of 150 square meters of gallery space plus a 50 square meter studio, storage and working space. The gallery displays exhibitions of national importance as well as local arts and crafts. The lobby hosts a eclectic mix of local arts and crafts available to purchase and is a must see on your next visit to town. see https://www.collieartgallery.org.au/ for current and upcoming exhibitions.

Bring your Mountain Bike, its the Wagyl Biddi you see!

Collie’s newest mountain bike trail network, the Collie Wagyl Biddi, was officially opened recently, just in time for the Australia Day long weekend.

Hundreds of avid mountain bikers, as well as complete novices, have already had a go at the new nine-kilometre trail network with a series of connected trails built to beginner and intermediate level, including 4.5 kilometres of trails suitable for hand-cycles.

The Trail Head is located at Soldier’s Park on Lefroy Street in Collie and has toilets, water and parking, as well as a playground, skate park and barbecue facilities, making the trail a great all-round family experience.

You can read more about the Wagyl Biddi Trail in our blog post here.

On your way out of town...

So how did we do? 

We think that’s not a bad little weekend away in the region, there’s plenty more to see and do, so stay tuned for another suggested weekender in the near future. Once your bags are packed and you’re thinking of heading home, you may chose to head back via Mornington Road or for a change of scenery take Throssell Street heading west out of town to link onto Coalfields Highway and down the big hill back towards the South West or Forrest Highway. 

Alternatively if you’ve some time left and want one more adventure before you head back to reality, why not take a slight detour to visit our gorgeous neighbour, the Ferguson Valley. Fast becoming known for its jaw dropping scenery, micro breweries and wineries also, The Ferguson Valley is only 30 minutes away via Mungalup / Pile Rd and is home to the world famous Gnomesville! Now’s the perfect opportunity to stop by and visit this now iconic location. Don’t forget to BYO gnome to place amongst their new friends. The kids will love it!

#visitCollie Recommend the nearby Moody Cow Brewery for lunch!

Iconic Gnomesville

Today we ride the Karak Trail!

The Karak Trail (Noongar word for the red-tailed black cockatoo) is accessible to walkers, cyclists, families with prams, wheelchairs and gophers, with rubbish bins and seating dotted along its length. It is a 3.5km tarmacked path that starts west of the Collie Cemetery and meanders through the lovely state forest to end in Allanson on Ferguson Road.

It is a beautiful walk any time of the year with birds singing in the tall jarrah, marri and paperbark trees lining the path and in the Spring there is a wonderful display of wildflowers, especially the lovely kangaroo paw which is much larger and vividly coloured compared to it’s garden counterpart. 

http://www.collierivervalley.com.au/karak-red-tail-trail/

Karak Trail - Perfect for Families!

Perfect for Families.

Today we threw the MTB and scooter in the back of the ute and headed out to the trail. Convenient parking right at the trail head, means its super quick to get in the saddle and get going. At the Collie end of the trail there’s a bin and dog waste bags if our four legged friend was to join us. Also we take heed of the warning sign, keep an eye out for snakes in the warmer months.

As the introduction states, the trail is 3.5km long, it has however been extended recently to include the township of Allanson, home of Black Diamond Lake. The path is in great condition, it should be, its near on brand new. Dual use and well maintained it’s a leisurely cycle adjacent to Coalfields highway. A slight down hill ride west and the opposite when returning towards town.

The trail is perfect for all fitness levels and age groups. There are park benches dotted along the path every few hundred meters, ideal for a breather or a drink of water if need be.

Convenient Park Benches along the Trail

Towards the end of the trail, you’ll come across the turn off for the Scenic Drive. This 7km of unsealed road takes you past some gorgeous sections of the Collie River and terminates at Mungalup Rd. A stones throw from the gorgeous Minninup Pool. From here it is approximately 3km back into the Collie CBD.

Alternatively you may like to continue on and take the next left after the Scenic Drive (Ferguson Rd) and arrive at Black Diamond Lake.

You can find Our blog on the Collie River Scenic drive here.

You can find our blog on Black Diamond here.

Black Diamond

Today we walk the Bibbulmun Track!

The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching 1000km from Kalamunda, a suburb in the hills on the outskirts of Perth, to the historic town of Albany on the south coast. It passes through the heart of the scenic south west of Western Australia.

The Track is for walkers only and is signposted with yellow triangular markers symbolising the Waugal, the rainbow serpent of the Aboriginal Dreaming. Trail markers are spaced up to 500m apart. They are more frequent when there is an intersection with other tracks or when the Track takes a turn.

The Track takes walkers through towering karri and tingle forests, down mist-shrouded valleys, over giant granite boulders and along breathtaking coastal heathlands. It passes through many of the most beautiful national parks of the south west forests and coastline. The Bibbulmun Track offers a wide range of experiences, from a gentle stroll to enjoy the peace and beauty of the natural environment, to an epic eight week adventure. Those that walk every step of the way can be registered as end-to-enders.

You can make it a wilderness experience by camping out, you can join a guided group, a tour, or you can do it in comfort by staying in the towns along the Track and enjoying day walks in the area. The Track passes through Dwellingup, Collie, Balingup, Donnelly River Village, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole, Peaceful Bay and Denmark. www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au

My Dad, brother Ian and I had done some hiking in the Albany region and decided to tackle the Collie – Balingup section. After some googling and trawling over maps we planned our trek. We would be dropped off just outside of Collie to meet up with the spur line which detours off the track, through Wellington National Park then back to the track. This is an easy starting off point from Collie. Best road is easily found off Mungalup Road. Turn at Collie Caltex petrol station and follow out of town for approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Keep an eye out for Best Rd on your left. A short drive brings you to the spur line.

Excited by the start of the adventure we bid our driver farewell and set off. Before long we reached the Yabberup campsite. After short rest, a few photos we then join the Track proper. Following the yellow Waugul markers we wander through the gorgeous Aussie bush. A good time for some banter and catch up with the old man and my brother.

Ian at the Yabberup Campsite

After our 8am start at the spur line, we estimated we should arrive at the Mungalup Tavern by lunch. We had arranged with the publican to leave our car there the previous night so we could easily return to Collie after our trek. He informed us the car would be quite safe and it was very common for people to do the same and they never had any issues in the past. 

The track winds through the bush, fairly flat in most places and doesn’t provide any difficulty to us. The trick is to keep looking for the yellow markers. Saying that – we never had a problem spotting or following them. They seem to turn up just as you start wondering where the next one is!

A true highlight on the walk is the sight of the shimmering Glen Mervyn Dam, it marks the 3/4 point of our journey and is popular with campers and water skiers. The dam is a welcome sight and provides a glorious setting for morning tea. A sandwich and a bottle of water were enjoyed and then we follow western bank of the dam south, towards the dam wall. It isn’t long until we reach the “Mumby Pub” where we are greeted with a cold drink and the lunch menu!

Glen Mervyn Dam wall
Final Destination - The Mumby Pub

The Collie – Mumbalup Tavern section is a great introduction to walking the “Bib Track” – It may become addictive as it isn’t long before you’re left wondering, what’s the next section you might tackle! Collie is well set up with services to cater for hikers. With multiple accommodation options to choose from, two laundromats, 7 day trading from both supermarkets, it’s an ideal stop over point for a longer Bib Track trip or a great spot to start your adventure.

A hundred years ago The Colliefields Hotel would have been “The Place” to stay when travelling through Collie and it still is today for the many mountain bike riders and bush walkers who visit every week. The Colliefields is a member of both the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi Track Foundations and offers clean single, twin, double, ensuite and dorm rooms at prices you can’t go past. With breakfast and secure bike storage included and trail transfers available, what more do you need? Maybe somewhere to have food and clothing parcels delivered to? No Worries, they can handle that as well. Just ring ahead to let them know!

visitcollie.com.au thoroughly recommend hikers take some time to visit bibbulmuntrack.org.au and familiarise yourself with the Track prior to setting off. Safety advice can be found here – www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/trip-planner/health-hygiene-safety/

You can plan your Bibbulmun Track walk here – https://www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/trip-planner/track-sections/collie/