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

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.

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

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

The Wiilman Bilya Trail

This brand new trail can be found in the Wellington National Park, Collie WA and is just the start of what will eventually be an epic trail network. 

The 20 km trail starts at Potters Gorge and winds its way through some magnificent Black Butt and Jarrah forest, over huge moss covered granite out crops, ending at the Coalfields Hwy.

Following the water

For over half of the trail, you have the waters of Wellington Dam on one side and the serenity of the bush on the other, affording some spectacular scenery. 

The trail twists and turns through the forest and the eerie calls of the Black Cockatoos are always present.

Huge, ancient trees

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There are some amazing huge old trees along the trail

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We loved these magnificent, huge grass trees Photo – Holly Fisher

Below are two short videos of the Wiilman Bilya Track. The first one was taken at the Coalfields Hwy end and the other a few km from Potters Gorge. The scenery is quite different but equally as stunning all along the trail.

Nyingarn Campsite

Hut low res

The brand new Nyingarn Campsite has several timber sleeping platforms and over looks the dam. You will find the campsite about 3.5 km from the Coalfields Hwy

View from hut low res

People would pay a fortune to have dinner with these spectacular views

Eventually the campsite will include 16 tent sites, but that section is currently still under construction.  There are new long drop toilets and rain water tanks.

There is also the option of camping at Potters Gorge, but site must be booked online before arriving https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park-stay

Coalfields Trail Head

Finding the Trail Head from the Coalfields Hwy end can be a bit tricky, so check it out on the map below.

There is a parking area just east of what is known locally as Hamilton’s Bridge. From there you need to exit the car park the way you drove in and follow the hwy over the bridge/causeway. Most of the time you are walking behind the railing along the edge of the road. You will easily find where to access the trail on the other side.

 The trail is marked by brown foot prints.

If you start the trail from this end, you will probably, like us, find the traffic noise distracting at first, but before long the bush closes in around you and the calls of the Cockatoos take over. The only distracting things now are the birds  flitting around the trees and butterflies drifting lazily along the track.

Potters Gorge – Lakeside Camping

Potters Gorge is situated in the magnificent Wellington National Park, only two hours south of Perth and not far from the well known Honeymoon Pool. 

Plenty of room

Unlike Honeymoon Pool, Potters Gorge is a large, spacious camp ground with 54 individual sites and plenty of room for the biggest caravans and motor homes.

Some sites are designed with soft pads for tents. Many of the sites have views over the dam and they are all shaded by towering jarrah and marri trees. The road is sealed all the way to the campground.

Bookings are essential and can be made online at https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park-stay Fees: Adults $11, Cons $7 and Child $3 per night.  (When booking you can see which sites can fit the larger vans and motor-homes)

Generators are allowed at certain times of the day, but why spoil the tranquility.

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Everyone loves a campfire!

Campfires

Each site has it’s own picnic table and fire pit. (Remember to check fire restrictions as they vary at different times of the year and huge penalties apply if you light fires at the wrong time)

Limited wood is provided and in the cooler months of year it is often wet, so you may like to bring some from home or grab a bag of dry wood at the nearby Kiosk at the Dam. (Check their Facebook page for open times.)

There are several well equipped camp kitchens with room for larger groups

Recently redeveloped

Potters Gorge was revamped a couple of years back and boasts smart modern camp kitchens and gas BBQs. The toilets are the composting variety, but well maintained and impeccably clean.

Some of the toilets are designed to allow wheelchair access and nearby campsites are reserved for people with disabilities and mobility issues. See the map above for disabled facilities.

Room for the kids to spread out and burn up some energy

Plenty to do

Boating, kayaking and swimming are allowed on the dam and the Currawong Pump (bike) Track is right next to the camp ground, so don’t forget to pack the kids bikes.

Several magnificent walks can be found in the park, including  the Jabitj Trail that follows the river all the way from the Kiosk to Honeymoon Pool, the Sika Trail that passes right by the campground and the brand new Wiilman Bilya Trail, accessed from the Sika Trail.

Explore one of the trails. This is the new Wiilman Bilya Trail. 

Go exploring

The Kiosk at the Dam serve fantastic light lunches and refreshments. While there don’t miss the opportunity to view the Dam from the lookout platform.

From the Kiosk, head down below the dam and cross the river. Watch out for the signs to Lennard Drive. There are four fantastic swimming and picnic spots along the drive; The Rapids, Big Rock, Little Rock and Long Pool, before you arrive at Honeymoon Pool

The secret pool above The Rapids

When to visit

Potters Gorge is well worth a visit at any time of the year, but most popular in the summer months. It can get very busy on school holidays and long weekends but is often near deserted during the week. With the new booking system up and running it is easy to see if there are sites available and how busy it is likely to be.

Head into town

The scenic town of Collie is only a short drive away with Coles and Woolies open 7 days and 24 hour fuel. 

With 5 historic pubs, a country bakery and several stylish cafes you won’t have trouble finding somewhere for a tasty lunch or hearty dinner. See The Colliefields, Wagon 537, The Feddy or Harris River Estate. 

Don’t miss Collie Canvas and Camping World. they have the best range of camping equipment outside Perth.

Browse the website and our Facebook page for heaps of fantastic activities for all the family, including great food and wine, history and art, tracks and trails.

We hope to see you soon, in the Collie River Valley.

Gelcoat Rapids – Your very own river paradise

GELCOAT RAPIDS is a small secluded campground, nestled beneath the trees, near Honeymoon Pool, in Wellington National Park, WA. Just two hours south of Perth, it makes the prefect weekend getaway.

Group Camping

With room for just 7 tents it is perfect for small groups camping together. (There is no access for caravans or camper vans at this site) It can get busy, but if you avoid school holidays and long weekends, or visit mid week you could easily have the whole place to yourself.

Bookings

Modest fees apply and you must book online before arriving as internet service is limited in the park  https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park-stay

Fires

Fires are allowed in designated fire places during the cooler weather. (Always check current fire restrictions before lighting a fire.) Some wood is provided, but it is often damp in the cooler weather so remember to pack some dry kindling or grab a bag at the Kiosk at the Dam on your way in or one of the servos in Collie.

Private river access

Access to the river is via a short path leading to a lovely private spot to launch the canoe or have a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters.

Sit quietly and listen to the sounds of the birds and the gentle breeze in the trees

The famous Honeymoon Pool is only a two minute walk away, but with all this to your self you might just decide to stay put.

Explore

There are miles of river to explore in both directions. You can paddle through quiet tree lined pools, shimmering with the reflections of the peppermint trees lining the river banks or head upstream and try your hand at some of the rapids. 

Or you may prefer to choose one of the walk trails that pass close by.

Tracks and Trails

Several magnificent trails can be accessed from this spot including the  Jabitj Trail (Hiking) or the Kurliiny Tjenangitj , Sika Trail and the epic Munda Biddi. (Dual use – hike or bike)

Bike Hire

If you don’t have your own bikes or don’t have room in the car to bring them down, you can hire bikes from the Kiosk at the Dam or Crank’n Cycles In Collie

Head into town

The town of Collie is only a short drive away with 7 day supermarkets and 24 hour fuel. Grab a coffee at Wagon 537 or a bite to eat at The Colliefields. Be sure to check out Collie Canvas and Camping World while you are there for all the latest camping gadgets and equipment.

For a small fee, you can freshen up with a hot shower at the Collie Visitor Centre before heading to the shops.

The Colliefields – Yes! We are trail friendly.

Collie is one of the few Trail Towns on both the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi Trails. Every year hundreds of trail users pass through town and many of them spend a night or two at The Colliefields. Proprietors, Michélè  and Gary make everyone welcome and go out of their way to make sure their guests are well looked after.

Secure storage for bikes and cars

One of the challenges of walking or riding the track is managing the logistics of transport and working out the best place to leave a car for the return journey. It often means getting someone to drive long distances to provide transport, or doing the car shuffle, and back tracking every few days; never being quite sure if your car will still be there when you return.
 
Not if you are staying at the Colliefields. There is a secure yard at the rear of the building, where you can leave your car until you return or lockup your bike overnight. 
 

Track Transfers

The Colliefields can also pick you up and drop you off at the trail if necessary. Ring ahead if possible, so they can make sure there is a driver available, when you need a ride. Or if things go wrong and you need to get to town in a hurry, The Colliefields will collect you and get you settled into the hotel, until you are able to make your way home.
 

Hot showers and comfy beds

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As nice as it is sleeping under the stars, there is nothing like a wonderful hot shower and a nice warm comfortable bed. Every one who stays at the Colliefields comments on the awesome rainfall shower heads, but then after a few days on the track any shower would seem like bliss.

They offer a range of rooms including single, twin, double, en-suite and dorm rooms. All at very affordable prices.

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Proprietor Michélè says, 'Our visitors love our piping hot rainfall showers after a few days on the trail'

 Free breakfast

Breakfast selection

A scrumptious, continental breakfast is included in the price of your room and includes toast, cereal, milk, yoghurt,  fruit, tea, coffee and juice.

The down stairs dining room opens early and you can purchase a full cooked breakfast at any time of the day or order a packed lunch for on the track

Free washing machines for guests

All guests at The Colliefields have access to washing machines at no extra cost.

Guest lounge

There is a comfy lounge where guests like to gather and share trail experiences or relax in front of the TV after a long day walking or riding.

If only those walls could talk. They would have more than one hundred years of tales to tell!

The Colliefields are not licenced these days, but there are several pubs withing walking distance, serving ice cold beers and wholesome meals. 

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Centrally Located

You will find The Colliefields on Throssell Street, which is the main street running through town. It’s easily identified by it’s striking purple exterior. Only a short walk to the supermarket, banks, post office and anywhere else you may need to go, it’s the perfect location.

Contact them by phone 9734 2052 or email welcome@colliefields.com and say Why i #visitcollie sent you.

Collie Canvas and Camping World stock a huge range of supplies for on the track. Crank’n Cycles Collie carry a range of spare parts and can provide emergency repairs if required.

Experience the Tranquility of Honeymoon Pool

HONEYMOON POOL in the Wellington National Park is one of the best known swimming and camping spots in WA, having repeatedly been voted amongst Australia’s finest.

Situated a couple of hours south of Perth it makes a great weekend or midweek getaway. 20 shady campsites are nestled amongst the weeping peppermint trees on the banks the Collie River below Wellington Dam.

Bookings are essential…

Honeymoon Pool is extremely popular and gets quite busy during school holidays and long week ends. In the past it was common for people to drive all the way down from Perth only to find the entire campground full, but all that has changed with the new online booking system. You can now book and pay for your site before you even leave home. 

To make a booking go to Explore Parks WA  and enter the name of the site you want to book. You can download a map to assist with site selection. Site fees are charged per person, per day. $11 per adult, $7 concession and $3 per child daily.

The campground is accessible via a new sealed road. Take Wellington Dam Road off the Coalfields Hwy and watch out for the Honeymoon Pool turnoff.

Local tip:- Visit midweek or in the cooler weather and you may have the campground all to yourself!

About the campground…

The campsites are all shaded by graceful, weeping peppermint trees and many of them are directly on the edge of the river. They are suitable for tents and small campers only. (If you like the luxury of a bigger van you will love the nearby Potters Gorge or Stockton Lake 10 kms east of Collie town site.) 

Most sites have their own picnic tables and wood fire places but it is a good idea to bring a portable gas cooker as fire restrictions apply at certain times of the year. Communal gas fired BBQs  are available as well.

Flushing toilets are provided but no showers or drinking water and unfortunately, because it is a National Park, no pets are allowed.  

What to do once you’re there…

Swim in the pool! The water temperature can be quite cold but that doesn’t seem to stop most people from enjoying a good refreshing swim.

Put the kayak in! The stretch of river flowing past the campsite is perfect for kayaking and if you want a bit more of a thrill there are several sections of rapids further upstream.

Go hiking! Or perhaps check out some of the walking trails that begin in the camp ground? Choose from the Jabitj Trail (pictured) that follows the river all the way to the Kiosk at the Dam, The Kurliiny Tjenangitj that climbs high above the valley to a lookout or the Sika Trail that loops around past the Kiosk and Potters Gorge camp site. 

Photo - Kodee Whittaker

Go exploring! along Lennard Drive and find your own special swimming spot. Choose from The Rapids, Big Rock, Little Rock or Long Pool (pictured).

Local tip:- At the Rapids, follow the trail past the toilets to a lovely secluded pool.

And at the end of the day you can just sit back and relax with your favourite cold beverage and watch the colours of the pool change from blues to golden browns and greens.

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

Located just over 2 hours south of Perth WA, Collie River Valley Tourist Park is the perfect base to explore the region. Whether you seek the tranquility of a secluded swimming spot, the challenge of a hiking or mountain bike trail or the thrill of high energy motor sports you are only a stones throw away while staying at the park.  All this in a town full of history and fantastic dining experiences. Sound interesting? Then read on!

About the park…

The park is spacious with 80 odd sites and is in a beautiful, quiet bush setting. Some of the caravan bays come with shade shelters and the tents sites are secluded and private. There are a number of onsite cabins available with everything provided, including clean fresh linen. All the toilets, showers and laundries have been recently refurbished and are kept immaculately clean. There is a fantastic all weather campers kitchen including cooking facilities, tables and chairs, pots, frying pans, even crockery. Just bring your own food. It even comes with a big tele, pool table, dart board and kiddies toys corner. Adjacent to the kitchen is a modern BBQ and gazebo area.

Pets are welcome too!

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Onsite cabins

Pitch ‘n Pack

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Tents for 1 - 4 people are also available

Fancy camping but don’t have all the gear? Or just don’t need the hassle of packing it all in the car!

No worries. The staff at the Park will set up their tent or camper trailer for you, so within a few minutes of arriving you will be sitting back relaxing with a nice cold drink in hand. After all that’s what you came for, isn’t it?

You can choose between tents suitable for up to four people or a camper trailer that will sleep up to six.

Each set up comes with stretcher beds and mattresses, table and chairs and access to the fully equipt campers kitchen. Just bring your own bedding and towels.

 

About the town…

Established in the late 1800s after the discovery of coal,  the town still has many of the original, magnificent old buildings, including several well preserved historic pubs, where you can indulge in a typical pub meal washed down with your favourite beverage.

The old Road Board Building opposite the Visitor Centre now houses a fantastic museum and if you are into trains check out the steam engines at the Visitor Centre and the Bill Weirs Rolling Stock Shed on Forrest St.

While you are at the Visitor Centre, ask about a tour of the Replica Underground Coal Mine.

 

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Premier Hotel, built 1901 - Collie Town Centre

What to do…

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Enjoy some fine food and wine

SAMPLE SOME GOOD FOOD AND WINE

Collie boasts a wide choice of excellent cafes and restaurants, each with their own unique style and menu.

Harris River Estate Winery  is only 5 kms from town,  but if a country pub and cold beer are more your style you are not short for choice.

You can also choose from a variety of cuisines including Western, Chinese, Indian and Thai.

TRACKS N TRAILS There are numerous  mtb trails accessible from Collie, including the  Wagyl Biddi in town and  the Arklow Trails on Harris River Road. (Rays, Dead Cats and Marty’s)

The long distance Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi Tracks pass through town and are ideal for short single day hikes or longer adventures.

Wellington National Park is home to the Mt Lennard MTB Trails and a series of walk trails that follow the river or climb high above the valley. (JabitjKurliiny Tjenangi and Sika Trails)

Bike hire is available from the caravan park.

Marty's
The Rock Pile on Marty's Trail
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Honeymoon Pool, Wellington National Park

FIND A PICNIC OR SWIMMING SPOT Only a stones throw from the caravan park, Minninup Pool is a firm favourite with locals for a swim or picnic.

No holiday in Collie is complete without a swim in the azure blue waters of the popular Black Diamond or the less known Stockton Lake

Wellington National Park is home to several fantastic swimming spots including Potters Gorge and Honeymoon Pool, frequently voted one of the top swimming spots in Australia. Or explore Lennard Drive and find your own secluded spot. Local tip: Check out the pool above the rapids.

GRAB SOME ACTION AT THE COLLIE MOTORPLEX 

Only 15 mins east of Collie and with 1.6 km of bitumen race track, the action is fast and furious. Car racing, motorbike racing, drift events and burnout competitions every weekend of the year.

Entry is free for most events and the canteen prices are very reasonable making it a great family day out without breaking the bank

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Always plenty of fantastic looking machines at Collie Motorplex
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Donnybrook Apple Fun Park - Photo, Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council

VENTURE FURTHER AFIELD

Take a drive to Donnybrook, the home of the Lady Williams apple and the incredible Apple Fun Park .  It is the biggest, free entry playground in Australia and will keep the kids busy for hours. Don’t forget to stop at the Fruit Barn or one of the road side stalls and purchase some delicious local fruit in season.

Gnomesville, King Jarrah and the lovely Ferguson Valley wineries and breweries are all within 45 minutes of your accommodation and offer several options to sample some good food and wine and a great day out!

Sold…?

Patrick and Lorna will be your hosts and you can give them a call on 9734 5088 to book your site or cabin

Or check out prices and book through the website at http://www.colliecaravanpark.com.au/