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

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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

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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.

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.

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.

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/

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

TRAIL TOWNS – COLLIE

Collie is a friendly little town on both the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi Tracks and we love to play host to the many trail users, who pass through our town each year. So, if you are planning an epic hike or ride and will be passing through Collie in the near future, we have compiled a list of trail friendly businesses and their services.

The Colliefields

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The Colliefields offer clean, budget accommodation with breakfast included. Access to wi-fi and phone recharge facilities, secure bike storage and track transfers for overnight guests.

They accept parcels (posted or delivered) to be collected on your way through Collie and they have a cafe opening early, serving cooked breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

You will find them on Throssell Street. Just look for the big purple building.

The Federal Hotel Collie

The Federal Hotel is conveniently located on Throssell St and offer clean, comfortable rooms with shared bathroom facilities.

There is a bike rack out the back and the rear yard is locked at night, but if you prefer, I am sure they would allow you to take your bike up to your room.

The dining room is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.

Collie River Valley Tourist Park

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Collie River Valley Tourist Park offer immaculately clean cabins and ablutions.

They will store parcels for trail users who have booked accommodation. Ring them to arrange.

Powered, tent sites are also available and there is  a seriously well equipped campers kitchen.

The Collie Visitor Centre

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The Collie Visitor Centre offer hot showers for a small fee, clean toilets, secure storage for backpacks while you go shopping (not overnight), maps and info, wi-fi and phone recharge facilities and drop off point for parcels.

Open 7 days a week. Check their Facebook page for hours.

Located at the western end of town, on Throssell St

Crank'n Cycles Collie

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Crank’n Cycles Collie offer an extensive range of bike spare parts and the very best of repair services.

They are open Mon to Fri and Sat am, but if you are broken down a/h, message the shop via Facebook and if someone is available they will have you back on the track in no time.

The staff are all experienced riders and can provide advice on local trails or pretty much anything bike or trail related.

Collie Canvas and Camping World

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Collie Canvas and Camping World stock all the popular gas cartridges, hiking stoves, freeze dried food, thermal underwear, head torches, fly nets, hats, Keen Boots, quality hiking socks, hiking poles and heaps of other useful things for trail users.

They are open Mon to Fri and Sat am. If you are going to be arriving in town a/h message the shop to arrange a pick up point for you, if possible.

Located on cnr Princep and Johnston Sts. Just look for the big green building down from the traffic lights

PaK-iT Computers

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PaK-iT Computers stock a range of phone chargers and cables, offer access to wi-fi and phone recharge facilities, same day screen replacement services (dependent on screens in stock)

They have an internet kiosk and access to an up to date PC, if required.

You will find them at 117  Throssell St, near the Vic Hotel. 

TraaVerse

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TraaVerse is a brand new business offering trail transfers, pick ups and drop offs, for both hikers and bike riders. They have the capacity to carry a maximum of four passengers and their bikes and packs.

Bookings are required in advance but if you are in an emergency situation, they will do their best to get you off the track as quickly as possible.

Contact Simone or Dion on 0417 654 426 for more information

Other Useful Bits and Pieces

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Coles and Woolworths
Open 7 days a week

Bubble O’s Laundromat
Located on Pendleton St
Open 7.30 am to 8 pm daily

CaltexCollie
Open 24/7 for fuel

If you need a trail transfer, message us on Facebook and we will try to assist, especially if someone is injured or just had enough. 

Where to Eat

Finding you way around.

Finding your way around is pretty easy. Throssell St is the main street in and out of town and Forrest St is on the other side of the railway line. Most places are on or near either of them.

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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!