Top Holiday Tips

No one will be saying ‘I’m bored,’ with this list of things to do. The best part is they are all free or really low cost activities that will have the kids sleeping soundly at the end of the day.
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Have a go at the Currawong Pump Track

This little track is located at the Potters Gorge Campsite in Wellington National Park and is perfect for kids of all ages.

There is a section for the very little ones with the cutest little log roll overs and some decent fast track and a couple of nice berms for the bigger kids to hone their skills on.

Visit the Coalfields Museum 

Located opposite the Visitor Centre on Throssell St, this museum houses an incredible collection of historical artifacts.

There is a mining display, depicting how mining has changed over the years and other displays show what life was like for families  living in Collie many years ago.

Admission fees are Adults $5 and Children $2.50
Check their Facebook page for holiday open times.

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Check out Central Park 

Central Park is just over the railway line on Forrest St. There is plenty of shade, where the grown ups can relax while the kids enjoy the modern nature play style playground, with an array of contraptions to have them testing their balance and nerve.

If the weather is warm enough there is a FREE water park! So, don’t forget to bring their bathers and listen to them shriek and giggle as they dodge the jets of water.

Ride the Wagyl Biddi MTB Trail

Pack the bikes and ride the Wagyl Biddi. You will find the trail head at Soldiers Park near the playground and toilets. The trail follows the river before breaking into two sections. The outer loop of the trail is easier for less experienced riders but the inner three loops are more challenging with a couple of awesome berms, some jumps, a table top, rock gardens and steep climbs. If you don’t have your own bikes, you can hire them from Crank’n Cycles for about the same price as taking the family to the movies.

Go Train Spotting

Collie has a rich rail history and you will find evidence of this at various places around town.

The Old Collie Railway Station is on Throssell St and has a working model train of Collie town back in the day.
Across the line you will find the Bill Weirs Rolling Stock Shed (open Mon, Wed and Fri mornings) and there are four old rail engines and a mining shovel at the Visitor Centre.
There is even a real old wagon, converted into a modern cafe in Central Park.

Kayak on the Collie River

Unfortunately you will need your own kayaks for this, as there is currently no one in town hiring them (Business opportunity anyone?)

But once you have the kayaks sorted there is no shortage of water.

We recently made a list of ten fantastic spots you can get the kayak wet in the CRV.

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Camp out and Cook on a Campfire

There is nothing like cooking dinner on a campfire and toasting marshmallows over the coals.

The CRV is really popular for camping and a lot of places are booked out. But, you might snag a spot at Stockton Lake if you get there early.

Or the Collie River Valley Tourist Park is the perfect base to explore the CRV and they tell me they have a few spaces left, but be quick!

Go Underground

The Replica Underground Mine is accessed via the Collie Visitor Centre, but once inside it feels like you are really underground.

If you are on a tight schedule, you can do a self guided tour using the interpretive panels and displays, but if you are able to plan ahead and book a tour with a real retired underground miner we highly recommend you do. You will be taken on a journey back in time when mining was much different than today.
Admission fees Adult $5 School age child $3

Take a VR Tour

While you are at the Visitor Centre be sure to check out the Virtual Reality equipment.

You can choose between a lap of the Motorplex Track in a racing car, paddle a  kayak down the Collie River or pedal one of the Collie Trails on a mountain bike.

Its all totally free and heaps of fun. You can try all three is you like! You don’t need any special ability to have a go. 

Pack a Picnic and Go Exploring

There are lots of places to go exploring in the CRV, but one of our favourites would have to be Lennard Drive in Wellington National Park.
There are four sign posted spots to explore; The Rapids, Big Rock, Little Rock and Long Pool and they are all perfect for a picnic. Honeymoon Pool is another favourite spot, just a bit further down stream from Long Pool. Make sure you check out our post on Lennard Drive for a map an info about the secret pool.

Click here for more cool picnic ideas.

Tackle the Skate Park

This state of the art Skate Park was built a few years back and has had some serious use by the local kids. It includes a tight bowl, some awesome ramps and other technical features for the kids to test their skills against.

It’s located at Soldiers Park on Lefroy St. There is a children’s playground adjacent to the skate park so all the kids can play nearby while the grown ups take a break under the shady trees or at one of the picnic tables provided. There are toilets and BBQs provided if you want to make a day of it.

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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

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.

All the Best Swimming Spots in the Collie River Valley

Collie is home to some truly unique swimming spots, including several spectacular river pools, the amazing Blue Lakes and the famous Honeymoon Pool.

Stockton Lake

Spectacular to look at, Stockton Lake can be found just 10 km out of Collie on Piavaninni Rd, off Coalfields Hwy. 

Little Rock

Little Rock is ideal for families with younger children as there is a large shallow pool for them to explore and splash around in while the grown ups are just an arms length away.

You will find Little Rock on Lennard Drive in Wellington National Park. Follow the signs from the Kiosk at the Dam to Honeymoon Pool and watch out for the Little Rock sign.

Long Pool 

Long Pool is also located on Lennard Drive, Wellington National Park and is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot summers day. The waters are refreshingly cool all year round.

Picnic tables are provided and don’t forget to send us that selfie taken on the steps.

Sandy

You will find this perfect yellow sand beach just around the bend, downstream, from Minninup Pool, only five minutes from town on Mungalup Rd. Turn off at Caltex on Throssel St..

If you have 4WD you can park right on the waters edge, otherwise there is some parking on the edge of the track about 20-30m away.

Pets are welcome, but please clean up after them!

Honeymoon Pool

Nestled beneath a fringe of weeping Peppermint trees, Honeymoon Pool is the heart of the Wellington National Park. 

Honeymoon Pool is perfect for all ages. There is a shallow section where littlies can play and splash and a deeper section for swimming and a bombie off the deck if you dare!

Minninup Pool

Minninup Pool is only a definite favourite with locals. Only three km from town, on Mungalup Rd, off Throssell St. The river widens out at this point forming a wide deep pool ideal for swimming and picnics on the banks

Black Diamond

Black Diamond needs no introduction. The magic blue water attracts hundreds of visitors every year. Please remember it is a day use area only, no camping, public toilets are in Allanson (no using the bush) and respect the privacy of the people who live around the lake, because they actually own half of it!

Lennard Drive, Wellington National Park

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

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

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

The Rapids

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

The Secret Pool above The Rapids

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

Big Rock

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

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

Little Rock

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

Long Pool

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

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

Can you help?

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

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

Big Rock – fun for all ages

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

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

The pool above the waterfall

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

The pool below the waterfall 

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

Camping

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

The Rapids have a rather special secret

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

The Rapids on the Collie River below Wellington Dam

The Rapids

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

The Secret

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

The Secret Pool above the Rapids

Camping

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

Go to town

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

Little Rock – A favourite for families with little children

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

Getting there

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

Bring a picnic

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

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

Make use of the facilities at the Kiosk

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

The peaceful sounds of the bush

Running water, frogs and birds…

(Sorry about the wind on the camera microphone.)

The town of Collie…

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

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

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

Photo: Rory McDonald

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

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

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

Food and history

For lunch try The Colliefields, Jax Diner or Wagon 537

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

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

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

Long Pool – soon to be the new Instagram hot spot!

Long Pool is the last of four magnificent swimming and pic-nic spots along Lennard Drive in the Wellington National Park near Collie, WA and if you are looking for a spot away from the crowds, this could be it!

Long Pool

Last year a photographer took a picture and labelled it Honeymoon Pool. You have likely seen the picture circulating around Facebook or Instagram, but it is actually Long Pool, a couple of km upstream from the famous Honeymoon Pool.

Long Pool is plenty big enough for swimming and kayaking and there are steps down into the cool waters.

Weeping peppermint trees, grace the banks and the waters shimmer blue and green, reflecting the sky and surrounding bush.

Lennard Drive

Lennard Drive is a sealed road, winding it’s way through some spectacular forest with amazing views of the river below. Look out for the Lennard Drive sign on your right after crossing the river below the dam.

Long Pool is well signed and you won’t have any trouble finding it.

The road is one way, so when you reach River Road at the end you can either turn right and go down to Honeymoon Pool or turn left and head into Collie or the Ferguson valley.

Pack a pic-nic

Pic-nic tables are provided, so pack some goodies and an esky of cold drinks and sit back under the trees and relax in between refreshing swims in the cool waters of the pool. Bring the flamingo and grab that perfect Instagram shot while you are here.

Camping

You can’t camp at Long Pool, but there is camping at Potters Gorge above the dam and Honeymoon Pool further down stream from Long Pool. You will need to book your site online before heading into the park as there is limited internet service in the area. To book go to https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park-stay

If you prefer a hot shower at the end of the day and a proper flushing toilet the Collie River Tourist Park is a perfect central point to discover the secrets of the Collie River Valley. They even offer a Pitch and Pack service, where they provide the tent or camper trailer and put it up and take it down for you. You just need to bring your own linen, food an clothes.

Heading into town

The supermarkets and petrol stations are open 7 days a week in Collie in case you need to stock up on fresh food. There is a fantastic camping shop that is well worth a visit too. The staff know their stuff and have a huge range of products on offer.

Check out the map

Long Pool is not yet marked on Google Maps and Lennard Drive is not named either for some reason, but you will find it easily between Falcon Road near the Dam and River Road near Honeymoon Pool.

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.