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

Currawong Pump Track

The Currawong Pump Track is  located at Potters Gorge campsite/day use area, about 2 hours south of Perth in the Wellington National Park, just inland from Australind/Bunbury. The road is sealed all the way. There is ample parking and very clean, odour free, composting toilets. No drinking water available.

What exactly is a pump track?

A pump track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping” – meaning to create momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedaling or pushing. (Wikipedia)

But however you ride it, it is great fun!

Great fun for all ages

The track is suitable for all ages, from the littlest riders still on trainer wheels, with the cutest little log roll overs and some serious rollers and berms (banked up curves) for the bigger kids. We have even seen a few dads doing laps of the course!
If the older kids want a bit more of a challenge, the 10 km Sika Trail runs right through the area as well.

There is no seating in the direct vicinity of the bike track, so if the younger kids need supervision, it may be advisable to bring your own folding chairs. There is no shortage of shade to sit under though.

Make a Day of it!

There are gas BBQs, seating and shelters in the day use area and full on camp kitchens if you decide to camp out. 

The Kiosk at the Dam is a short drive away and offer ice creams, cold drinks, hot coffee, burgers, sandwiches, pies and delicious home made cakes! Choose to sit indoors or dine ‘alfresco’ with views of Wellington Dam and blue wrens at your feet, literally!

So next time you head out to the National Park, remember to pack the bikes. 

Currawong Pump Track

A short video by MTB Guidebook of the Currawong Pump Track

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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

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.

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.