Autumn is here!
Well that’s Summer done and dusted for now. As we pack away the unicorn floaty and selfie stick our thoughts wander to what we may get up to in the cooler months.
For Collie this means it’s trail walking and mountain biking season. Sections of the brand new Wiilman Bilya Trail, in the Wellington National Park have been completed. This multi day hike will, when completed, circumnavigate Wellington Dam, taking in Potters Gorge and a purpose built campsite only available to users of this trail, much like the campsites built exclusively for Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi users. Another trail under construction right now leads walkers and riders from the CBD to the gorgeous Minninup Pool.
All this trail talk is making us hungry, thats where a good old fashioned picnic comes into play!
We’ve sussed out the top 10 picnic spots in the Collie River Valley. Most locations come equipped with picnic tables, toilets and parking but ALL definitely come with a gorgeous and unique setting to enjoy a quiet afternoon. Add a nice bush walk or mountain bike ride and it sounds like a perfect day to us!
Top 10 Picnic spots in the CRV.
Harris River Dam is located 13km to the North of the Collie CBD along Harris River Rd. This dam is used for drinking water and features a lovely park area adjacent to the carpark. A large toilet block, various picnic tables and free BBQ’s are a highlight as are the walking paths that connect each area. Just prior to the dam sits the exquisit Harris River Estate Winery. The #visitcollie team thoroughly recommend a stop in at their cellar door to sample the award winning wines, craft beers and ciders.
You can discover more about Harris River Estate Winery here.
Soldiers Park in the CBD is a fantastic central location for a picnic. Featuring towering trees, a terrific playground, brand new toilet facilities, picnic tables and free BBQ’s it’s and ideal spot to pick up some tucker, let the kids off the leash and unwind. The adjacent skate park means there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Bring the mountain bikes and hit the awesome Wagyl Biddi trail. The trail head is right at the park and takes you along the river around a bush section and back again. Perfect to work up an appetite!
You can find out more about the Wagyl Biddi Trail here.
Glorious Stockton Lake sits 10km east of Collie. This once open cut coal mine now recreation lake is popular with campers and water skiers. The magnificent blue lake is Black Diamonds big brother and makes a terrific spot to pull out the camp chairs and enjoy a picnic.
You can read more about Stockton Lake here.
World famous Honeymoon Pool needs little introduction. Perched on the banks of the Collie River, fed from the depths of Wellington Dam, glorious Honeymoon Pool is shaded by stunning peppermint trees and features free electric BBQ’s, a toilet block and lovely boardwalk to enjoy. Busy during the summer months, weekends and school holidays, if you visit midweek and off peak you’ll almost have it to yourself. If a nice bush walk is on the cards follow the waters edge with it on your right shoulder and you’ll pick up the Jabitj Trail. This two hour walk follows the river all the way back to the Kiosk at the Dam. You can read about our hike on the Jabitj Trail here.
Honeymoon Pool is situated 15km west of Collie within the Wellington National Park. Please note: Pets are not permitted within National Parks.
You’ll find Minninup Pool just a couple of kilometres from the Collie CBD along Mungalup Rd. This wide bend in the river is a popular swimming and kayaking spot during summer. Featuring a toilet block, bitumen parking, picnic tables with shade and a glorious vista, it’s no wonder Minny made it into our top 10!
Also situated within the stunning Wellington National Park, Potters Gorge campsite has undergone a remarkable renovation in the last few years and is a firm favourite. Keep an eye out on the entrance road for the Day Visit area. Featuring a large car park, toilet facilities, various gazebo style picnic areas with free electric BBQ’s that offer magic views across the water. From here you can pick up the new Wiilman Bilya trail for walking or pack the bikes and hit the pump track located within the Potters Gorge camping area.
You can read more about Potters Gorge in our recent blog here.
By now you’d be getting the picture that the Collie area is blessed with an abundance of picturesque water!
Cute as a button Glen Mervyn dam is located 20km south of the Collie townsite along the Preston-Collie Road. Popular with campers and water skiers. The day visit area is on the highway side of the water and generally campers camp on the opposite side. There is two toilet blocks provided, one on each side of the lake. There are picnic tables at the southern end near the dam wall. The world famous Bibbulmun Track passes through here along the western shore. It can be picked up from the dam wall and followed for 4km to the best bush pub around. The Mumby. Visit for lunch and a refreshment, you may even catch a great live music act!
To find out more about Glen Mervyn Dam, go here.
No water views this time, but this dramatic granite rock wall makes an excellent backdrop for a picnic. The quarry was active when the granite was used to build the Wellington Dam wall. Now popular with rock climbers and abseilers (by bookings only) it makes an excellent choice to let the kids run riot around the vast grassed area. Featuring picnic tables and BBQ’s the Quarry has snuck into our top 10 picnic spots in the CRV!
The Quarry is within the Wellington Dam National Park, unfortunately our four legged friends will have to stay home.
Photo: Courtesy Explore Parks WA
Another total gem within the Wellington National Park is Lenard Drive. This gorgeous one-way sealed road leads from the base of the dam wall to Honeymoon Pool, and is packed with 4 stunning picnic spots. Our pick for the top 10 is Long Pool. The last stop before turning off into Honeymoon Pool. Leave the crowds behind and pack a sumptuous feast, sit back under the shady trees on the provided picnic tables and get that perfect insta-selfie on the steps into the water.
You can discover more about Long Pool in our blog post here.
Smack bang in the middle of town, right on the main street sits Central Park. Loaded with features a mile long, stunning Central Park boasts it’s very own Vintage Train wagon serving up the best range of food and coffee going. Dotted with various tables to perch at it also has free BBQ’s, a brand new toilet and shower block, free water park for the kids, adventure nature playground and a large grassed area to kick the footy around. Free WIFI is available and the local bakery is conveniently just across the road!
You can read more about WAGON 537 here.
Well there you have it folks, Collie seems to be an absolute Picnicking Mecca. We love the Leave no Trace philosophy here at #visitcollie. You can google it, but it means basically to look after these areas and clean up after ourselves. Even better, leave these areas better than how we find them. That way everyone can enjoy them.
If you’re wondering where to go to gather supplies for your picnic we’ll give you some hot tips:
For that classic, country butchers shop you can’t go past SPRY’s – Located on the corner of Atkinson and Jones Streets you won’t go wrong if you plan to make use of the free BBQ’s listed in this top 10.
For an epic range of house made Salads head to Jax Diner – Located on the Corner of Atkinson and Johnston Streets.
For Coffee and Cake stop by the Colliefields – Located on the corner of Throsell and Steere Streets
For wraps, cold pressed juices and coffee visit Wagon 537 in Central Park on Forrest Street.