15 February 2018
12 Must Dos in Collie River Valley
The Collie River Valley might seem like middle earth – its ancient landscape is really the beginning of your next adventure. If you haven’t been to Collie in a while, it’s time!
Go off-road on an MTB track and criss-cross through the beautiful Collie River Valley. With more than 20 trails for beginner and pro, there’s plenty of opportunities to get your cogs turning. New trails are popping up too including the recently opened Collie Wagyl Biddi trail network named after the mythical rainbow serpent. These trails are a fun and easy flow trail on the edge of the town centre. For the ultimate challenge, attempt to Beat the Biddi – the world-class Munda Biddi Trail diverts through Collie. Don’t have gear? Hire a bike from the Kiosk in the Dam in the Wellington National Park and tackle the nearby Mount Lennard Tracks or pick up a bike at Crank’n Cycles in Collie where the guys know everything there is to know about bikes and the trails around Collie.
Cyclists and other caffeine addicts should pay a visit to Wagon 537 - a pop-up cafe, located in a heritage train wagon. People rave about the coffee sourced from the Margaret River Roasting Co or try a cold press juice, green smoothie, turmeric and beetroot lattes, and gluten-free cupcakes. Another local coffee haunt is the historic Colliefields Hotel – it’s purple exterior makes it hard to miss. For your sweet binge, you’ve got to try the salted caramel mega shake or visit Happy Circle Donuts. BunGeo recommends their brown butter and caramelised pecan donut…or lemon custard is also donut perfection. Ed Note: They sell out fast! If you fancy some good honest pub grub then you’re spoilt for choice, the Feddy (Federal Hotel) and The Vic are among the favourites.
The Collie Art Gallery opened in 2015 and was the first fit-for-purpose A-class gallery to be built in Western Australia since the Art Gallery of WA was opened in 1979. Through a passionate team and local support, it showcases a diverse and impressive exhibition program – think Arthur Boyd, Howard Taylor and Guy Grey-Smith. Oh, and by the way, it has one of the biggest art prizes in regional Australia – the $50,000 Collie Art Prize (CAP).
The recently expanded Collie Motorplex circuit is sure to get the adrenaline flowing, with events on every weekend. The burning rubber of the Gazzanats in March, to the beauty of the historic motorcycles, spectators are always welcome. Or try it yourself, with regular Champion’s Ride Days and V8 Supercar hot laps.
You may be inland, but there is no shortage of water adventure playgrounds in the Collie River Valley. Start at picturesque Minninup Pool, where the Collie River is at its widest, ideal for swimming, canoeing or picnicking. Follow the Collie River in Wellington National Park to uncover an array of natural swimming pools. If the water level’s high try it in a kayak. Or, try water skiing on the intense blue waters of Stockton Lake.
SoPerth named the beautiful, serene Honeymoon Pool in Wellington National Park an Instagram hot spot. One visit and you will agree. It’s a wide natural pool surrounded by graceful peppermints, and Jarrah and Marri forest along the Collie River. Sunbake on the wooden platform or find your inner child and try out the swinging rope. Be prepared to be invigorated - even in summer the water is cool and refreshing.
The central heartbeat of the region, exploring the 17, 000 ha Wellington National Park is a must-do on any itinerary to the Collie River Valley. Pop in for a day visit to the Kiosk at the Dam, or spend your time relaxing at the beautiful Potters Gorge campground.
The Bibbulmun Track has long since been an Australian bucket list hiking experience. It travels through Collie, so grab your pack, and be prepared for stunning surrounds and a lot of alone time with your thoughts. Not so serious, take the 10km scenic Collie River Walk.
Step back in time and gain an insight into the lives of Collie’s rugged underground miners. The Replica Coal Mine at the Collie Visitor Centre was constructed in 1983 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of coal discovery. Immerse yourself in a tour with a past miner (by appointment) and check out the restored locomotives while you are there. Pop across the road and pay a visit to the Coalfields Museum. Don’t be deceived by the small entrance, this Museum is bursting with impressive and quirky items from the past. The collection includes rocks and minerals, woodwork by local miner Fred Kohler, a dollhouse and art, an array of historic typewriters and much more.
If you’re looking for a great family experience on a budget, enjoy a great day out at Central Park. Pack a picnic and some towels so you can sit back and relax the kids enjoy a splash in the water play park. Gas barbecues are available and shaded picnic tables. Pick the right weekend, and you can enjoy free family events and concerts at the Bendigo Bank Music Shell.
Grab an inflatable toy and head to Black Diamond Lake. Rated as one of WA’s Top 10 Instagram spots, a trip to Black Diamond is a must with its vibrant, crystal clear blue waters creating a photo frenzy. It was formerly an open cut mine site that ceased operation in the 1950s – so, check the water quality before diving in! Otherwise, it’s perfect for a dip, SUP, canoe and kayak.
Find a place where you can drink handcrafted beer, cider and award-winning wines at Harris River Estate Winery. Eat to your heart’s content from the tapas menu and sleep the night overlooking the vines, a beautiful dam and Jarrah forest. This amazing, family-run property includes a 24-hectare vineyard and winery, cider-making operation, micro-brewery, equestrian agistment centre, restaurant and self-contained chalets. The Arklow MTB tracks are just down the road too!