Conveniently close to the big smoke, Stockton Lake is the perfect getaway for any adventure seekers.
The turquoise manmade lake is a favourite for camping and boating enthusiasts – plus you can bring your dog along for the fun!
What is it?
Now an artificial lake, Stockton Lake was originally a coal mine. Underground mining began in 1927, with the large pit created in 1943 for open cut mining. Mining operations ended in 1960, and shortly after the pit was filled – turning it into a recreational lake.
It’s now a popular spot for camping and water sports – including swimming, boating and waterskiing. There’s plenty to explore nearby as well, with vast mountain bike and hiking trails in the surrounding areas.
Where is it?
Just 8kms east of Collie, Stockton Lake is about 2.5 hours’ drive from Perth and is on Gnaala Karla Boodja.
What to do?
The lake is a popular destination for fun in the water, particularly swimming, boating and waterskiing. Like the nearby Black Diamond Lake, the former mine’s water is a bright turquoise that practically glows during summer! The lake is pet friendly, so your pooch can get in on the fun, too – but just make sure they stay securely on their lead.
The region is also jam-packed with endless mountain biking trails – Collie is one of Australia’s premier mountain biking destinations. Designed by Common Ground, the latest stage of epic trails was completed in October 2021, with more to come.
As well as biking, you can explore the area on foot on some of those gorgeous trails, with an abundance of wildflowers each spring to add to the lush scenery.
With so much to do, you can also make a whole weekend of it and camp at the lake – there are unpowered spots right by the lake, but they are first-come-first-served, so you’ll need to get there bright and early during peak season to secure your spot. Alternatively, you can take things up a notch by glamping nearby in Wellington National Park at Honeymoon Pool or Potter’s Gorge.
What not to do:
While swimming is allowed at Stockton Lake, because of its history as a mine, the water is mildly acidic. Limit your time in the water, and if you have sensitive skin, it’s not recommended that you swim. You should also be aware that the lake is deep and can be very cold, with sudden steep drop offs – so be aware of your surroundings and your own swimming ability. There is also a risk of submerged rocks and other obstructions, so this isn’t the place to test out your majestic swan dives.
To be safe, keep your head above water – at certain times of the year and in certain conditions there is a risk of contaminates and harmful organisms. If you want to be on the safe side get in touch with the Collie Shire to find out any information on most recent water tests.
While pets are allowed, pet owners should be aware that fox baiting is used in the area, which can be lethal for household animals.
As with all visits to our natural spaces, adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles: meaning don’t leave any rubbish out there, don’t pick wildflowers and try your best to look after the surrounding area. Make sure you also adhere to any fire restrictions or bans that might be in place.
Image Credit: Perth is OK!