We’re an adventure-seeking bunch in Western Australia, as more and more we yearn to discover all the great nooks and crannies of our beautiful state.
And one particular part of WA that is becoming increasingly popular not only as a tourist destination, but as a settling destination, is the town of Collie.
Part of the Bunbury Geographe region, in recent years Collie has been working hard to earn its status as one of WA’s premier Trails Towns, looking to attract bushwalking and mountain biking (MTB) enthusiasts, along with young families on the hunt for a tree-change.
Which makes a lot of sense – located just over 200km from Perth, it’s already become a hotspot for watersports and outdoor activities, and something the town will be amplifying in the coming years.
By upping their trail game to world-class levels, it’s hoped that increased visitors to the region will provide a range of exciting new business opportunities, maintaining a vibrant and expanding community.
The other great advantage of hitting the trails of Collie is that they are of course COVID-safe, along with most of the walking trails linking into the town directly, making it the perfect place to start.
So check out a few of our favourite trails below, and head to the Collie WEBSITE for more info on what’s happening around town.
COLLIE RIVER WALK
Suitable for walking and cycling, this well-marked 10km trail follows the Collie River and features picnic facilities and info shelters along the journey. With a walk across the Swinging Bridge – a suspension bridge that takes in beautiful views of the Collie River, this walk is a fantastic option for keeping the kids entertained. Grab a map from the Visitor Centre and park at Soldiers Memorial Park and you are on your way!
Photo by @offtheleashcoffee
A walking trail for the more adventurous among us, Jabitj means “running water” in Noongar and you’ll find plenty of it along the 12km return track.
Following the Collie River between Wellington Dam and Wellington National Park, there are plenty of rapids and pools along the way, some of which are suitable for swimming. There’s a nice mix of rock, steep accents and descents, with a big of climbing and plenty of fun to be had.
Karak is the Noongar word for red-tailed black cockatoo (little hint as to what you may see!) and the Karak Trail is a super accessible track great for walkers, cyclists, prams, wheelchairs and even gophers. Starting west of the cemetery, the 3.5km tarmac path filled with birds, marri and paperbark trees and some incredible native flora.
KURLIINY TJENANGITJ TRAIL
Meaning “come and see” in the Noongar language, the Kurliiny Tjenangaitj trail is a 9.5km loop through Wellington National Park, including views of the river and connecting to the Mundi Biddi track. You can do a shorter 5km return walk via Honeymoon Pool that also gets you to a lookout point above Collie River.
Suitable for both walkers and cyclers, it’s a generally easy walk through lush marri, jarrah and blackbutt forest, sharing a section of the above-mentioned Munda Biddi Trail. Along with walking, you’ll find a dam offering swimming, canoeing and fishing, a 6km walk to Honeymoon Pool’s picnic and campsite, and if you do take the bikes an awesome pump track at Potter’s Gorge.
Photo by @cruzysuzy
WIILMAN BILYA TRAIL
One for the serious walkers out there who love their nature and some decent time on the path, the Wiilman Bilya trail has it all. This almost-20km trail runs from Wellington Dam north to Coalfields Highway, and you’re looking at a full day’s walk in either direction. There are camping options at Nyingarn Campsite and Potters George, and the moderate trail is fairly action-packed, featuring bridges, logs, dense forest, tall trees, granite outcrops and sloping hills. You can read up a little more on it here, and we recommend heading their during wildflower season (August to November).
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
ARKLOW TRAIL NETWORK
The Arklow Trails can be found 4km north of the Collie township, and are worth a visit just for the names alone. The Pet Cemetary and Dead Cats Trails are two of the most popular, with plenty of technical challenges along their route, while the Arklow Adaptive is a 9km, highly accessible green loop even suitable for hand cycles. You can link up different trails within the Arklow Network (like the 220, Jarrah Jaunt and Mornington Glory) for longer and more scenic rides – grab a map at the Collie Visitor Centre or Crank’n Cycles before you get going.
COLLIE WAGYL BIDDI TRAILS
If you’re keen on keeping your mountain biking closer to Collie, the 9km Wagyl Biddi starts in Soldiers Park and is filled with connecting loops and suitable for a variety of different bike styles, including handcycle. Named after the mythical rainbow serpent Wagyl, you can enjoy a cruise along Collie River banks, or take things to the next level on the Marri Meander Trail or the energetic Sprocket Rocket Trail.
MOUNT LENNARD TRAILS
Head west of Collie and you’ll found the Mount Lennard or Pile Road network, featuring 40kms worth of trails, featuring great views of the Collie River Valley.
This network is for those who prefer their trails more natural and less machine-made, although there is an adrenalin-inducing jump zone at the bottom of the network for riders who want to push things a little harder. Keep your eye out for the top rated trail of the area – the aptly named Grizzly Trail.
Another part of the Arklow Network, Ray’s is 5km of blue, single trail filled with lots of technical turns. The first few kilometres are nice and flat, before a serious bermed downhill, followed by a big climb and some log rides to finish up. The car park is located at Harris River Rd (or you can park at Harris River Estate Winery if you contact them first).
To keep up with all the going’s on in Collie, head to their WEBSITE, or follow VisitCollie on FACEBOOK.
Cover photo by Kim Fawcett