“Black Diamond Collie is a beautiful, crystal clear lake which was once an open cut coal mine.”
The limestone-based lake is part of the community of Allanson, which is just 5km west of the coal mining town of Collie. To reach the lake, turn off the Coalfields Highway onto Ferguson Road, which is an unsealed road (not generally sign posted) but definitely noticeable, opposite the turnoff to the village of Allanson. The lake is about 600 metres along the gravel road.
Black Diamond ceased coal operations in the open pit in the early 1950’s. It was eventually filled with water and utilized as a recreational lake for swimming, diving and water activities such as canoeing and kayaking.
The lake is 750 metres in length and virtually sits on the banks of the Collie River, which flows just metres beyond the far end of the lake. On a clear, sunny day Black Diamond sparkles and radiates a magnificent azure blue colour.
You aren’t supposed to camp at the lake, however, you can camp along the Collie River behind it. There are no facilities at all, just bush camping and you do need to collect all of your rubbish and take it out with you. Unfortunately the lake is renowned for late comers in the evening and rubbish left behind, so we would advise you to enjoy the beauty of Black Diamond Collie by day and camp elsewhere at night.
There are plenty of other places to camp around the Collie area, such as Honeymoon Pool, Potters Gorge and Stones Brook in Wellington National Park, Stockton Lake, Glen Mervyn Dam and the Collie River Valley Tourist Park.
Black Diamond Collie is currently undergoing a rehabilitation program, facilitated by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, Collie Shire, Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of Regional Development and Lands and local coal mining companies, Premier Coal and Griffin Coal.
The main reason for the rehab being that the 5 metre high limestone cliff face nearby the entry road (Ferguson Road) to the lake is dangerous. People are taking serious risks by jumping and diving off the cliff into the water.
The proposed solution is to reshape the lake wall so it slopes downwards, is further from the water and prevents hazardous behavior. The reshaping and stabilizing of the pit wall is an ongoing project and the parties involved should be commended.
Collie gets to keep a stunning swimming hole and injuries and potential fatalities are reduced substantially.