"Built on the river bank, the town of Collie is located 200km southeast of Perth and is surrounded by dense bush land."
West of town, along the Coalfields Highway on the Darling Scarp, are some sweeping valley views with rolling hills, farmlands, pine plantations and the city of Bunbury in the distance.
Collie is rich in industry through intensive coal mining and coal-fired power generation. To explore the town’s coal history visit the Coalfields Museum or Replica Underground Coal Mine, both located on Throssell St close by the Visitor Centre. Restored steam trains are also on display here.
Further along Throssell St near the town pool is a memorial coal arch and skip. The arch was formerly located at an underground coal mine and along with the replica coal skip now commemorates and recognizes the immeasurable contribution of underground coal mining to the town’s future and the state’s economy.
The heritage listed and recently restored Old Collie Good Sheds,
where stream trains unloaded in earlier times, now host markets on
alternate Sunday mornings and are also open for viewing on Monday and
Friday afternoons . The sheds are located on Forrest St in the centre of
Built in the style of early Italian churches, All Saints Anglican Church on the corner of Harvey and Venn Streets is known for its remarkable mural dominating the Sanctuary. This outstanding artwork was created by artist Phil Goatcher and took 8 months to complete. The church interior consists of beautiful Jarrah, Ebony and Banksia timbers and several stunning stained glass windows. Art lovers will certainly appreciate a tour of this church which can be organized through the Visitor Centre.
Soldiers Park in the centre of town features a World War 1 memorial set amongst beautiful rose gardens, town centenary celebration archway and sacred aboriginal stone honouring indigenous people who served in the war. The park is a lovely spot to relax by the river or stretch your legs. There are plenty of shady trees, green grass, barbeques and sheltered children’s playground (with a Liberty Swing especially for those in wheelchairs). Take some bread and feed the hungry ducks and geese in the river. These friendly creatures will approach as soon as they see you and some are even game enough to eat from your hand.
Stockton Lake is an old open cut coal mine filled with water 5km east of town off Coalfields Highway. This artificial lake is used for swimming and boating recreation such as skiing and wake boarding. Free camping is permitted at the lake and is very popular during the summer. Dogs are welcome.
Minninup Pool is 3km south of town along Mungalup Road and is where the Collie River widens to 100m. This area is ideal for swimming, canoeing, picnicking and just relaxing in the sun. If you continue to the right of the main pool you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach alongside the river which is perfect for setting your towel down and sinking into the soft sand. Dogs are permitted to swim in this area and on a hot day you’ll find every man and his dog down there. Camping is prohibited.
Black Diamond Pool is one of the original open cut mines located off Coalfields Highway in Allanson, 5km west of town. The blue water set amongst white cliffs is a refreshing place to take a dip. Dogs are permitted here however camping and skiing are not.
Harris Dam is 12km north of town on Harris River Road and is the primary water source for Collie residents and numerous other communities in the region. Camping and all water activities are prohibited at the dam however there is an excellent picnic ground at the base of the dam wall with plenty of grass and shade, free gas barbeques, picnic tables and disabled toilet facilities. Walk or drive to the lookout over the reservoir, known as Ballingall Lake, or walk part of the Bibbulmun Track which runs along the eastern side of the dam.
Harris River Estate Winery is located 7km from town on Harris River Road and offers a peaceful setting to enjoy lunch, dinner and wine tasting. Thursday through Sunday is the best time to visit when the winery is open for cellar door sales, meals and entertainment most Sundays.
Glen Mervyn Dam is 20km south of town on Preston Road and is another popular place for water activities, particularly skiing. Free camping is permitted both sides of the dam and access to the western side is via the gravel road located north of the ski area. Dogs are permitted however there are no facilities here.
The local waterways are especially busy with activity during “marroning season”. Wild Marron are unique to the southwest of Western Australia and the legal open season runs for a period of 4 weeks over summer between 8 January and 5 February. Popular marroning spots close to Collie include the Collie River, Wellington Dam and Glen Mervyn Dam. Many rules and regulations apply so be sure to do some research before going marroning as hefty fines are imposed if the guidelines aren’t adhered to (see Marroning section for more details).
Collie Motorplex is just 12km east of town on Piavanini
Road, off Coalfields Highway. The complex features a 1.7km racing
track, burn out pad and drag strip. Many racing events are held here and
high profile racing identities visit on occasion.
Wellington National Park is located 20km west of town along the Coalfields Highway. Set in the Collie River Valley, the park is a scenic delight and offers camping, bushwalking, picknicking and water activities. The park is fairly small and can easily be enjoyed in a day if you have limited time available.
Collie and its many natural and man-made water holes is only 58km from the coastal city of Bunbury. This charming little mining town provides many services and facilities and good old fashioned country hospitality.