Known for its insta worthy spots, less than a 3 hour drive from Perth, Collie has quickly become a ‘day trip’ hot spot, with so much to do and see. Seeing as you’re reading this post I presume you’re either planning a trip to Collie, you’re on your way to Collie or you’re in Collie and are bored with no idea what to do! Either way, you’ve come to the right post.
In this post we’re going to share 20 different places to go and things to do in Collie to ensure that you get to experience all of the wonders of Collie. We visited majority of these spots during our time in Collie and they all made for a fantastic, jam-packed weekend.
1. Swim, Stand Up Paddle Board or Kayak at the Black Diamond Lake
Black Diamond Lake has quickly become one of Collie’s most iconic spots (and an Instagram photo hot spot!). The lake boasts a magnificent bright blue colour, giving Black Diamond Lake some of the bluest waters you’ll ever see. Hence why Black Diamond Lake is one of Western Australia’s most beautiful water holes. On the weekend we visited however Black Diamond Lake appeared more green in colour and we found Stockton Lake a lot bluer. We’ve attached a lot of photos later on of Stockton Lake and how it looked during our visit.
Black Diamond Lake was previously a mine site that stopped operations some time in the 1950s. Now, visitors use for the lake for swimming, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. While the waters are safe to do these activities in majority of the time, from November to May it’s important to check the water quality of the lake prior to jumping in. The lake is regularly tested for the presence of Naegleria Fowleri (a horrible brain eating amoeba). If ever Naegleria Fowleri is detected in the water make sure you don’t get in. You can check the water testing results on the Collie gov website, here.
Visiting while Naegleria Fowleri is present? Don’t let it ruin your trip, you can still view the stunning lake before getting your swimming fix at the Collie Mineworkers Memorial Pool. The outdoor heated pool is typically open from October to May and entry fees are pretty low, at only $5 for a single general admission.
2. Visit The Home of Over 10 000 Gnomes at Gnomesville
Cute or creepy? It’s safe to say that Gnomesville isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely a spot that’s worth visiting when you’re in Collie. Gnomesville actually isn’t located in Collie, Gnomesville is around a 30 minute drive from Collie, deep in the Ferguson Valley but while you’re in Collie you might as well make the detour.
Gnomesville is a community of over 10 000 gnomes. Yep, you heard us correctly, gnomes! No one knows exactly how Gnomesville came to be but the immense amount of gnomes there has made Gnomesville a popular tourist attraction, with visitors travelling from around the world to see the gnomes and some visitors adding their own gnome to Gnomesville’s collection.
If you’d like more information on Gnomesville make sure to check out our post; The Ultimate Guide to Gnomesville, Ferguson Valley where we share everything you need to know about Gnomesville including when it’s open, whether there’s any entry fees and how Gnomesville started!
3. Explore Collie’s Bushland by Horseback with Outback Horse Trails
For animal enthusiasts who’re keen to explore Collie’s bushland, Outback Horse Trails is the experience for you. Ride horseback into the natural bushlands of Collie through wildflowers and trees on the Collie Cardiff Trail. It’s the perfect thing to do in Collie to enjoy the serene surroundings and picturesque views.
Outback Horse Trails offers experiences for both new and experienced riders. From a one hour bush trail that is perfect for first time riders and kids, to a three day bush camp for those who want a deeper understanding of horse riding and horse care. At the time of writing this (November 2022) their one hour bush trail costs $66 per person.
4. Camp, Swim, Stand Up Paddleboard or Kayak at Honeymoon Pool
Honeymoon Pool is another popular water hole in Collie. Featuring a camp site, a visit to Honeymoon Pool makes for more than just the perfect day out, it can make for the perfect weekend getaway.
The campsite is surrounded by trees, ensuring that there are shady spots for all visitors to cool down under on a hot day. The best way to cool down however is by jumping in the cool waters! If swimming isn’t your thing you can also go kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or hiking.
Similarly to the Black Diamond Lake, the water quality of the Honeymoon Pool is regularly tested. Prior to jumping into the water we recommend checking the water testing results on the Collie gov website, here.
5. Gaze in Awe At The Incredible Wellington Dam
While in Collie, strolling around the historic Wellington Dam is a must do. The dam was constructed in 1933 and is the second largest surface water catchment in Western Australia. While the dam is not recreational, at 366 metres long and 34 metres tall we recommend visiting the dam just to gaze in awe at its massive size.
Recently, the state government funded a massive 8000 square metre mural to be painted on the side of the dam wall, making it all the more breathtaking to look at. The stunning mural was unveiled early 2021 and quickly became a hot spot, making Collie renowned for having the largest dam mural in the world.
The Wellington Dam is very visitor friendly, with toilet facilities, available drinking water, picnic spots and a cafe.
6. Immerse Yourself in History with a Replica Underground Coal Mine Tour at Collie Visitor Centre
Okay so, hear us out on this one. I know, a visitor centre doesn’t sound like the most exciting spot or a sought after destination, but the Collie Visitor Centre is different. The Collie Visitor Centre has a replica underground coal mine! Perfect for kids and history lovers alike, the replica underground coal mine gives you an insight into the history of the mining industry and the working conditions of the underground miners.
With the guided tour option, the tour guides will immerse you in the mining industry, leaving you more knowledgable about the mining industry than when you entered! For those who want to explore the replica coal mine on their own, that’s ok, the visitor centre offers a self guided option that features interpretive panels and television screens, ensuring that you still get your history fix! Entry fees to the replica coal mine are cheap at only $5 per adult and $2 per child, making it a cheap but fun thing to do in Collie.
7. Have Hours of Fun Recreational Boating or Water Skiing at Stockton Lake
While Stockton Lake is Black Diamond Lake’s lesser frequented sibling (due to being less ‘swimming friendly’), that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. Stockton Lake was also once an open cut mine site. The Stockton Lake is now filled with water and surrounded by trees, making it the perfect place to alternate between chilling under the shady trees to hopping on a boat and zooming through the water.
Stockton Lake features a boat ramp, making it a popular spot for boating and water skiing. However, as mentioned before, Stockton Lake is less ‘swimming friendly’. Swimming is allowed but water in some places across the lake is suddenly extremely deep and cold, submerged rocks are a hazard and the water is mildly acidic due to previous mining activities. Therefore, if you’re looking for a place to swim it could be worth checking out one of the previous water holes we discussed first. During our weekend in Collie however we had an early morning swim at Stockton Lake and loved it.
Similarly to the Black Diamond Lake and Honeymoon Pool, the water quality of the Stockton Lake is regularly tested. Prior to jumping into the water we recommend checking the water testing results on the Collie gov website, here.
8. Indulge Yourself in the History of Collie
Looking to indulge further in Collie’s history? The town has an abundance of old buildings and historical collections that reflect their history and the importance of the early years of timber milling, railways and coal mining. Simply stroll through town or follow the Collie Central Precinct Walk trail and delight at the glimpse of Collie’s past.
More specifically, make sure to checkout the Coalfields Museum & Historical Research Centre, the Old Railway Station, the Memorial Coal Arch, the Dr Alexander Collie Memorial, the Bill Weir Rolling Stock Shed and the Co-op Bridge. However, beyond this list, no matter where you look you’ll see heritage buildings like the 1913 Courthouse, the Old Collie Post Office and the Old Police Station.
9. Get into Some Watersports at Lake Kepwari
A newer addition to the list of amazing water spots in Collie, Lake Kepwari has quickly become a go to spot when visiting Collie. Lake Kepwari is an old coal mine that was transformed in late 2020 to a water lovers paradise. With a full parking lot, trailer parking, toilets, barbecues, sheltered areas, a boat ramp, campsites and designated boating and skiing areas, there’s something for everyone at Lake Kepwari.
Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry, Lake Kepwari is also the perfect spot for kayaking and swimming, with designated swimming areas away from the boating areas. Lake Kepwari is also pet friendly so you can bring your fluffy friend along, just make sure to keep dogs on a leash at all times.
Similarly to the other water spots, the water quality of Lake Kepwari is regularly tested at the North outlet, the boat ramp and the beach area. Prior to jumping into the water we recommend checking the water testing results on the Collie gov website, here.
10. Attend a Classic Country Market
Once a fortnight, on a Sunday, the Goods Shed Markets are held in the heritage listed Old Goods Shed on Forrest Street in the heart of Collie. A classic country market, the stalls change each fortnight but expect to find fresh fruit and produce, local arts and crafts and items like; homemade jams and preserves, plants and fertilisers, crystals, candles and more.
While you’re at the markets don’t hesitate to stop for morning tea at the Coach Cafe where you can enjoy tea, coffee and toasties. The Cafe is a lovingly restored timber dining carriage which has been decorated with antiques and memorabilia from the past.
To see if the markets are on when you’re in Collie, just check out the Collie River Valley events page.
11. Picnic and Paddle at Minninup Pool
Another popular water spot, Minninup Pool is where the Collie River widens, close to town. With calm, tranquil waters this wide stretch of the Collie River makes for another perfect spot to swim, fish, stand up paddle board or kayak. When it comes to kayaking, it is possible to kayak for several kilometres either direction of Minninup Pool.
Don’t just head to Minninup Pool for the water, pack a picnic and spend the day. As there are multiple shaded picnic tables, toilets and well kept grass to relax on.
12. Enjoy a Leisurely Lunch at The Harris River Estate
Sip on the estate-made wine, craft beer or gin over a delicious tapas style platter, with a leisurely lunch at the family-owned and run Harris River Estate. Beyond being just a winery, The Harris River Estate features a craft beer micro-brewery and a gin distillery. So no matter your drink of choice, you’ll be sipping on premium quality local alcohol.
While indulging in a delicious lunch and drinks, enjoy the tranquil scenery around you. Sit out on the deck, overlooking the surrounding dam and vineyard to truly appreciate the beauty of this location.
Looking for a bite to eat a little closer to town? Check out the many fantastic spots throughout Collie such as; The Colliefields, Sizzles Deli, the Federal Hotel, the Crown Hotel, the Club Hotel, the Amaroo Deli & Cafe, the Victoria Hotel, Boulevard Cafe and The Ridge Restaurant. You’ll be spoilt with choice in Collie.
13. Spoil Yourself and Shop Local
Shop local and spoil yourself or someone you love with something special from one of the many shops in Collie. Below are just a few ideas of the amazing things you can buy locally from Collie:
- Shop environmentally friendly and sustainable creams, soaps, shampoos, body wash and more at Green Being Eco Store.
- Shop kids clothing and accessories or craft and sewing supplies from Little Blue Door.
- Shop camping equipment and supplies at Collie Canvas and Camping World.
- Shop chic yet affordable womens clothing at Toscas Boutique.
- Shop incense, essential oils, flowers, silk and more at Mystical Presents.
- Shop high quality, fresh meat, poultry and seafood at Spry’s Meat Market.
- Shop bags, purses, jewellery, candles, soaps and home decor at Cheeky Squirrel.
- Shop premium olive oil from Sherwood Springs Olive Oil, which is available for purchase at the Collie Visitor Centre.
- Shop delicious honey and honey products from the Bees Knees Honey Company, which is available for purchase at the Collie Visitor Centre.
- Shop gift items and homewares at White Stones Gifts & Homewares.
14. Enjoy Water Lovers Paradise at Glen Mervyn Dam
Just 20 minutes outside of Collie is another fantastic spot for water lovers, Glen Mervyn Dam. Glen Mervyn Dam is another popular spot for boating, watersports, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming and fishing. The eastern side of the dam is available for day-use with picnic tables, toilets and a boat ramp. The Western side of the dam is available for free camping by the water.
If you’re interested in camping at Glen Mervyn Dam note that the road on the Western side of the dam is corrugated, making it best suited for 4WDs. However we managed to get our 2WD Mercedes Sprinter van in a nice camping spot relatively close to the water (as shown in the image below) and we had an amazing night there.
15. Splash Around at the Central Park Water Playground
Visiting Collie on a hot day and looking for a spot where the whole family can cool down? Located in the heart of Collie is Central Park, which has a water playground that is fully accessible all year round. Perfect for kids, the park has an abundance of facilities including; designated picnic areas, barbecues, tables and seating, toilets and change rooms.
Wagon 537 is also located at the Central Park, so grab a bite to eat or something to drink and enjoy a picnic on the lawn under the trees.
16. Get your Skate on at the Collie Skate Park
Skaters grab your gear and head to the Collie Skate Park. A community hub for the youth of Collie, the Collie Skate Park also occasionally hosts events in skateboarding, scooters and bmx. The skate park is large at 730 square metres and features undercover seating, water fountains, nearby toilets, free wi-fi and lighting at night.
With several technical features like grind rails, a take-off ramp, a quarter pipe and a huge concrete bowl, any skaters are bound to have a blast here.
17. Hit the Green at the Collie Golf Club
Sat high in the hills is a beautiful 18-hole golf course surrounded by forest and bordering the Collie River. The Collie Golf Club has an enjoyable course which features lush tree-lined fairways. Appreciate the local flora and fauna at the course, which has become home to a number of kangaroos. There’s no better way to get up close and personal with wild kangaroos.
Visitors are welcome at the Collie Golf Club and can attend for a casual round of golf or can join in on one of the club’s weekly competitions. At the time of writing this (November 2022) green fees for visitors are $20 for 9 holes or $30 for 18 holes.
18. Grab Your Boots, Bike or Car and Take on a Trail
In recent years, Collie has really stepped up its trail offering as it works towards being WA’s premier trail adventure town. Collie now has something for everyone with an abundance of hiking trails, mountain bike trails and 4WD tracks. Whether you’re a newbie or are experienced and are looking for a challenge, there’s a trail to suit your needs.
If you’d like some advice on which trails are suitable for you to do just head to the Collie Visitor Centre where the staff are happy to help.
If you’re looking for more information on walking trails in Collie make sure to check out our article; The 5 Best Walking Trails in Collie.
19. Have an Exhilarating Afternoon Shooting Clay Targets at Ultimate Shooting
Have an exhilarating session shooting clay targets at Ultimate Shooting. Ultimate Shooting are Western Australia’s only clay target shooting provider in the South West, just outside of Collie. Anyone over the age of 12 is allowed to take part, no firearms licence or prior experience is required.
In their ‘Come & Try’ session you’ll get to learn the basics of clay target shooting with 12 practice targets. At the end of the practice you’ll then have a fun competition where you get the opportunity to shoot a large variety of targets to test your new skills. There are prizes on offer so get your game face on!
20. Go on a Picturesque Drive Through the Surrounding Hills and Forests
With such interesting and unique surroundings, enjoy a scenic drive through Collie, winding through the nearby picturesque forests and hills. Collie has a number of self-drive tours with varying lengths, from short trips to half day and full day drives. The different tours available in Collie are listed below:
- Scenic Drive – a 7km loop taking you through Jarrah and Marri forests by a lookout over the Collie River.
- Discovery Tour – a full day drive taking you by the Wellington Dam, Collie River and Wellington Discovery Forest.
- Collie River Valley Tour – a half day drive which follows the Collie River, taking you past a number of swimming spots where you can swim or stop by for a picnic.
- Northern Highlights Tour – a half day drive taking you to Harris Dam, past Harris River Estate Winery and back into the heart of Collie.
Head into the Collie Visitor Centre to grab a map showing the scenic drive tours to do in Collie.
Enjoy your Visit to Collie
And there we go! We hope you enjoy your trip to Collie, we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic time. Make sure to share your Collie road trips with us and let us know if we missed any spots that you think everyone should visit when going to Collie.
If you’re interested we’ve also put together some answers for frequently asked questions about Collie below.
What is Collie WA Known for?
Previously known for its coal mining, Collie is now a well known tourist hot spot. Collie is well known for it’s stunning water spots, premier mountain bike and hiking trails, rich history and scenic campsites.
How Far is Collie from Perth?
Collie is approximately 202km from Perth, which is about a 2-2.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Old is Collie WA?
Collie was formally declared a townsite in 1897, making it over 120 years old.
What Region is Collie in?
Collie is in the South West region of Western Australia.
What Shire is Collie in?
Collie is in the Shire of Collie.
How Big is Collie WA?
The Shire of Collie covers an area of 1685 square kilometres.
Is Collie Worth Visiting?
Definitely, there’s something for everyone at Collie. Perfect for families, singles and couples alike. Whether you’re after adventure with mountain biking and watersports, history with a tour of the replica underground coal mine and a visit to the Coalfields Museum or relaxation, with winery lunches and picturesque drives. You’re bound to have a great time either way.
What is the Population of Collie WA?
Collie has a population of 8812 (according to the 2021 Census).
Why is Collie Called Collie?
Collie is named after the Collie River that runs through the town. On an early expedition James Stirling named the Collie River after Alexander Collie who was a Surgeon on the HMS Sulphur.