Honeymoon Pool Kayak Trail. Wellington NP
Delightful freshwater flows in summer, cool overhanging trees and a sense of isolation. This trip takes you down river to a small waterfall where you can swim. Be prepared to walk around some small rapids on the return trip upriver.
About the Trail
Begin this trip at Honeymoon Pool, adjacent to the camping area located 18km west of Collie in Wellington National Park. In summer the Park is a hive of activity with the Collie River and dam offering lots of spots to swim, canoe and fish. In winter, visitors can enjoy the cool crisp days, with the evenings a perfect time to sit around a welcoming campfire.
Paddle downstream, the current is minor and the route easy to follow. A couple of shallow rapids should present no difficulty although you will need to walk back up them later. Don't go down anything you don't want to walk up!
About 500m downstream you will get to Gelcoat Rapid that must be walked around. You will know it by a sloping rock face and a sharp right bend in the river. As you paddle towards this bend you will see the rock slope in front of you and the well used landing place directly in front of you. Do not paddle beyond this point. Gelcoat rapid is around the corner and not a rapid for the inexperienced.
Carry over the hill and relaunch at the bottom of the rapid. Continue downstream for a couple more kilometres of calm river. You will approach another rock bar and the river again veers to the right, and the horizon beyond indicates a waterfall. Stay left and land on the rock bar. Do not attempt to paddle the rapid and do not continue further downstream.
There is a camping site, accessible by 4WD only, on the river left immediately before you get to the rock bar. But how much better is it to arrive by kayak?
The waterfall is the second of the two drops, a 1.5m vertical drop. Do not attempt to paddle over it, there are shallow rock ledges immediately below. Also, do not swim or paddle in the pool between the two drops.
The pool below the second drop is a great place to swim, up under the waterfall. You can walk on the shallow ledges behind. Put your head behind the waterfall and scream.
Further downstream there are several obstacles including grade three rapids, a weir, irrigations canals, and finally, the river disappears into a tunnel underground. Do not continue further downstream.
Instead, paddle back upstream. The rapids are shallow and you will be able to walk or line your kayak up them. Take a short rope with you for this part. At Gelcoat, carry around as before.
Need to Know
Australind is an aquatic paradise - a place virtually surrounded by water with the Brunswick and Collie Rivers to the east and south and the Leschenault Estuary to the west. It's a great place for boating, sailing, windsurfing and fishing, that puts you within easy reach of an unforgettable encounter with wild dolphins. Just 11 kilometres north of Bunbury, you can reach Australind in one and a half hours along the Forrest Highway south of Perth, making it an ideal day trip or weekend escape. Its waterways are dotted with top spots for boating, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and prawning. Silver bream and whiting regularly make the catch of the day, while the estuary offers the opportunity to scoop blue swimmer crabs (in season) - a fun activity for all the family. Just to the south, Bunbury's Koombana Bay is famous for being the only spot on Australia's coast where close encounters with wild dolphins can be found at the shoreline, or on a dolphin watching or swimming tour, with bonus dolphin insights provided by an award-winning Interpretive Centre. Terrestrial activities for nature lovers aren't lacking either. The Leschenault Peninsula Nature Reserve is a haven for native flora and fauna, such as kangaroos and black swans, with many bushwalking trails showcasing Australind's natural beauty. For history buffs, the Australind Heritage Trail is a must as it passes by historically important cottages, parks, cemeteries and churches, including the St Nicholas Church, believed to be Australia's smallest place of worship. Accommodation options in Australind are budget-friendly and no-frills bed and breakfasts and caravan parks. For a wider range, check out nearby Bunbury.
Baldivis and Peel Region
Baldivis and the Peel region have become a leisure mecca for lovers of everything from water sports and fishing to wine tasting. Treat your tastebuds to a leisurely tour sampling local wines and produce, or give the rest of your body a workout indulging in a host of activities at the Waterski Park. You can get to Baldivis and the Waterski Park from Perth city centre in just 30 minutes, heading south on the Kwinana Freeway. Allow a full day if you're exploring the diverse Peel region beyond. Five manmade lakes, complete with slalom course and jump, challenge your skill at the Waterski Park in Baldivis. However, you don't have to be an expert at water skiing and wake boarding to enjoy a day here - there's tuition available for novices if you're looking to make a splash for the first time. The broader Peel region is an area of incredible contrasts, stretching from the Indian Ocean coast and coastal plain, to rolling farmland and the majestic native forests of the Darling Scarp. It means there's a range of activities to choose from. Explore local boutique vineyards and olive farms. Take a stroll or cycle along the coast. Try your luck at fishing from the beach. Or grab a kayak and explore the coastline. With Shoalwater Islands Marine Park close by and an array of pristine islands, reefs and shipwrecks, the Peel district is also a popular destination for diving, snorkelling and wildlife watching. Venture to Penguin Island and you'll come face to feathered face with the largest colony of little penguins on the west coast, who share their island with more than 50 species of seabird and rare Australian sea lions. Take a detour to Rockingham and you'll get the chance to tick your bucket list by joining a swimming tour with the wild dolphins of Cockburn Sound. The range of accommodation and dining options is equally diverse. Take your pick from grand hotels, resorts, marina-side chalets, motels, caravan parks and bed and breakfast accommodation in Rockingham and Mandurah as your base for exploring Baldivis and the Peel region.
A well kept local secret, Binningup is blessed with a 40 kilometre stretch of white sandy beach, much of which is sheltered by reefs, creating ideal conditions for swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, boating and beach fishing. This peaceful seaside spot lies just to the north of Bunbury and can be reached by car from Perth in just one and a half hours, making it a perfect day trip or weekend escape. Its 180 degree vista of Geographe Bay also made it a key lookout point during World War II, when volunteer soldiers scanned the horizon for approaching enemy forces. Today, you can enjoy those ocean panoramas with a stroll along the beach, a family picnic or a spot of beach fishing. Throw in a line and you're likely to find out what makes Binningup a big favourite with the locals, with tailor, yellowfin whiting, herring, flathead and salmon (in season) among the catch of the day. Beside the beach, Binningup Golf Club challenges you to play its nine-hole course against a breathtaking backdrop of Indian Ocean to the west and natural bushland to the east. While this is a semi-private golf course, there is some availability for non-members to play. Just a short drive south, the sheltered aquatic paradise of the Leschenault Inlet invites you to try your hand at crabbing (in season), or test your sailing and windsurfing skills. Nature lovers will also find their nirvana in nearby Leschenault Peninsula Nature Reserve - a great place to spot kangaroos and other native wildlife at dusk. To make Binningup your base, check out the range of accommodation options at the local caravan park.
Known as the 'Cream of the South West', Brunswick invites you to take a scenic drive through the Darling Range and green rolling dairy pastures to discover a rich pioneering history and picturesque picnic spots. In under two hours driving from Perth, or 25 minutes from Bunbury, you'll be welcomed to Brunswick by 'Daisy' the Friesian cow standing proudly in the centre of town as a tribute to the region's dairy farming heritage. Brunswick became 'Brunswick Junction' in the 1890s when a railway line and junction was established to service the Collie Coalfields. Today, much of its yesteryear charm still shines through as you stroll along the main street, passing the old shire hall, railway cottages and the Catholic and Anglican churches which date back to the early 1900s. Many relics of its pioneering days are also presented in local museums, including vintage agricultural machinery and dairy farming equipment. Venture to the northern end of town and join the locals for a refreshing dip in Brunswick Pool or a picnic by the Brunswick River on the shady lawns. Barbecues, toilets, gazebos and a playground make it a perfect spot to spend a lazy afternoon. Visit in spring and you'll see the community buzzing with activity when the town plays host to the largest one day agricultural show in rural Western Australia. Your accommodation options at the Brunswick caravan park are budget and family friendly with a choice of park homes, on-site vans, powered sites and camping grounds.
Eaton's relaxed seaside vibe isn't the only thing that keeps holidaymakers coming to this leafy scenic town. Set on the banks of the Collie River, it's a mecca for leisurely waterside activities, including fishing, crabbing, picnics, bushwalking and boating. Less than two hours' drive south of Perth, Eaton is also the coastal gateway to the beautiful Ferguson Valley, where rolling pastures, forests and spring wildflowers form a beautiful backdrop to award-winning wineries, boutique breweries, fine restaurants, country retreats and a lively arts and crafts scene. Spend a day exploring the Collie River and surrounds. A boat ramp provides easy access to the river and estuary - a favourite spot for fishing and crabbing, with mulloway, bream, trout and perch regularly making the catch of the day. Shady lawns and playgrounds offer perfect picnic spots on the river foreshore, with a walking track leading you along the path of the river to take in more of the scenic surrounds. From Eaton, it's a twelve minute drive south to Bunbury and its famous Dolphin Discovery Centre - the only spot on Australia's coast offering interaction at the shoreline, dolphin watching and swimming boat tours, plus an educational Interpretive Centre. A caravan park on the banks of the Collie River has cabins, caravans and tent sites, offering the opportunity to enjoy the best of the region's river and ocean playgrounds.
For those who love being on, in or near the water, Mandurah is a dream destination just 50 minutes south of Perth. There, you'll find some of Australia's most spectacular waterways, including the Peel-Harvey estuary, which is twice the size of Sydney Harbour and blessed with abundant wildlife, pristine beaches, beautiful blue-green waters and a buzzing foreshore area. Being less than an hour's ride from Perth by car or train, it's little wonder this water-side playground is one of the capital's most popular day trips. You can experience the locals' favourite pastimes by hiring a boat, houseboat, kayak, canoe or jet-ski, or joining one of the many cruises to explore 130 square kilometres of beautiful waterways. It's not uncommon to encounter some of Mandurah's other waterway residents too, including more than 130 different species of birds and one of Australia's healthiest populations of wild dolphins. An abundance of sea life also makes the waterways a great place to fish. Go prawning on the rivers in early summer. Cast a line into the estuary or Peel Inlet to chase herring, sand whiting, bream and tailor. Go crabbing in the shallows to scoop the famous blue swimmer crab. Or join a deep sea fishing charter. Off the water, you'll find four wheel drive adventures on the sands of Whitehills Beach or Tim's Thicket Beach. Located just 15 minutes south of Mandurah, these are the closest beaches south of Perth where it's legal to take your four wheel drive onto the beach. If you have young children, there are many other ways to fill a day with fun, including water parks, a fun fair, adventure playground and mini train, while history buffs will enjoy the free foreshore heritage walking tour or Community Museum. As Western Australia's largest regional city, Mandurah makes the ideal overnight base, with many gourmet restaurants and cafes overlooking waterfront boardwalks, museums, theatres, galleries and seasonal events - including the annual Crab Fest in March. You'll find plenty of accommodation options. Take your pick from four-star resorts and holiday houses overlooking the estuary, or bed and breakfasts and caravan parks.
One of the oldest towns in Western Australia, Pinjarra sits at the heart of the Peel Region between the picturesque farmland of the Darling Scarp and the tall-tree country of Marrinup State Forest. Here, history, nature and sporting action can all be found in equal measure. Taking the Kwinana Freeway or South Western Highway south from Perth, you'll find yourself in the Murray Shire hub of Pinjarra in just one hour, and from Mandurah, it's just a 20 minute drive to the south east. Settled in the early 1830s, Pinjarra has retained much of its scenic countryside and timber milling heritage for your enjoyment today. One memorable way to take it all in is by hopping aboard the lovingly preserved steam engines of the Hotham Valley Railway (running from May until October) for a nostalgic ride along the old timer milling route between Isandra Siding and Dwellingup. Step up the pace with a paddle down the Murray River rapids in a kayak, play a round of golf, or take the plunge with a skydiving experience. More thrills can be found at the historic Pinjarra Race Club, which has played host to an array of thoroughbred and harness racing events since 1891. Visit in November, and you'll also be treated to some country-style fun at the annual rodeo. Or plan your trip for June to coincide with the popular Pinjarra Festival. Catering to all who stop to enjoy Pinjarra's hospitality, many of the town's beautifully restored historic buildings now house cafes, tearooms, restaurants and charming accommodation. You'll also find budget friendly options at the caravan park, motel and chalets.
In the natural playground of Port Kennedy, the only pressing question is how best to enjoy the great outdoors. This popular coastal community is home to some of Perth's most pristine beaches and one of Western Australia's top golf courses. Even the dolphins make it a regular spot to visit. Located an hour's drive south of the Perth city centre, and only 15 minutes south of Rockingham, visitors to Port Kennedy often take the scenic detour along Rockingham's scenic coastline. Enjoy the natural beauty of its beaches and estuary by swimming, sailing, surfing, water skiing, fishing, strolling through the dunes or watching dolphins frolic off the coast. Swing by The Links Kennedy Bay and challenge yourself to 18 holes of world class golf, taking in sweeping Indian Ocean views between each tee. For more flora and fauna encounters, take a the self-guided walk around Lake Richmond, starting from the observation platform and taking in the Environmental Centre for insights into the native birds, plant life and animals that call the lake home. To the north of Port Kennedy, the unspoilt islands and reefs of Shoalwater Islands Marine Park offer amazing marine adventures. Meet some of the 1,200 fairy penguins, who make up the largest colony on Australia's west coast. Jump aboard the glass-bottom boat for a 45 minute cruise of nearby Seal Island. Spot up to 50 species of seabirds. Explore the snorkel trails, join a diving tour of the local wrecks and reefs, or enjoy a once in a lifetime wildlife encounter with the friendly residents of Rockingham's Cockburn Sound on a dolphin swimming tour. To extend your stay, check out the wide range of accommodation options in the nearby town of Rockingham, from beach side villas to caravan parks, all of which are in close proximity to the city's many cafés and restaurants.
Rockingham's catch-cry is 'where the coast comes alive', and it certainly lives up to this claim. The pristine islands and reefs of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park offer an incredible array of marine encounters, from penguins and dolphins to dive wrecks and snorkel trails. And beyond, the beautiful beaches and clear blue sea are playgrounds for fishing, surfing and sailing. An easy 40-minute drive or train-and-bus ride south of Perth brings you to the seaside town of Rockingham, where you'll find opportunities for adventure and relaxation in equal measure. With pods of dolphins regularly visiting these coastal waters, it's a great opportunity to tick your wish-list and swim with wild dolphins. If you'd prefer to stay dry, you can watch these playful creatures from the comfort of the viewing platform as they ride the bow beneath your feet. Their neighbours on Penguin Island are just as cute, and just a short ferry ride away. Here, you'll get to meet some of the island's 1,200 fairy penguins, who make up the largest colony on Australia's west coast. At the interpretive centre, penguin feeding and expert commentary are conducted daily, at regular intervals, and the Penguin Express will get you there from the mainland between 9.00am and 3.00pm. The penguins share their home with 50 species of seabirds, including the largest colony of pelicans in Western Australia. It's an important nesting, feeding and roosting site for many of these birds, and you can learn more about their island-hopping life at the interpretive centre. You can also jump aboard the glass-bottom boat for a 45-minute cruise of nearby Seal Island to view the rare Australian sea lions. Back on the mainland coast, keen divers should make a bee-line for Point Peron, a shallow shore dive with great visibility, while bathers in search of blissful relaxation will find it in the sheltered waters of Cockburn Sound. To shop, dine and stay ocean-side, head for Rockingham town and choose from a good selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and accommodation options ranging from luxury to budget.
Bushwalking, water sports, fishing, shopping, dining - Waroona's attractions are as varied as its native wildlife and rural countryside. Explore jarrah forests. Catch marron. Encounter some living fossils - thrombolites. Canoe white water rapids, water ski or try power boating. The country town of Waroona is one hour and 20 minutes south of Perth by car, nestled on the slopes of the Darling Range in an ecologically diverse region that stretches to the Indian Ocean coast. Choose from a host of nearer to nature experiences. Go bushwalking or horse riding in the hills, exploring forests rich in native fauna. Drink in the expansive views over rolling farmland to the coast, with brilliant wildflowers carpeting the countryside in spring. For some water-based adventure, head to Waroona Dam, Lane Poole Reserve or Drakesbrook Weir. Waroona Dam covers 145 hectares and is a popular camping, picnic and barbecue spot, with a range of activities on offer, including water skiing, power boating and fresh water fishing for trout, perch and marron (in season). At Lane Poole Reserve, the still pools and contrasting rapids of the Murray River offer canoeists a challenge, while at Drakesbrook Weir you can also canoe, swim, fish or stroll through the bush where thousands of monarch butterflies mass on the blossoms of native trees (December to April). In the neighbouring Peel Region, Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary are also great for fishing, as well as bird watching. The inland waters of Lake Clifton in Yalgorup National Park are an internationally significant habitat for water birds and one of the few places in the world that support thrombolites - living fossils built by some of the oldest known organisms on Earth. Back in Waroona, you'll find galleries, antique shops, boutiques and myriad eateries, along with a range of accommodation options, including a motel, guesthouse, caravan park, campsite and forest retreat. If you're a motoring enthusiast, time your stay to coincide with Australian Car Day (April) or the British Auto Classic (October). Alternatively, come along to the Waroona Agricultural Show in October and join the locals in celebrating the area's agricultural roots.
Time travel to the late 1800s and the charming National Trust heritage town of Yarloop, where lovingly restored old timber mills and steam machinery create the illusion that time has stood still. Your journey back in time takes just two hours driving from Perth on the South Western Highway, or you can jump aboard the Australind train that departs daily from Perth and Bunbury. The town's steam workshops house some of the machinery used in the early 1900's, including the locomotives put to work in the timber milling industry at its peak. Take a guided tour to learn more about these marvels of engineering and hear the legendary tales of the millers. To immerse yourself a little deeper in local history, hit the Yarloop Heritage Trail and spend an hour or more strolling by many impressive examples of early 20th century architecture while reading the stories of local characters who built this old milling town from the ground up. To sample some of the region's natural beauty and flavours, pick up some local wine and gourmet produce. Head for Logue Brooke Dam in the Darling Range and enjoy a picnic surrounded by towering jarrah forest. Adventurists can hit the water in a canoe, or even try water skiing. Set up your camp or get cosy in a cabin beside the dam and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush as the sun sets and stars fill the night sky. Or opt to enjoy the country charm and hospitality of Yarloop in a traditional bed and breakfast or hotel.
Harvey Visitor Centre
Corner of South Western Highway and James Stirling Place, Harvey Western Australia 6220, Australia
Phone: (08) 9729 1122 | www.southwestattractions.com.au
The Harvey Visitor Centre is located in the town of Harvey, where fresh water, forest, lush pastures, rolling green hills, pristine beaches and produce are in abundance. Harvey is a vibrant place to visit, with an oasis of calm amongst green pastures from the majestic Darling Ranges to 50 kilometres of coastline offering excellent swimming, fishing and surfing. It’s also home to award winning wineries, a brewery and award winning Harvey Cheese. At the Harvey Visitor Centre you can stock up on maps and brochures and get some ideas on the best things to see and do, or book your tours or accommodation with their helpful and friendly staff. You can also browse the delightful Moo Shoppe, Memorial Camp Shrine and the interpretative displays. The Harvey Visitor Centre is open 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 9:30am to 4:30pm Saturday and Sunday. They are closed on Anzac Day, Easter and Christmas Day.
Mandurah Visitor Centre
75 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah Western Australia 6210, Australia
Phone: (08) 9550 3999 | www.visitmandurah.com
The Mandurah Visitor Centre is conveniently located on the eastern foreshore Boardwalk precinct. The setting for childhood memories, Mandurah still retains that magical holiday feeling. However, in almost every other way, it has been transformed. What was once a small fishing village is now an exciting city; a city glittering with sunlit waterways everywhere you go. The heart of the city, arranged around an estuary crisscrossed by pleasure boats and pontoon barges, is alive with cafes and restaurants dotted along the boardwalks. Family-friendly activities mix with sophisticated cultural venues to create a smorgasbord of experiences to satisfy any taste. Along the coast, the beaches are still sensational, as is the surfing, windsurfing, sailing and anything else you enjoy on the water. The new marina precinct has taken the Mandurah boating culture to greater heights, and added an array of leisure and shopping a short distance from the city centre. Follow the waterways out into the Peel Region, and restaurants, wineries, historical sites and other attractions bring more variety and surprises to a Mandurah visit. The welcoming coastal community of the past is now a vibrant, contemporary city. It’s been refreshed – and it can do the same thing for you.
Pinjarra Visitor Centre
Corner George Street and Henry Street, Pinjarra Western Australia 6208, Australia
Phone: (08) 9531 1438 | www.murraytourism.com.au
The heritage town of Pinjarra is the centre of the Peel Region, where the Murray River peacefully flows under the suspension bridge and that is where you will find the friendly staff and volunteers of the Pinjarra Visitor Centre. The Pinjarra Visitor Centre is located in a new setting at the Heritage Train Station in Fimmel Lane, within easy access to the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway. You can purchase souvenirs, refreshments, local produce and craft and the staff can assist you with local and regional information to help plan your trips. Train enthusiasts will find a collection of relevant books, including the one produced by the Visitor Centre called ‘Rails to Pinjarra’. Why not plan your trip around our annual three day Pinjarra Festival in June. The Pinjarra Visitor Centre is open 9:30am to 4.00pm Monday to Saturday and 10.00am to 3.00pm Sunday and Pubic Holidays.
Rockingham Visitor Centre
19 Kent Street, Rockingham Western Australia 6168, Australia
Phone: (08) 9592 3464 | www.rockinghamvisitorcentre.com.au
The Rockingham Visitor Centre can provide all your booking and information requirements. Whether it’s a visit to the penguin view facility at Penguin Island, a dive off one of the many neighbouring islands, sailing a yacht within the protected bays, fishing or just enjoying the vast stretches of white sandy beaches, they have all the information and local knowledge to help you explore Rockingham. Conveniently located, with ample parking, the Rockingham Visitor Centre is your obvious first point of call to gather important information and local knowledge. The Rockingham Visitor Centre is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.