5 Best Family-Friendly Swimming Spots in Collie, Western Australia - 5 incredible swimming holes in Collie that your family will love from the best for toddler paddling to thrills for teenages. Wellington National Park, Stockton Lake and Black Diamond Lake #collie #swimming #familytime #familyholiday #vacation #toddler #kids #westernaustralia

Collie’s Best Swimming Holes For Guaranteed Family Fun This Year

Being in the water is what an Australian childhood is all about. Whether it be in the ocean, a river or lake, if it’s a hot day, you better be down by the water. 

Just over 2 hours south of Perth, Collie makes the perfect destination for a long weekend of family camping and exploring, and with several swimming spots to choose from, there is no end to the aquatic fun you can have. 

We have visited the Collie region on several day trips and recently enjoyed our first camp trip. Below I have detailed my 5 favourite family-friendly swimming holes in Collie to inspire your next visit.

A shallow stream surrounded by lush, green trees
The shallow section at Honeymoon Pool downstream from the platform, Wellington National Park

More family adventures:

Swimming in Wellington National Park

Potter’s Gorge, Honeymoon Pool and Long Pool are all within Wellington National Park and the usual park restrictions apply. No dogs are allowed and to fly a drone you must first apply for a permit from Department of Parks and Wildlife. Please do not feed the wildlife. Not only does it disturb their natural feeding habits but it encourages the animals closer to humans. Admire the abundance of birds and animas in the park, just remember to Leave No Trace.

Dumpsters are provided at Potters Gorge for campers but day visitors to any of the sites within Wellington National Park must carry out their own rubbish. 

There are several mountain bike and hike trails in Wellington National Park, as well as four-wheel drive tracks. It is a great location for some wildlife watching and if you’re lucky you might even spot the secretive spotted quoll as we did on our first night. Sadly, I was not quick enough with my camera. 

drone photo looking straight down on shallow green lake with bright red shore. Lines on the beach show different tide levels
Wellington Dam, Wellington National Park

Potter’s Gorge at Wellington Dam

  • Distance from Perth: 2hrs, 10min
  • Distance from Collie: 25min
  • Distance from Bunbury: 45min

Best for: children of all ages, especially great for toddlers and babies

At 186,000 megalitres Wellington Dam is the third largest dam in WA after the Ord River (5.8 M megalitres) and South Dandalup (205,000 megalitres).  It was built in 1933 to supply water to the agricultural land that surrounds the area. The 240m long and 19m high dam wall is an impressive sight when viewed from the viewing platform at the Kiosk, and pretty imposing when stood beneath.

Tucked into the tree line along the shore of the lake is Potter’s Gorge, a camp ground and day use area perfect for young families. The campsites are large, widely spaced and well maintained. The forest is home to many native WA species of bird such as the splendid fairy wren, ring necked parrot, red-tailed cockatoo and currawong, and you needn’t be lucky to spot one. 

The site recently received an overhaul and the new day use area is one of the best I have seen around WA. There is ample parking, including for long vehicles and trailers, and several covered barbecue areas to choose from. Informative signs at the car park let you know about this history of the area and all the local hikes. 

Suzy and Maddie sitting in the shallows on the lake both wearing straw hats. The water and beach are orange red
Wellington Dam, Wellington National Park

With shallow, still and warm water, and plenty of space to run around Wellington Dam is great for younger children. The water is nice and calm so perfect for mastering those paddleboard or kayaking skills. The water quality is great year round thanks to continuous input and outflow so no need to worry about any nasty bugs in the warmer months. 

There is boat access at the far end of the beach. 

If you fancy something a little more strenuous you can try one of the mountain bike or hike trails. The Sika Trail is a 9.8km shared use hiking and mountain bike trail loop through the forest. If you don’t fancy a shorter walk, you can enjoy the slightly hilly section from Potter’s Gorge to the Kiosk café at the dam wall (3km one way). From there you can walk 6km along the Jabitj trail along the Collie River to Honeymoon Pool. For a map of the trails in Wellington National Park click here.

Just beside the camp site is a newly built pump track for young BMX and mountain bike riders to hone their skills – and some of us older kids too.

drone photo looking down from above at Suzy and Maddie sitting in shallow water. The bright orange sediment fills the image
Suzy and Maddie cooling down in Wellington Dam

More family camping adventures:

Honeymoon Pool

  • Distance from Perth: 2hrs, 10min
  • Distance from Collie: 25min
  • Distance from Bunbury: 45min

Best for: older children and confident swimmers in the main pool. Shallow and calm pools for younger children just down stream

Honeymoon is a popular and picturesque swimming hole downstream from the dam along the Collie River. There is a small campground here suitable for tent camping (no trailers, caravans or roof top tents). Parking for day visitors can be limited so arrive early if you are visiting at the weekend or on a public holiday. 

There is a terraced picnic area leading from the road down to the river with a few barbecues and picnic tables. A wide area of decking along the riverbank is ideal for relaxing or having a bite to eat. Stairs at either end lead down to the cool water. 

The water is deep but slow moving along this stretch of the river. Whether you want to just relax on an inflatable and float gently along on the current, or show off your diving skills from the diving platform, you can have a wonderful family day at Honeymoon Pool. 

Suzy and Maddie sitting on the steps with their feet in the water and smiling at the camera
Honeymoon Pool, Wellington National Park

A few metres past the downstream staircase the river gets much shallower forming several little pools. This is a beautiful and safe area for younger children to play. 

A relative luxury in national parks, this location actually has flushing toilets. 

Honeymoon Pool is the starting point for several picturesque hikes: the Jabitj Trail starts here and loops to the Kurliiny Tjenangitj Trail. The 1,070km Mundi Biddi mountain bike trail from Perth to Albany also passes just by Honeymoon Pool. 

Maddie sitting on a step with her feet in the river smashing and smiling
Honeymoon Pool, Wellington National Park

Long Pool

  • Distance from Perth: 2hrs, 15min
  • Distance from Collie: 30min
  • Distance from Bunbury: 45 min

Best for: older children and confident swimmers

There are two routes from the dam wall to Honeymoon Pool. One is along the main access road back past Potter’s Gorge, the other is along the narrow, windy Lennard Drive.

If you choose the Lennard Drive option you will pass beneath the base of the dam and the thundering outflow, then be treated to several stunning views over the river. There are four stops along the way; The Rapids, Big Rock, Little Rock and Long Pool. Parking is limited to only a few spaces at each location and not all have toilets but it is well worth the drive.

At each of these stops is a secluded and idyllic little nook along the River Collie, and each are quite different. We stopped quickly at The Rapids to admire the view but didn’t stay for long as we had to keep a close eye on the toddlers near the fast-flowing water. 

a wooden platform and stairs leading down into the emerald Long Pool

From the Long Pool parking area there is a short walk through the bush to a small opening and wooden platform. The river here is deep, wide and a bit chilly! Only strong swimmers should swim here unaided. 

Long Pool would make a great stop off on a scenic drive around Wellington National Park but we probably wouldn’t spend all day here. We loved how isolated and calm it was compared to popular Honeymoon Pool. We first noticed all these swimming spots along the Collie River while hiking the Jabitj Trail which traces the river on the opposite bank. 

Maddie and her little friend sitting on the stairs looking out over the emerald green waters of Long Pool
Long Pool, Lennard Drive, Wellington National Park

Family Hiking Adventures:

Swimming at the blue lakes

Aside from Wellington National Park, another thing that the Collie region is famous for are the blue lakes. Both Stockton Lake and Black Diamond Lake are retired coal mines – turned recreation areas. As these are not within a national park the regulations are a little different. Dogs are allowed at both these locations so bring your furry best friend along for the day.

Before your visit be sure to check the water quality with the Collie Visitor Centre. 

drone photo looking down on a small suzy swimming through bright blue water
Suzy waking a swim through the bright blue waters of Stockton Lake

Black Diamond Lake

  • Distance from Perth: 2hrs, 5min
  • Distance from Collie: 10min
  • Distance from Bunbury: 40min

Best for: children of all ages 

The first thing you will notice upon approaching Black Diamond Lake is the striking bright blue colour. It is so vivid it seems unnatural, however, it is simply a play of the light on the water against the white beach and cliffs. 

Black Diamond Lake is very popular and has become insta-famous in recent years thanks to its stunning scenery. Because of this it can get busy on weekends and public holidays so to nab the best lakeside spot aim to visit midweek.

There is ample parking but no conveniences here so bring everything with you and be aware that the nearest toilets are in Collie 10min away. 

Lady and black dog standing on the shore of a lake with vibrant blue lake
Aunty Gemma and Jet at Black Diamond Lake – the perfect day our with your fur-buddy, credit: Gemma Pick

Stockton Lake

  • Distance from Perth: 2hrs, 15min
  • Distance from Collie: 10min
  • Distance from Bunbury: 50min

Best for: children of all ages, especially great for toddlers and babies

Although Black Diamond Lake gets most of the social media attention, personally, I think Stockton Lake is even better! It is much larger than Black Diamond Lake with plenty of little beaches to choose from. Visitors can spread out and find an isolated little bay to have just to themselves. 

The lake is a popular among water skiers. Motorised water vehicles must stay 50mfrom the shoreline providing a safe zone for swimmers. The shallows make a great playground for toddlers to explore, however it does drop off quickly so pay close attention. 

For more information on the water skiing rules visit Inland Lakes Water Ski information website.

drone photo looking across the bright turquoise waters of the lake from ab
The vivid blue waters of Stockton Lake, Collie

Secluded oasis conveniently close to town

Whether you are looking for a family day trip, a long weekend or even a longer trip, there is so much to keep you and the kids entertained. Being just outside Collie, Wellington Dam is conveniently close to supermarkets and camping supply stores, the pharmacy and a drop-in doctor surgery (as we discovered when we forgot to bring medication!). Wellington Dam is also the perfect base camp to explore The Ferguson Valley, the Bunbury coast or even the magical and mysterious Gnomesville, a townsite of thousands of gnomes that have taken residence along the roadside near Dardanup.

Whether you want to relax in the shallows at Potter’s Gorge, enjoy some secluded tranquillity at Long Pool, amp up the adrenalin waterskiing at Stockton Lake or show off your diving skills at Honeymoon Pool, you will find exactly what you are looking for in Collie. Why not make a weekend of it and check them all out.

We camped for a week but it was not long enough to do all we wanted to do – luckily for us we live only 1 hour and 20 minutes away!

Tips and Tricks from Keeping Up With Little Joneses

Some more photos of lakes around Collie… (to see more from Lion, Fox and co or to arrange your own family photo shoot click here)

Why not Pin this article for later 🙂

10 Comments

    1. WA really is the best!! I stayed in Exmouth for 5 months and explored a good part of the state north of Perth, but it looks like I missed out by not going south!

      1. We love Exmouth! Hope you get to explore the south in your next visit

    1. These are such beautiful photos! Hope I get to visit Australia soon, it’s been on my bucket list for ages!

    1. OMG this is my favorite Australia post ever! What unique lakes- no wonder she loves them so much! I’d love to be able to bring our boys to all these colorful lakes!

      1. Thank you! I’m sure your boys would love them!

    1. These are all officially added to the list!! Beautiful photos too 🙂

    1. Fantastic writing once again, can’t wait to read more of your up coming adventures.

      1. Thank you! So many adventures in the pipeline

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *