The Wellington Dam area has a long pioneering history. You can read all about it on the Living Windows interpretation series when you visit. Apart from the obvious beauty and relaxing effect of this area, there is something for the more adventurous at heart: abseiling.
The Quarry is located below the Wellington Dam Café. It was formed when they needed materials for the construction of the dam wall. Nowadays the rock face is used for abseiling. The tour operators are situated in Collie. It is also a wonderful spot for a picnic with free gas barbeques, picnic tables and rubbish bins provided.
Unfortunately we have to tell you that this area will be closed to the public between Jan 2008 and June 2010 due to upgrade work on the dam. The areas affected are everything below the Wellington Dam Café. Pedestrians will still have access to the look out.
If you forgot the picnic basket, Wellington Dam Café is the destination to head for. It is located on Weir Road close to the lookout. Hiking through the bush is a favourite activity and can be attempted even on very hot days thanks to the shade provided by the tall Jarrah trees.
There are several walk trails to choose from depending on your fitness and the weather. The Sika Trail is a 9.4km loop that starts just north of Wellington Dam Cafe. It is a medium level walk trail.
If you’re after a short walk along the banks of the river, then Jabitj Trail is the one for you. The name means running water. This 600m trail starts at the Honeymoon Pool picnic area.
The Kurliiny Tjenangitj Trail starts at River Road Bridge. It is a medium level 8.2km walk trail. The name means come and see. This trail really showcases the beauty of Wellington National Park.
There are many picturesque camping and picnic spots inside the park. One of our favourites is Honeymoon Pool. It is set among beautiful trees with facilities that include toilets, barbeque areas, central rubbish pick up area and a camp kitchen. There is no booking system, first come, first serve. It is a really popular spot, especially with the easy swimming access to the river, which can become overcrowded during the peak season.
However, CALM has done some redevelopment in this area recently. There are now two additional camping areas. Stones Brook provides a further 14 camp sites. Please note that these sites are “fire free” camping sites. There is a camper’s kitchen with free gas barbeques and gas pot boilers.
A bit further downstream you’ll find the second newly developed camping site: Gelcoat. It consists of 11 camping sites with a communal fire ring. If these are all occupied there is no need to worry, as there is still Potter’s Gorge.
Potter’s Gorge is situated on the shores of the lake behind Wellington Dam. It offers an undisturbed view across the lake. There is a big ablution block, wood and gas barbeques, picnic tables and central rubbish pick up area. It is a great place to go canoeing.
A minimum camping fee applies for all the sites which the ranger will collect daily. Please note that it is cash only. No showers or power are available at any of the camp sites.
How can you be this close to water without wetting a line? Rainbow Trout, Redfin Perch and Marron can all be caught in the river. You do need a recreational fishing licence that is available from your local post office.
Be sure to take a drive along Lennard Drive to discover a whole new side of the Park. The drive meanders through the forest with glimpses of the river every now and again. First stop along the way is The Rapids. This was quite a spectacular sight! I am sure it was due to the fact that they were releasing water from the dam. The area is very rocky and with the water gushing over it, it makes it the ideal spot for impressive photos. Not a bad place for morning tea either.
Next stop for us was Big Rock. And yes as the name suggest there is one big rock, not in the water though, you have to turn around and marvel at the giant. Great place for some fun in the water too. There was a group of people going down the (much smaller) rocks in the river with their blow up row boat. Listening to the squealing of the children I would say it is heaps of fun. Hey even the dogs joined in!
By now everybody in the car will be hot and bothered, which makes the next stop, Long Pool, the perfect one for cooling down. The water looked extremely inviting and we couldn’t quite place one of the comments we had while heading down to the water. The comment being that we had to be very brave to go swimming.
No it doesn’t refer to the current, or the marrons you can spot in the clear water. It has everything to do with the temperature of the water – freezing!! It takes quite a while getting use to the coldness of the water. In all honesty only two in our group really got used to it and went for a real swim. The rest of us only gathered enough courage to wade in a few paces and then shot out again – what a fantastic experience! More photos.