Collie, located in dense jarrah forest near the junction of the Collie and Harris Rivers, is home to around 9,500 residents. It is large enough to offer the services expected of a regional centre but small enough to retain its country charm. The town offers a range of shopping facilities (Coles, Woolworths, Target) as well as medical resources (including doctors, dentists and chiropractors) and, importantly, a great bike shop! Named Australia’s Tidiest Town in 2006, Collie continues to win awards in the Keep Australia Beautiful competition. Throssell and Forrest Streets, which are lined with many fine old buildings, and the many attractive parks and gardens all reflect the pride and the work done by the community to make Collie an attractive destination.
There are also a number of tourist attractions in the area including museums, fishing, horse riding and wineries. The centrally located Collie Visitors Centre is a welcome sight for the weary cyclist and offers public showers and toilets. It is also a great place to get local information; the friendly staff can provide directions and details on a wide variety of accommodation, from budget hotels, guesthouses and caravan park to modern self contained apartments, motels and B&Bs. Cyclists finishing their adventure in Collie, or taking public transport back to Perth, can take advantage of a shower in the Visitor Centre to refresh them before their onward journey.
To get to the town on the Trail you ride in and out on the same 20km road. The next hut (Nglang Boodja) is 46.5km from Collie. This ride is possibly one of the most challenging of the Trail.
Collie, and the Collie River on the banks of which the town is situated, are named after Alexander Collie, surgeon of the HMS Sulphur, who was one of the first Europeans to explore the area in 1829. Collie was declared a township in 1896 following the discovery of coal in nearby Allanson. The Coalfields Museum, Old Railway Station, Replica Underground Mine and the historic Old Goods Sheds all provide a fascinating insight to the town’s rich history. The town has a significant role in the provision of Western Australia’s electricity with the Muja Power station, located to the East of the town, supplying much of the South West with electricity.
For more information on cycling to or from Collie, see the Section by Section guide.