Honeymoon Pool Campsite and Day Use Area
If you’re looking to get away and spend some time in nature, surrounded by tall trees and wild life with a place to swim and camp, then look no further than Honeymoon Pool near Collie.
Honeymoon Pool is a campsite, swimming spot and day use area by the Collie River. You’ll find it deep in the dense old-growth jarrah forest of Wellington National Park, down in the lower Collie River Valley along narrow winding roads.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous spot, probably my favourite (official) bush campsite in Western Australia. It’s a still and tranquil place in winter or during the week, and in summer it’s lively and full of laughter and splashes in the river.
Honeymoon Pool itself is a wide pool in the river surrounded by massive peppermints, some of the tallest I’ve seen anywhere actually, with leaves and branches that hang down gracefully like willows and hundreds of pretty white flowers in spring. A wooden platform has been built above the river pool where you can sunbake or jump in… This is a bit of a shame really, I would much prefer it if they left our natural riverbanks natural – what’s wrong with just a simple rope swing tied to a tree? The steps leading down into the water can be handy though, making it more accessible for canoe launching, and also for the less physically able and those who might feel weird about stepping down river banks for whatever reason.
Anyway the river is beautiful to swim in. The water is fresh and clean and although like most rivers in South West WA it looks brown like black tea, you can trust that’s just from the tannin in the eucalyptus leaves. On hot summer days dragonflies and (unfortunately) lots of flies dance across water and in the cold depths of autumn and winter a mist sometimes settles in the still air above the water, making it look like something out of a fairy tale.
Even in spring and summer the water is cold and refreshing! But if you’re camping a few nights you’ll probably end up swimming in it no matter how cold as there are no hot showers. Upstream and downstream the river is narrower, flowing over shallow rocks. So if the water is too cold for you, you can still go for a paddle in the shallows.
Things to Do at Honeymoon Pool
- Jumping into the water off the platform
- Fishing for marron and trout – seasonal restrictions and licencing rules apply – see the WA Fisheries website.
- Bush Walking
- Bird watching and nighttime wild life spotting
- Swim or paddle up or down river and find some rapids
Explore Further Afield:
- Go for a drive beyond the campsite to other pretty places along the river, the dam wall and the weir
- Or down to the Ferguson Valley for some wine tasting and a visit to Crooked Brook Forest for a pleasant walk, Gnomesville and the King Jarrah.
- Explore the 4WD tracks through the Wellington Forest – you can access Lennard Track from close to Honeymoon Pool
- Head into Collie and have a look around town, drive around to a few more lakes, dams and other attractions.
The History Behind the Honeymoon Pool Campsite
Clearings along the Collie River have been popular as local campsites for many years. Honeymoon Pool is thought to have been named after it was established as a base camp for army training during WWII, and when the soldiers arrived they found several couples camped there for their honeymoons.
During the war the Wellington Forest was involved with a lot of intense army training, with a Jungle Warfare Training School based at Wellington Dam established in 1943.
The Day Use/Picnic Area at Honeymoon Pool
Here you’ll find several barbecues and picnic benches in a clearing right next to Honeymoon Pool. The swimming platform extends off the picnic area.
Camping at Honeymoon Pool, plus Stones Brook Campsite and Gelcoat Campsite
When camping down in the Collie River Valley at Honeymoon Pool I feel completely secluded from the world outside the forest, which is why I love it so much. The jarrah and marri trees grow very tall in the Wellington National Park and the undergrowth is dense and green compared to other jarrah forests in W.A. The trees that grow around the campsite, providing lots of shade, include jarrah, marri, yarri, banksia and peppermints.
Birds such as ducks, parrots, kookaburras are common around Honeymoon Pool and the campsites during the day, and possums and other small marsupials active at night are also very common and easy to spot if you have a torch (or if you accidentally leave food out overnight!).
It’s quite a popular place to camp and definitely not a secret spot, so it draws a crowd during school holidays and on weekends when the weather’s warm enough for swimming in the river.
The individual campsites are spaced out enough to be very peaceful and make you feel closer to the birds and trees than the other camping groups around you. But as with all organised campsites you have to have to expect and put up with a little bit of noise from fellow campers during the busy times. That’s just part of it.
So you might get woken at 6am by kids tripping on your guy ropes or be kept awake late by people talking and laughing around the campfire, but as long as noone’s blasting hip-hop from a loud speaker or running their generator all day (in which case just go over and politely ask them to keep the noise down) you’ll be able to relax and listen to the sounds of nature all around – the wind in the tree tops, the birds, and the rapids in the river.
If you choose a less popular time to camp, when the weather’s cold and kids are in school, you’ll have the place almost to yourself and will find it to be incredibly tranquil and quiet.
There are three main campgrounds within the Honeymoon Pool Camping Area:
Honeymoon Pool Campground
The main campground known as “Honeymoon Pool” is the one located right near the Honeymoon Pool section of the Collie River, on either side of the central Honeymoon Pool day use area. It has 20 individual campsites of varying sizes. Some accommodate just one or two tents while others can fit a group of several tents. Some of these sites are located right by the water, and all have spaces to park cars or a campervan.
Stones Brook Campground
20 separate camping sites suitable for tents only. These sites do not have a fire ring, and fires are not permitted at all. There’s a central open-air camp kitchen beneath a shelter with a bench, a washing up sink and a gas BBQ.
Gelcoat is a secluded campground by Gelcoat Rapids, separate from the main Honeymoon Pool area further down stream on the Collie River. It’s a very small open campsite with picnic bench, fire pit and space for about 3 tents.
Fees, Facilities and Rules for Honeymoon Pool
Honeymoon Pool Camping Fees
The following camping fees are per person, per night:* Last checked: May 2015
|Honeymoon Pool||Stones Brook||Gelcoat|
|Child (6 – 15)||$2.20||$2.20||$2.20|
|5 Years and Younger||free||free||free|
Payment is collected by the national park rangers in the morning. Only cash can be accepted, and make sure you have the right change.
Honeymoon Pool Campsite Facilities
- 2WD accessible
- Access road not good for caravans.
- Tents and small campervans only
- Parking space for cars next to campsites
- Flushing toilets
- Picnic benches in camping and day use areas – most campsites in the main Honeymoon Pool campground have one.
- Fire rings/wood bbq’s in camping area – most campsites in the Honeymoon Pool campground (but not Stones Brook) have one.
- Gas bbq’s in day use area
- Undercover open camp kitchen in Stones Brook with bench, has BBQ and washing up sink
- Water taps, but not suitable for drinking without boiling or purifying.
- Rubbish bins
Rules and Conditions
- No bookings – first in gets a spot.
- Generators permitted, during restricted hours only
- Bring your own firewood, don’t collect it from the bush around the campsite
- Liquid or gas fuel camping stoves can be used any time of year in all 3 campgrounds, unless there is a total fire ban.
- Camp fires can be lit between 15th April and 30th November, unless there’s a fire ban, at Honeymoon Pool campground and Gelcoat.
- Fires prohibited year-round in Stones Brook campground.
Visiting Honeymoon Pool
Honeymoon Pool makes a wonderful day trip from Bunbury, Collie, Donnybrook or the Ferguson Valley if you’re based in any of those places.
Although it would be possible, as other online articles have mentioned, to visit Honeymoon Pool and a couple of other sites in Wellington National Park on a day trip from Perth, I really would not recommend it. As beautiful and peaceful as it is, it would not be worth driving two hours there and two hours back in one day. Either camp the night or visit for the day when you’re holidaying in the area or passing through.
From those nearby towns and also from Perth Honeymoon Pool makes an easy and relaxed overnight camping trip for the weekend or longer. Click here for more ideas for weekend trips from Perth within a 2.5 hour drive.
If you’re camping a couple of days and want to explore beyond the Honeymoon Pool camp site, the wineries and picturesque countryside of the Ferguson Valley are a short drive away. And within Wellington National Park there’s the huge Wellington Dam wall, various 4WD tracks, bush walks and mountain bike tracks, and several more beautiful spots for a swim or picnic along the Collie River.
Where is Honeymoon Pool, and how do you get there?
To get there from Collie or Bunbury turn south off Coalfields Highway onto Wellington Weir Road, then right onto River Road, a scenic hilly drive through dense forest.
From the south via Ferguson Valley take King Tree or Wellington Forest Road, which both lead to Falcon Road. This will take you almost to the dam wall. Turn left to drive the very scenic Lennard Drive along the lower Collie River (one-way only) past some beautiful river pools and rocky areas where you can pull over to park and go for a walk or swim: The Rapids, Big Rock, Little Rock and Long Pool. Then turn right onto River Road and Honeymoon Pool is not much further along.
More Collie Area Campsites Near Honeymoon Pool
The Honeymoon Pool campground might be full when you visit (you can’t make a booking!) or perhaps you’ll be towing a caravan and need somewhere that will accommodate it.
Potters Gorge, Wellington National Park
Check out Potters Gorge, a large open-plan campsite in the forest on the shores of Wellington Weir. You could also stop in there for a picnic, swimming in the dam, or launching a boat.
More Bush Campsites Around Collie
- Stockton Lake, 8km east of Collie – a large open campground suitable for all vehicles and camping types, on the shore of an artificial lake that was once an open-cut mine.
- Glen Mervyn Dam, 18km south of Collie – camping area is on the western side of the dam, difficult to access with a caravan. Dogs allowed on lead.
- Wellington Dam shores – with a 4WD you can get around to other spots in the State Forest on the shores of Wellington Dam, via Mungalup Road then Wight Road or along the Collie River.
Last Updated: 9th June, 2015.
First posted on 2nd June, 2015 by Bonny.
Subscribe to Keep In Touch!
Wild Western Australia is an ever-expanding website with new articles and photos published every week. To ensure you remember and keep in touch enter your email address to receive a weekly round-up of new posts on the blog: