Wellington Dam and the camp site at Potters Gorge are phenomenal and a real go to for us. Our first trip, October 2017, we stayed here to go the Dardenup Bull and Barrel Festival. The 2018 trip, over the ANZAC Day long weekend was full of activities, with mountain bikes and kayaks, as you can see from the pictures below. We had the prime site, site 11, spread ourselves out and made it our own. It was a fun trip. Those were the days when The Piper still enjoyed camping with us. You can see we have a different Maz and a different set up for the “bathroom”. The Piper is also missing from our trips now, but the birdies are always around.
In 2021 we headed here again for ANZAC Day and stayed at site 9, just down from the prime site and actually a great site in it’s own right. The mission for the trip was to see the completed dam wall, which we saw in the making, as part of our Collie Mural trip. So of course, we headed to the dam wall first thing. I got some awesome drone footage and great photos. It is amazing and well worth the trip to see. I am sure you will be able to tell from my pictures what my favourite picture within the picture is. This trip we also got a look at Black Diamond Lake which I am looking forward to seeing again in full sunlight, and we added a couple of Collie Murals to the collection. While we were out an about it was announced that Perth and Peel were going into a 3 day lock down and anyone who had been in either area in the last few days had to stay put where they where. Lucky us! Stuck at Wellie Dam with bikes and Kayaks to do our hour of exercise each day. So over the remainder of our trip we kayaked to the dam wall, rode part of the MTB trails for a cache or two, walked to the shop and back (the long way) and kayaked to the island. Because we were sure the lock down would lift and we could home late we booked another night, not to stay but to save on the rush to be off the site by 10 am. It turned out to be a great idea, giving us a full day to enjoy this awesome part of the world before making the 2 hour journey home, cruising through the police check point at 9pm, 3 hours before they were removed. Was there a lock down over the long weekend?
What better place to go for a party than Wellie Dam? We spent a weekend in September 2021 here with The Drummer, The Piper and his GF for her 17th birthday. We took down three cars and drove home 2, but you can ask The Piper about that.
We can’t stay away …
And so we find ourselves at Wellie yet again in October 2022. With nothing better to do this weekend we decided last Sunday that we would see if there was a spot available for us at Potters. As luck would have it, I must have looked within seconds of someone cancelling their booking at THE best site here, site 11. That’s karma for you; stay in DPAW enough, and do the right thing each time, the camping gods will look after you!
To the astonishment of The Piper, “why are you going there again”, we headed down Friday after work, leaving quite late thanks to me forgetting to get the cold food out of my fridge. We eventually got here just before 8 and were greeted by a friendly brush tailed possum! Hi guy, it’s great to see you too! We had a fire crackling away in no time and dinner in our bellies not long after. Looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what’s changed here since last September.
Apparently the birds need to learn to shut up in the morning, but I wouldn’t know thanks to ear plugs. With breaky in our bellies we wandered along the walk trail to the kiosk. On the way we saw the brilliant blue fairy wrens and some gorgeous cow slip orchids. At the kiosk we were excited to see all the work on the mountain bike trails is finished. We really need to get some new bikes so we can get among the trails ourselves. The dam was very full, something we had already realised back at the campground. The plug was open but obviously it’s going to take some time for it to drain the bath! Our walk back seemed to be quicker than our wander there, with a well earned coffee waiting for us! Recaffeinated we decided to take the scooters into Collie to catch up with the new murals. It was super fun to scoot around looking at them all and scooting through the skate park just for fun. My new favourite is the one with the three girls …
and Mr Ps new favourite is the logging gang one. The kids in the childcare centre have a great view of it, and we would have missed it if a local hadn’t told us about it.
I also enjoyed being silly with the Main Street legs and the miners at the memorial.
All told, a fun afternoon.
On our way back to the car, at the busiest intersection in town, we came across a new-to-us minionette orchid! You would not believe the harsh conditions this crazy flower was growing in!
Back home we settled in for an afternoon snack in the best site in the campground, frequently reminded of this by the passers by. “How far in advance did you have to book to get this site?” If only you knew. The ringnecks and the Maggies were keen for a snack, but we kept them away for their own health and safety. As the sun set we were treated to a bit of a lake show, with fish launching themselves from the water. Time to light the fire and think about dinner. Just like the day time view, the night time one was quiet beautiful, with the stars twinkling above and reflected in the dam below. I was lucky to spot 2 satellites and 3 falling stars. I don’t think we could see the aurora, maybe it was just the lights of one of the mines in the area. We tried to wait up for the Orinoids Meteor shower, but it just got too late. We did see Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as the constellation Orion. What a nice calm way to spend an evening.
We slept very well, perhaps because of our calm evening, waking in time for coffee and toast with the same great view. After breaky we packed up and headed off, spotting some beautiful sun orchids between a couple of the sites and again at the bin! When you go looking, like we did last weekend, you don’t find a thing. Then, when you least expect it, you find what you are not even looking for.
Heading out of the National Park we decided to drive over to Dryandra to see if we could spot another numbat. On the way we stopped off at a couple of local places. The first was Saint David’s Church at Worsley. It’s a very quaint, renovated little building that is open the public, containing a lot of history about local families. Outside we picked up a cache and found some more lovely orchids sunning themselves in the morning light. Our next stop was just a few kms away at a heritage orchard. It’s now common land and still home to many fruit trees including figs, citrus, stone fruit and olives. It’s also home to a some wasps that were keen to chase me away from the citrus. If I knew what to do with figs, I could have taken away a nice bagful. Someone might get in there before the possums and wild pigs do.
Back in the car we headed across the rolling countryside to Williams for some fuel before arriving at Dryandra in time for a coffee and lunch. It was lovely to sit at the mill and eat and drink all by ourselves. After our lunch we decided to take a wander along the Wandoo Track, a 30 minute, one kilometre wander. I did ask if we needed an umbrella but Mr P didn’t think so. At the fork we followed the path with the possum-like symbol, heading away from the carpark across the road, and further and further (more than a km) from away from Maz. As we wandered it was getting increasingly humid and eerily still. There was also intermittent rumbling, which I initially thought was a car stopping and starting on the road. After a few minutes I asked Mr P if he thought it was thunder. “Nope”. Ok, let’s keep going then, this path must turn soon. The further we got though, the louder the rumbling and the darker the sky. Eventually we admitted that the rumbling was indeed thunder and we were indeed on the wrong trail! We quickly made the decision to retrace our steps. Within minutes we were running down the road, racing to make it out of the forest before the lightning started and into Maz before getting soaked. As we ran, we could hear the wind coming, although it was still perfectly still where we were. Then in the distance we could see the trees moving in the wind and the like a domino, the wind whipped along the trees, eventually arriving at us, just as we arrived at Maz.
There goes the rest of our afternoon, which we had intended to spend finding another numbat. Indeed it rained all the way home, stopping just long enough for us to unpack and get Tas under cover. Despite the rain, we had a lovely, refreshing break, squeezed into just 48hours. Although The Piper wonders why we keep going back to Wellie, I can’t wait to go back. I hope we are lucky enough to get the same site, but if not it won’t matter. I’ll just be glad to be there, relaxing under the tall trees, kayaking the dam, riding and walking the paths, scooting around the new murals and generally having a lovely weekend. Want to come with us?