Back tracking out of Collie, Map Four heads down into the Wellington National Park, where we cross the Collie River near Honeymoon Pool. It continues into the the lovely Ferguson Valley, going close to Boyanup and the apple growing town of Donnybrook, before finishing at the old mill town of Jarrahwood. There are two huts on this map.

There are approximately 107 changes of directions on Map 4. I counted 3 marker currently missing, and 1 of them was in the middle of the challenging section when you need it the most. I have a great route for avoiding the extremely challenging section - and it is in my opinion the hardest section on the whole Munda Biddi. The longest section without markers is 2100m - long enough to make you wonder if you are on the right track! I hope my route sheets help you stay on track.

To get the full ride gpx or the ride route summary, select the "Route Sheets" tab above, and click on the download buttons for each.

Here is a 2 minute video of Map 4 that I recorded in Dec 2015 and April 2016. I took the bypass to Honeymoon Pool (read more about that later)

Don't take this the wrong way, but Collie is at a dead end of the Munda Biddi - ie if you ride in to Collie, you have to ride back about 20km over the same route. When you are at what I call "3 Ways", you can head North to Dwellingup, South West to Donnybrook and about 20 km South East To Collie. Many riders who ride in to Collie ride out to "3 Ways" along Mornington Rd North, especially if their ride into Collie was full of pea gravel and unexciting. I have described a couple of ways rejoining the Munda Biddi from Collie for you. However a map is very handy as the Munda Biddi maps do not show the alternative roads well. The tourist bureau may have something to help you. In 2016, the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation discussed trying to find a new route that takes the Trail through Collie and then on into Wellington National Park - hopefully it will not be too far away.

Before you leave town, is your bike all in order? There are no more bike shops until Albany, so if you need anything now is the time. Crank 'n' Cycles is the biggest and best bike shop between Perth and Albany. I have used them myself, and the riders logs near Collie are full of other people who have as well. The shop is really big and well stocked, even by Perth standards. The owner, Erik, is an enthusiastic cyclist too, so he will get your Munda Biddi trip back on track. They are easy to find on Steere St, just off Forrest St.

Collie is a major country town with full facilities, two supermarkets, many options for eating out and accomadation.

Collie is near the junction of the Collie and Harris Rivers, in the middle of dense jarrah forest and is the only coalfields in WA. Collie had a population of about 7000. It is mainly known as a coal-producing centre, but also offers industrial, agricultural, aquaculture and tourism industries. Muja Power station is located east of the town, and to its west is the Wellington Dam, a popular location for fishing, swimming and boating. See Map 3 Overview for more Collie info and history.

The Collie visitors centre is located within walking/cycling distance across the railway line from the Collie CBD. It is a terminus for TransWA and South West Coachlines. It offers complimentary storage of packs for Munda Biddi cyclists, as well as a rider's register and notice board. There are also public toilets and a shower. Located at the visitors centre is Polly, the old steam engine (see below for more info), and several other larger trains - they are definitely worth a look. See: www.collierivervalley.com.au/collie-visitor-centre

A popular display is Polly, a traction engine made in 1879 in the UK. In 1875 Alexander Buckingham built a timber mill near Kelmscott and in 1880 he purchased a traction engine that later became known as Polly. He used it for several years to haul logs before reselling it to Sawyers Valley. Two of Alexander's sons became millers in the Wellington area near Collie, and they repurchased the engine in the 1900's and drove it there - the journey took two weeks! This was known as Buckingham's Mill, and lies within what is now quarantined forest. In 1912 she was fitted with loco wheels and winch from WAGR F 20 (made in 1885 and decommissioned in 1905, which worked at Lion Mill and Worsley) and converted for use on the railways around Collie. She worked till 1954, when the tracks were removed. After that she retired and was placed in front of the Collie Visitor Centre.

A quick way to go from Collie to rejoin the Trail is to  use  a sealed "Karak"cycle trail till  Allanson (just behind the "Collie Townsite" on the Munda Biddi map). From there you can ride on the highway for 2km (there is a shoulder on the highway), or follow Worsley Back Road (shown on map 4) to rejoin the Trail. It saves riding 20km back to "3 Ways".

The Allanson cycle trail is called the Karak (red tailed black cockatoo) trail. The  3.5km tarmaced path starts west of the Collie Cemetery and follows the highway through state forest to end in Allanson on Ferguson Road. To join it, cycle from town, take the footpath from the visitor centre out to the cemetery, then join the signposted Karak trail. From there, you can ride along the highway or use this quieter but more complicated route - cross the highway, turn right into Patstone Road, and left into Bedlington Street.  Then ride for 1.2km along Bedlington Street before crossing the railway line. There is no signpost for the Worsley Back Road, but you will see the railway crossing sign which indicates a right hand turn going across a railway line. Once you have crossed the railway line you are then on the gravel Worsley Back Road. This road heads west and intersects with Gastaldo Road, rejoining the Munda Biddi.  I think riders should avoid using the Coalfields Highway due to the high amount of traffic and many large trucks but there is a wide shoulder all the way to Munda Biddi.  See the Visitor's centre for more info if you need it.

Worsley Mill was built in the 1880's by JC Port and Company, then sold in 1887 to Jarrah Timber & Wood Paving Coy, before finally being owned by Millar Brothers. Some of the finest jarrah in the South West was said to be located near this mill. There was also a mill in the 1920's at Potters Gorge near River Rd, and another on Pile Rd in the 1880's, both in Wellington National Park.

As I crossed the Coalfields Highway, there is a diversion that has been in place since 2014 due to the roadworks. It is only 2km long, follows the original route closely and is well marked along it's way and at both ends. In Oct 2016, this diversion has now become permanent. They are so close to each other and so similar that I would do the right thing and follow the Trail as indicated.

Wellington Dam is the biggest dam in WA's South West, but because it is too salty for human consumption, it is used for irrigation. It is one of only two hydroelectric power stations in the state (the other being at the Ord River in the Kimberly region). It has one water turbine with a generating capacity of 2 MW of electricity. The dam was constructed in 1933 and enlarged in 1956, and the power station was built in the 1950s.

My map 4 addendum tracks from Nglang Boodja hut to the Collie "3 Ways" junction. It shows a bypass around the extreme section near Honeymoon Pool. This route uses River road and visits Honeymoon Pool and is my recommended route if you are riding with panniers or a trailer. My experience on the extreme section was very tough (steep, rocky sections that were unrideable), but I think I ended up on the "Kurliny Tjenagitj (Come and see) Trail". Other riders have told me their experience was this section was just steep fire trails. Either way, River Road is an undulating gravel road, and it may get busy on long weekends or on school holidays, but is usually very quiet. Plus you are only on it for 2 km. My addendum also shows the diversion near Coalfields highway that has been in place since 2014 - see above. This route was ridden in April 2016.

The Sika Circuit is one of the walking trails in the area. The looped trail comes off the Munda Biddi and is a steep climb in parts but provides some wonderful views of the valley enroute down to the river. It is not for the unfit as it is proclaimed to be one of the States most challenging trails - just as the Munda Biddi in this area is! The Munda Biddi in this area is extremely challenging - the toughest section on the entire Munda Biddi. To avoid it, I have outlined a bypass route in my route summary, and in that addendum, above.

It has happen twice now, but when riding from Nglang hut to Collie "3 Ways" or back, my GPS will differ from my bike distance computer by around 1 km over about 30km. I put it down to the deep valleys in the area may hide the GPS from satellites, although the trail is recorded properly by it. Maybe it is a tear in the space/time continium? There always is some small variation between the bike computer and GPS, but nothing to worry about much, so I will use the bike computer distances. Perhaps someone smarter than me can explain what is happening.

During WWII the Wellington National Park, which we enter after crossing the Coalfields Highway, hosted a number of army training camps for young men preparing to go to New Guinea. They stumbled upon local couples honeymooning alongside the river, hence Honeymoon Pool earned its name. Honeymoon Pool has plenty of camping spots, a campers kitchen at nearby Stones Brook, toilets, fire places etc. The map indicates water is available, but all taps there were marked not for drinking. I think there is a fee payable for camping but I don't know if the rangers collect it onsite, or on the way in at the rangers hut or it needs to be booked on line first. Apart from long weekends and school holidays, cyclists should have no trouble finding a campsite though.

"Nglang Boodja" is a Noongar for "Our Land". Like Yarri, it is half the normal sized hut and sits on a form over looking a small valley. I had 1 bar of mobile phone signal strength at the hut, so I would not rely on it always being available. Click here to see more on Nglang hut and campsite.

Sawmilling started at Wellington Mills in 1881. We will pass some mill cottages that were built in the 1920's to house Forest Department employees, but the actual town site was on the Wellington Mill Road (formerly Ferguson Road) on the Ferguson River. These cottages are now the Wellington Forrest Cottages. They are set amongst 1000 hectares of jarrah, marri and yarri forests in the Wellington National Park. Accommodation is available - contact Wellington Forest Cottages directly: www.wfccc.com.au . They work out as very good prices as they sleep 8. Food is also available at the onsite restaurant - it was really nice and extremely well priced ($15 roast with all the trimmings was excellent taste and value). They are licensed and offer local beer, wine and ciders all at very reasonable prices. They are open for food Wed to Sun 10am to 4pm (and Fri night dinner to 9pm), so even if you stay at Nglang Boodja Hut (3 km away), you can have a decent meal and coffee before riding to the hut.

The area was named after the Duke of Wellington and other names from the 1815 Battle of Waterloo are also used locally, including Waterloo itself and Picton. There were three mills in the town, hence the plural name. There is very little remaining to show the location of the original town site. It was abandoned in the late 1940's, then in 1950 a massive fire swept through from Burekup to Lowden, destroying what infrastructure remained. Pine trees now cover the site.

Ferguson Valley has an impressive backdrop of lush green rolling hills dotted with cows and ribbons of vines, and hosts art galleries, wineries and boutique breweries, and superb restaurants. There are several downhill MTB rides in this area, notably in the pine trees on Wellington Mill Rd. Attractions including Gnomesville, an open-air attraction populated mysteriously by some 3000 gnomes from around the world. Vistors are encouraged to leave a gnome. It is located at the roundabout junction of Wellington Forest Road and Wellington Mills Rd, which is a couple of km further on from the Wellington Forest Discovery Centre, near the old Wellington Mill site.

From around here to about 11 km kilometres out of Donnybrook is 20 km on mainly sealed roads. They are quiet back roads through farm land, so nothing too dangerous.

Crooked Brook used to have a timber mill (Wright's, 1895 - 1901), but it now has gas bbqs, a picnic shelter with table and toilets. The Munda Biddi Trail goes right passed these facilities, and it follows part of the 10 km Marri Walk circuit. It also has three other walking trails. The Forest Path is a rammed earth path circuit of about six hundred metres that crosses two bridges and passes a water feature where water spills over from the winter creek that runs through the Forest. The Jarrah Walk (easy) is a 1.5 kilometre extension of Forest Path. The Wildflower Walk (moderate) is a three-kilometre circuit that leads to the lower car park and back to the main car park area. In addition to the natural beauty of the bush, the views from the lookout over Bunbury make the steep section of the walk well worthwhile.

Joshua Lake Trail is located within a rehabilitated mineral sand mine on Joshua Creek Rd. The circuit caters for both cyclists and walkers, with good quality flat concrete paths. The Walk features many interpretive panels, and includes several rustic shelters, a bird hide, bench seats and tables. There are no toilet facilities.

Boyanup is only 1~2 km off the Munda Biddi and is 18 km south-east of Bunbury. Boyanup is an Noongar Aboriginal name, said to mean "a place of quartz" as "Boya" means "rock" or "stone", similiar to Boya on the Railway Heritage trail. Population is around 600, so it is quite small, but there is a good pub with accommodation (Bull and Bush) and some small shops for snacks, food etc

Short cut: When you get to the South West Highway, you can turn left and head straight into Donnybrook (see my notes on the route sheets). Donnybrook is about 4 km off the Munda Biddi, which is a flat route. If you continue to follow the Munda Biddi you will ride on gravel roads for about 5km and get to another 3 way junction - one goes into Donnybrook (about 5km), the other heads to Jarrahwood and the last is the way you come in. There are no signs indicating towns at this junction - you have to use your map to know which one you want. If you are tired, then the South West Highway to Donnybrook is quick & easy (no hills), but this is a busy road (see notes).

Donnybrook is only about 5 km from the trail. The Donnybrook visitors centre is situated in the old railway station on the main street of Donnybrook. Toilets are nearby as well as shady park at the front, opposite the main street. The trail markers take you right to the visitors centre. See: www.donnybrookwa.com.au

Donnybrook is medium sized country town with a supermarket, several eating out options and all the usual facilities. I am unsure if any shops carry bike spares but try the hardware. It is the centre of apple production in WA. In 1897, gold was discovered about 6 kilometres south of the townsite. A mini gold rush occurred, resulting in the Government gazetting the Donnybrook Goldfield. The excitement was short-lived however, and the mine closed in 1903. Baxter and Prince built 2 mills in 1895 to supply sleepers for the Mullewa to Cue line that they were building. At it's peak they employed 250 men. Now the population is just under 2000, meaning the town is big enough to have a great supermarket, banks, post office etc, a range of accommodation, a few eating places but no bike shop.

Here is a short video of my ride in this area from Dec 2015. The trip started as a maintenance day with Ron to check his section of the Trail near Karta Burnu hut on Map 5. At 5.30 pm on Saturday, I started riding from Nannup to Jarrahwood , overnighting at the Community House. Sunday is my ride from Jarrahwood to Donnybrook, then on to Boyanup on the Munda Biddi. The last 20 km into Bunbury was on the road. I caught the 2.45pm Australind train, in Perth by 5.15pm, home by 5.45pm Sunday. Asleep by 8.30pm! I rode 109 km from Nannup to Bunbury, with 81 km on the Munda Biddi Trail, in 24 hours.

Jarrahwood is named for the Jarrah Wood and Sawmills Company which operated in the area and operated a private railway from the district to Wonnerup, which was purchased by the Government in 1906. The town was gazetted in 1932, but the Mill closed in 1983. There are no shops or services in town, including mobile phone service. At a guess, the town would have a population of about 30 people scattered over 15 cottages. But a huge bonus is the Jarrahwood Community house at 15 Middle Rd, a fully furnished mill cottage available at $20 per head per night. Details and a map are at the Munda Biddi hut and on a small sign on the trail as you ride into town. If you are at the "back verandah" area, the house is the nearest house to the hut. I have stayed in the house for 4 nights now, and it maybe a bit basic if you compare it to commercially available chalets, but it is a bargain price and absolute luxury if you were planning on another night in a hut. Just please be considerate that the hit is run by volunteers. To access the Jarrahwood Community hut, visit Dora at 12 Old School Rd, or Helen and Mark at 6 Jarrahwood Mill Road. Phone numbers are 9756 2138 or 9756 2036.

The hut at Jarrahwood is called "Nala Mia", which means "our place" in Aboriginal. More info on the hut is available here.

Getting there and back: My route sheets show a route for riding from Bunbury (you can catch the "Australind" train to Bunbury with a bike) to Boyanup. I have also detailed a short cut to ride along the South West Highway from Donneybrook to the Munda Biddi. My notes detail the shoulders and speed limits along this short cut. If you use this route, be aware it is a busy highway - make sure you are seen, ride predictably and exercise caution. I have also included a few options for riding from Collie to rejoin the Munda Biddi instead of back tracking the same 20 km you came in on. Again, exercise caution on busy roads.

On the Collie "3 Ways" to Nglang Boodja hut route, my bike computer and Cyclometer tracked the distance as 30.2 km ( The Munda Biddi Foundation maps say it is 31 km). However, when I loaded it into RWGPS (which is viewable on the route sheets tab), it recorded it as 29.1km, which I think is quite a big difference. All the other rides with the same equipment over the same weekend were far more accurate. I can not explain the difference. The route sheets and summary reflect the 30.2 km distance.

Distances:

Collie to Collie "3 Ways" 19 km
Collie "3 Ways" To Nglang Hut 31 km
Nglang Hut to Boyanup 28 km
Nglang Hut to Donnybrook 48 km
Donnybrook to Jarrahwood 45 km
Boyanup to Goodwood/Vernon 31 km
Goodwood/Vernon to Jarrahwood 32 km
Total Map Distance: 141 km

Getting to/from the Trail:
Boyanup to Bunbury Train station 20 km

GPX files I have available:

Collie to Jarrahwood (all map 4)
3 Ways to Collie (May 2014)
3 Ways To Nglang Hut (May 2014)
Nglang hut to Boyanup (May 2014)
Boyanup to Goodwood/Vernon (June 2014)
Goodwood/Vernon to Jarrahwood (diversion) (June 2014)
Jarrahwood to Vernon Rd (no diversion) (Dec 2015)
Vernon Rd to Donnybrook

Getting there:
Donnybrook to Boyanup to Bunbury Train Station (Dec 2015)

Short cut:
Donneybrook to MB via SW Hway (heading North) (March 2015)

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks near Perth and in Western Australia. This page is on the Munda Biddi Map 4 bike trail.