Explore Western Australia’s pioneer history in this detour from the well-worn routes.
In the Collie River Valley, take a step back in time with a visit to the Coalfields Museum, where artefacts on display include mining machinery, gemstones, historical photos, dolls and personal mementos of the region’s past inhabitants. There’s even a restored barrel organ – the precursor to a modern jukebox – used by patrons of the nearby Federal Hotel during the city’s early days. The Memorial Coal Arch and Skip are two other authentic pieces of Collie’s history. The Memorial Arch is one of the few remaining examples of a mine entrance to the Collie coalfields: a fascinating gateway to a different time. Don’t miss the impressive Wellington Dam on Collie River.
In Williams, just 30 minutes out of Collie, visitors can trace the settlement and development of the district by taking the Williams Heritage Trail. The trail comprises two sections: a one-kilometre walk along the main street and a 35-kilometre drive down the scenic Albany Highway. Learn about the town’s fascinating history by exploring the Old Williams Cemetery, the blacksmith’s shop, the antique flour mill, the original Williams hotel and the convict tank – a water well constructed by convict labour in the 1880s.