Yes, the one you’ve seen on 5 million Instagram feeds with the pristine aqua marine blue waters and gorgeous hipsters floating atop unicorns with hashtags: #nofilter #wanderlust. That one. I have taken a million screen shots for about a year until recently, when I scrolled past one perfectly posed pineapple floating post too many and declared to my family, “That’s it – no more scrolling! We are doing! Tomorrow!” Though much eye ball rolling from the family – I felt liberated and by gum I was dragging them to Collie by hook or by crook!
Most parents (like us) are probably thinking “day trip to Collie? Way too hard, there is at least 20 choices closer, easier and wayyyy more convenient.” You would be right and there is. Then factor the 2 hours there and back and the thought of piling kids, a reluctant husband, possibly a fur baby and enough equipment resembling a yearlong camping trip…it would totally be an easy cop out.
But, when we finally did take the plunge (shameless pun-fun), it actually was a success and completely worth the cranky, whingy carload and all. It is amazing.
I would definitely recommend 2 things. Plan ahead and leave early. We are a family of good intentions. The aim was to leave as early as possible to beat all those hip “grammers” and snag a good spot. So of course we arrived in the middle of the day (the worst time possible) and every last bit of prime real estate was claimed by a sea of gazebos, beach tents and yes, every conceivable floating device ever manufactured.
Luckily, there are plenty of little pockets (even when there are cars overflowing from the huge car park out onto the main street). We managed to not only jag a nice little spot overlooking the gorgeous waters, but some shade too and our car was only a few feet away.A little history: The Black Diamond Lake is actually an abandoned mine from the 1940’s and 50’s that was filled with water and is now a ‘pit lake’. It is located in Allanson around 5kms from Collie. The hideously stunning azure colours are from the limestone in the water, which are at their showiest on a sunny day. It’s a total diva lake.
Pro’s and con’s:
Because of its popularity, unfortunately there are a few downsides and it’s important to mention especially if you are taking children:
Visit this website before you plan your trip for piece of mind: Collie
- The water is tested for amoeba, but best to check, especially in Summer
- Watch out for glass. Where we were sitting there was a lot of broken pieces. We may have just been unlucky, so do a bit of a sweep before you settle in with little feet.
- There are no toilets. So encourage number 2’s before you leave. Good luck with that.
- There are definite “shorelines” but in some areas (where we were) you may need to climb down some rocky sections, but nothing too dire. There are apparently “unstable cliffs” which looked inaccessible, just to be sure, avoid altogether.
- The lake is deep and there are fallen trees in sections.
- There are definitely more “child friendly” spots than others and these are the areas with “shorelines”.
- There is no camping
- Use common sense, adhere to safety precautions and plan ahead to get the most out of your trip.
- It’s soooo beautiful. Ironically, most of the pictures don’t do it justice, it really is quite surreal and because of the sheer size and even with hundreds of people bordering its edges, the sense of breath taking space gives off heavy hippy vibes
- You can park up and spend a few hours or the entire day and not get bored (just be aware of the whole toilet thing. Caravans would be ideal for ‘convenience’ or pack the porta-loo just in case)
- Collie is nearby so you could easily go for a few hours and then make your way into town for some sightseeing and lunch.
- While this is a great daytrip, I would recommend camping nearby so you can take your time as well as explore the area. Check out this link for more info
We really did enjoy our day at Black Diamond Lake and got a few happy Instagram worthy snaps (no unicorns or tropical fruit, though there was plenty around to be seen!). We went with a 9 and a 6 year old and the only time I felt the tiniest bit concerned was when I found the glass (so they wore their thongs) and when I came across an extraordinarily long tree (which was in a shallow section and we veered away from with no dramas).
There were families everywhere with teenagers, toddlers and infants all enjoying the lake and there was also a real sense of community and people looking out for each other and having a ‘yarn’.
Even if you don’t want to swim, it’s such a gorgeous spot to stop for a picnic, happy snaps or a few moments of relaxation.
LOT 85 Ferguson Rd, Allanson WA 6225
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