‘Jabitj’ is the Noongar word for running water – and you’ll see plenty of it along this excellent riverside trail.
Need to know info
Distance: 12km return or 6km one way
Where: Wellington National Park, 25 minutes drive from Collie town centre
Time: 2 hours one way
Stuff you’ll need: Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water, sturdy enclosed shoes, and bathers if it’s warm.
Where to find it
Water, views and dense, green forest – they are some of the main things I look for in a bushwalk, and the Jabitj Trail is blessed with all three. Located in the Wellington National Park, The Jabitj Trail follows Collie River, taking you straight through the middle of an ancient river gorge.
The trail begins behind the Wellington Dam Kiosk – look for the green boot print marker – and plunges straight down a steep incline until you reach a water pumping station. You could ignore the station and stick to the trail, but I recommend you take a quick detour to the left and check out the Wellington Dam Wall.
Wellington Dam Wall.
While I’m normally all about the nature side of walks, I’ll admit that the Wellington Dam is impressive.The curve and size of the wall plays tricks on your eyes and the torrent that pours out from the dam wall is an excellent reminder of the unthinkable amount of water that is being held at bay. At this point of the walk, Jarrad raised the question of what would happen if the wall suddenly gave way…rather than dwell on that thought, let’s get back to the trail!
After the Dam, the trail takes you up a rocky outcrop and then curves around to give you an excellent view of the Collie River. Shaded by a canopy of trees and studded with mossy rocks, this part of the trail reminds me a little bit of Lane Poole Reserve in Dwellingup.
Following this shady stretch, the trail moves into a drier, rockier and more exposed section a bush. Don’t worry, you only need to make one small hill climb before you’re once again greeted by the river’s edge and a fantastic view of the valley. From here on, it’s a constant stream of rapids, gentle pools and brilliant green water. Seriously, make space on your phone or camera, because you won’t be able to stop yourself snapping photos of this wonderful landscape.
Along the way keep an eye out for a gigantic, granite rock outcrop – creatively named ‘Big Rock’. Essentially a hillside of granite, it’s located on the other side of the Collie River and can be accessed via Lennard Road. The day after we tackled this trail, we drove to Big Rock and climbed almost to the top. It’s a very steep climb but it offers some incredible valley panorama, and a view down that will have your stomach turning somersaults.
The final stop on the trail is Honeymoon Pool. This is a very popular camping spot, and deservedly so, because it’s beautiful. The pool itself is quiet stretch of river that is edged by peppermint trees and marris. There’s plenty of picnic tables and a handy boardwalk where you can sit and dip your feet in the glass-clear green water. If it wasn’t so cold on the day we visited, we’d have stripped off and gone for a swim!
Being the endpoint of the trail, you can finish up at Honeymoon Pool and get a lift home, or you can follow the trail back to the start. Alternatively, you can follow our lead and use the Kurliiny Tjenangitj Trail and Sika Trail to get back to the Wellington Dam Kiosk. While it does add 2 or 3 extra kilometres and a very steep hill climb to your walk, taking this route home gives you some different, higher views of the valley. And thanks to DPaW’s excellent signage, it’s very easy to find your way back.
To wrap up, I cannot recommend the Jabitj Trail enough. It’s a wonderful walk with so many scenic spots to enjoy along the way.
Rapids, views, idyllic green pools – any nature fan is sure to be impressed. Definitely worth the trip!