Who wants more rail trail and less pea gravel? You have passed the worst of the "Pea Gravel Highway" on Map 1 & 2, so now you are rewarded on Map 3 with lots more undulating form (temporary rail trail) with better bases, less pea gravel and less hills.

Enjoy a break at Logue Brook Dam, before continuing on into the coal mining town of Collie. There are two huts on this map.

There are approximately 128 changes of directions on Map 3. I counted 4 marker currently missing, one marker that can send you the wrong way, and a couple of confusing spots. The longest section without any markers is 2000m - long enough for you to be concerned you might not be on the right track. I have also tracked a "touring route" to avoid the challenging section into Logue Brook Dam. I hope my route sheets help you.

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.

This my Map 3 highlights video:

Map 3* starts in Lane Poole Reserve, which is named after Charles Lane Poole (1885 - 1970), an English Australian forester who introduced systematic, science-based forestry to WA. During 1896 to 1916, there was no trained forester in the Department of Woods and Forests, which functioned as little more than a revenue collecting organisation. Lane-Poole was a graduate of a French forestry school and he was the Commonwealth's first Inspector-General of Forests and was appointed conservator of forests for WA in 1916. He vigorously set about providing a sound forest policy and a school to train foremen and rangers. The Forests Act (1919) which he formulated was regarded as a model in professional circles, but a lack of support and opposition to its implementation prompted his resignation in 1921.

* The original paper Munda Biddi Map 2 map finished in Dwellingup, and you needed a "gap map" to get from Dwellingup to the start of the new Map 3 when it came out. The newer map 2's cover this section.

Nanga is the site of an old jarrah mill that operated from about 1900 until the Dwellingup fires of 1961. In 1902 a lease was granted to Yarloop-based Millars Karri & Jarrah Company (formerly Millar Brothers). The Nanga Mill was the biggest in the area for many years, at times employing over 100 men. In 1909 a townsite was laid out and built by Millars, complete with 56 homes and several other lodgings, a store, butcher, hall, billiard room and school. Later, three tennis courts and a sports oval were added.
The two World Wars and the Great Depression greatly affected production and many mill hands left the area as wages were not covering the cost of food and other necessities. In 1941, the original mill burnt down and a new, smaller mill requiring only 16 workers was built. At the time of the fires, Nanga Brook was already in trouble, unable to compete with the Dwellingup mill. So when the 1961 fires incinerated Nanga and devastated the countryside, there was no reason for mill workers to return to Nanga Brook, and in 1962, the end of the town was declared. The area was replanted with stands of pine by the Forests Department, who promoted it as a camping and picnic spot.

When I rode into Nanga in May and June 2014, there was a short, temporary diversion that meant I rode across the Nanga bridge. On the diversion website in Feb 2015, it appears that this diversion is now permanent. This means my route sheets should be correct. It is clearly marked at Nanga.

Soon after leaving Nanga, the Trail turns right on to North Junction Form. It will now follow the Murray River, offering views to the river and the hills on the other side. You may notice the cuttings and embankments for the railway that used this route. Occasionally the river is very close, and side tracks make access to the river easy (although it maybe steep). White gates 25km from Dwellingup indicate it is not far to the King Jarrah tree and the hut.

We will see a sign for South Shore World class free ride MTB area. Beware - this is for VERY experienced riders only. Just before Bidjar hut we will see one of the jumps - You would need a fair bit of air to land that jump.

Just before the Bidjar Ngoulin hut is the King Jarrah tree (it is marked on the Munda Biddi trail map). It is 500m off the trail. It is on the King Jarrah walk, which heads from the Munda Biddi trail straight through to Nanga. The first 100m is narrow single track, but once you cross the little stream, it is all uphill and completely unrideable - leave your bikes behind. The steep walk is worth it though - the jarrah is truly magnificent, roughly the diameter of a decent sized karri tree, and nearly as tall. I guess it survived because it is on such a steep slope and was not easy to harvest. King Jarrah Form first opened in 1939 due to the flooding of the nearby Samson Dam. For more information on Bidjar Ngoulin hut, see here. The name means "Place to rest" in the local Aboriginal language.

For an 80 second video of Logue Brook Dam to Dwellingup, staying at Bidjar Ngoulin hut, during the storms of May 2015, see

The Willowdale bauxite mine, established in 1984, is located east of Waroona and we will ride close to it. It supplies bauxite to the Wagerup refinery. In the quiet of the night at Bidjar hut, you can hear the distant rumbling of the mine. Alcoa obtained permission in September 2006 to double the size of Wagerup refinery to become the biggest aluminum refinery in the world. I think the constant noise scares the birds away from Bidjar Ngoulin hut compared to other huts - i have hardly hear or see them there at all. Bidjar Ngoulin means 'place of rest' in Nyoongar, which, for the birds anyway, is ironic really. There is a little stream by the hut (follow the path in front of picnic tables down) and up to the little water fall. This is a lovely little spot. No phone signal here.

The Willowdale Arboretum was planted in the 1960's or 1970's to see how trees regenerated on mined areas. Alcoa previously mined in the Mt William area (nearby), but I cant find out when the arboretum was planted, or if the area was actually mined.

Just before we cross Gastaldo Rd we are near Worsley alumina refinery, owned by BHP. In the 1890s a railway siding was constructed here to service the timber industry. The town peaked in 1902 when its population was in excess of 1,500 but it began to decline in the 1920s and all but disappear by the 1950s. Construction of a mine site and refinery began in 1980 and the first alumina was produced in 1984. Bauxite is mined from reserves mainly within State forest on the eastern edge of the Darling Range, near Boddington. The bauxite is crushed and carried 52 km on a conveyor belt. It is believed to be one of the longest conveyor belts in the world.

The first settler in the Yarloop area was John Bancells, who took up 100 acres on Koonarup Brook, now named Bancells' Brook, in 1870. We ride past this Brook, and the foundations for an old saw mill are still evident. I think this mill is Hoffman No 1, as opposed to Hoffman no 2, which is commonly known as Hoffman Mill. It is just before we cross Hoffman Rd. It was built in 1901 and destroyed by fire in 1917.

Here is some more Map 3 action. Cary shot the footage while we were on the above ride on his Go Pro, then I edited with some cool music. It's a very different view from my usual video clips. Thanks Cary.

Blaze trees (or grid reference trees ) are a helpful navigation tool throughout this area. The blaze trees are based on the old imperial grid reference system. If you have a map that shows the trees (e.g. Bibbulmun Track or the DEC 1:50 000 series maps) you can use the reference tree to confirm you location on the map. The only downside is that the trees are disappearing slowly due to fires and clearing so while they are handy, they can no longer be relied upon as a key navigation tool. Many blaze trees are visible along this section into Collie.

"Yarri" is the Aboriginal name for the blackbutt tree. This hut is half the normal sized hut on the side of the trail over looking a small valley - very nice. I had no phone signal at the hut. See here for more info on the hut and campsite.

There is a bypass to the "challenging" section coming into Logue Brook Dam, which is not too bad if riding unloading. It is well signposted once you are on it. The total diversion is 1.95 km and it is basically flat, and much easier than the challenging section. See my route sheets for more information. In fact the Feb 2015 diversion due to the dam wall closure takes you partly along my "touring route" and then continues along the West side of the Dam to the tourist park, so it must be ok.

Logue Brook dam is a popular water skiing and camping area. The dam was opened in 1963 to supply water for the South-West Irrigation Scheme and recreational use of the dam has been permitted. The impoundment (the body of water the dam creates) is known as Lake Brockman, hence the two names on the map. Logue Brook Dam has been used for many years by recreational SCUBA divers as a training ground for deep dives. In previous years, when the dam was close to full capacity, divers were able to descend to a maximum depth of 42 metres. The underwater visibility ranges from about 5-8 metres. Divers are advised to swim out to and then descend the "Tower", which is located about 100 metres east of the main wall of the dam, where boating is prohibited.The caravan park has a cafe that is open 7 days a week and has a great range of burgers, all day breakfasts, drinks and cakes and is a great spot to refuel. I have plotted the route to include the caravan park as I assume most riders will follow the Munda Biddi trail around to such a great source of sustenance!

Much of the Trail in this area is old temporary logging rail line (forms) built as early as the 1890's by Millars, so is reasonably compact and with gentle inclines. The Trail from Logue Brook Dam to Yarri is a wide loop around Stirling Dam. There is the occasional hill, but nothing too extreme. Most of the ride is easy or moderate in difficulty.

Myles Avenue is a gravel logging road used by trucks, so cross it with caution. Later, Mornington Road is 100km/hr sealed road, so use caution when crossing it or riding along it.

Zephyr Rd is wonderful - a smooth, solid undulating road under some big trees. There was diversion around the Zephyr Rd logging area recently (2013). The diversion was on the Munda Biddi Foundation website in March '14, and directed you down Niger Rd and onto Mornington Rd for an extra 4 km approximately. When I rode through in May '14, the route as per the map was open, and signs of logging on Zephyr Rd were obvious, including many marked trees. There were a few notes in the rider's log at Yarri complaining about the diversion around the logging area that takes you down the power line trail- one said it was a 14 km roller coaster on pea gravel (dated Oct '13). The diversion down the power line trail would be very hot in Summer as there is no shade.
On my drive home I noticed permanent Munda Biddi markers on Mornington Rd much further past the section I rode. This section turned off Mornington Rd onto Niger Rd (unmarked) in the vicinity of Big Tree Rd (which is on the opposite side of the road, and not shown on the Munda Biddi map - it is near the Muja- Cannington power lines on the map). I spoke with DPaW and they say they used both the powerline track and Mornington Rd as the diversion - both had their positive and negatives. I was advised there is no more harvesting in area for foreseeable future so no diversion is needed but they have left markers on Mornington Rd just in case it needs to be reactivated. However there will logging nearer to the Yarri Hut in future and this may need a diversion in years to come.

Myles Avenue is a logging road, so cross it with caution. Mornington Road is 100km/hr sealed road, so use caution when crossing it and riding along it.

Mornington Mills were located close to Mornington Rd, on which we ride, and operated from 1898 to 1966. Much of the form we ride on in this section was laid to supply this mill. It was the site of a train crash in 1920 that claimed 9 lives. The train was "Jubilee" with 4000 sleepers bound for Wokalup, then Bunbury, when it crashed when it built up too much speed coming off the Scarp and derailed. This was the worst disaster in WA's rail history. Mornington Mills closed in 1966, and the site is now Camp Mornington, which is operated by the Police & Citizens Youth Clubs.

As we cross Gastaldo Rd, we are near Worsley alumina refinery, owned by BHP. In the 1890s a railway siding was constructed here to service the timber industry. The town peaked in 1902 when its population was in excess of 1,500 but it began to decline in the 1920s and all but disappeared by the 1950s. Construction of a mine site and refinery began in 1980 and the first alumina was produced in 1984. Bauxite is mined from reserves mainly within State forest on the eastern edge of the Darling Range, near Boddington. The bauxite is crushed and carried 52 km on a conveyor belt. It is believed to be one of the longest conveyor belts in the world.

See more of this section here in my October 2015 video:

Collie is a major country town with full facilities, two supermarkets, many options for eating out and accommodation, and a full equipped bike shop.It is near the junction of the Collie and Harris Rivers, in the middle of dense jarrah forest and is the only coalfields in WA. At the 2006 census, Collie had a population of 7,084, so it is a substantial town. 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 supplies most of Perth and the South West of WA with power. The high voltage transmission lines we rode under in map 2 originate here, and we will go under more on this map. The power station is clearly visible on the last section into Collie.

Collie was named after Dr Alexander Collie RN, a ship's surgeon aboard the HMS Sulphur, who explored the region and in 1829 discovered the river from which Collie took its name. The area was originally recognised as being ideal as pasturelands and for timber production, however with the discovery of coal in 1883, Collie's direction was set. A spur line from Brunswick was opened in 1898 to a station named "Coalville", later changed to "Collieville", before being renamed Collie

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 Overview on Map 3 for more info), and several other larger trains - see below for more info. See: www.collierivervalley.com.au/collie-visitor-centre

The replica underground coal mine is at the Collie museum on Throssell St, just near the Visitors Centre. The building was designed by C Y O'Connor and was built in 1898, who recognised the importance of coal to the development of the State. The shed has recently been restored by the Collie Heritage Group. The museum is chock-a-block full of historical artefacts, some of it relating to logging, and lots of old bicycles.

From the 1920's Collie had the biggest marshalling yards outside of Fremantle. There used to be 12 lines. The remnants can be seen in the Railway Precinct. Just out of Collie, the Roundhouse has space for 14 trains and a turntable in the centre for turing the trains around. The Steam Locomotive display, located next to the Collie Visitor Centre on Throssell Street, should not be missed by rail enthusiasts or historians. The collection includes an F class, V class and W class, all withdrawn from service in 1971. 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.

One of the local trains is now on display at the Bassendean Railway museum. A11 was delivered in 1885, initially for use on the York to Chidlow line. The train served mainly as a shunting loco, but did do a short stint for Buckingham Brothers as a logging train near Collie. It retired in 1955, but was plighted at Perth Zoo till 1969, where I am sure many local riders of the Munda Biddi may remember it from. It was the first train to enter the railway museum.

Currently 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 in the route summary. The long term plan is to have the Munda Biddi ride into Collie via more off road sections (the last few km into town are on quiet sealed back roads), then cross the Coalfields Highway before rejoining the existing trail around Wellington National Park.

Collie does contain the biggest and best bike shop between Perth and Albany (Crank 'n' Cycles). I have used them myself, and the riders logs near Collie are full of other people who have as well. If you need anything bike wise, then this is the time to get it done. 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.

There were 2 diversions as of Oct 2015:
2.1 km Nanga realignment, which is now permeant. - The map on the DPaW website is good, and the markers are clear
5.9 km Long term diversion of King Jarrah Form onto Nanga Rd - the map on the website was originally hopeless, but in June 2015 it was updated and is great now. It now names the 2 roads and shows the Bidjar hut. There is a big locked gate across the Munda Biddi at Bidjar hut saying no access due to mining, but this is not applicable to Munda Biddi riders. I reckon most riders would be keen to do the right thing and would not enter unless they were sure they had to. You do!

Getting there/back:

Mandurah then various options on to Munda Biddi trail:
You can ride the 74 km along the Freeway to the Pinjarra Mandurah rd, or the 67 km to Lakes Rd. The ride along the freeway is all great cycleway, and can often be surprisingly scenic. For example the first 10km riding from Perth to Mt Henry bridge is all along the Swan River and later, the freeway is hidden behind a dirt mound, so you feel you are riding out in the country. However unless you have accommodation in Pinjarra or Dwellingup booked, riding from Perth and onto the nearest hut will make it a huge day. Try to avoid riding up the Scarp to Dwellingup via Pinjarra Williams Rd - it is my least favourite option. As you ride uphill at slow speeds, the road is windy and cars squeeze passed you while trying not to cross the double white lines - it is not fun. You can continue on the North Spur Rd to Dwellingup if you really want. It is ok riding off the Scarp from Dwellingup to Pinjarra on Pinjarra/Williams Rd - you go downhill almost as fast as the cars.

Therefore I suggest catching a train to Mandurah and starting from there.
Refer to Transperth Bike rules at: www.transperth.wa.gov.au/using-transperth/taking-items-on-board/bicycles

Once in Mandurah you can:
Ride from Mandurah to Pinjarra via:
1. Main Road - 18.8 km, 7.2 km on a fast road
2. Old Mandurah Rd - 21.8 km, 13.2 km on fast roads
3. Patterson/Lakes Rd - 22.7 km, 16.5 km on fast roads

Once in Pinjarra you can ride to the Munda Biddi on Map 2 by:
North Spur Rd to MB - another 17 km. You miss 22 km of the MB from Dwellingup if you are heading North. You can also continue on this route to Dwellingup.
Avoid riding to Dwellingup via Pinjarra Williams Rd - my least favourite option. It is ok coming back this way, as you are coming off the Scarp.

Ride from Mandurah to Dandalup. Then you can ride:
To Dandalup Dam via Hines Rd: 35 km in total, 20 km fast roads. You miss 40 km of the Munda Biddi from Dwellingup if you are heading North.
To Dwellingup via Del Park Rd - 51 km in total, nearly all fast, wind, uphill road. Not as bad as Pinjarra Williams Rd, but best avoided on weekends and school holidays.

Collie:

You have 4 simple options getting to or from Collie:

  1. Drive there
  2. Transwa bus from Perth
  3. Catch the South West Coach up.
  4. Train to Bunbury and ride to Collie - not recommended, although the reverse is slightly better.

I have only ever got to Collie via car. I do know the Coalfields Highway has a bad accident history as the sun is often in drivers eyes in the afternoons. Pay particular caution if you are riding up or down it and the sun is in your eyes - then car driver coming up behind you maybe blinded as well, and not see you at all.

Collie is a casual 2.5~3 hour drive from Perth, but the timetables for the train and buses seem to take up the whole day. If you are on holiday, your timetable may not be so tight, but I find it easier to drive when I have only a long weekend to ride.

Country Trains & Coaches: The Australind train service to Bunbury runs twice a day and must be booked, although I have heard you can buy a seat at departure if they are available. Bikes are welcome at $10 each but there is limited space. You can only get on or off with your bike at Perth or Bunbury. From Bunbury it is about 20 km to join the Munda Biddi at Boyanup (see how to get there on map 4) or Bunbury to Collie is 47 km up the Scarp.

Transwa coaches service most country towns and will carry bikes but must be booked, although I have heard of people paying on the day only if there is seats available. The buses services Collie. Bikes are $10 extra and most buses only have space for 2. Phone 1300 662 205 or www.transwa.wa.gov.au

South West coach lines offer a similar service with bikes costing $20 to take. Their stops include the domestic and international airport,Mandurah train station, Bunbury, and Collie. See www.transdevsw.com.au/express

Always check my detailed route sheets for extra information and warnings on road conditions. Always ride predictably on the road and make sure you are visible to cars approaching at up to 110 km/hr. Obviously there are no markers along any of the routes getting to or from the Munda Biddi trail.

Distances:

Dwellingup to Nanga (16 km - part of Map 2) to Bidjar 11 km
Bidjar Ngoulin Hut to Logue Brook Dam 32 km
Logue Brook Dam to Yarri Hut 45km
Yarri Hut to "3 ways" 26 km
"3 Ways" to Collie 19 km
Total Map Distance: 133 km

Riding to/from the Trail:
Dwellingup to Mandurah Train station 42 km

GPX files I have available:

Dwellingup to Collie (all map 3)
Dwellingup to Nanga to Bidjar hut (June 2014) (May 2014)
Bidjar hut to Logue Brook Dam (June 2014)
Logue Brook Dam to Yarri hut (Stromlo Rd diversion) (May 2014)
Yarri hut to 3 ways (May 2014)
3 Ways to Collie (May 2014)
Logue Brook Dam to Bidjar hut(Lake Brockman diversion) (May 2015)
Bidjar hut to Dwellingup (May 2015)
Collie to "3 Ways" (Oct 2015)
"3 Ways" to Yarri Hut (Oct 2015)
Yarri Hut to Logue Brook Dam (Oct 2015)

Getting there:
Pinjarra to Kessners Rd Via North Spur Rd (Sept 2015)
Dwellingup to Pinjarra via Pinjarra Williams Rd (Sept 2014)

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 3 bike trail.