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Lake Kepwari; spectacular lakeside camping

If you are looking for lakeside camping only 2 hours from Perth with a proper boat ramp and some of the most amazing attractions not far away, Lake Kepwari should be on your list.

We’ve explored more than 60 great camp sites near Perth, and have just come back from an extra extra long weekend at Lake Kepwari and rate it very, very highly. So much in fact, that we’ve booked another stay in the warmer months, and that’s not the norm for us!

Lake Kepwari from above

The spectacular Lake Kepwari

Lakeside Camping near Perth

Camped metres from the edge of the Lake

About Lake Kepwari

If you want to know what 5.2 million dollars can do to turn an old coal mine into a camp site and ski lake, head to Lake Kepwari as that’s exactly what has happened. The lake itself was previously known as WO5B coal mine, and in 1970 the mining began, eventually leaving a giant hole in the ground. Once the mining was completed, it was backfilled in some areas, and left to fill with water.

Lake Kepwari was originally the bright turquoise colour that you see in many of the other lakes around Collie, until the Collie River was diverted to run through the lake, which flushed it out, created a healthy environment and changed the colour to the brown river water colour it is today.

Extensive work has been done on the campground and surrounding area making it a brilliant place to come for the day, weekend or longer. 

Lake Kepwari really is a perfect demonstration of what can be done to old mines, and the camp ground and region is some of the best work that DBCA have done.

Lake Kepwari glass off

A mirror finish is not uncommon

Where is Lake Kepwari?

You’ll find this place just over 2 hours South of Perth, and 14 minutes south east of Collie itself. You can get to Balingup, Donnybrook, Bunbury and Darkan within an hours drive making it well positioned place to hang around.

Lake Kepwari Island

Just 14 minutes from Collie!

Lake Kepwari Camping

Access to Lake Kepwari is all bitumen, with only the camp ground being gravel. You could take any vehicle here, making it suitable for 2WD, 4WD, buses, caravans, RV’s and anything else you can throw at it. The camp grounds are big, and we comfortably fit two vans and two 4WD’s on one site.

There is a small sandy section on each site to allow people to peg their tents in without trying to knock them into the hard gravel.

Big camp sites

The camp sites are very spacious

Tent sites

A small sandy section on each site for tents

The sites start off further away from the lake and are more protected, and then get closer (as the number goes up) to the boat ramp and closer to the lake. The lake side camp sites have less shade than the ones on the other side of the road, but when its cold the sun is greatly appreciated.

There’s a reasonable gap between you and your neighbours, which is also very welcomed, and as the tree’s continue to grow it will only get better.

Our site at Lake Kepwari

Our camp site with two vans and two 4WD’s

Camp sites at Kepwari

More camp sites further away from the Lake

Amenities at Lake Kepwari

If you need water, there are a number of rain water tanks at Lake Kepwari that you can take it from. It is recommended that you treat it prior to use though.

Water on tap

Water is available, but you have to treat it

The camp kitchens at Lake Kepwari are second to none, and overlook the Lake itself. 

Camp Kitchen at Lake Kepwari

The camp kitchen is brilliant

There are a number of toilet blocks at the Lake, which are all very well maintained and clean. They are drop toilets, but the newer style that are great to use.

Toilets at Lake Kepwari

The toilets are as good as the DPAW ones get

How much does it cost?

Lake Kepwari is $11 per adult per night, $3 per child between 5 and 16 and $9 per night for concessions. The area (including Wellington Dam) is not classified as a paid national park, so you do not need a WA parks Pass.

Lake Kepwari information

The information sign

Booking Lake Kepwari

Like many of the DBCA camp sites today, you need to book online. It can be extremely busy and popular, so there’s a chance you’ll have to get up early to snag a site when there are long weekends and school holidays. 

If you are having a hard time booking any of the DPAW sites because its busy, check this post out – How to book WA National Parks when its busy.

Book it early

Book it early to avoid missing out

Dogs and fires

The two most commonly asked question for any camp site in WA is can you bring your dog, and can you have a fire? The answer is yes to both. However, you need to keep your dog on a leash, and fires can only be used in the designated fire pits in season. Collie can get very warm, and the fire risk in summer is huge, so follow the fire season carefully.

Chicken on the Camp Braai

Cooking dinner over the fire pit on our Camp Braai

How does Lake Kepwari compare to other camping options?

If you want to camp in Collie, there are a number of options. You have Stockton Lake, Honeymoon Pool, Gelcoat, Stones Brook, Potters Gorge, a number of ‘free’ sites and last but not least Lake Kepwari.

In our opinion, Lake Kepwari is the best by a long shot. We love Honeymoon Pool too, but it is more expensive and you can’t take trailers which rules us out for now. Potters Gorge is nice, but its also more expensive, busier and a much longer walk to the water.

Honeymoon Pool Camping

Honeymoon Pool is beautiful too

Stockton Lake

Stockton Lake is OK, but not as nice as Lake Kepwari

Stockton Lake seems to be more popular, but the lake is smaller, its got warnings about the water acidity levels and its right next to the motorcross setup, which isn’t exactly quiet.

Lake Kepwari is open, spacious, right near the water and we think its been done seriously well.

Blue Wren in Collie

If you are lucky you’ll even see a few Blue Wrens at Lake Kepwari

Skiing at Lake Kepwari

One of the primary reasons so much time and money was put into Lake Kepwari was to cater for the huge skiing capability that it has. According to the sign, Lake Kepwari is the second largest ski lake in Western Australia. At 2km by 1km, there’s plenty of room for a number of boats to enjoy the lake.

Lake Kepwari ski information

The boating information sign

The boat ramp is as good as they get, with a huge array of good boat parking. The day use area is brilliant with undercover areas, BBQ’s, seats and a nice beach to hang at. Only a tiny portion of the Lake is off limits for boats making it one of the best ski lakes in WA.

Lake Kepwari Boat Ramp

The Lake Kepwari boat ramp is really well done

For now too, its far less known than Waroona, Logue Brook or Stockton and I suspect that is going to change quickly once more people find out about it.

Exploring Lake Kepwari

It’s the perfect boating location

Skiing at Lake Kepwari

There’s plenty of room to yourself

Jet boat at Lake Kepwari

Testing the Jet Boat out

Fish and Marron in Lake Kepwari

There are fish and Marron in Lake Kepwari. To take them you need a fresh water fishing license for the fish, and a marron license for the black bugs. Marron season is only for a tiny portion of the year and there is an extensive list of rules that you need to follow.

What else is worth visiting around Collie?

Black Diamond

Seeing the colour of Black Diamond for the first time really took our breath away. It’s beautiful, and extremely popular for day use.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond is a truly unbelievable location

Black Diamond from above

Can you get anything better than that?

Glen Mervyn Dam

Watching the water run over Glen Mervyn Dam spillway was an interesting experience, as its works its way down to a small but picturesque waterfall. 

Glen Mervyn Dam

Glen Mervyn is a popular dam that is very full

Glen Mervyn Waterfall

The waterfall at the bottom of the spillway

Stockton Lake

Another hugely popular camp ground in Collie is Stockton Lake, and although we didn’t mind it, Lake Kepwari runs rings around it every day of the week.

Stockton Lake

Stockton Lake is nice, but busy and small

Stockton Lake Camping

There’s plenty of room to camp

Wellington Dam

Wellington Dam is an amazing place, especially with the new Mural that has been painted. The kiosk is great (and very well priced for its location), and you can follow the river along a number of fantastic spots. You can see the dam from above, in the middle at the quarry and down the bottom where the water comes out.

Wellington Dam Mural

The incredible Mural at Wellington Dam

Collie River from Wellington Dam

The river below the dam is beautiful

Lennard Drive

Somehow we’ve missed Lennard Drive all these years, and actually did it twice on this weekend. It’s a one way, bitumen drive that weaves its way along the river with a number of great places to stop. We thoroughly enjoyed this, and the only thing that is better is the 4WD track nearby.

Lennard Drive Rapids

Lennard Drive is spectacular

Lennard 4WD Track

When the weather dries up a bit, the Lennard 4WD Track opens again. This is a fairly easy 4WD track that follows the river, and has a number of spectacular places to pull over for lunch, or just to soak up the amazing scenes.

Lennard 4WD Track scenery

Enjoying the amazing scenery along the Lennard 4WD Track

Book a stay at Lake Kepwari

We were seriously impressed by what has been done at Lake Kepwari, and would highly recommend it. If you are looking for another amazing camp site not too far from Perth, this could be it!

Lake Kepwari information sign

More information about Lake Kepwari

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