Black Diamond Lake in Collie, Western Australia, is known for its brilliant blue water and has become a popular day trip destination since Instagrammers have revealed this “locals’ secret.”
Surrounded by green forest, it’s considered one of Western Australia’s most beautiful water holes and the most visited tourist attraction in Collie.
We decided to find out what the fuss was about on our weekend in the Ferguson Valley.
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Where Is Black Diamond Lake WA?
Black Diamond Lake is in Allanson, 5 km west of Collie in Australia’s South West region.
The address is Ferguson Rd, Allanson 6225.
Black Diamond Lake Map
How to get to Collie’s Black Diamond Lake
People often ask how to get to Black Diamond Lake Perth, but this social media hotspot is a two-hour drive south of the capital city. It’s an easy drive along two main roads until you reach Raymond Road in Roelands. Here you turn left onto South Western Highway briefly before turning right onto Coalfields Road. Then turn right onto Ferguson Road and follow the road – the lake will be on your right.
From Collie, it’s a six-minute drive along Coalfields Road to the Ferguson Road turnoff.
Black Diamond Lake Collie History
Black Diamond Lake is a disused coal mine site that was mined between the late 1940s and early 1950s by Amalgamated Collieries Pty Ltd. Since mining ceased, the pit has filled with groundwater, surface water, and direct rainfall, creating a pit lake.
Trees grew around the lake after the site was abandoned, providing a picturesque backdrop to the lake.
Why is Black Diamond Lake Blue?
Black Diamond Lake water is an intense blue or green when the sun is shining on a clear day. The turquoise colour is thought to be created by the sun reflecting off the water, which contains limestone.
Things To Do at Black Diamond Lake
Black Diamond Lake is mainly used for recreational purposes, including:
- Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Thanks to social media, the lake has become popular with visitors bringing “floaties” to lay back and relax in the tranquil surroundings (although how tranquil will depend on when you visit).
Black Diamond Lake Fishing
Metal concentrations in the water here are generally low but may be higher in the sediments where seafood may feed. Fish and crustaceans can accumulate metals in their
bodies which could increase your exposure to heavy metals. Unfortunately, there isn’t any data on levels in the sediment available.
Black Diamond Lake Swimming
Although swimming is allowed at Black Diamond Lake, signs warn that you swim at your own risk. Due to being an old mining site, the water has a low PH which can cause skin and eye irritation.
The water temperature can be cold – drownings can occur shortly after becoming immersed in cold water.
Black Diamond Lake Bacteria
Like most still water, Black Diamond Lake can have harmful levels of microorganisms like Naegleria fowleri, which can lead to Amoebic meningitis. When water containing these amoebae enters the nose, it can travel to the brain, causing inflammation and destruction of brain tissue, which can be fatal.
Microbiological testing is carried out from November to May each year when the water temperature is higher and has a higher risk level. However, even if the results are clear, you should avoid putting your head under water.
The local council close the lake if bacteria are found in the water, but it is best to check with the Shire of Collie before swimming.
How Deep is Black Diamond Lake?
The depth of Black Diamond Lake is unknown, but it can be very deep in places. The water is shallow at the edge but gradually becomes deeper. Visibility is terrible due to the chalky sediment, making it difficult to see how deep it is. Signs advise no diving or jumping into the water.
Are there snakes at Black Diamond Lake?
Even though we haven’t come across any snakes near Black Diamond Lake, there could be any of the ones that live in the South West region, including:
- Southern Death Adder
- Yellow-faced Whipsnake
- Tiger Snake
- Mulga Snake
- Butler’s or Spotted Mulga Snake
- Ringed Brown Snake
- Western Brown Snake / Gwardar
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions advises the following:
- Take care in bushland and grassy areas.
- Walk or cycle in cleared areas only, where you can see the ground.
- When bushwalking, wear long trousers and boots or other enclosed footwear that preferably cover the ankles.
- Keep a watchful eye on the ground about a metre ahead of where you are walking, and avoid entering areas of long grass, rushes, and undergrowth.
Are Dogs Allowed at Black Diamond Lake?
Dogs are allowed at Black Diamond Lake, providing they are always kept on a lead.
When To Visit Black Diamond Lake
The best time to visit Black Diamond Lake is on a clear, sunny day to witness the striking colour. If you want to swim, summer is a great time as the water is warmer (remember to check water quality), but this is when it’s at its busiest.
Black Diamond Lake Camping Site
Camping is prohibited at Black Diamond Lake – rangers check up and will issue on-the-spot fines. However, you can camp at Stockton Lake nearby.
Camping options close to Black Diamond Lake are:
- Collie River Valley Tourist Park
- Wellington National Park
- Glen Mervyn Dam
- Lake Kepwari
Read more about camping in Wellington National Park here.
Black Diamond Lake Accommodation
Tip: Accommodation gets booked out quickly, especially during school holidays. To avoid disappointment, book early. We use booking.com as most properties offer free cancellation if your plans change. See what’s available for your dates here.
We also book through Stayz rather than Airbnb as they are often cheaper.
On our visit to Collie, we stayed at Glen Mervyn Lodge, private accommodation just south of Collie, near the Glen Mervyn dam. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this renovated farmhouse.
For more information and photos, read this Glen Mervyn Lodge Review.
Other accommodation options close to Black Diamond Lake are:
Red Tail Retreat, a luxury, fully self-contained accommodation in the north of Collie. The rooms contain a full kitchen with a dishwasher, coffee machine, washing machine, microwave, fridge, and cooktop/oven.
Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast, is a highly-rated B&B that offers a choice of four rooms, all with ensuite. The Treetop room adds a bit of romance with its four-poster bed, with a balcony in the treetops overlooking the garden.
What To Take to Black Diamond Lake
Things to take to Black Diamond Lake are:
- Drinking Water
- Hat & Sunglasses
- Insect Repellent
- Picnic Rug or Camping Chairs
- Shade (umbrella etc.)
There aren’t any facilities at Black Diamond Lake, so you must bring everything with you, including plenty of drinking water and food.
Where to Eat Near Black Diamond Lake
If you want to eat at Black Diamond Lake, the only option is to bring a picnic. However, you can go into Collie before or after your visit.
Some places to try are:
- Wagon 537 (take away/coffee van)
- The Colliefields
- Federal Hotel (The Feddy)
- Harris River Estate Winery
- The Victoria Hotel
- The Boulevard Cafe
- The Ridge Restaurant
Other Things To Do in Collie
While visiting Black Diamond Lake, make sure to see the surrounding area of Wellington National Park and the country town of Collie.
This ex-coal mining town is now focusing on tourism and is worthy of a visit.
You can read all about it in this guide on things to do in Collie, including Wellington National Park.
Our Thoughts on Black Diamond Lake
After all the hype about this lake, we thought we might be disappointed. Unfortunately, there have been several instances when the reality of an attraction doesn’t meet the stunning photos on social media. However, Black Diamond Lake was a gorgeous colour. You have to visit on a clear day to see it, though – a cloudy day will not produce the turquoise colour.
We were there in September at 9 am and had the place to ourselves. Summer is entirely different. Expect crowds, lots of families having picnics, and everyone with their floaties in the lake. If you are there for photography, I would avoid summer school holidays and hot weekends. Arrive early in the morning as it fills up fast.
As it was cold, we didn’t venture into the water, but not sure I would anyway, given the warnings. It’s somewhere I would bring the kayak, though.
Be prepared that there are no toilet facilities here (sometimes in summer the shire installs temporary toilets). This could be an issue for those with children.
There isn’t anything to sit on or a grassed area, and the ground is hard and bumpy, so bring chairs if possible.
When visiting, please be mindful of the impact of tourism on this natural site. Unfortunately, it is experiencing environmental damage from rubbish left behind and other inappropriate use. Keep clear of the revegetation areas indicated by the rehabilitation signs.
Black Diamond Lake is worth visiting while combining with a weekend in Collie or the Ferguson Valley, so start planning now! Use our links to book your accommodation – it won’t cost you any extra, but will help maintain this site. Thank you.
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Flights: We use different sites to get the best possible price for flights. Check matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site. Compare the cost of flights with Kiwi.com and try different routes.
Travel Guides: As well as using online resources, like other travel blogs, I like to flick through a paper travel guide too. I either rent them from our local library or buy them from Bookdepository if I want to take it with me.
Accommodation: We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.
Car Rental: To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated. Another option is Rentalcars.com
Campervan Rental:Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Tours: We use third-party sites Viator, Get Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.
Travel Insurance: Cover-More protects the travel dreams and experiences of more than 15 million people worldwide every year (including us!). Part of Zurich Insurance Group, they cover 22 countries across five continents with leading positions in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, India and New Zealand. Protect your trip against several COVID-19 scenarios during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Other Things To Do in Australia’s South West
Have you been to the south west region of WA before?
Here are some other guides you may find useful: