Not far along the road the wreaths appeared, sitting on the sandy verge like giant cream cakes, their pink and cream flowers surrounding their green centres in perfect circles. It is early September and we are north of Wubin, just off the Great Northern Highway in Western Australia’s Golden Outback. It is the first time I have seen the unique and distinctive Wreath Leschenaultia (Leschenaultia macrantha) which only grows in a small area of the Mid West and one of the reasons I have journeyed here in the peak of the wildflower season. In easy reach of Perth, the exquisite display of wildflowers, seen along the “Everlasting Trail” is considered to be among the finest in the world, drawing visitors from all over the world every year. The area is also rich in heritage interest.
Boasting up to 12,000 known species, the Western Australian wildflower season spreads over several months starting from July in the north’s Pilbara region till November in the south. Walking through the bush during spring you will see the browns and greens of the bush erupt in a dazzling display of vibrant colour.
A wildflower tour could extend from a few days to several weeks or months, or visitors can stroll through the Kings Park Botanic Gardens in the heart of Perth or visit the annual Wildflower Festival in September/October.
Start by planning your trip around the time of year and how far you want to travel. The wildflower season is dependent on seasonal weather variations and each region has unique wildflower species due to environmental differences such as soil type, fauna, plant systems, geography, and weather. Whilst on the road it is a good idea to visit local visitor centres for the latest information on what is flowering where, as the best locations can vary depending on the season.
Armed with a good map, a wildflower tourist guide, identification books, camera, camping gear and walking boots our tour took us from Perth through Dalwallinu to Jibberding and Paynes Find and then across to Camel Soak. From here we travelled to Perenjori and Yalgoo, and via Mullewa to Canna and Coalseam, returning to Perth via Moora. This tour could spread over a couple of weeks, or like us time-poor enthusiasts, over a three or four day weekend. This drive will take you along gravel roads into remote areas, so I recommend a 4 wheel drive vehicle and carrying plenty of water.
To read this complete article see Australian Coast and Country magazine Edition 2, 2008