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Step by step, drive trails to see the wildflowers

Australia’s Golden Outback wildflower drive trails are well thought out routes that aim to highlight some of the best displays of flora.

There’s a choice of accommodation, from hotels and motels, caravan parks (many with cabins) and camping sites to farmstays and station, and bed and breakfasts.

Drive 1 GRANITE WILDFLOWER TRAIL

This is best from mid August to October.

Day 1: Perth to Merredin

(351km/4 hours)

Drive through York along the Granite Wildflowers Self Drive and see the landscape change to flat plains with spring wildflower displays along the roadside. Visit Quairading, Narembeen and Bruce Rock on your way to Merredin.

Accommodation options: Motels, caravan park, camping.

Day 2: Merredin to Perth via Mukinbudin

(464km/6 hours)

Head north to the 2500ha reserve at Billyacatting Rock, home to a variety of wildflowers, then continue on to Talgomine Rock, looking for everlastings. Visit Mukinbudin’s rare species garden and view donkey orchids at Elachbutting Rock before travelling on to Beacon and Billaburning Reserve to see one-sided bottlebrush and yellow-spotted donkey orchids. Stop at Koorda and Wongan Hills, where there are many species of orchids, before heading back to Perth.

Drive 2 WILDFLOWER WAY

This drive trail from Dalwallinu through the Northern Wheatbelt finishes in Geraldton. Usually between late August and October, there may be a range of flora, from everlastings to wreath flowers. Three days.

Day 1: Perth to Dalwallinu

(251km/3 hours)

Leave the Metro area by heading north through the Swan Valley, then up Great Northern Highway through Bindoon and past New Norcia. After sightseeing New Norcia, travel through wide open vistas to Dalwallinu, home of wheat and wattle. Call into the Dalwallinu Discovery Centre for updates on local wildflower locations.

Accommodation options: hotel, motel, caravan park or bed and breakfast.

Day 2: Dalwallinu to Morawa

(149km/2 hours)

Head further north and on to nearly half of the 21 interpretive sites along the Wildflower Way. Visit locations such as Wubin, Buntine Rock, Latham and Caron Dam before calling into the Wheatbelt town of Perenjori. Perhaps then continue on to Morawa for ghe night.

Accommodation options: hotel, motel, caravan park or farmstays

Day 3: Morawa to Geraldton

(197km/2.5 hours)

This is the final day on the Wildflower Way. Visit some 11 interpretive sites before your arrival in Geraldton. Along the way stop in Mullewa and call into the local visitor centre. Then drive the 100km to Geraldton, stopping at the remaining four interpretative sites.

Accommodation options: large range of Geraldton accommodation available, hotels, motels and caravan parks.

More information wildflowercountry.com.au

Drive 3 GRANITE & GOLDFLIES WILDFLOWERS DRIVE

This is good from mid to late August to October. Four days.

Day 1: Perth to Merredin

(351km/4 hours)

Drive York and on to Quairading, Narembeen and Bruce Rock on your way to Merredin.

Accommodation options: motels, caravan park, camping.

Day 2: Merredin to Kalgoorlie

(334km, 3.5 hours)

Head first to for Sandford Rock Nature Reserve, 10km north-east of Westonia, to see the silver mallee. The head back to Great Eastern Highway, and on to Kalgoorlie, stopping at Boorabbin Rock, which is home to the rare granite rock poison plant, and then Caenyia Rock to see swordfish banksia.

Accommodation options: motels, apartments, outback pubs, hotels, caravan parks, backpackers, camping.

Day 3: Kalgoorlie to Leonora

(235km, 2.5 hours)

Drive to Comet Vale, to the mulga woodlands, granite rock vegetation and what should be spring wildflower displays. Continue north to Menzies, via Inside Australia, Antony Gormley’s sculptures, Kookynie, Leonora and Gwalia.

Accommodation options: outback pubs, motel, caravan park.

Day 4: Leonora to Perth

(877km, 9.5 hours)

Return to Perth via Coolgardie and the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail.

Drive 4 COASTAL WILDFLOWER DRIVE

This drive southwards from the Metro area is best from September to November, depending on seasonal rains. Five days.

Day 1: Perth to Hyden

(340km/4 hours)

From Perth, drive along Brookton Highway to Brookton and Boyagin Rock Reserve, which has orchids, dryandras, Drummond’s gums, grevilleas, kunzeas, isopogons, hakeas, petrophiles, leucopogons, hibbertias. The Dryandra Woodland is home to pink and lemon orchids. Look for Jacksonia around Narrogin before travelling on to Hyden and Wave Rock.

Accommodation options: motel, apartments, caravan parks, camping.

Day 2: Hyden to Esperance

(500km/6.5 hours)

Head east out of Hyden, following the unsealed Granite Woodlands Discovery Trail, part of the Great Western Woodlands. This is one of the world’s greatest woodlands and there is interpretive signage on the way to Norseman. Then drive on to the scenic coastal town of Esperance. Accommodation options: motel, caravan park, camping.

Day 3: Esperance and national parks

Visit Cape Le Grand National Park and see Lucky Bay. See pigmy honey possums, bandicoots and grey kangaroos along with those spring wildflowers.

Accommodation options: motels, apartments, caravan parks, camping.

Day 4: Esperance to Hopetoun

(250km/3 hours)

Drive to Ravensthorpe and visit Monjingup Lake Reserve and Stokes Inlet National Park. See mallees, wattles and peas at the Ravensthorpe Range and visit Fitzgerald River National Park, with its royal hakea.

Accommodation options: motel, caravan park, camping.

Day 5: Hopetoun to Perth

(620km/7 hours)

Return to Perth through the Wheatbelt wildflower areas of Lake Grace, Dumbleyung, Wagin and Williams.

Drive 5 EVERLASTINGS WILDFLOWER TRAIL

Expect yellow, white and pink stretching as far as the eye can see. Everlastings typically bloom from mid/late July to September. Five days.

Day 1: Perth to Dalwallinu via Wongan Hills

(286km/3.5 hours)

Leave Perth on Great Northern Highway, heading for Wongan Hills. North of Bindoon, stop at the Rica Erickson and Old Plains Road reserves on the way to Calingiri then explore Lake Ninan. Wongan Hills has various nature reserves with wildflowers and walk trails. Continue north to Dalwallinu, where wreath leschenaultia blooms in several sites just out of town. Visit Dalwallinu Discovery Centre for more information.

Accommodation options: motels, caravan park, camping.

Day 2: Dalwallinu to Mt Magnet

(320km/3.5 hours)

From Dalwallinu, head north to Paynes Find. The Gold Battery and Museum showcases the region’s mining, pastoral and sandalwood industries. Then head on to Mt Magnet, where remnants of Mt Magnet’s gold mining history are evident in its museum and heritage walk trails. Everlastings usually bloom around Mt Magnet from now to early September, so call into the Mt Magnet Visitor Centre for more information.

Accommodation options: Motels, caravan park, outback pubs, station stays, camping.

Day 3: Mt Magnet to Morawa

(408km/5 hours)

After leaving Mt Magnet, be sure to call by at Pindar, where there are wreath flowers along the roadside, then head on to Mullewa. Call at the tourist centre for the latest wildflower updates — we are expecting everlastings at Mullewa. Head south towards Coalseam Conservation Park, which is one of the best places for everlastings and other wildflowers in August and September. Drive on to Mingenew before arriving in Morawa.

Accommodation options: caravan park, B&B, guest house, outback pub.

Day 4: Morawa to Moora

(215km/2.5 hours)

Morawa is well known for its everlastings and wreath flowers, but there’s much more than that in the area, including many species of orchids, grevillea, acacia, purple darwinia and dampiera, thriptomene, smokebush, woody pear, cassias, eremophila, blue cornflower and yellow bells. Koolanooka Springs is good to visit and Perenjori is renowned for wreath flowers and everlastings. Call at Perenjori Tourist Centre for latest wildflower sightings and maps. There are wildflower drive trails within the Shire of Moora, which takes in some of the wildflowers of the area.

Day 5: Moora to Perth

(184km/2 hours)

Before leaving Moora, try a stroll along the Carnaby Cockatoo Interpretive Walk Trail, then head back to Perth via New Norcia. Stop at Koorda and Wongan Hills, particularly for orchid species.

Drive 6 MOORA WILDFLOWER DRIVE

This local drive loop starts from Moora. Follow Dandaragan Road for 9km, over the Moore River, past York gums and remnant banksia woodland. Then turn in to Prices Road and follow north for 31km along the eastern edge of the Dandaragan Plateau, with good views east across the trough line of the Darling Fault. In the wide road reserve, wattle and blue dampiera, orange eremaeas, yellow kangaroo paws and pink and white feather flowers will come through.

Follow Namban West Road for 10km, crossing a salt area noted for its saltmarsh honey myrtle and then into Agaton Road (for 6km), which has Watheroo National Park either side of the road.

Then we are in Watheroo West Road (for 28km) continuing through Watheroo National Park before turning into Eagle Hill Road to Jingemia Cave (5km). There’s a nice winding road and pleasant shady picnic site on Jingemia Hill (still Watheroo National Park). A short walking trail leads to Jingemia Cave.

Take Midlands Road, which for much of the way follows the Midlands Railway. You will see salmon and York gums and wandoo trees, and look out for lilac hibiscus. Return to Moora.

Drive 7 WICKEPIN WILDFLOWER TRAIL

Wickepin is about 2 hours, 30 minutes’ drive south-east from Perth (37km north-east of Narrogin), and has a suggested 126km wildflower drive loop. It is set in agricultural lands opened for settlement in 1893, and was the home of author Albert Facey. From Wickepin, drive to Malyalling (15km), Yealering (15km), Ten Mile Road (26km), Toolibin (23km), Harrismith (23km) and Lake Toolibin (24km), reputedly the last seasonal freshwater lake left in the Wheatbelt of WA. The route and information can be downloaded at wickepin.wa.gov.au

+ With information from Australia’s Golden Outback wildflower drive itineraries.

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