Wildflower season has erupted across WA’s Coral Coast, transforming the region’s rugged landscape into a magical display of colourful blooms.
And indeed reports from around the region suggest this year’s wildflower season is shaping up well, with two of the key ingredients for successful blooms — rainfall and sunshine — having been abundant in recent months in many areas.
For Australia’s Coral Coast chief executive David O’Malley, native wildflowers tend to start blooming throughout the region from about now until October, with the peak of the season usually arriving later this month or early next month.
“Reports coming in from the region indicate a great wildflower season ahead,” David says.
“Many flowers are already in bloom, including our amazing variety of orchids. The coming weeks will see a greater range with the peak expected to be mid-August to late September. This is great news for West Australians wanting to experience one of the best displays of wildflowers found anywhere in the world, right on our doorstep.”
For those eager to hit the road and go flower-spotting, Holly Freeman from Mullewa Community Resource Centre has shared some exciting images of wildflowers from around the Mullewa district, proving the season is off to a healthy start.
“Currently in Mullewa we are seeing a variety of orchids, everlastings and bush flowers starting to bloom,” Holly says.
“There is also an abundance of fringe lilies this year. Plus, the wreath flowers at Pindar are also starting to flower, although they will not reach their peak until about the end of August or early September, depending on the weather.”
Because of recent rainfall in the region, Holly says she expects the region will be bursting with colour by mid to late August, which will coincide with Mullewa’s Wildflower Festival — Outback Bloom.
As for where to go wildflower hunting in and around Mullewa, here are the spots Holly tends to recommend: Tenindewa School Site, Wolya Well, Coalseam Conservation Park, Mullewa Waterfalls, Perkins #2 Well, and of course the wreath flowers at Pindar.
Cathy Reed from Three Springs Visitor Centre is also optimistic about this year’s wildflower season, having witnessed plenty of wildflowers popping up around the picturesque Three Springs townscape.
“From what I can tell, it’s going to be a really good year this year because of all the rain we’ve had,” Cathy says.
“We’re seeing lots of drummondii pom poms, rhodantha and pink and white everlastings between Mingenew and Yandi. And between Three Springs and Carnamah there are lots of tiny blue fairy orchids hiding beneath trees.
“With a little bit of sunshine, the region will really come alive over the next two to three weeks.”
For those keen to see WA’s wildflower county in full bloom, Cathy says it’s worth dropping into local visitor centres across the region to keep up-to-date.
“The staff always have the best local knowledge and advice about where to go and what to see,” she says.
“As long as you are happy to get out of the car and go for a wander, you’re bound to see some spectacular wildflower displays.”
With a little bit of sunshine, the region will really come alive over the next two to three weeks.
Although it’s still early on in the season, Sarah Christie from Mingenew Community Resource Centre thinks this year will be another good year for wildflowers, with lots of orchids already popping up around the Shire of Mingenew.
“So far we have seen spider orchids, snail orchids and blue fairy orchids in abundance, and it looks like there will be lots of cowslips at Depot Hill again this year with lots of leaves and buds,” Sarah says.
“Because of the heavy rainfall we experienced this week, I would say the carpets of everlastings and pom poms are still another week or two away.”
Staff at both the Geraldton and Kalbarri visitor centres say they’ve seen a significant increase in the number of calls and website enquiries from people in the Eastern States and from the South West, who want to visit the Coral Coast and see its incredible wildflower display.
“We are predicting this year’s season to be incredible,” a spokesperson from the Geraldton Visitor Centre says.
“At the moment, we have sighted a variety of orchids and everlastings blooming in Mullewa, as well as an abundance of fringe lillies.
“The wreath flowers are also starting to show themselves and are expected to reach their peak at the end of August to early September.”