There are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in Western Australia, of which more than 60 percent are found nowhere else in the world.
Western Australia’s Golden Outback is in bloom and it’s never been easier for visitors to see the rare and natural phenomenon with tours on offer and three wildflower shows confirmed. Wildflowers are springing to life and the season will run until November in the southern parts of WA’s Golden Outback.
Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show
The Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show is the world’s largest show of its kind and includes a packed program of more than 20 workshops, events, talks, and tours plus up to 700 wildflowers on display, all picked within the local shire by licensed and trained volunteers.
Continuously run by volunteers since its inception in 1982, the Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show is a tribute to the rugged and natural beauty of the region that includes the nearby Fitzgerald River National Park and Ravensthorpe Range, collectively home to about 20 percent of WA’s floral species including some that are, as yet, undocumented.
The Ravensthorpe region has the most amount of Eucalypts in a given area and associate researcher and honorary curator of Eucalypts at the WA Herbarium, Malcolm French OAM, has stated it as "the Eucalypt Epicentre of the Universe with over 100 species and around fifty hybrids”.
Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show coordinator Sue Leighton said that this year’s program is one of the best yet.
“The program features our patron and well-known horticulturist Sabrina Hahn, travel journalist, photographer, and author William Yeoman, a Hunt and Gather picnic with Mondo Butcher Vince Gareffa who’ll be hosting a sausage making competition, four-wheel-drive and two-wheel-drive tag-a-long tours, nature walks, guided walks with rangers, photography workshops, art workshops and exhibitions, Farm Gate Art trails, zoologists, geologists, botanists and so much more,” Sue said.
Situated about 500 kilometres southeast of Perth, the Fitzgerald River National Park is a UNESCO listed World Biosphere Reserve, internationally recognised as being on par with the Galapagos and the Amazon, as quoted by Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson.
The Fitzgerald Biosphere includes 1.5 million hectares of conservation estate, waters, farmland, industrial and urban areas and is considered to be one of the most diverse botanical regions on the planet with about 2,500 species and 175 endemic flowering plants that include Royal Hakea, Qualup Bell, Eucalyptus Sepulcralis, Weeping Gum, Pincushion Hakea, Woolly Banksia and Bottlebrush.
Esperance Wildflower Festival
Another nearby wildflower hot spot, about 200 kilometres east further along the coast is Esperance. The Esperance Wildflower Festival, held from 22nd to 26th September 2020, showcases about 500 wildflower specimens, art exhibitions from over 400 school students, cultural presentations by Nyungar Elders, keynote presentations from internationally renowned Australian botanists, displays from local organisations, an interactive community sculpture project, and more.
This year’s theme is ‘flowers and feathers: friends or foes?’ which is a celebration of local plant and bird species and the important relationships between them.
Reynoldson Reserve Wildflower Festival
The 16th annual Reynoldson Reserve Wildflower Festival will be held in late October at ‘The Station’ in Wongan Hills, about 185 kilometres northeast of Perth. The three-day program includes bus tours to spot wildflowers, horticulture talks, wildflower displays, a welcome sundowner, big breakfast, market stalls, Devonshire teas, art displays, vintage car show, and demonstrations.
There are several one-day and multi-day tours into wildflower country departing Perth with Casey Australia Tours, Villa Tours and Adams. For those preferring smaller and intimate tour groups (maximum of six people), Luxury Outback Tours offers a one-day tour into wildflower country and a seven-day tour from Perth to Katanning, Esperance, Hopetoun and Bremer Bay.
In Esperance, new operator Discover Esperance Wildflower Tours, offers day tours for up to ten people until the end of September that includes spotting the region’s incredible orchids.
In Beacon, about 300 kilometres northeast of Perth, wildflower tours run every Monday that includes carpets of Everlastings, Clown Orchids, Donkey Orchids, Dragon Orchids, Spider Orchids, Blue Fairy Orchid, Sandalwood Trees and various species of wattle, a campfire lunch with billy tea, honey tasting, and plenty of bird watching with regular sightings of Wedgetail Eagles, Budgerigars, Black Cockatoos, Purple Crowned Lorikeets, Major Mitchells and Malleefowl. There’s an opportunity to explore Billiburning Rock, climb to the top and look out over untouched land that stretches all the way to Mount Magnet.
Self Drive Trails
There are six wildflowers itineraries on www.roadtripcountry.com.au to guide travellers to wildflowers and a live wildflower tracker map, an excellent resource to see where the blooms are currently popping up.
From 3rd August to 7th September, travellers spotting wildflowers can upload their photos to www.roadtripcountry.com.au/wildflowers for a chance to win a weekly $100 prize or the grand $500 prize.
For more information on road trips to wildflowers visit www.roadtripcountry.com.au.