Experience the vibrancy of wildflowers in Western Australia from September through to November: it’s one of the biggest wildflower collection on earth. October is the best month to see them in full bloom, with the kaleidoscopic display attracting nature lovers from across the world.
More than 12,000 species of flora burst into brilliant bloom across the state, and an amazing 60 per cent of Western Australia’s wildflowers are found nowhere else on the planet. It’s a unique botanical display like no other, and a photographer’s dream.
In inner-city parks and botanical gardens, national parks, towering forests, and across coastal and outback plains, carpets of radiant wildflowers are a feast for the senses. Spot yellow donkey orchids, or the rare Queen of Sheba orchid, fiery-red grevilleas, hot-pink hakeas, golden wattle and so much more.
Seasonal walks and guided tours are an excellent way to identify and admire these beautiful blooms while you learn about the biodiversity of this incredible region.
Be blown away in Bunbury
Just a two-hour drive south of Perth will land you in the heart of Bunbury. It is known as the city of three waters, and is the gateway to the beautiful Margaret River Region, where people flock all year round for the wine and wonderful restaurants showcasing some of Australia’s best produce.
Bunbury is also part of the Bunbury Geographe, situated in one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots, with native flora and fauna galore.
Bunbury is a seaside city that is undergoing an urban renaissance: once an industrial port, it now offers emerging local wine bars, trendy restaurants, edgy boutiques and cafés. Located on a peninsula with protected beaches and bays, it is an aquatic playground where surfing, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing and boating are all very popular, as is swimming with wild dolphins.
Just south of the city you’ll find Manea Park, Bunbury’s premier bush reserve, which is home to more than 30 species of orchids. With an accessible 2.4km walking track, Manea Park is a peaceful place to enjoy a quiet stroll and enthuse over the beautiful varieties of orchid. You’re also bound to come face to face with a friendly kangaroo.
Head out of the city just 30 minutes and arrive in the beautiful Ferguson Valley – a hidden jewel in a vast area of natural bushland peppered with award-winning wineries. Make your way to Crooked Brook, which is bursting at the seams with beautiful swathes of wildflowers.
You can also explore Wellington National Park, covering 17,000 hectares and home to ancient jarrah, marri and blackbutt forest. There’s an abundance of great walks and stunning views of wildflowers sprawling in every direction.
Where to stay in Bunbury
The Best Western Plus Hotel Lord Forrest is located in the centre of town, and is a short walk to many of the city’s attractions, such as the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries (BRAG), Koombana Beach and the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.
You can also enjoy a refreshing swim in the property’s indoor pool or relax and unwind in the restaurant, bar or lounge during lunch and dinner hours. All of the hotel’s 115 guest rooms and suites feature a private balcony, include free Wi-Fi and complimentary parking, and many have stunning ocean views.
Esperance comes to life in wildflower season
Esperance, with its striking white sand and brilliant beaches, is the perfect place for a quintessential beach holiday. The sand is so fine it squeaks under your feet. The pure white colour is due to milky frosted quartz, and Lucky Bay – approximately 45km south-east of Esperance – has been proclaimed as the place to find Australia’s whitest sand. It’s also well-known for beach camping, snorkelling, 4WDriving and its mobs of friendly kangaroos.
Through August to November, Esperance’s spectacular wildflower season comes into full bloom, with native orchids, banksias, grevilleas and numerous other species all vying to be the centre of attention. The best way to see the region’s diverse flora is to explore on foot, and there are many trails in the area where you’ll walk right into wildflower hotspots.
The Rotary Lookout has sweeping views over the town and out to sea, and is a great spot to visit to find wildflowers blooming through the trails around the area. Go for a wander and try to spot flowering eucalypts, twining clematis, dryandras, Australian bluebells, fringe lilies and the beautiful flowering hakea.
Just 15km out of town, the huge reserve of Helms Arboretum is a wildflower enthusiast’s dream. Established in the 1970s, Helm’s Arboretum is home to eucalyptus, melaleucas, casuarinas and acacias.
During spring you’ll find over ten species of orchids including spider and donkey orchids, cowslips and banksia. There are red flowering gums in early summer and the glorious royal hakea is on show all year round. Bush pockets are accessible by car, and you can also walk or bike ride for a more immersive experience.
Where to stay in Esperance?
Nestled on the shores of the great southern ocean, the Hospitality Esperance, SureStay Collection by Best Western is the perfect place for a holiday in Western Australia. It’s close to the town centre as well as some of the world’s best beaches and natural attractions, so you won’t be short on activities to enjoy such as swimming, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, golf, tennis and island hopping.
The motel offers spacious and well appointed rooms with ensuites. All rooms have queen-size beds, televisions, 12 Foxtel Channels, mini bars and reverse cycle air-conditioning. Other perks include guest laundry and dry cleaning, a licensed restaurant specialising in modern Australian cuisine, a cocktail bar, guest BBQ area, a large swimming pool and room service.
Albany is a picturesque town on the south coast of Western Australia, with pristine beaches, stunning rugged coastal landscapes and plenty of history, with the Historical Whaling Station and National Anzac Centre: a fitting destination for those looking to take in the best of nature and culture.
The whole stretch of coastline between Albany and Esperance is one of Western Australia’s richest floral regions, and offers some spectacular walks and vistas. The coastal cliffs of the Torndirrup National Park are home to natural wonders The Gap and the Natural Bridge, as well as a host of wildflowers, including the sticky tailflower, the pink pimilea rosea and blue scaevola nitida.
Back in the heart of town, visit the Albany Heritage Park at the National Anzac Centre, a 250-hectare parkland reserve where you can hunt for flowering trees and shrubs. It includes the summit of Mt. Clarence and Mt. Adelaide, and stretches from the centre of Albany to the shores of King George Sound and Middleton Beach.
The Regional Wildflower Garden at Discovery Bay has species from across the region in its purpose-built wildflower garden. Best of all, entry to the garden is included in the cost of entry to Albany’s Historic Whaling Station and as part of the Amazing South Coast Pass.
Just north of Albany, the magnificent, rugged peaks of the Stirling Ranges are home to 1,500 species of wildflower. This is where you can spot unique and abundant wildflowers, such as banksia, dryandras, mountain bells and 40 species of orchid, including the magnificent rare Queen of Sheba – a star-shaped bright purple flower with scarlet trimming. These wildflowers can be enjoyed on weekday guided walks.
Where to stay in Albany?
A leisurely 10-minute stroll from Albany’s bustling city centre, SureStay Hotel by Best Western The Clarence on Melville is an ideal base to discover the beautiful and rugged Rainbow Coast. The Clarence on Melville is a comfortable and convenient option for friends, families and guests. Their recently rejuvenated rooms and suites are kitted-out with all of the amenities guests need to ensure a comfortable stay in Albany.
Want to explore more of Western Australia?