Good Wildflower Spots in the SW of WA

The red numbers on the map, and in the table, are links to notes about the locality.

You can download detailed maps of WA from this link. But you will need a good map book to find your way to many of these sites. We sell "Roads and Tracks WA" . It has many of the reserves marked on it.

See also this link for suggested routes

For a print friendly version of the information, click here. In some browsers the pdf file may 'hang" . In this case, right click on the link, choose to save to your disc, and read later with pdf reader.
Spot Description
1 Shark Bay
2 Kalbarri
3 Everlastings
4 Mullewa region
5 Wildflower Way & Coal Seam Park
6 Eneabba & Badgingarra
7 Wongan Hills
8 Brand Highway
9 Merredin Region
10 Wandoo Woodlands
11 Quairading and Charles Gardner Reserve
12 Corrigin Region
13 Sullivan Rock
14 Boyagin Rock
15 Narrogin, Harrismith and Dryandra
16 Ravensthorpe and Fitzgerald River
17 Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Sunklands & Whicher Range
18 Stirlings and Porongurups
19 Pemberton Region
20 Albany region
 
Spot Getting There Notes
1 Shark Bay It's a long way to Shark Bay. If you go to Kalbarri first, your trip is initially along the eastern edge of Kalbarri Park and provides a chance to see more of its flowers. If your trip is during the "everlasting window" (mid August to mid September) you will see them as you move into the low woodland and mulga country further north. And you will surely stop to see the stromatalites at Hamelin Pool and later the shell beach. Accommodation at Monkey Mia is limited and not cheap.  Consider staying at Denham or Nanga Station as alternatives. If you have come all this way, stay at least 2 nights and spend a day on boat trips from Monkey Mia looking for dugongs and dolphins.

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2 Kalbarri If traveling north, diverge at Northampton and take the "short-cut" to Kalbarri which takes you to the south west edge of the park. The park is nearly 200 000 ha. Most of it is Tumblagooda sandstone which is at least 1000 meters thick. It was laid down about 400-500 million years ago mostly during Ordovician and Silurian times when sands from the Yilgarn block were washed onto a broad rift valley which opened between Australia and what is now Southern Tibet (would you believe) as Gondwana began to break up.

About 2 million years ago the river meandered gently across a coastal plain. There was then a fairly rapid uplift and the river cut through the rising sandstone producing spectacular gorges and sea cliffs. It must have been slow enough to preserve the meanders.

At Kalbarri, the Murchison River finally makes it to the sea. This provides one of the few harbours on this coast and has been used for many years by fishermen seeking rock lobsters - which we call crayfish.  The town of Kalbarri was only gazetted in 1951 and the National Park in 1963.

However it was near here that the first European "migrants" landed - when two mutineers from the ship Batavia were marooned. The town is now an important holiday location catering for people such as you who want to look at plants, for fishermen, and for people escaping the cold(!) of the south in winter.

Allow yourself at least two nights here. You will need a whole day to see the flowers and the scenery such as Hawkes Head,  The Loop and Zed Bend. Especially at The Loop, it is worth climbing down a fairly easy path for the view - and of course interesting plants on the way.  Bet you take a picture through "nature's window" - everybody does.

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3 Everlastings You will only find them in smallish patches or in reserves within the "agricultural areas" - the areas in which crops are grown. You have to go out to the "pastoral areas". Despite the name, the everlasting season is short - and unreliable. If rains have been favourable there will be a fantastic display from about mid August to about mid September. This happens only about one year in 10.

From Perth, the most accessible area is the triangle bounded by Paynes Find, Mt Magnet and Yalgoo. It's a large area and accommodation is limited. There are several "stations" which provide accommodation and these can be reached in one day from Perth. You will find phone numbers in the RAC guide under "Paynes Find" and "Yalgoo".  Mt Magnet has a couple of hotels/motels but if it seems a bit far for one day plus sightseeing (570 km) consider leaving Perth a bit later and staying at Dalwallinu or Wubin or Morawa before going on to Mt Magnet.

Again if rains have been good, you will see everlastings along the road to Shark Bay in August and September.

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4Mullewa region It's also a long way back from Shark Bay. If your vehicle is very reliable, and the road is open, consider taking the Butchers Track eastward from south of the Overlander.

From Mullewa travel east to Pindar

 

Continue south along the Pindar to Tardun road.

Butchers Track takes you across to the Carnarvon to Mullewa Rd. It is scenic trip through the real outback and a vast sandplain with some typical mesa-shaped remnants and also fields of longitudinal dunes. Much of it is a dense thicket of acacias and hakeas. There are occasional stands of the native cypress and occasional mallee eucalypts. You will see many emus and  kangaroos - here the red kangaroo of the northern regions not the Western grey of further south. Make sure you have food and water for there is only one speck of civilization on the route. It is at the Murchison Shire office where there is a small museum of local history and a wildflower walk with labeled plants installed by the Murchison wildflower group.

Mullewa has an active  wildflower group. They mount a wildflower show in late August.

At Pindar there is often a good display of everlastings near the railway. There is also a gravel pit where the original thicket vegetation has been destroyed and growth of the understorey released. It used to be a top spot but continued gravel removal has decreased its flower supply. Often you can see better wreath flowers (Lechenaultia macrantha) by taking the road to Tallering Station. Wreath flowers occur in a sandy stretch along this road.

If you go south from Pindar, a good stop is at the corner of Deans Rd - but there are many others. You are now on the Mullewa to Wubin  Rd - the "Wildflower Way" see "5" below.

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5 Wildflower Way & Coal Seam Park The best strip of the Mullewa to Wubin road is between Perenjori and Wubin.

The Coalseam Park is just north-north-east of Mingenew and is easier to find from the south. You could reach it via the Nanekine Rd almost opposite the Canna Rd. Turn  right onto Coalseam Rd.

Here the railway runs parallel with the road and there are many spots between road and rail that are worth stopping for. Explore the side roads, for example to Canna and to Pintharuka where the local cemetery, appropriately enough, also has the wreath flower

Coalseam Park is best in early spring when carpets of everlastings may be present. There is spectacular scenery with lookouts over the steep valley of the Irwin river.

Dalwallinu makes a good base for a couple of nights. The local council has prepared brochures with good advice on wildflower drives and good spots.

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6 Eneabba & Badgingarra We are considering here the Northern part of the Brand Highway - say north of Cateby. Good spots include: most of the highway edges, Banovich Rd, Coomallo rest area (opposite Jurien Rd), Cockleshell Gully Rd, Tootbardi Rd, Coorow-Greenhead Rd, Beekeepers Rd and Skipper Rd. You are now in some of the best wildflower areas of WA. The roads near Eneabba, and especially the side roads, are very good.

You could overnight at the Western Flora Caravan Park (ph 9955 2030) which is 22 km north of Eneabba. It has adobe chalets and "on-site" caravans and the owner, Alan Tinker, will take interested people on a guided wildflower walk.

One way of making sure you see the best parts of the Badgingarra area is to contact Don and Joy Williams at Hi-Vallee farm. They will show you around - and they also have accommodation. Don and  Joy have preserved a substantial part of their farm in its virgin form. They get a lot of pleasure, and make some money, from this area by conducting tours around and telling people about the flora. They also take tours to Lesueur National Park - one of the centres of botanical diversity.

We also recommend the map "Kwongan Connection -  Wildflower Drives of the Midlands Region" Which can be bought via our books sale pages for $6.60

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7 Wongan Hills Continue to Wongan Hills after you have traversed the Wildflower Way. Or go there directly from Perth along the Great Northern Highway.then via Calingiri. This will give you a good view of the rather scenic country near Bindoon. There are several good roadside stops in this area.

By the way, "Wongan" is a version of the native word which is rendered as "kwongan" when it refers to the heath-like vegetation.

If you are coming from Perth, make a stop at the Udamung Brook Reserve just south of Hay Flat Rd and past the 25 km sign (S of New Norcia). There is a gravel pit which makes a good parking spot.  Near here, you will see the prominent pink flowers of  Isopogon dubius. There are  several dryandras here. Most profuse is the spectacular D. polycephala with its many heads. There are obvious tracks which will save you bush bashing - and save the bush. Continue north for about 3 km, then turn east on the road to Calingiri. Continue 11 km along this road to the intersection with Old Plains Rd. Here is the Rica Ericson reserve with excellent flowers on the heath and, in  September, spider orchids like you wouldn't believe under the wandoo trees.

North of Wongan Hills there is a large patch of remnant vegetation extending almost into the town. Park just south of the research station. Walk east from the road for about 50 metres then turn right down a semi-cleared path. Explore from the top of this region down the hill to the spot where the power lines cross the road. This will let you see a range of vegetation as the soils change from the gravel at the top of the hill to the sandier soil down the slope.

Christmas Rock is just to the north of the town. Drive up the hill towards the granite rock. Like many similar rocks near towns, this was once used as a water catchment. Walk up the track where the water comes off the rock. The path is rather more damp than normal and has unusual plants. The rock itself is particularly interesting because it has many cracks with Kunzea pulchella growing in them. "Pulchella" means beautiful and the name is appropriate. It is a bush about 1 m high with grey leaves which are about the same colour as the rock. Its roots grow along the cracks sending up daughter bushes. In spring, this greyness is relieved by brilliant red flowers. You will pass over some damp spots in depressions in the rock where there should be some orchids growing. 

Visit Mt OBrien for some good bushland and spectacular views. It is reached from the road to Piawaning and Waddington.

A few kilometers to the West is Gathecole Reserve, which has excellent views and rocks. And Reynoldson Reserve (16 km North of Wongan Hills) is well-worth a visit, particularly in November when the Verticordia are flowering.

See the Wongan Tourism website for more information.

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8Brand Highway Here we consider the Southern part of Brand Highway - say south of Cateby About 15 km north of Muchea, take Airfield Rd, to the west. About 3 km along Airfield Rd, there is a patch of ironstone, which is usually waterlogged in winter/spring but nevertheless has a carpet of an everlastings (Rhodanthe manglesii)

Further north, Wannamal Rd West gives you good access to Boonanaring Nature Reserve. Yet further north, Mogumber Rd West is good. Suggest you stop soon after entering the road and explore the south side. Opposite this road, on the west side of Brand Highway, is a small parking place. This gives access to a large sandy area that is home to the rare Banksia laricina .

Yet further north, and just south of Cateby, look for the "mile" post that tells you it is 50 km to Badgingarra. Opposite there is a small track that leads up the hill to an old gravel pit with good parking and good flowers.

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9Merredin Region Merredin is about half way between Perth and Kalgoorlie. there are 4 motels and a good caravan park North of Merredin, the road to Nungarin runs parallel to the rail and there are good reserves between them. However, you may choose to turn off 10 km from Merredin onto the Merredin-Knungajin Rd. About 24 km from the turn, you come to a "five-way" intersection. The local council cleared the edges to improve sight lines and a veritable garden has re-established. Highly recommended. Continue about 5 km down the Talgomine Reserve Rd and you will find a patch of woodland with a carpet of flowers in spring.

A bit further there is a track to the right leading to the rock.

South of Merredin, take the Narambeen Rd, but turn off into Bulls Head Rd. Then turn right into Scott Rd. The first 3 - 4 km are not special but later there is much to see. Continue slowly with many stops to the Koonadgin wheat bin.

East of Merredin, take the Great Easter Highway, Turn north at Carrabin and travel to Westonia. Look for the signs to Sandford Rocks. Here you will find many moist spots with sundews and orchids, and also a good patch of Salmon Gum woodlands.

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10Wandoo Woodlands From the Great Easter highway heading west from Perth, at The Lakes take the road towards York but diverge right into Talbot West Rd Talbot West Rd takes you through attractive Wandoo woodland. This area is easily reached from Perth and makes a good one-day drive. Follow this road, but take the turn into Talbot Rd towards York. Opposite Talbot Hall Rd, there is a turn into Mercer Rd. This short road gives you a good traverse across several communities.

 

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11Quairading and Charles Gardner Reserve Quairading is about 60 km east of York on a good road There is a large reserve on the west side of Quairading but we find the smaller reserve just to the east of the town more accessible. Turn north into Cemetery Road. Close to the turn-off, there is a good patch with Verticordias and other attractive plants. Near the cemetery, runoff on the downhill side of the car park has stimulated growth. From this car park, the sandy track up the hill is worth exploring on foot.

Charles Gardner reserve is roughly half way between Quairading and Tammin.  To locate it, look for the intersection of Ralston Rd and Gardner Reserve Rd. We have found the area near this intersection - especially in Garner Reserve Rd to be very good.

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12Corrigin Region Corrigin can be reached by continuing south east from Quairading or, from Perth taking the Brookton Highway and then continuing East.

In this older part of the Wheatbelt, road reserves are narrow and grasses are displacing the native vegetation. Nevertheless there are wonderful remnant patches

Corrigin is not famous as a wildflower centre - and this is a pity as there is much to see. One good spot is 18 km west of Corrigin on the Brookton Rd. Turn north into Jubuk Rd. The turn is on the outside of a big curve. If you miss the turn, go back! There is a good (though small) patch of kwongan here.

Again on the Brookton Rd, 5 km from Corrigin, opposite the dog cemetery, there is an entry to a flora drive that is about 3 km long and passes through a range of communities. This drive then joins the "Lookout drive" which may also be entered from Brookton Hwy about 2 km from Corrigin where a sign points to a scenic drive and lookout. The lookout is at the top of a "break-away" and the view is spectacular. You could spend many hours in this area. A good pamphlet on this area is available in Corrigin.

Boolanooling Reserve his at the intersection of Copestakes and Williams Rd. It has some very low kwongan with dwarfed plants plus a large patch of Eucalyptus macrocarpa.

Due south of Corrigin, 12 km along the Corrigin Rd South, is Hartleys reserve. At the northern end there is an old gravel pit which affords access. There is also a track along the northern boundary.

If you take the road to Kulin, you will pass through the Gorge Rock reserve about 18 km from Corrigin. This contains some pristine communities but much will be destroyed by road works. About 2 km from Kulin the "Macrocarpa Walk" on the left side of the road is maintained by the Kulin Branch of the Wildflower Society

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13Sullivan Rock About 32 km from Armadale on the Albany Hwy. Park on the right side of the road You have reached the place where the Bibbulman Track crosses the Highway. From the carpark side of the highway you can explore parts of the Jarrah forest along good tracks. To reach Sullivan Rock, cross the highway and continue along the foot track. The rock has many moist areas with moisture-loving plants.

This area can easily be reached from Perth and makes a good one-day excursion.

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14Boyagin Rock From Brookton highway enter the York-Williams Rd 18 km before Brookton. Travel 9 km south and turn left into Boyagin Rd  and Boyagin Rock Reserve. This reserve is mostly in near-pristine condition. You may even see Woylie diggings - a small marsupial reintroduced here following control of foxes. The rock itself is on a side track. Worth the visit if only to see the tiny red bladder-worts growing in mossy patches at the base of the rock in late spring. As you leave via Boyagin Rd, turn  left (north) into Walwalling Rd which will take you to Brookton by  the Great Southern Highway. (If you come from the other direction, read these instructions "backwards".)

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15Narrogin. Harrismith and Dryandra Harrismith may be reached from Kulin via the Jitarning-Dudinin Rd or from Narrogin via Yilliminning Rd, Toolibin Rd North and Wickepin-Harrismith Rd.

Dryandra forest may be reached from Narrogin via the Wandering-Narrogin Rd. The entry is about 24km from Narrogin

In Harrismith, park behind the hotel. There is a signboard showing extensive walk trails through the "airport" area. The first 100 m or so passes through a sheoak thicket and this is the best area for orchids. You are permitted to drive onto the "runways" via tracks near the water tower - just keep off the centre lines.

Narrogin is a fairly large centre and has a large reserve called Foxes Lair within easy walking distance of the motels. It is well worth a visit and has a variety of vegetation types.

Dryandra forest is not a single area but comprises several blocks only some of which are contiguous. You could spend much time here. For a brief visit, drive towards the village and look at the recycled forest workers dwellings. They are available for hire. From here, go to the Old Mill Dam and park. Wander over the trails in this area looking for orchids and other small plants. The many roads in the area are equipped with tourist radios to tell you about the history of the area. The return road to Williams Rd is "one way" and just past the village there is a large patch of kwongan which is "must see".

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16Ravensthorpe and Fitzgerald River Most of Fitzgerald River Park is designated wilderness. This means there is limited access. You can access part of the western area from Ravensthorpe.

You can see the northern edge of the park by diverging from South Coast Highway onto the Old Ongerup Rd.

To see more of the park, re-enter it via Quiss Rd and continue on Pabellup Drive.

There is much to see near Ravensthorpe. This is an interesting area with a wide range of geology and therefore soils and therefore vegetation. You could easily spend a day on a circular drive starting on the road to Hopetoun. Plenty of good stops on this road. Cross the  mouth of the Culham Inlet and drive up the steep road part of the way up East Mt Barren, stopping frequently! On the way up, you will see the multicoloured royal hakea (H . victoria).

East Mt Barren traces its origin back to Gondwana. The Barrens were formed when Australia bumped into what is now Antarctica about a billion years ago.  The pressures squeezed sandstone beds turning them into quartzite and folding them two or three times. Much more recently, a mere 40 million years or so, the Barrens formed a series of offshore islands and the waves cut platforms. This platform makes a sort of shelf  from which there is a  pleasant mountain climb to the top. It starts at a long board walk constructed to protect the vegetation from the feet of nature lovers and from dieback. From here you can continue on a circular route which takes you through a real wilderness area with much to see and many good spots for stops - and eventually back to Ravensthorpe. But the "road" can be rather rough.
 
 Much of the park is underlain by sediments laid down in warm waters about 40-50 million years ago (Eocene). These rocks are exposed along the major rivers of the park. This includes a curious rock called spongolite which was formed from sponge spicules and is an upper member of this series. There is, as usual, laterite formation as well. The vegetation present is strongly affected by the landform and underlying rock type. It is mostly very open mallee and shrubland with woodlands along rivers and swamps. It is one of the richest flora regions in WA (and therefore in the world!) with currently about 1900 identified plant species ~ 20% of the known species in WA and 42% of the species of the SW province.  Much of the park is kept as wilderness with very limited access.

Point Ann has marvelous views over a pristine bay in which whales are often to be seen. If you find your way to Twertup you will see spongalite cliffs. If you have chosen to come this way, you could overnight at Bremer Bay where there is largish motel and a caravan park.

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17Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Sunklands & Whicher Range This area, almost due south of Perth,can be a tour within itself, or it can be visited either at the end of a circular tour coming from say Pemberton - or the beginning of a circular tour in the other direction The Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, forms a "chin" on the SW corner of the continent. This marks the seam where Australia and "Proto-India" came together to form Gondwana about a billion years ago. As one continental mass was forced under the other, the basic underlying rock was forced closer to the surface. This rock is the parent material of the modern soils - soils suitable to Karri forests, and to vineyards. Similar processes occurred, and similar soils, exist near Pemberton and in the Porungurups. East of the ridge, there is a flatter area, which is, in effect, a southern extension of the coastal plain. A small cross-fault gives rise to the Whicher Range.

If you are approaching from the Pemberton direction, a good stop is just on the east side of Alexandra Bridge. In the area between the new and the old bridges there is an attractive area of Jarrah forest with a good ground flora. Later, you may choose to visit the Leeuwin lighthouse, a common tourist spot. A few km inland from lighthouse there is an area of vegetation severely limited in height by the strong winds. There you will see plants that are normally substantial trees, but here little more that waist height. This is also a good spot to hunt for orchids. A side track to the north takes you to Quarry Bay with an interesting cliff with plants such as Lobelia alata growing in damp areas.

You may choose to go north via Caves Road which will take you through the Boranup Karri forest and with possible side trips to some of the beaches. On the west side of this area, aolean limestone overlies the country rock and it is in this limestone that caves are formed. Some are open to visitors. The northern end of this road brings you to Dunsborough. From there you can visit Meelup beach and Eagle Bay.  These are unusual in the south west in that they are not exposed to the force of western and southern gales because they are on the sheltered side of the coastal ridge. The plants differ from those, for example, at Sugarloaf Rock which is nearby. From the Meelup Beach picnic area a walking path crosses a small stream and leads towards Castle Rock one of the best wildflower walks in the state. To reach it, take the Meelup Beach road (off Cape Naturaliste Rd) then the right fork (Castle Rock Rd.) A little inland from Meelup beach, there is an interesting patch of open jarrah forest which has some different plants from those you saw nearer Perth.

Margaret River has developed from a sleepy dairy farmers town to a tourist hot spot - largely due to the suitability of the region for high quality wines. You could easily spend many days there - visiting vineyards and other tourist attractions.

Ambergate reserve is one of the few reserves in which you can see the plants of the coastal plain. It is just south of Busselton on Queen Elizabeth Drive at the corner of Doyle Rd.

The Whicher Range has many unusual plants. A good area is Sabina Rd. You can reach the eastern end from Vasse Hwy and the western end from Sues Rd. Only attempt to traverse Sabina Rd with a high clearance 4WD.

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18Stirlings and Porongurups From Bremer Bay  go initially to the west, then north and make an anti-clockwise turn to enter Chester Pass Road from the north. From Albany go north on the Chester Pass Road. There are two quite respectable ranges here. The Porongurups are a small range sitting about 30 km south of the Stirlings. The two ranges are quite different both in kind of rock and in age although both are related to Gondwana. The Porongurups were formed much earlier - about a billion years ago when Australia and Antarctica came together and as part of that process there was an upwelling of the basic underlying rocks. They are mostly basic gneiss. This means that the soils formed from them are fairly fertile and they are covered with karri forest. We suggest you  postpone a detailed look at the karri forest until you get to Pemberton. In contrast to the Porongurups, the Stirlings were raised to their present height within the last 100 million years. The cause probably lay in the slow uneven tearing process as Australia separated from Antarctica. During the early stages of their separation, the rift opened gradually from east to west as the two continents pivoted slightly about a western hingepoint. The rotation pinched the sediments against the Yilgarn block to the north squeezing them high into the air. The soils are very different from the Porongurups and support much less-luxurious vegetation - but nice flowers.

The rocks of the Stirlings are sandstone, quartzite, slate and phyllite. Squash these up, and let them erode for a few million years so you get colluvium on the slopes, add a dash of laterite and you finish with a pretty complex environment. Bring in differences due to elevation and exposure and you get a large range of plant communities - thicket, mallee-heath, mallee, woodlands, sedge-swamps, rock screes on the tops of the peaks, and samphires. Site the mountains between the wheatbelt and the coast and you get a mix of species from both sources.

The park is 115 600 ha and has 1517 species of which 87 are endemic. There are 90 families and 384 genera. The plants of the range are the "bells" - species of Darwinia with large petal-like leaves (bracts) that enclose the flowers. They are fire-controlled. They are killed by fire, regenerate from stored seed, flower 2 - 4 years after germination, but reach maturity after 7 - 10 years. But the trick is that they are mostly confined to areas over 300 m (1000 ft) - so if you want to see them, you will have to climb a bit. That is one reason to go up Bluff Knoll.

At the turn off for Bluff Knoll there is a carpark and information bay. This is a good place to see orchids. There are usually some interesting ones under the Wandoo trees. Up to 40 species can be found in the park including spider orchids, bird orchids, sun orchids and greenhoods. Near the edge of the creek there may be drifts of pink everlastings.

The road to Bluff Knoll car park is steep and there are lots of interesting plants. But you can't stop - it's too dangerous.  From the car park, the idea is to climb part of the way up the path. It is steep. Would you believe people do run it in 25 minutes. If  you don't make it all the way a reasonable goal is to  reach the waterfall about half way up. There and back should take about 90 minutes - if you walk at "viewing" pace.

Somehow you must fit in the circular drive: Stirling Range Drive, turn right into Red Gum road, turn right into  Salt River road. You will find details of what to see here in "Mountains of Mystery" published by the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM). To do this drive adequately, you need a couple of days - which you won't have! Just two hints. The open woodland isn't as full of flowers as the kwongan, but it is the best formation for orchids. And look in the old gravel pit on the right hand side of Salt River Rd. It has a good collection of flowers including some dramatic tall dryandras. Look especially in the  unpromising puddle where there are usually many bladder worts (tiny pink flowers).

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19Pemberton Region Head west from Albany along the South Coast Highway through Denmark to Walpole. It is just a few kilometres from the coast and side roads take you to such scenic coastal spots as Torbay and the West Cape Howe National Park.

After passing through Nornalup watch for the turnoff to the Valley of the Giants.

From Pemberton, you could travel to Augusta again with many opportunities to stop. At Augusta, visit the lighthouse which is right at the "corner"

Stands of Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) may be seen while driving over Torbay Hill.  In Denmark see if you can fit in a drive along Ocean Beach Rd along the west side of Wilson Inlet. Ocean Beach itself and the surrounding coastal dunes with their abundance of coastal heath flora justify the side trip.  Consider driving along Scotsdale Road which runs parallel to South Coast Highway but to the north of it. It takes you through magnificent stands of Karri and gives views across some of the attractive farming country.  A shorter option is to take Mt. Shadforth Road which is also parallel to South Coast Highway but not as far north. You will enjoy the lovely Karri lining the road and the views out over the coast and inland to Mt. Lindesay.  For the walker and those with time to spare, a visit to Mt. Lindesay and the walk to the summit offer a wide variety of colourful native flora.

Fourteen km west of Denmark take the short diversion to lovely William Bay to visit W.A.'s oldest National Park, where coastal heath vegetation may be found as well as a good swimming spot at Green's Pool.  (But put your toe in first - the water is cold on the south coast!)

Several sections of the Bibbulman Track, the southern terminal of which is in Albany, are accessible from the highway and a stroll along these would allow the visitor to see good examples of the flora in the area.

In the Valley of the Giants, many specimens of two rare but very large eucalypts are preserved. These are the red tingle and the yellow tingle. Both are tall but their special characteristic is the width at the base. Some of the older ones are hollow and one was big enough to drive a car into the base. (It has since fallen). You will also see some of the flora characteristic of the karri forest such as the tree hovea (H. elliptica) with its dark blue flowers and the white flowered Crowea angustifolia.  CALM  has built a tree-top walk. It is a tourist attraction and is very popular. However, it shows you the tops of the trees when their greatest charm is their huge bases. Hence, we suggest that you also take the lower walk.

After Walpole, move inland through forest, which is very much determined by the soil type, to Pemberton in the heart of the Karri forest and a good spot to overnight. Make sure you visit the Gloucester tree. This was one of the "king karris" - trees which dominated the local forest. A look-out was built in the top of the tree and used for fire spotting. Other look-out trees enabled the use of triangulation to locate the fire. Air patrols are now used instead. If you are game enough, and fit enough, you can climb the tree. The view is great and you can look straight at the tree-top birds.  

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20Albany region Albany is the major city in the south of WA. It is sited on the magnificent King George Sound. For many of the early years it was the states major port with Perth reached by rail link. Albany has an active branch of the Wildflower Society, which runs a Wildflower show late in September. That web page also links to suggested interesting local walks

The Lookouts on both Mt. Clarence and Mt. Melville give magnificent views and the opportunity to see a variety of local flora, including hakeas, orchids and carnivorous plants on the rocky outcrops.

One of the most visited national parks in the state is Torndirrup National Park.  It is  about 10 km along Frenchman Bay Road, which runs around the western side of Princess Royal Harbour.  The DEC web site will give you details and a map. Several side roads take you to spectacular coastal scenery, with such attractions as The Gap, Natural Bridge and the Blowholes.  If you have time, try to fit in a visit to the old quarantine station along Quaramup Rd. Here - and elsewhere - there are nice walks through the coastal heathlands.

Just to the east of Albany, and on the eastern side of Oyster Harbour visit Gull Rock Reserve and Mount Martin Regional Botanic Park. Take Ledge Beach Road. You can continue on the Ledge Point Road  and park at Ledge Point Beach car park.  From there walking tracks wind and climb through the Mount Martin Park. This was designated in 1993 as being representative of the endemic flora of Albany.  Many early botanists visited the area, collecting specimens to be sent back overseas.  There are spectacular views from various high points and a wide variety of flowers throughout the year - but best from August to December.

About 20 km east of Albany the Two People Bay Nature Reserve provides plenty to see and hear.  Ideally this requires a day's outing to discover fascinating native plants and fauna, including the rare, elusive (and previously "extinct") Noisy Scrub-bird which lives in the reserve. It is not called noisy for nothing. Its call may be heard a kilometre away.

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