Spring in WA offers a display of nature as impressive as the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, the crab invasion of Christmas Island or autumnal “leaf peeping” in the eastern states of the USA. There are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in WA, 60 per cent of which are found nowhere else. It’s a floral spectacle largely unrivalled anywhere else in the world.
Western Australia is huge. It would be in the world’s top 10 countries by area if it was a separate country and it has a wide range of climates. So you’ll find the blooms start up north in June and ends in the south of the state during November. Of course, you’ll find some flowers throughout but try to aim to hit the peak intensity of the flowering as it progresses.
While the expression “spring flowers” suggests a fixed season winter rainfall and early warmth can make tour planning a very imprecise science. That can make it a challenge to plan ahead. However, even if you miss the absolute peak the whole season is impressive.
Even if you aren’t a flower enthusiast, every visitor to Perth should head up to Kings Park Botanic Gardens with a camera in September when it erupts into a blaze of colour. The Kings Park Festival runs throughout the entire month.
WA's wildflowers provide some amazing photo opportunities (Image: AAT Kings)
Indeed, the park is the perfect starting point for any wildflower discovery tour of WA because it can act as a primer to what you’ll find outside the city. While most of us can recognise kangaroo paws, wattles and banksias other plants such as featherflowers, the various colours of everlastings in pink, yellow and white, or WA Christmas trees may not be known to you.
Perhaps the most sought-after sighting for the flowering season is the wreath flower (Leschenaultia macrantha). It’s a spectacular plant found in the most unlikely place – it likes disturbed areas such as the graded area at the side of the road. It’s found only in a small part of the state from Wubin to Kalbarri within the Australia’s Coral Coast tourist region north of Perth. In-season wildflower updates are posted here.
Discover beautiful local flora, such as the W.A Christmas tree
From July through to the end of September AAT Kings offers a 15-day “Western Wonderland” that extends from the Esperance to Kalbarri National Park with visits to the Stirling Ranges, Wave Rock, Monkey Mia, Margaret River and the Pinnacles. It also offers two shorter tours: a nine-day South Western Escape and a six-day Monkey Mia Dolphins and West Coast that both run from now through August.
As the AAT Kings tours and the Tourism WA coverage reveal there are wildflower experiences throughout the southern part of the state. If you head away from the coast you’ll find flowers against a brilliant red soil background. Or you can find the flowers amongst the giant Jarrah trees of the south or go looking for delicate orchids in bloom. Indeed there’s so much over such a wide area that it’s hard to find the pick of the bunch.
Always wanted to be a tour guide? Watch this!
A great start is to download this Wildflower Guide 48-page e-book that not only has a handy list of all the regional tourist offices but also a calendar of scheduled floral-themed festivals around the state. Be warned: it’s hard to start researching this topic without ending up booking flights and a tour. As many will attest it may well be one of the best things you ever do.
Have you ever experienced Western Australia’s wildflower season in full bloom? Let us know in the comments section below.
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(Feature image: AAT Kings)