26 April 2024

Walk on the wild (flower) side: Botanic beauties among 'Dream State' drawcards

| Rama Gaind
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aerial view of swimmer at beach

Boasting 63 beaches and 20 bays, Rottnest Island is a beach lover’s paradise. Photos: Supplied.

Wildflower season will be starting soon in Western Australia – the largest collection on earth.

More than 12,000 species of flora burst into brilliant bloom across the state each season, with 60 per cent of the flowering species found nowhere else on the planet. At this diverse and unique show, delivering a botanical spectacle like no other through late winter and spring, you enjoy front-row seats to some of the best floral shows in the world.

Spot lemon-yellow donkey orchids or the rare Queen of Sheba orchid, fiery-red grevilleas, hot-pink hakeas, golden wattle and more. Seasonal walks and guided tours are an ideal way to identify and admire the startling beauty of the blooms. No wonder my sojourn there is still memorable!

Wildflower season typically has a six-month window, starting in the Pilbara in June and moving across the atmospheric towns of the goldfields and along the Coral Coast. Bursting with colour by September are Perth’s urban parks – including floral haven Kings Park (Kaarta Koomba), home to more than 3000 wildflower species – and the rolling hills of the Swan Valley.

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The season comes to a vivid close in October in the biodiversity hotspot of the Margaret River Region, where wildflowers mingle with the world-class vines, making this location so special.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden is the green heart of the city, covering 400.6 hectares adjacent to the Swan River, about 1.5 kilometres from Perth’s central business district.

carpet of wildflowers

Kings Park wildflowers by Destination Perth.

The park and garden have extensive city and river views with a panorama of the Darling Range. The splendidly sited State War Memorial is also one of several scenic vantage points. However, remember to take nothing but photographs – picking wildflowers is illegal and can land you with a $2000 fine.

Between late July and early October, you’ll see some of Western Australia’s most stunning displays as blankets of vivid wildflowers colour the outback landscape and unique individual species can be found throughout ”wildflower country”.

Biodiversity hotspot Coalseam Conservation Park is celebrated for its colourful carpets of pink, gold, cream and white everlasting flowers that burst into bloom each season and cover the park’s dramatic terrain of rugged cliffs, rocky outcrops and red soil. Places such as Lesueur National Park, Cape Range National Park and the Shark Bay World Heritage Area have wildflowers blooming all year.

There are other highlights worth visiting. When it’s time to relax and recharge, swap the rush of the city for an idyllic escape on Rottnest Island. Feel as if you are living a world away, just 19 km off the coast of Perth.

Rotto, as the locals call it, is a protected nature reserve boasting an abundance of unique flora and fauna, including spectacular marine life and the island’s most famous resident – the quokka. Discover rich cultural heritage, explore white-sand beaches, and swim and snorkel in pristine waters, all in this little pocket of paradise.

Journey back in time to Western Australia’s second-largest national park, Karijini National Park. Erosion has slowly carved this stunning red landscape out of rock that is more than 2.5 billion years old. Wander down into ancient deep gorges of layered red rock and swim through crystal-clear waters. Feel carefree!

national park waterfall surrounded by red rock

Karijini National Park is spectacular. Erosion has slowly carved this stunning red landscape out of rock that is more than 2.5 billion years old.

The Kimberley is brimming with incredible dreamlike adventures. Experience the legendary king tides of Horizontal Falls (Garaangaddim) from above on a scenic flight, explore the astonishing formations of the Bungle Bungle Range at Purnululu National Park and connect with 60,000 years of continuous living culture on profound Aboriginal experiences. Witness the northern highlights.

Western Australia is more than just a ”Dream State”. It’s continuing to build its reputation as the fastest-growing events destination in the South-East Asia region.

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Tourism Western Australia managing director Carolyn Turnbull speaks highly of the significant tourism and sporting fixtures for the state. A premium tourism conference – Virtuoso Forum Australia & New Zealand – will be held in the capital in February 2025. Major sporting events include hosting Subway Socceroos World Cup qualifiers on 11 June.

“We were also thrilled to announce a brand-new international flight – the upcoming seasonal direct service between Singapore and Broome, which will take off from June 2024,” Carolyn said.

“This is a monumental achievement for WA and for Australia’s north-west, as an entirely new global gateway into our state. Jetstar’s inaugural direct flight between Sydney and Busselton has also started.

“With 95 per cent of visitors to WA arriving by air, a strong global and domestic aviation network is absolutely vital to the visitor economy,” Carolyn said.

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