Anyone lucky enough to have experienced the Coral Coast’s amazing wildflower country in full bloom will tell extraordinary tales about long sunny days driving and walking through fields drenched in colour. It’s a once per year experience and located just a few hours’ drive north of Perth, it’s closer than you think.
The Coral Coast begins in Cervantes and stretches 1,100km north to Exmouth, but thankfully, the best wildflowers can be found in the lower part of the region, in an area tellingly referred to as ‘wildflower country’.
The best time to explore is between late July and early October, by which time the winter rains have cleared and the region erupts into colour with hundreds of different varieties of blooming wildflowers. To get the most out of your experience, plan ahead, get out of the car and walk some of the stunning trails. For more detail, download the WA Visitors’s Centre wildflower tracker and start your floral scavenger hunt this weekend!
Badgingarra Nature Trail
Badgingarra National Park’s rolling sandplains burst into colour with rare species of Western Australian wildflowers every spring. The best way to see the rare blooms is to walk the Badgingarra Nature Trail. The 3.5 km circular route walk begins at the Badgingarra Roadhouse on Brand Highway and takes about 90 minutes to complete. Crossing spectacularly rugged countryside, the walk offers glimpses of purple star flower, yellow buttercups, red and green kangaroo paws, one-sided bottlebrush, melaleucas and feather flowers. The trail involves some steep hills, so supportive footwear is recommended.
Lesueur National Park Scenic Drive and Walking Trail
Lesueur National Park is home to over 900 species of Western Australian wildflowers. The park offers a scenic driving route and three bushwalking trails to choose from. The 18 km drive begins at the Cockleshell Gully Road entrance and takes drivers through some of the most scenic parts of the park, including Mount Lesueur and Cockleshell Gully. The scenic drive follows an unsealed bitumen road suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles. Offering regular lay-bys, there are plenty of places to park up and take photos of your favourite flowers.
If you prefer to get up close and personal with the blooms, then consider hiking to Mt Lesueur and back. The 8 km trail begins at the Drummond car park and follows a colourful trail of wildflowers to the scenic views at the top of Mt Lesueur. On the way, look out for a diverse range of orchids, acacias, hibbertias, lechenaultias, melaleucas and kangaroo paws. There is also a shorter 250m wheelchair-friendly walk to Wilson Lookout.
Coorow Farm Wildflower Drive
The Coorow Farm Wildflower Drive is a 5 km circular driving route located in the small midwest town of Coorow. The drive travels through the historic Coorow Farm and offers stunning views of pink fairy orchids and everlastings. The community-run project is looked after by local farmers who sow one half of Coorow Farm for harvest and leave the other half wild, encouraging wildflowers to grow. The unsealed road is suitable for all vehicles and offers an early exit for those towing caravans. A short 1.2 km circular Bart Mailey Memorial Walk is located in the bushland section of the farm for those that prefer to explore on foot.
Depot Hill Walk
Depot Hill is located just outside the small town of Mingenew. Pop into the town’s visitors centre to pick up the wildflower guidebook and floral themed souvenir, before following the sealed Allanooka Springs Road towards Depot Hill. The 30-minute nature walk winds across the hill, taking the walker through a blossoming floral pathway of orchids, everlastings, cats paw, thriptomene and dampiera. After your walk, settle in under the shade of the gum trees for a picnic lunch by the river.
Coalseam Conservation Park’s Plateau Loop Trail
Located 33 km outside of Mingenew, Coalseam Conservation Park offers 250 million years of geological history to explore. The reserve was the first mined coal deposit in Western Australia and you can still find exposed coal seams and preserved fossils within the park. The 3.2 km Plateau Loop Trail gently winds through a york gum woodland before reaching the spectacular carpets of colourful everlastings at the top of the plateau. Access to the park is via the unsealed Coalseam Road. The road is suitable for all vehicles but it’s good to remember that the Shire of Mingenew closes the road in heavy rainfall.
Mullewa Wildflower Walk
The town of Mullewa sits in the heart of wildflower country and hosts the four-day long Mullewa Wildflower show every spring. Surrounded by 8.3 km of mapped out walking trails and flowering roadside shrubs, Mullewa offers the perfect weekend for wildflower enthusiasts. The Wildflower Walk 2.82 km walk begins in Lovers Lane, across the road from the Mullewa Caravan Park and takes approximately 45-70 minutes to complete. The walk is well signposted with information on the most common wildflower species.
If you have time, head east to the town of Pindar and see the rare wreath leschenaultia flowers growing along roadsides and in local parklands.