COAST TO COUNTRY (3 DAYS)
Day 1: Take an easy drive to Green Head situated on the Indian Ocean Drive. Take a beach walk, swim or explore the Three Bays Walkway which includes Dynamite, South and Anchorage Bays. The walkway has been designed to let people immerse themselves in the landscape, experience its natural beauty and learn about Aboriginal and Australian history. There is a lot to explore here including an endangered sea lion colony. Jump on a charter tour and spy them ducking and diving beneath the boat. For a bit of adventure, you could camp at Milligan Island. Between Green Head and Leeman, Milligan Island offers nature-based short-term camping for up to 48 hours. Perfect for the self-contained camper, this site is close to a secluded beach, and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Day 2: Head east to Coorow – a charming inland farming town. Immerse yourself in the early history of the area by following walk trails to Coorow Farm. During wildflower season, enjoy the display of pink fairy orchids, everlastings and many others. Stop in Carnamah to indulge in the extensive bird life of the area. Over 180 species can be spotted by the dedicated twitcher. Or drive out to the Macpherson Homestead. One of the many interpretive panels and accompanying sculptures that make up the Wildflower Way can be found here. It would be a delightful stop for a picnic or afternoon tea.
Day 3: Three Springs is a quaint country town boasting beautiful wildflowers during the season. Take a scenic drive along Robinson Road or take a heritage walk along the marked trail Drive to the Talk Mine lookout to see the story of how miners fared back in the day. Take your picnic out to Mingenew Hill or if you get there later in the day, it’s the perfect spot for a champagne sunset. The historical walk trail through town will open your eyes to the history of the town.
3 DAY WILDFLOWER WAY
Day 1: Start your journey to discover the wildflowers in Moora. Just a short drive from Perth – it is the gateway to the Wildflower Way. As well as the magnificent wildflowers, there are a number of trails for visitors. The Carnaby Cockatoo Interpretive Trail showcases the preservation efforts of the endangered bird. The Moora Town Walk is designed to give you a taste of Moora and its historic buildings, galleries and public art. Moora hosts many events throughout the year. Plan your visit around one that piques your interest.
Further up the Great Northern Highway, Dalwallilnu offers visitors a great place to overnight or base themselves for a few days In season, there are many wildflower drives for the enthusiast. There’s the Heritage Wattle Drive, Heritage Rabbit Proof Fence Trail and the Heritage Everlasting Trail. In town stop at the Dalwallinu Discovery Centre for all the information, you will need for your trip as well as the Wheat and Wattle steel sculpture.
Day 2: Perenjori offers a swathe of services for the expectant traveller. A town booming with heritage, there is a lot to see and do Located in the heritage-listed Bank of NSW building, the Perenjori Tourist Centre and Pioneer Museum offers great information about the best wildflower and orchid locations, tasty homemade Devonshire teas and an impressive collection of historical memorabilia, and is a great place to chat with one of the friendly local volunteers. Follow the Rothsay Heritage Trail through pastoral and mining country to the John Forrest lookout, with impressive views across the countryside. A little further out is Rothsay townsite and abandoned mine, as well as historical grave sites and an abandoned Beryl mine. Take a stroll along the Perenjori Heritage walk, throw a steak on the free gas BBQ, and while away the afternoon in the park and gazebo
Day 3: Between the town stops, make sure you stop and take in the magnificent steel sculptures and interpretive panels that have been installed along the Wildflower Way and Midlands Route. Morawa is a sheep and wheat farming town right in the heart of wildflower country in the Western Australian Wheatbelt, four and a half hours drive north of Perth. From August to October, the region puts on a stunning display of colourful and unusual outback wildflowers, including orchids, native foxgloves, grevillea, acacias, wreath flowers and carpets of everlastings.
The area was first settled around 1905 and Morawa was declared a town in 1912. It was once home to the iron ore mine that supplied the first iron ore to be exported from Western Australia. Here, you can explore the old gaol, courthouse and windmill collection at the Morawa Museum. Take a look around the Church of the Holy Cross and The Old Presbytery. Don’t forget to check out the rock formations at Bilya Rock, Koolanook Springs and War Rock.
7-DAY WILDFLOWER WAY EXPLORER
Day 1: Nestled on the banks of the Moore River, about two hours’ drive north of Perth, Moora stands at the junction of two distinct botanical districts where the underlying geology has produced varied soil types and very different plant communities. Originally a wheat and sheep farming community, wildflowers, cattle and various other grains are now farmed here. Moora Town Walk leads to Moora’s historic buildings and points of interest including the Moora Town Clock. This stunning clock was designed by local school students with the design then translated and constructed into a magnificent stained glass feature by local artists.
The mural in Federation Park, Moora depicts the district’s agricultural heritage. This park also has a life-size bronze statue of a draught horse and kelpie. The statues and mural are a lasting memorial to the animals that were essential in opening up the area in the early years.
20 km to the east of Moora is Berkshire Valley. Berkshire Valley is the English version of New Norcia and was founded by James Clinch in 1847. Clinch was a poor Berkshire farm hand who attempted to reproduce a Berkshire farm complex down to the finest detail. The buildings were made from adobe, pise, hand-made bricks and unworked stone. Berkshire Valley was built over a period of 25 years and contains a homestead (1847), stables (1867), a shearing shed (1869), a barn, a managers cottage (1856), and a two-arched bridge (1869) which is claimed to be the first of its kind to be built in Western Australia. While Berkshire Valley is not open to the public the buildings can still be seen from the roadside.
Day 2: Dalwallinu is the first town along the Wildflower Way, a route that stretches north to Geraldton and showcases beautiful outback wildflowers carpeting the countryside. The wildflower season is from July to October, and during this time thousands of nature enthusiasts make the trip along the Way. Dalwallinu has an interesting history. The first graziers in the district were Benedictine monks from New Norcia who shepherded sheep on vast pastoral leases taken up in the nineteenth century. However, European settlers arrived at Dalwallinu in 1907 with the ambition to develop the area into a wheat-growing region.
The Wheatbelt town of Wubin is just 20 kilometres north of Dalwallinu and is the gateway to the pastoral country. Drive into the pastoral country around Wubin during August and September to experience the seasonal wildflower display of everlastings that bloom following the winter rains. On the way look for the very unusual Leschenaultia Macrantha; a flower in the shape of a wreath, this can be viewed dependent on the season. Six kilometres east of Wubin on the Great Northern Highway are Wubin Rocks which are well known as a local picnic area.
The Heritage Wheatbin Museum depicts Wubin’s grain-growing history through pictorial photos, with an emphasis on bulk handling and displaying the machinery involved in this farming revolution. The old wheat bin sits side by side with today’s modern storage bins.
Perenjori is in the heart of Western Australia’s wildflower country and every spring the countryside is ablaze with colour. View endless vistas of pink, yellow and white everlastings from July to October, and be in awe of the unique Wreath Leschenaultia in September and October. Perenjori is also renowned for its wide variety of rare native spring orchids. Founded in 1916, Perenjori offers a relaxed stop-over for travellers, whether at a powered site under shady trees or self-contained chalet at the caravan park, or a comfortable room at the historical hotel. At the end of September, join in the overnight camping for Blues in the Bush.
The Church of St Joseph is one of a significant collection of church buildings, including the St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton, designed and built by Monsignor John Hawes throughout the Midwest and Murchison. He is also responsible for several other buildings in the UK, USA and the Bahamas. Keys are available from the tourist centre. Located in the heritage-listed Bank of NSW building, the Perenjori Tourist Centre and Pioneer Museum offers great information about the best wildflower and orchid locations, tasty homemade Devonshire teas and an impressive collection of historical memorabilia, and is a great place to chat with one of the friendly local volunteers.
Follow the Rothsay Heritage Trail through the pastoral and mining country to the John Forrest lookout, with impressive views across the countryside. A little further out is Rothsay townsite and abandoned mine, as well as historical grave sites and an abandoned Beryl mine. Rail enthusiasts will not want to miss the heritage-listed Caron Coal Stage, bringing reminders of the golden age of steam locomotives. Follow the Caron Rail Trail to the railway dam.
Day 3: Enjoy a relaxing meander further north along the Wildflower Way. There are many towns and places of interest to stop at and enjoy. Some of the ‘must do’ experiences along the way include Koolanooka Springs, walking through Canna, the Morawa Museum and the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Trail.
Coalseam Conservation Park is located between Mingenew and Mullewa. It is a wildflower hotspot and the location for many great photos. Named for the coal seams that can be seen in the riverbed, this park’s Acacia shrubland, with its sparse understorey, comes alive with ‘Everlasting’ wildflowers after good winter rains. Marine fossils can also be seen along the banks of the Irwin River and enjoy a walk along the Irwin River Nature Trail. Overnight camping for both caravans and tents is permitted.
Day 4: Mullewa is renowned for its architecture and stunning wildflowers including the rare wreath flower. The Mullewa Wildflower Show is held in August /early September and brings the best of the bush to the town. There is a Northern and Southern wildflower drive taking in the area’s natural beauty. Enjoy the rolling hills and golden paddocks surrounding Mullewa on a scenic drive. Take in the Coalseam Conservation Park, a must-see during the wildflower season. Drives also include magnificent views of the Irwin River, the fascinating Bindoo Hill, and the historical Butterabby Gravesite. Pick up a brochure from the Mullewa Tourist Centre.
Day 5: Geraldton provides a smorgasbord of water-based recreational activities and is an ideal base for self-drive tours, especially during the famous wildflower season. Explore the Wildflower Way, the eastern route from Geraldton – pick up a guide and brochure map from the local visitor centre and enjoy Wildflower Country. Experience the breathtaking wildflowers and interpretative signage outlining the culture, heritage and flora of the local areas.
On the way south again along the Midland Route, visit the interpretive sites at Ellendale Pool, Burma Road Nature Reserve and Tracking Station. Complete your day with a trip out to Depot Hill Reserve, which is also a great wildflower viewing area and an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic with views overlooking the Irwin River. If you are in Mingenew close to sunset, then grab some cheese, crackers and a cold beverage to watch the sun go down from Mingenew Hill.
Day 6: For a bit of a change stop by Three Springs and take in the colourful murals around town. It is a beautiful little country town renowned for its picturesque landscape and old-style wheat silos. The name Three Springs is derived from three original water springs located to the northeast used by early settlers and drovers for stock watering purposes. The Yarra Yarra Lakes located 16km south of Three Springs is home to various species of bird life including swans, pelicans ducks and the Siberian Stilt. 10km east of town lies Western Australia’s first talc mine. Talc is mined by open cut method and exported for use in paper, paint and ceramic products. Three Springs talk is also processed in WA for cosmetics, agriculture and carving blocks. It is the largest talc mine in the southern hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Learn about native bush tucker and native plants at the Arrino Gardens and enjoy a stroll through history by following the townsite Heritage Trail.
Tathra National Park lies 25 kilometres west of Carnamah on the Carnamah-Eneabba Road, it is most spectacular during the wildflower season. Tathra is the Nyungar word for a beautiful place and is a fitting name for this beautiful national park. Carnamah locals have brought the town site to life with the creation of three giant murals. ‘Drovers Rest is on the local True Value Hardware Store, ‘Sale Oh’ is on the Landmark building and ‘Macphersons View’ is on the Council administration building.
The Carnamah Historical Museum is located in one of a number of historic stone buildings in Carnamah. It is open Fridays between 1.30 pm and 5 pm. Other historic buildings include: the post office, St Andrews Church, designed by Monsignor John Hawes, and the Uniting Church
Day 7: Coorow is a charming inland farming town, whose first settlers raised sheep and horses in the mid-1800s. Remnants of the area’s farming history are still evident today, contrasting against wildflowers and beautiful gardens.
Coorow boasts a delightful Town Park situated on the main street and is the administrative centre of the Shire. Once the haunt of a resident bushranger who helped himself to other people’s stores and horses. Waddi Well is a popular picnic spot, which was originally used by passing drovers to rest their horses. Located just off Boundary Road. Alexander Morrison National Park is known for its spectacular wildflower displays during the season (late July to October). Make sure you also keep an eye out for sightings of bushland wildlife.
Green Head is a small, friendly coastal town east of Coorow along the new Indian Ocean Drive. Its pristine beaches and laid-back lifestyle provide a relaxed holiday atmosphere as well as the home of a million-dollar rock lobster industry. Situated on a headland, Green Head’s bays offer white sandy beaches where you can swim and snorkel, while offshore islands and reefs are perfect for fishing and scuba diving.
Fisherman’s Island, south of Green Head is an Australian Sea Lion breeding colony, therefore access is restricted.
These secluded little bays offer peaceful retreats for people wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Dynamite Bay forms almost a perfect circle and offers safe protected swimming. South Bay is a long crescent, ideal for those who like the solitude of walking along a deserted beach. During the cooler months, bushwalking is a popular pastime. In town, try the trail between the jetty and Dynamite Bay or head out to the Lesueur National Park.