Let Australian plant lover Colin Barlow introduce you to the diverse natural wonders of southern Western Australia. Meet milkmaids, honeypots, green kangaroo paws and mountain bells in the wild, and catch the extravaganza of the Kings Park Wildflower Festival.
Meet our Ross Tour Leader Colin Barlow at Perth Airport. Check in to the Duxton Hotel, our home near the Swan River for 2 nights. Join your fellow travellers at our welcome dinner tonight.
This morning we head to wildflower hotspot, Wireless Hill Park. The panoramic views of the city & Swan River are breathtaking! Free time to explore. Then we visit the wildflowers of South Beach & Bold Park, Perth’s largest urban bushland park. Finish the day at Perth’s iconic Cottesloe Beach with dinner & sunset views.
Today we head south to the historic port town of Albany through majestic forests of Marri Red Gums & ancient towering Jarrah trees. En route, stop for lunch at Kojonup, go hunting with Colin for delicate spider & cowslip orchids.
A bucket list day! Ascend to the treetops of some of the tallest trees on earth. The Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk gives you a bird’s eye view of ancient red tingles (Eucalyptus jacksonii) – trees which occur nowhere else in the world & whose origins trace back to Gondwana!
Explore the unique beauty of WA’s ancient southern coastline & floral diversity. First, we head to the Gap & Natural Bridge. The nearby Regional Wildflower Centre is a botanic hotspot with over 10,000 indigenous plants. Step back in time at the historic Whaling Station
Explore the beautiful and diverse Stirling Ranges and Porongurup NP regions today, some of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. There are more than 1,500 species of plants in the Stirling Ranges alone. Watch out for some of the 148 bird species, including electric blue fairy-wrens, brilliant parrots and soaring majestic wedge-tailed eagles.
Travel east today and see a floral highlight at the Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show. For the last 38 years, this show has become one of the biggest & best in WA! The festival showcases local wildflowers. Over 500 botanically identified specimens are on display. Check into our Wavecrest Village for 3 nights.
More wildflowers today in Fitzgerald River National Park including Qualup Bells, Possum banksias, regelias, the bell-fruited mallee, Scarlet Banksia and the ‘jug’ flowers of Albany Woolly Bush. Recognised as one of the most botanically significant parks in Australia, Fitzgerald River National Park is home to nearly 20% of Western Australia’s flora species, many of them endemic. We’ll find a perfect shady picnic spot!
We’re off to explore the triangle between Hopetoun, Jerdacuttup and Ravensthorpe, recognised as one of the most botanically significant areas in Australia. See banksia artwork painted wheat silos and the Ravensthorpe Ranges.
Take the cross-country road through wetlands and mallee country to Esperance. See water birds and iconic wildflowers including red kangaroo paw and pretty lemon flowers of the grey cottonheads, Conostylis. Check into our motel overlooking Esperance Bay for 2 nights.
We’re travelling east today to Cape Arid National Park. Bring binoculars and telephoto lens as bird watching is on the agenda: Cape Barren geese, Western Ground Parrots and Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos. Whale watching too. Picnic amongst a wealth of flora here; banksias, ground orchids, flowering melaleucas and the nude grevillea!
As we head north today, we travel through Salmon Gum country where graceful pink barked eucalypts and carpets of wildflowers colour the dry landscape. At Hyden, visit the world-famous Wave Rock – a 2,700 million-year-old granite rock that’s 15m high, 110metres long and looks remarkably like a giant wave about to break! Picnic lunch en route and dinner at the Wave Rock Hotel.
Travel back to Perth through the famous Western Australian Wheatbelt Country. Stop at Corrigin, charmingly known as the ‘Town of Windmills’ due to the abundant supply of groundwater. Almost every home had a windmill until 1960 when the town was supplied with scheme water. Carpets of everlasting daisies and fabulous proteaceae plants including banksias, grevilleas, hakeas and dryandras are a feature of this area. Check into the Duxton Hotel in Perth for the next 2 nights.
It’s festival time in Perth’s famous Kings Park, a most fitting way to end our botanic journey. The 400-hectare Botanic Garden boasts more than 1,700 native species. At the 56th Kings Park Festival, there will be show-stopping floral displays. Farewell Dinner at the Duxton tonight.
Leisurely breakfast this morning before we leave for the airport and homeward flight
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