Each spring, a tapestry of brilliant blue, vivid pink, scarlet and lemony yellow wildflowers materializes across Western Australia’s desert soils in an extravagant farewell to winter. Western Australia is home to 12,000 wildflower species, 60 per cent of which don’t exist anywhere else on the planet. You won’t be able to resist the infinite photo opportunities! Radiant, tough and uncontainable, these buds are the ultimate Aussie battlers, thriving against reason – even against nature – in the reddest, driest, most ancient and least forgiving soils of the state.
Wildflowers blaze through Western Australia for six months each year, sweeping southwards from the Pilbara in June, and flowering right through to summertime. Start your Pilbara wildflower pilgrimage from Port Hedland, the second-largest town of the Pilbara, and a dynamic oasis of arts and culture. Surrounded by formidable outback and seas of wildflowers, it’s little wonder that the stunning wilderness of this region has given rise to a buzzing creative community of artists and storytellers. Amble through the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery to see local artists’ passion projects come to life in a chic and inspiring space, designed to support local talent and showcase the Pilbara’s cultural riches.
From Port Hedland, drive south toward Tom Price, and into the Pilbara’s wild heart. Drink in awe-inspiring, undisturbed views of wildflowers spilling across the desert as far as the eye can see; after decent rains, the parakeelya transforms the Pilbara into a sea of vivid magenta. Tom Price is your gateway to Karijini National Park, which nature has blessed with curious rock formations, spectacular gorges, cascading waterfalls and swimming holes with the backdrop of a lifetime.
The Goldfields is Western Australia’s largest region, and its Victorian-era streetscapes; its nourishing mining economy and rural metropolis, Kalgoorlie; and its trove of cultural gems still echo the gold rush glory days. The Goldfields is an established tourist hotspot, thanks to its abundance of history, surprising artistic treasures, Indigenous relics and communities, and lovingly preserved colonial architecture; but as soon as spring infuses the region with the majesty of the wildflower, its other drawcards literally pale in comparison.
Wildflower season erupts across the Goldfields region from Laverton to Esperance in late winter, and is in full flight by mid spring. The wild flower is beautiful in the aesthetic sense, but when you behold these buds defiantly bursting from the nearly inhospitable soils of the Goldfields, you will have a brand-new appreciation for the miracle of their survival.
Southern Cross – just a four-hour drive east of Perth – is the ideal launching pad to explore the region’s sublime wildflower offering. Explore the walking trails and wildflowers of nearby Yilgarn and the Great Western Woodlands, and picnic among the blossoms in your own slice of outback serenity.
From Southern Cross, meander east toward Kalgoorlie – an approximately four-hour drive – to make the most of the roadside wild ower spectacle. Each spring, the Gold elds hosts buds of the purple mulla mulla, Coolgardie gum and more than 50 varieties of native fuchsia.
Journey south from Kalgoorlie – another four-hour stretch – to scenic Esperance, where the outback greets the ocean. Blissfully situated Esperance epitomizes coastal chic and a slower pace of living, with all the allure of outback wilderness on its doorstep. The fusion of Esperance’s desert and coastal
Landscapes has gifted the area a unique medley of wildflowers, including the elusive star-like Asteridea – a daisy-like flower that blooms exclusively in Western Australia’s sandy soils. Esperance is your springboard to explore coastal varieties of wildflower in the pristine grounds of Fitzgerald River National Park, which is home to up to 20 per cent of the state’s plant species, and the heart-wrenchingly beautiful Cape Le Grand National Park.