We check out what's blooming during this bumper floral season in Western Australia's Coalseam Conservation Park and surrounds.
Mother Nature must have been in a particularly inspired mood this winter. Not only did she create ideal conditions for one of the most prolific wildflower seasons in recent memory, she also got very creative and designed some stunning displays throughout the Coral Coast region.
Driving north through Moora, Coorow and Mingenew, I see plenty of hints of a bumper season. Colourful wildflowers sway gently in the breeze along the road, adding extra beauty to the lush green paddocks and bright-yellow canola fields.
However, not even these visual clues could have prepared me for the sheer volume of blooms and variety of colours that unfold in front of me as I drive into Coalseam Conservation Park, between Mingenew and Mullewa.
The park is one of the most botanically diverse areas in the northern Wheatbelt and it is looking stunning.
As I descend into the gorge created by the Irwin River, millions of yellow pompoms cover the ground beneath the sparse wattle understorey along the valley slopes. The yellow carpet is a spectacular contrast against the cliff face at Riverbend, where I stop for the first of many photo opportunities.
I cross the Irwin River and head up to the Irwin Lookout to get a better look at the valley.
Wattle trees heavy with yellow flowers complement splashes of yellow, white and pink below them, all alongside the red gravel road to the top. From the lookout, the true splendour of the valley is revealed: yellow is the dominant colour but there are hints of white and pink, green grass patches and the rich, earthy hues of the cliffs.
Bunbury friends Margaret Williams, Ray Fuller and Anneke and Ian Adamson are overawed by the spectacular wildflower carpets near their camp site, where masses of white and pink everlastings blend with yellow and white pompoms.
Regular visitors Debra and Alan Woodland from Perth tell me it is the best display they’ve seen. This year’s bumper wildflower season will provide a boost to the economy of the region.
City of Greater Geraldton mayor Shane Van Styn expects record visitor numbers to the region this month and next.
“Nothing beats a drive through the countryside to experience carpets of rolling vibrant colours that are our amazing wildflowers,” he says.
“There are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in WA and 60 per cent of Western Australian wildflowers are found nowhere else on Earth.
“It really is a sight to see. It is such a unique experience and we encourage visitors to the Mid West region to get out and bask in the amazing wildflowers.”
In Mullewa, the wildflower walk at the Scenic Lookout is worth a visit, as are the wreath flowers adorning the roadside along the Beringarra-Pindar Road in Pindar.
In Mingenew, Depot Hill and Mingenew Hill are looking great.
Accommodation options include caravan parks in Mingenew and Mullewa and the campgrounds at Coalseam Conservation Park.
Mogens Johansen was a guest of Australia’s Coral Coast and stayed at Inspirations Hotel in Mullewa.
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