Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 020 Contents 158 Scoop Traveller July - December 2011
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There aren’t vast fields of wildflowers to be seen, so you have to hunt for
them to be rewarded with a huge selection of different species. Tread
lightly, so as not to disturb the jewel beetles...
You are spoiled for choice – there are more than five national parks
including a marine park. Most land-based parks are 2WD friendly – of
course, the idea is to get out on foot and walk the many short trails
provided to really appreciate the region’s beauty this time of the year.
The main recreational areas within each park provide information on the
various trails that are available.
Top pick | Lesueur National Park
An internationally recognised biodiversity hot spot, it is the place to
go to see the wildflowers. A fire this summer has burnt a large area
of the park and with some early winter rains visitors may be lucky
enough to see some species taking advantage of the ashbed, flowering
in great abundance.
It’s best visited in the cool mornings when the honeyeaters are most
active and the bush is alive with their chatter. Visitors may also get a
chance to hear the rare Carnaby’s black cockatoo and spot the tiny honey
possum, if they keep their eyes peeled in areas with many flowers.
Pull-over bays are provided along the Lesueur Scenic Drive to allow
vehicles, including those with vans, to stop and explore the vegetation.
Bush camping is permitted for overnight walkers and there are no fees
but no facilities either.
Road conditions | A formed 7km gravel road takes visitors to the entry of
Lesueur National Park: from there, a sealed 18km one-way scenic loop
works through the heart of the park to all the recreation areas.
Nambung National Park
The Pinnacles in this park should be visited at different times during
the day to experience the changing moods of the desert, from the harsh
angry light of midday to the soft contrasted pastels of the evening as the
sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
When to go and what to see | The season usually starts in August with the
appearance of the wattles providing an avenue of gold into the Pinnacles.
Check out Kangaroo Point, a wildflower hotspot. You can see and hear
galahs breeding in holes in some Pinnacles along the Pinnacles Drive, and
emus and western grey kangaroos will be commonly seen in the evenings.
Road conditions | Bitumen to the Pinnacles Desert Discovery,
the one-way scenic loop within the Pinnacles Desert (about 4km
from the Pinnacles car park) is compacted sand and can be traversed
by 2WD vehicles.
Other wildflower hotspots
The northern sandplains | One of the best areas to see the wildflowers,
from July to October. Thousands of different plants can be found in
this infertile soil – the Shire has even widened many of the roadsides to
conserve the wildflowers. In late winter or early spring, picnic at
the Coomallo Picnic spot next to the usually dry Coomallo Creek to
find up to 10 species of orchids, zamias, feather flowers, starflowers,
and black kangaroo paws. There are more than 50 different kinds
of flowers altogether.
Highways and roads | Even the Brand Highway is one of the finest
wildflower roads in WA, surpassed only by the new Indian Ocean
Drive which cuts past both Lesueur and Nambung national parks.
Other places to see the wildflowers are Cantabilling Road (woodland
of flooded gums), Munbinea Road, Cadda Road, Bibby Road
(woodland of slender and firewood banksias) and Badgingarra
National Park. In winter and early spring, large purple flowers of
the rough daisy bush are a good place to search for many spectacular
jewel beetles. Look out for orchids: pink fairy orchids like limestone,
and are especially common.
Sunset at Cervantes (Photography
Bright podolepis (Photography Andrea Gray)
Hardenbergia (Photography Andrea Gray)
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