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Mid-West Wildflowers - Western Australia



We had been getting reports that this year's wildflowers in the mid-west were the best for many years. They certainly had to be better than 2017 - which was a real stinker for wildflowers in that area.

We had all sorts of things going on, so getting away in August wasn't possible and it was starting to look like September would go the same way.

I was almost resigned to missing out altogether until a brief window of time opened up in early September.

The weather wasn't looking too promising but since it was a case of 'now or never' we packed up and took off.

Day one was quite good weather-wise and we arrived at Wannamal rest stop (about 60km south of Moora) in time to have a good look around.

 

Wannamal rest stop
Wannamal rest stop

 

There was a good variety of Wildflowers including, kangaroo paw, 5 types of orchid (that we found), gervillea, hakea, sundew, everlastings, wattle and many more.

Last year, Wannamal had been the high point in an otherwise miserable trip as far as finding flowers was concerned. We could only hope that 2018 would have better things in store for us.

The rain set in overnight but seemed to clear by morning but our luck did not hold. By the time we were moving, it returned with a vengeance and we abandoned any hope of having a look around at Mogumber (just up the road) and opted to keep driving and try to leave the rain behind us.

We stopped briefly at Moora to refuel and grab a new set of wiper blades. It had become apparent that the ones we had on the Coaster were a little bit past their use by dates.

 

Moora self-contained RV rest stop
Moora self-contained RV rest stop

 

A quick look at the self-contained 24 hour RV rest area, looked in at the local op-shop and the bakery and it was time to move on.

The rain had stopped while we were in town but started again as we drove north.

We were passing the wildflower farm and as we usually do when we are in the area, we stopped, watched the Mike Leyland video, had a free cuppa and bought some bits and pieces from the gift shop.

 

wildflower farm
Wildflower farm

 

By the time we reached Coorow it was time for lunch so we stopped at the Community Farm to make a sandwich and then got out to have a walk among the wildflowers.

When we had visited the year before there were no windflowers and no crop. The place looked like a desert. This time, happily, there was a beautiful carpet of ever-lastings on the hillside. White, pink and yellow blooms covered large areas of the hillside and we took some time filming and photographing them.

 

Coorow Community Farm
Coorow Community Farm

 

We had no real plans for where we were going to spend the night and headed east towards Latham to see what we could find.

What we found was Waddy Forest Hall. It turned out to be a great overnight stop with plenty of room to park.

There were even a few orchids and one type we had not found before, the snail orchid, so named because of its resemblance to a snails head.

 

Snail Orchid
Snail Orchid

 

These little country halls are often great spots to spend the night if you are fully self contained. There are usually no facilities but almost all have large parking areas and are located in out of the way, quiet places.

The first stop for the next day was Latham. It wasn't until we reached the northern end of town that I remembered that we had visited last year and tried to find some orchids along the orchid walk.

The place might as well have been on the moon in 2017! It was dry, hot, barren and very unattractive.

This time is was almost the same except there were flowers and more than a few orchids.

 

Latham orchid trail
Latham orchid trail

 

The lady from Perenjori Visitor Centre has kindly marked out a walk trail here and provided some signs and also placed little rings of rocks to bring attention to some of the more interesting plants.

We added dragon and ant orchids to our growing collection of photos here.

Lunch was spent at Caron Dam. This is a covered dam (one of the very few you will find) but being covered means it is not all that attractive.

We had a quick look for flowers and found some spider and donkey orchids but nothing very exciting.

 

Caron Dam
Caron Dam - Practical rather than picturesque.

 

The parking area isn't huge and has room for perhaps 10 caravans all parked nose to tail. We had hoped it would be a good overnight spot and although it would be ok out of the busy season, it was far too crowded so we moved on.

We dropped in to the Perenjori Visitor Centre and found that there was a place to the east called Orchid Ridge. Now that sounded promising and we did find one new orchid there but apart from a few donkey orchids, pink fairies and a blue orchid that was yet to emerge, we didn't have a great deal of luck.

 

Perenjori
Perenjori

 

The parking space at this site really needs a bit of improvement for bigger vehicles. Caravans etc will have trouble turning and there is not enough parking space if several vehicles are there at the same time.

It is NOT well signposted from the main road with just a small sign saying 'orchid reserve' pointing right down a dirt track as you climb a hill.

We had also been told about some fields of everlastings north east of town but time was running out for the day and the campsite at Camel Soak was only a few kilometres north.

We took the Rabbit Proof Fence road which was unsealed but in very good condition and settled down for the night at the far end of the campsite. Just as well as it turned out as a bunch of hoons turned up in the main campsite and spent the night disturbing other campers who were unlucky enough to be too close.

 

Camel Soak

 

Next morning saw us back in Perenjori to pick up fuel and dump our black water. The dump point is at the caravan park and when we visited there was no fee charged.

From here we continued north to Morawa.

A quick stop off at the Visitor Centre to ask about local flowers and to pick up a couple of bottles of yummy local made jam. We snagged some mango butter and brandied strawberry jam at $5.50 a jar. We have made a habit of getting some of the jams or preserves available here as it is good stuff!

 

Morawa
Morawa

 

It was already lunch time so we had a bite to eat while we were still in town and then headed west toward Mingenew.

We wanted to check out the flowers at Coalseam Conservation Reserve and took a short-cut along the unsealed roads (Yandanooka- Rd and Nanekine Rd.) this cut about 16km off the sealed road trip.

It was still a long drive and the one lane bitumen fades to dirt road before reaching the Conservation Park.

The flowers were the best we have seen in this area. Possibly an over-abundance of yellow in place of pinks, blues and whites, but the valley and hills were all covered in everlasting flowers.

 

Coalseam
Coalseam

 

We didn't plan to stay at Coalseam on this occasion so made our way back to Mingenew to refuel and then continued south on The Midlands Road to Yandanooka where there is an RV overnight rest stop and toilets available.

The next day we arrived in Three Springs just after 9am. After a quick look round and taking a bit of footage we took the road to Eneabba hoping to find the Mice Mine Thicket. Thanks to a lack of decent signage, we never worked out where it was and continued to Eneabba.

 

Three Springs
Three Springs

 

We had decided to have a relatively short driving day and stop at Western Flora Caravan Park.

Since it had been a good year for wildflowers inland, we reasoned that as we got closer to the coast, things would only get better. WRONG!

If anything, the closer we got to the coast, the fewer the wildflowers became.

In any case we decided to stay at Western Flora overnight to take part in their 4:30pm wildflower walk. We hoped we would still see something interesting and maybe learn a thing or two as well.

(Powered sites $33 per night, Laundry $5 a wash.)

Well, the wildflower walk was cancelled because the lady who conducts it was not feeling all that good. Oh well, never mind, we did get some footage of a blue tongue skink with its tongue out, a kangaroo and some pictures of a new orchid so the $33 we paid to stay wasn't in vain.

 

Western Flora Caravan Park
Western Flora Caravan Park

 

Turned south toward home and stopped off at Coomallo Creek (Jurien Bay turn off on the Brand Highway) and did the Carnaby Walk Trail.

A pleasant walk with quite a few wildflowers and lots of birds singing in the trees.

A good stop off on your way along the highway as there is a toilet here as well as picnic facilities.

 

Coomallo Creek
Coomallo Creek

 

The next stop for the day was at Badgingarra. We had a quick look across the road at the National Park and then took North West Road to the Vern Westbrook Walk.

This turned out to be the best stop of the day as there were lots of orchids, everlastings and many other flowers in bloom.

We opted to do the 'easy' walk that is 1.65km. It wandered around over different types of terrain and was really worth while.

 

Vern Westbrook Walk
Vern Westbrook Walk

 

Out intended stop for the night was an unauthorised location but we found it had all been fenced off. Obviously too many people had discovered it and so it is no longer available.

That meant pushing on to Mogumber, a 30+ Km detour. Lunch turned out to be rather late at 3pm but the Mogumber recreation grounds are a good spot to overnight and at only $5, are good value. There is a BBQ, shelter, table and seats and usually there are toilets available but this time they were out of order but as we are self-contained, that wasn't a problem for us.

 

Mogumber
Mogumber

 

Originally we had planned to be out one more night but the forecast was for rain so it was time to head home.

It had been a tiring, but very rewarding trip.

 

Updated September 2018

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Places to see in this area:

Gingin

Wannamal

Mogumber

Moora

Coorow

Perenjori

Morawa

Coalseam Conservation Reserve

Mingenew

Three Springs

Eneabba

Western Flora Caravan Park

Badgingarra

Bindoon

 

Coalseam
Mingenew
Ring neck parrot

 

 

 

 

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