Following the Everlasting Wildflower Trail

The Everlasting Wildflower Trail runs in a loop from Perth to Mullewa via both Indian Ocean Drive and the Great Northern Highway.  The total distance, round trip, would be a little over 900 km.

Everlasting TrailI would recommend at least one week of driving if you plan to complete the entire trail.  As we only had a day, we made New Norcia our first stop.  If we had time, we would tackle the drive to Dalwallinu.

On many roads ‘travelled’, I generally do not drive with the purpose of destination.  In fact the destination is the journey.  And our journey was labelled “The Hunt for Wildflowers’ with no particular end point in mind.  Notably, Dalwallinu is known for a number of wildflower patches, so making it to this point would be ‘blooming amazing’.

New Norcia lies just off the Great Northern Highway.  The Great Northern Highway will take you to the furthest point in Western Australia called Wyndham, roughly 3,200 km north of Perth.  I can guarantee that this town is not part of this journey!

We were barely on the Great Northern Highway when I began noticing paddocks of purple flowers.  I had questioned myself the night before whether this would be the correct route, and seeing hues of purples and blues put me a ease.’

Wildflowers Western Australia
Much to my horror – I found that this patch of purple hue is actually a weed known at the Paterson’s Curse.

Of course, regular stops became part of the route.  I was amazed at just how many wildflowers there were.

For the untrained eye, you will generally see brown scrub.  In most cases, wildflowers don’t grow in carpets of color.  So, you really need to keep a watch for patches of color in between the brown grassland that lines each side of the road.

It took us almost 5 hours to reach New Norica.  Given the distance which is roughly 96 km, we should have reached this in one hour.  However, that would mean your destination was New Norica and NOT wildflowers.

Wildflowers Western Australia
Rough Leaved Cone Flower
(Isopogon scabriusculus)

For any first time travelers to this neck of the woods, I would recommend taking your time.  October is a great time to travel along the Great Northern High, as hills are green, rivers are full and colors just seem to light up mood and landscape.

Hills in Chittering
Green Hills During Spring Time!

Arguably, you will be tempted to stop frequently.  I know we did.  Apart from Wildflowers, there are some unique stops that the whole family can enjoy.  One of these is the Bindoon Museum.

Bindoon Museum

Unfortunately for us, it is only open on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  However, seeing that we made the stop for a little ‘look see’, I was happy to find some more wildflowers.  And the Wildflower hunt continues!

Wildflowers Western Australia
Honey Bush (Hakea lissocarpha)

With lunchtime fast approaching, I decided that it was time to go directly to New Norica.  No stopping – No side tracks – just a direct route to the only Monastery in Australia. Apart from historical architecture dating back to the early 1800’s, you can either enjoy a wander around town ‘solo’ or join one of the local tours.

New Norcia

As New Norcia is part of the Everlasting trail, I was fixated on finding as many wildflowers as possible.  To my delight, there were a number of wildflowers in and around New Norcia and because of the recent rains, they were in full bloom.

Wildflowers Western Australia
Kangaroo Paw

The Kangaroo Paw is one of my more favorite wildflowers.  I spent the best of two years hunting for them.  Of course, I was looking in the wrong places.  Kangaroo paw likes to grow in grass like terrain/shrubs.  As I stated in the video, you could quite easily drive (or walk) past them as your eyes become accustomed to the brown foliage.  Unknown to many newbies to Wildflowers, there is actually two other types of Kangaroo Paws – The Green Kangaroo Paw and the Black Kangaroo Paw.  Both of these are found further north (Moora to Cataby and Minginew to GinGin)

Wildflowers Western Australia
According to information found this is a Myrtle…possibly Heath Myrtle.

The above flower is what I found to be a Small White Myrtle.  However, there are discrepancies in the findings as most of the flowers I found are white and pink, where as this one is more white and green.

Wildflowers Western Australia
We have still not be able to identify this wildflower. It has four unique shaped petals. Please comment below if you recognize it!

This was a unique flower found among the grass lands.  I am still unable to locate a name for it, however if you know this flower please comment below.

Wildflowers Western Australia
Could be related to the eremophila family?

Wildflowers Western Australia

The above two flowers were found near fields.  They are quite common.  The pink colored flower is what I found to be a Pink Fairy Orchid.  Unfortunately, I am still on the hunt for the name of the white/yellow pea bush flower, but you will see them in fields and along road sides.

Wildflowers Western Australia
Marno ( Daviesia divaricata)

This little shrub is easily spotted.  This particular photo was taken just north of Bindoon along the roadside.  They tend to grow in patches making it easy to spot.

Wildflowers New Norcia Blue wild flowers
Blue Dampiera found along the road side. This is a typical wildflower sight when driving.
Wildflowers Western Australia
Geraldton Wax (Chamelaucium unicinatum)

Initially we called this an Emoji flower.  We located this flower by the Bindoon Museum.  However, we soon learnt that they are called the Geraldton Wax and is now one of the kid’s favorite wild flowers.

Wildflowers Western Australia

The above wildflower was found just outside of New Norcia.  It is a single stem white flower and I would like to lean towards a type of orchid.

There are many more photos, and I only captured a few.  However, if you plan to make this trip I suggest you take a few things with you:

  1.  A book on wildflowers (unless you are a professional in this area)
  2.  Make sure you wear the proper attire.  Even though it is hot, long pants/trousers will prevent you picking up things like ticks.  And, the correct shoes will help with traction.
  3. Take a good camera.  You really want to capture more than just a snap shot.  I used a Canon 550 D.  It is an older model but it works.  I also used my iPhone for landscape shots.
  4. Make sure you have plenty of water.  There are some gas stations along the way but they are not frequently spaced.  You may also consider taking snacks and/or a picnic basket.
  5. We filled up with fuel in Perth and were able to make a trip to New Norcia and back.  However, if you are running low on fuel, I recommend filling up when you can.

Outside of this, I hope you enjoy your journey.  From reading and research I have learnt I missed a number of wildflowers.  Hopefully I will still be able to find a few more in the next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wildflowers by the Beach in Western Australia

It is September, and it is wildflower season in Western Australia.  Because 2017 saw a winter that embraced a greater than average rainfall, it is expected that we will witness one of the most spectacular exhibition of wildflowers in Western Australia this century!

Wildflowers by the Beach

For many, it is believed that one would need to travel to remote areas just to witness nature’s beauty.  However, as most tend to travel ocean side, I felt that it would be more appropriate to uncover wildflowers by the sea!  I guess in my way – one can experience a 360 degree beauty through a combination of sea, sand and flowers!

wildflowers by the beach
Acacia

Perth’s coastal terrain hosts an array of different wildflowers.  Of course, Acacia is one of the more popular blooms that tend to color trees shades of yellow.  However, if you are wanting to see something just a little more exquisite you need to look for things that might not be a layer of color.

White Clematis

I have learnt, that by looking for little piece of color among green and brown shrubberies will result in a delicate uncovering of fragile blooms that seem to prefer the protection of the greater fauna than to stand out bold and strong.

purple wildflowers, perth,
Native Wisteria: Hardenbergia

Of course, there will be moments when you will see an abundance of color which will offer the many photo opportunities.  Notably, having a wildflower manual will help.  If not, I hope this post will help you recognize a few of the more popular exhibits created by mother nature.

Native Wisteria: Hardenbergia

While walking along bike/walk trails found along the coastal area in the Perth area, don’t forget to look up now and then.  Not all wildflowers are ground-side, like the Red Bottle Brush tree. With bright colors such a red, purple and green means one can capture a hue of colors through the lens.

Red Bottlebrush

Wildflowers by the beach are stunning.  And a little adventure like this is perfect for the person, or family, who is limited with time.  Of course, kids will love the ability to stretch legs and splash in the water (the latter may be just a little chilly this time of the year), while you can take your time an enjoy the artist display custom designed by ‘Mother Nature’.

Wildflowers by the Beach Perth a roadtravelled

The Disappearing Surfer

The thing about Cottoesloe and the coastal area around it, is the expanse of sculptures that present themselves in true ‘Perthonian’  form.  From experience, I have seen a range of sculptures decorate the coastline and most often, seem to change on an annual schedule. As a result, I hope that by the time you read this article, this sculpture will still be there.

It’s original name is called ‘Pause’ created by April Pine.  I initially saw a Surfing Silhouette standing looking at the sea.  Instinctively I thought ‘Cool, a surfer’.  But as we drove past, I noticed the figure disappear.  Notably – I had to stop.

Sculpture by the Sea surfer disappers scuplture

What stood before me was a very well designed sculpture made from metal sheets, that were places cleverly in perfect size and form, to give any visitor the impression it is a surfer looking at the sea.

It is only when you drive past that you will see the sculpture blend into the sea and horizon, as if the surfer disappears before your eyes.

Pause sculpture by the Sea

A sculpture like this is a must to ‘sea’. (pun intended)  To find this ‘Pause’ it is located on the Fremantle side of Cottoesloe.

If you missed it, then I hope these photos suffice!  However, on a final note – the artist, April Pine,  sells smaller versions of this sculpture.

Best Horse Riding Experience – Jeffery's Bay?

If you love horses and riding horses on the beach just happens to be on your bucket list, then you are going to love this little place we found.

Found just outside of Jeffery’s Bay is a little place called Pappiesfontien Beach Horse Trails.  It is a little off the beaten track, however you know you arrived when you see a couple of paddocks with horses and a building that is the home for saddles, bridles and attire.

Upon arrival, you will be shown to the tack room where you can add some protective wear to your lower legs and choose a helmet that fits.  The former is a much needed accessory that will save your legs from hours of ‘rubbing’.

pappiesfontein beach horse riding

This is followed with an introduction to your horse/pony.  Of course horses/ponies are matched to your skill level.  As the girls were fairly new to horse riding, the were given the exact match for the best experience. #grateful

pappiesfontein beach horse trail
A view of the valley.

The trail starts on a pathway through ‘fynbos’ which leads into the sand dunes.  Notably, the first indication that the sea is near is the smell of fresh ocean air.  A short trail over the dunes soon uncovers the crashing waves and zephyrs that create swirls of salty mist.

Pappiesfontein Horse Trails Jefferys Bay

At this point, I would say, the trail begins.  Horses follow the guide, whom is not only a talented rider but also well verse in native surroundings.  It was interesting to learn about plants and animals in the environment.

pappiesfontein beach horse riding jefferys bay

The beautiful thing I can say about this trail is that when you ride it, it is only you, the horses and the beach.  Although the horses probably know this trail ‘backwards’, you can feel a sense of ‘appreciation’ when their hoof hits the wet shoreline.

pappiesfontein beach horse riding

We were fortunate enough to enjoy a long trail, however, no matter the trail it always feels way to short.

pappiesfontein horse riding

Overall, this is an experience I would definitely book again.  Of course, the saddle seemed to get a little ‘hard’ near the end, but after two hours of riding, it is ‘par for the course’.

pappiesfontein horse riding beach

If this sounds like an experience you want to tick off your list – you can book online.  A trail ride will cost about R400.00 per adult which is about $40.00.  Furthermore, South Africa is a country where tipping is recommended.  The general going rate is about 10% of service.  Please allow this in your budget!

The Most Random Place for a Piano

Random Pianos

Quick:  Where is the most random place you have seen a piano?

My thoughts exactly!  I never imagined to see a piano perfectly positioned for an artistic impression.  Of course, my imagination went wild with images of weddings, music videos etc.  And to think, that this gem is hidden from the everyday traveler.  It is only when you stop to look at something completely different that will you see this lonely piano sitting despairingly on flatten red dirt.

Random Piano Photo

I could not help but think of the music video ‘November Rain by Guns ‘n Roses‘.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if a band like this ventured north of Perth to this very spot and created the next best music video?

Notably, it would give this little place a boost of much needed traffic.  What a difference one little despairing little piano can make to this world!

random piano photos guns 'n roses

How do you find this Gem?

If you travel north of Northam and pass Wongan Hills turn off, you will see a sign on the right hand side that says ‘Historic Slater Homestead’.  Turn into the driveway and you will see this Golden Gem at the bottom part of the field….standing…isolated and probably feeling just a little unloved!  Hopefully, it will still be there when you visit.  So please comment below to let us know!

Why Dowerin Should be Your next Travel Destination

Dowerin is about 2.5 hours (or 145 km) from Perth.  This little town is often overlooked, and if it was not for the ingenuity of primary school kids, this little town will continue to go undetected.

dowerin

I suspect Dowerin goes unnoticed for a number of reason.  Although it is part of the Australian Golden Outback, it is not on a main road to any big town.  In fact, the whole area around the town seems to be lodged between two main highways.  And in my books, the is perfect terrain to be discovered!  A true ‘road travelled’ experience!

Dowerin

From personal experience, Dowerin will offer you a true “Quintessential” experience. Of course, expect conversations to stop when you walk into the local IGA or cafe! This is expected, because in a town like this – everyone knows everyone and if they never met you, there will be a small pause before a conversation begins.

Dowerin

At the entry, you will find Rusty the Tin Dog.  According to the the Shire of Dowerin ” Rusty the tin dog was born in 2004 when the children from Dowerin District High School developed a project initiative to encourage people to stop in Dowerin.”

Dowerin

If you love heritage buildings, Dowerin will not disappoint you.  Buildings that date back to the early 1900’s line the main road, giving you every opportunity to take the perfect shot.

Dowerin

Dowerin, in essence, reminds me of ‘Radiator Springs’.  This is a beautiful Australian town that offers so much potential to new visitors but because of two main arterial main roads, this gem is driven straight past.

Dowerin
A Little Farmer’s Welcome

My advice:  “Well worth the drive and visit.  I would even include this town in a Wild Flower Tour!”

 

Why the Kulin Bush Races should be on Your Bucket List!

The Kulin Bush Races are held once a year.  Personally, Ifind the whole idea very intriguing and, in a way reminds, me of a number of modern western movies of little American towns hosting an event of this nature.

Now I am not sure if Kulin will pull off something that is highlighted so eloquently in movies, but with over 4000 people going to this event every year makes me consider that there must be something rather unique about this event.

The Races are held in the first week of October.  Although I am not a farmer, or a professional “field” (no pun intended), I have always seen October to be a month of harvest.  Therefore, an event of this nature would either precede or follow the harvest season.  Or maybe, it is held in October because this is falls in Spring and it is not as hot as it is in the months of November to March!

The Kulin Bush Races are held over about 3 days.  This year, they kick off with Art/Concert.  I am not sure I would drive to see that!  However, I would be interested in seeing the main event which includes Horse racing, barrel contests and other interesting events to entertain the whole family.  Other than a rodeo, I have never personally witnessed an event of this nature – and neither has the family.  I could easily tick of ‘things you must see’ off the bucket list~ that is for sure!

For those on a budget – it may just be a little pricey.  Tickets into the races are $50.00(adults) and then you have the added expense of travel and accommodation.

Being 3.5 hours away from Perth means one will quite easily run through a full tank of Petrol.  In our case that is about $45.00.  Then you have the trip back, not to mention other little expenses along the way.

What happens on Tin Horse Highway Stays on Tin Horse Highway

Of course, you can pack a picnic hamper to reduce any little extras to the experience, however there is something about ‘cowboy’ food that I find hard to resist.  Maybe it is the rural type cooking?

Notably, you could make this a day trip if you leave before the sun rises and return home before it sets.  Ideally though, it would be best to stay a night and enjoy other things like Wave Rock,  the Tin Horse Highway or even a game on Kulin Golf Course

If you find this event a little intriguing and just happens to be on your bucket list – then click the ‘read more’ below to find out more about the event itself.

READ MORE

 

A Road is the Beginning to an Adventure