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.
I 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.’
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- A book on wildflowers (unless you are a professional in this area)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.