Pull on those hikers for a week of wildflower hunting along the Indian Ocean Drive through to Kalbarri National Park, back to Geraldton and onto Wildflower Country between late July and early October.
Perth to Cervantes (approx. 200 kilometres)
Take the Indian Ocean Drive north of Perth to the beachside town of Cervantes for the first leg of your Kalbarri holiday and Coral Coast wildflower tour. Take the short drive south of Cervantes to Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles Desert. The road into the Pinnacles is sealed, and there is a car park within walking distance of the limestone structures. After exploring the landscape, head to the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre to learn more about these mystical formations. You can also pick up locally-made handcrafted souvenirs here.
Drive into Cervantes and spend some time at the RAC Cervantes Holiday Park's Seashells Café, located on the beachfront. Have a coffee and relax on pillow-laden couches in the sun. Check into your accommodation and enjoy an evening stroll along the foreshore before turning in.
Overnight options: Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Green Head or Leeman
Cervantes to Dongara - Denison (approx. 158 kilometres)
Head to the beach at Hansen Bay for a morning dip or to simply take in the stunning coastal views. Continue your journey north along the Indian Ocean Drive to Dongara. Be sure to visit Lesueur National Park, widely renowned for its incredible floral diversity, it boasts some 820 species of Western Australian wildflowers, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
If you have a 4WD, stop in at Stockyard Gully Caves, off Coolimba Eneabba Road. The caves are created by a river system that has etched a waterway through the limestone underground. Be sure to take a torch as the light fades to black as you venture into the 300-metre underground cave.
Continue north to twin towns of Dongara and Port Denison. This afternoon, enjoy one of the 12 self-guided walk trails around Dongara and Port Denison where nature lovers are sure to spot plenty of flora and fauna. Stop in for a pint at the beautifully restored Priory Lodge, a tour of the rum distillery Illegal Tender Rum Co, or a coffee on the tree-lined main street, Moreton Terrace. Or head to South Beach for a spot of fishing, four-wheel driving or a bite to eat at a beachside cafe.
Overnight: Dongara - Denison
Dongara to Kalbarri (approx. 220 kilometres)
Start off early this morning heading north towards Kalbarri. Take a detour off the Brand Highway and follow the scenic route north through the rolling hills of Chapman Valley. Dominating the eastern horizon are the flat-topped Moresby Ranges and before you stretch the rolling green pastures of the region’s farmland. Experience life as an early settler at the Chapman Valley Historical Society Museum, located in Nanson. Western Australian wildflowers, particular everlastings, are prolific on the roadsides throughout the Chapman Valley. Rejoin the highway at Northampton, declared a historical town in 1993 by the National Trust to preserve its rich heritage.
Continue on to Kalbarri, a holiday hotspot for families, nature-lovers and thrill seekers. As you reach the rugged coastal cliffs of Kalbarri National Park, take one of the coastal gorge walks and watch the cliffs turn to vivid red in the setting sun. Enjoy a fresh seafood feast for dinner at one of the many local restaurants such as Finlay's Kalbarri, then sit back and relax under the stars at the outdoor cinema.
Kalbarri to Geraldton - Greenough (approx. 156 kilometres)
Wake up early and head out to explore the ruggedly beautiful gorges of Kalbarri National Park – a Kalbarri holiday highlight. The roads into the park take you to various lookout points, including the breathtaking Nature's Window, The Loop and Z-Bend Gorge, and the new Kalbarri Skywalk.
Many species of the region's wildflowers inhabit this area, which is particularly well known for its orchids, namely the Kalbarri Spider Orchid which is endemic to the region. After exploring the National Park, rejoin the North West Coastal Highway and head south towards Geraldton.
Overnight: Geraldton region
Geraldton to Mullewa (approx. 98 kilometres)
The county town of Mullewa is most famous for its carpets of everlastings and the unique Wreath flower, best found in the area surrounding the settlement. A self-guided wildflower walking tour is the best way to take in the dazzling displays of wildflowers, as well as the history and heritage of Mullewa and there are over eight kilometres of walking trails to choose from. Be sure to stop in at Moorhead’s local artist studio to meet the local Indigenous women who come to the centre to paint and create unique handcrafted pieces. Their work can also be seen around the town on the various murals that cover local buildings.
Also check out the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Trail, celebrating the enormous contribution that architect/priest John Hawes made to the region. The trail highlights 15 buildings and sights relating to his life in the region, with one of the best examples of his work being the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Overnight: Mullewa or Mingenew
Mullewa to Perth (approx. 440 kilometres)
On your way south towards Perth, take a detour off the highway to Coalseam Conservation Park. Located in the heart of wildflower country, Coalseam is renowned for its endless fields of Western Australian wildflowers. During the flowering season, everlastings transform the otherwise sparse plains into a glorious carpet of colour.
Stop for refreshments at Mingenew, a quaint and friendly farming town. Complete your wildflower tour with a trip out to Depot Hill Reserve, which is also a great wildflower viewing area and an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic with views overlooking the Irwin River. Join the highway again to complete your drive back to Perth.