Explore the coastal and inland towns of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Badgingarra and Eneabba as you spend your weekend wildflower hunting.
This itinerary can easily be experienced in a 2 or 3 day loop. Head north along either the Brand Highway or Indian Ocean Drive, then return south along the other. Western Flora Caravan Park is the northernmost point in this itinerary, approximately 3 hours, 15 minutes' drive north of Perth. On your travels, look out for colourful Kangaroo Paw species at Badgingarra National Park, orchids in Lesueur National Park and bush flowers in Nambung National Park.
Day 1 - Perth to Western Flora Caravan Park (~295km)
Drive north from Perth along the Brand Highway towards Badgingarra. Your first stop today will be the Iain Wilson Nature Trail (formerly Badgingarra Nature Trail) in Badgingarra National Park, approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes' drive north of Perth. You'll pass through Dandaragan, and may wish to stop here for a break. Dandaragan is home to several charming, historic buildings and is surrounded by lush pastures and farmland. The drive from Dandaragan north to Badgingarra offers scenic views of the countryside.
The Iain Wilson Nature Trail is a 3.5km trail that consists of a main 2km trail, and a more challenging 1.5km detour to a lookout. Keep your eyes peeled for smoke bush, purple star flower, yellow buttercups, bankias, one-sided bottlebrush, melaleucas, feather flowers and black, red and green kangaroo paws. Native wildlife can often be sighted along the trail, including kangaroos, emus, reptiles and birds like bustards and wedge-tailed eagles. Alternatively, you may be interested in taking a walk along the Vern Westbrook Walk. This 3.7km heritage and wildflower trail is located in Phoebe's Reserve, between the original Badgingarra town site and current town centre.
After discovering the wildflowers around Badgingarra, continue on your drive north towards Western Flora Caravan Park, approximately 1 hours' drive. You'll pass through Eneabba on the way. Western Flora Caravan Park is renowned as a nature lover's and bird watcher's delight with 12km of walk trails across the property. Guided Wildflower Walks are run daily between August and October (weather permitting), and it's common to sight catspaw, various orchids, hakeas, wattle, yellow myrtle, smokebush, droseras, dampiera, daviesia and native buttercups.
Overnight: Western Flora Caravan Park
Day 2 - Western Flora Caravan Park to Cervantes (~130km)
Wake to the sounds of birdlife and spend some more time exploring Western Flora Caravan Park, making sure to look out for native wildlife like kangaroos, before setting off on your way to Lesueur National Park. Approximately 55 minutes' drive south of Western Flora Caravan Park, Lesueur National Park is recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot and is one of the most significant reserves for flora conservation in Western Australia, home to 10% of the State's known flora. An 18.5km scenic drive winds its way through the National Park to the top of Mount Lesueur, showcasing an array of colour and offering panoramic views across the park and coastline from the top. A 4km return walk trail runs between the National Park's Drummond Carpark (found half way along the scenic drive) and the summit of Mount Lesueur, offering a nice alternative to driving the whole route. Pack a picnic to enjoy in the tranquility of the National Park, making sure to take all rubbish with you when you go.
Continue south towards Jurien Bay (approximately 25 minutes' drive) and Cervantes (approximately 40 minutes' drive). Both coastal towns are great bases from which to enjoy the surrounding area, and offer an array of activities in town. Jurien Bay is well-known for the friendly Australian Sea Lions which live in the Jurien Bay Marine Park, and offers scenic coastal views along the Turquoise Way Trail which you can either walk or cycle along. In Cervantes, follow the Art Trail which features 23 pieces of art around the town and references a range of topics particular to Cervantes, from its Spanish history to its relationship with the ocean. Lake Thetis, just outside of town, is one of the few places in the world where you can see living thrombolites (closely related to stromatolites).
Overnight: Jurien Bay or Cervantes
If you are doing this itinerary as a 2-day drive, head south from Lesueur National Park to Nambung National Park, then continue directly on to Perth. If you are driving later in the evening or towards dusk, remember to be particularly mindful of wildlife which may be on or near the road.
Day 3 - Cervantes to Perth (~198km)
Depart Cervantes and head to Nambung National Park, approximately 30 minutes' south, home of the otherworldly Pinnacles Desert and an abundance of seasonal wildflowers. Here, you're likely to find acacias, hibbertia, various orchids, catspaws, blue tinsel lilies, myrtle, banksias and casuarinas as you drive through the Park. The Pinnacles are Western Australia's most visited attraction; take a drive or walk through the mystical limestone spires of the desert, and visit the Pinnacles Discovery Centre to learn more about the area.
Finally, continue south towards Perth. Your drive down the Indian Ocean Drive will take approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes.