Take a long weekend to enjoy the Coral Coast's wildflower season between late July and early October and explore the regional towns of Wildflower Country and the city of Geraldton.
Day One: Perth to Mingenew (~360 kilometres)
Take the Great Northern Highway north of Perth with the first stop at New Norcia – Australia’s only monastic town. Join a local guide for a tour of the town at 11 am then head to the hotel for some Abbey Ale or Spanish wine to complement your delicious Mediterranean inspired lunch. Don’t leave without a walk through the gift shop to purchase some famous New Norcia bread.
Continue your wildflower tour north along the Midlands Road with a stop in Coorow before continuing on to Mingenew, in the heart of wildflower country. Make your first stop at the visitor centre, adorned with all things floral. Here you can pick up a map of the local wildflower trails, parks and reserves. Stop in at the Mingenew Hotel for traditional country pub fare and a chat with the locals.
Overnight options: Mingenew or Mullewa
Day Two: Mingenew to Geraldton (~100 kilometres)
Get on the road early today and head to Coalseam Conservation Park, 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. North of Coalseam is Mullewa, a must-see for your wildflower tour, known for its carpets of everlastings. The town is surrounded by 8.3 kilometres of mapped out walking trails which come alive during wildflower season. Head to Pindar to discover the rare Wreath Leschenaultia flower that blooms along the road and in park lands between August and October.
The church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel is a must, built by Monsignor Hawes during his time in the region. This church took him seven years to build and is one of 15 buildings of his design throughout the Mid West. Pop into the Moorhead’s artist studio to see the indigenous women at work, or take in their murals throughout the streets. Continue on to Geraldton for the night.
Day Three: Geraldton to Dongara - Denison (~63 kilometres)
North-east of Geraldton lies the Chapman Valley, characteristically known for the flat top Moresby Ranges that dominate the eastern horizon. Here, you will find plenty of roadside wildflowers and some charming surprises. Stop in at the Chapman Valley Museum in Nanson, full of memorabilia from a bygone era. Depart south from Chapman Valley and head towards Dongara. Surfies should first stop in at Flat Rocks, just south of Geraldton, a great spot for avid water fans.
Alternatively, on the eastern side of Brand Highway, you’ll find 11 beautifully resorted character buildings at the Central Greenough Historic Settlement, dating back to the turn of the 19th century. The area surrounding the settlement is often dotted with wildflowers. Take a refreshment stop at the onsite visitor centre where the friendly staff will pour you a great coffee. In Dongara, take an afternoon walk around one of the town’s 12 trails including the heritage walk that highlights 28 heritage buildings around the town or join a guided town tour with New Leaf Connect.
Day Four: Dongara - Denison to Perth (~350 kilometres)
Head south along the Indian Ocean Drive towards Lesueur National Park, considered one of the most diverse wildflower hotspots in Western Australia. The park is home to over 820 species of flora, with many endemic to the region. Animal enthusiasts may like to join a wildlife cruise from Jurien Bay to interact with the playful sea lion colonies that live in the nearby marine park. After your cruise, continue south along the Indian Ocean Drive back to Perth.