Natures Florist Shop – – but don’t pick the flowers!
The road from the main highway through the Kalbarri National Park to the seaside town of Kalbarri is famous for its wildflower display for five months of the year from June until the end of November nearly 800 different species of wildflower progressively burst into bloom in sequence. We had spotted lots in the car on the side of the road but checked with the visitor Centre. A friendly, helpful lady confirmed the wildflowers were out but so many visitors “drove fast and never got out of the car and then complained there were none to see!”
If you get the chance to see them you will find the brochures are misleading, however. I suspect that in some particular parts you get meadows of flowers and the brochures are carefully compiled like my photographs below – particular blooms surrounded by bush – but then next month a different flower will take its place in the spotlight.
Western Australia’s famous floral emblem, the red and green kangaroo paw flourishing in the sandy Kalbarri soil
A large bush growing for kilometres along the road
More than 2 metres above the ground these bright yellow flowers stand out against the bright blue sky
In one area of a few square metres are five different wildflower varieties making a bouquet growing at ground level
These bushes, about a metre tall and across show up like humps across the bush
Small Grevillea like flowers cover these bushes
The pink flowers are open while the red buds are getting ready
The Green and Gold of Australian colours carpet this area of the bush
A posy worth picking for your beloved but don’t – its illegal – just enjoy them in the ground together
Lots of the local plants are well protected by spikes
A Harsh but Beautiful Environment
Western Australia is known for the diversity and beauty of its floral landscape. The travel books predicted amazing vistas of flowers as we travelled from Port Hedland to Tom Price but we were disappointed – not by the magnificent mountains and the eerie landscape but by the lack of flowers. Our guide Baz explained that all the water both for nature, industry and consumption comes from underground aquifers. Most years the tropical cyclones which smash into the WA coast cause big rain bearing depressions which dump enormous amounts of summer rain in the Pilbara, topping up the aquifers. Last summer, not a drop so no wild flowers.
Driving South to Coral Bay there was one section of road for a dozen km or so which must have had some thunderstorm activity where in an area the size of a football ground I took these images.
We are told there will be more wildflowers further south, later in Spring.