Esperance and the South Coast region is blessed with an endless variety of extraordinary flora and from July to November an incredible display of both inland and Coastal Heath wildflowers takes place. The best way to truly experience the wildflowers is to park your car and explore on foot! Treat yourself to one, or all of these wildflower hot spots:
ROTARY LOOKOUT / DEMPSTER HEAD WALK
360 degree views of the land and seascapes and various coastal walk trails. Featuring several species of flowering Eucalypts, Dryandras, Twining Clematis, Australian Bluebell, Fringe Lilies in early summer, Pimelea, Agonis, and Hakea.
DUKE OF ORLEANS BAY & WHARTON BEACH
A local favourite for wildflower spotting, a beautiful and diverse array of colour and variety. Keep your eyes peeled for endless hidden gems!
GREAT OCEAN WALK / CYCLEWAY
Deep sand, elevated limestone headlands, sheltered dunes and exposed heaths provide wonderful vistas of seasonal natural flora. The Great Ocean Walk / Cycleway could be described as the best walking trail in Australia. Ride or walk between the Town Centre and iconic Twilight Beach to appreciate the sweeping vista of splendid coastline and natural flora. Stop for a while at one of the several seats to admire the panoramic scene and take a closer look for intricate coastal wildflowers.
A mammoth reserve where large expanses of natural bushland are accessible by gravel roads. There are hundreds of named plantations containing Western Australian trees, as well as Australian species from other states and exotic pine species. These will all flower at the specific time of year for each species. Red Flowering Gum and Tallerack in summer, Silver Princess late winter, Showy Banksia in spring and the glorious Royal Hakea is on show all year round. Many opportunities to indulge in photography, bird watching, picnicking, trail walking, pine cone collecting, or to simply relax under the pines and enjoy the blissful plantation smells. Helms Arboretum is located 17kms north of Esperance on the Coolgardie / Esperance Hwy.
KEPWARI WETLAND TRAIL
Lake Warden Wetland System – (Kepwari is the local aboriginal word for ‘place of moving water’) 3.6km interpretive trail winding through fringing sedge lands, Melaleuca thickets, heathlands, under Banksia canopies and over dune ridges, with views of the internationally recognised wetland system and surrounding catchment. The wetland trail consists of 1.5km of raised timber boardwalks, 2.1km of surfaced trail and features two bird hides which provide an opportunity to quietly observe waterbirds in their tranquil environment. A self-guided canoe trail also winds through the lakes, with optimal canoeing conditions being towards the end of winter and into early summer – when water levels are at their highest. Rich in both flora and fauna and only 5 minutes from town, access to the trail is via Windabout Way, or Lakes Road, both adjacent to Fisheries Road.
CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK
Located 56km East of Esperance. The 20 kilometre ‘Le Grand Coastal Track’ links many of the park’s most spectacular coastal sections and runs from Cape Le Grand Beach to Rossiter Bay (via Hellfire Bay) and features excellent views. Always be sure to carry drinking water with you, and embark with appropriate footwear. During wildflower season these trails are brimming with a diverse array of magnificent wildflowers, including dense thickets of showy banksia.
CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK
Located 120km East of Esperance. One of the best ways to experience the park’s diverse wildlife and magnificent scenery is on a walk, and there are many trails to follow:
Tagon Coastal Walk: 7km (4 hour) return journey offering views over the wild coastline. In winter you may even be able to spot a Southern Right Whale, which often swim close to shore in the sheltered bays. The lookout at Dolphin Cove is a perfect whale watching location.
Le Otte Nature Trail: 1km (1 hour) walk with views over the park, offering a close look at the varied plant & animal life in the area. Perfect for wildflower season.
Mount Ragged Walk Trail: 3km (3 hour) return journey which includes a hike to the top of Tower Peak (585m). Mt Ragged is a steepsided pre-cambrian ridge surrounded by a wave cut platform at about one-third of its height.
STOKES NATIONAL PARK
Located 80km West of Esperance. Walk the Heritage Trail at Stokes National Park, a 4.3km (1.5 hour) return walk that includes on-site plaques describing changes that have occurred to the inlet environment. The path provides magnificent views of the inlet and its surrounds. Whilst there, explore the “Moir Homestead” Ruins, built over 140 years ago.
One hour North of Esperance, located on Dempster Rd (off Fisheries Rd). On route, the sides of the road are brimming with wildflowers – be sure to use the designated pull over bays if stopping to take photos! Mount Ridley itself features a picnic area & Esperance’s very own “Wave Rock”, as well as a glorious array of wildflowers. 4WD access is required during the winter months.