One of the World’s Most Spectacular Wildflower Blooms Isn’t Where You Think It Is

After a wet winter, Western Australia’s Coral Coast is experiencing its largest bloom in a decade. Here’s where to find meadows of everlastings, rare wreath flowers, and wild orchids.

One of the World’s Most Spectacular Wildflower Blooms Isn’t Where You Think It Is

Western Australia’s wildflower bloom this year is particularly beautiful.

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When you think of Western Australia, images of arid Outback landscapes probably come to mind. But a spectacular display of wildflowers is blooming on Australia’s Coral Coast right now thanks to an especially wet winter. According to the tourism board for the coastal region, located just north of Perth, the 2018 wildflower season is turning out to be the largest bloom the Coral Coast has seen in over a decade.

Western Australia is home to 12,000 different species of wildflowers—50 percent of which cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. The bloom is expected to last until November throughout the region, so there’s still time to book a trip. Here’s where to go and what you’ll see.

Coalseam Conservation Park

A four-and-a-half-hour drive north of Perth, the Coalseam Conservation Park is one of the best places to see wildflowers this season. Thick meadows of pink and yellow everlastings are already blooming near the town of Mingenew.

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About an hour’s drive northeast of Coalseam Conservation Park, you can also come across wreath flowers blooming near the town of Pindar. These unusual plants grow straight out of the ground near roadsides and flower in a circular pattern around the rim of the plant, hence their name.

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Lesueur National Park

To see a stand-out orchid bloom, head to Lesueur National Park near the coastal town of Jurien Bay. In addition to several varieties of orchids, you’ll also see the uncommon hakea neurophylla (a bottlebrush-like flower seen below) there now and the yellow hakea eneabba in September.

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Kalbarri National Park

For a longer trip, head to Kalbarri National Park located about a six-hour drive north of Perth to find some 800 different species in bloom between now and November scattered throughout the sandstone cliffs of the park. You might come across Kalbarri spider orchids and snail orchids, as well as bush flowers like banksias, hakea, pink pokers, and flannel bush.

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Even if you can’t venture out into the countryside during wildflower season, the Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth has more than 1,700 native Australian species you can see just by staying in Western Australia’s capital. The blooms last through October, but visit in September to attend the Kings Park Festival to take part in various talks and outdoor exhibitions.

>> Next: 7 U.S. National Parks That Shine in the Spring

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at Afar who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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