Wildflowers

The region is one of only 34 biodiversity hotspots in the world, and the only one in Australia. It is rated by the WWF as one of the world’s most important areas for biodiversity and conservation and if you come in spring you’ll see why.

Over 2,500 species of wildflowers decorate the region in vivid colours with their delicate flowers. The colour range and combinations are amazing with the brightest of true blue, lime green, yellow, red, pink, orange, white and mauve to name just a few. The intricacy of the flowers will bewilder you, especially the orchids. Look out for these tiny yet magnificent works of art hiding where you least expect them. There are 150 species of orchid, many of which are rare and endangered. Be on the lookout for the splendid spider orchid and giant donkey orchid, which are celebrated finds amongst botanical enthusiasts.

Although there are wildflowers year round, the best time to be truly amazed at the intensity and variety of the wildflowers is from August to November.
Great places to see the wildflowers are along the coastal walking tracks, rivers, forests and around the caves. Or better still, take a wildflower tour.

Dunsborough Donkey Orchid is a magnificent, tall orchid, often growing in groups on sandy soils, it flowers between September and October.

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Wildflower Tours

  • Explore the banks of the Margaret River with Cape to Cape Explorer Tours’ 2.5 hour ‘Wild About Margaret River’ walking tour. Learn the fascinating properties of the surrounding wildflowers, bush plants and even the bizarre creatures that dwell in the river.
  • Margaret River Discovery Co. (pictured top of section and top of page) offers the region’s only 4WD guided wildflower tour, followed by a wine tasting experience in a vineyard surrounded by wildflowers.
  • Get off the beaten track with Margaret River Exposed, a tour which offers access to all the national parks in the South West and secluded spots rich in wildlife and wildflowers. Complementary photography tuition is included.
  • Wander through stands of endemic orchids on the South West Eco Discoveries spring tour. Visit spectacular lookouts and iconic hotspots in the Dunsborough area.
  • Discover wildflowers in style with Walk into Luxury, (pictured bottom) a complete luxury walking experience that showcases the best of the Cape to Cape track alongside the region’s fine wine, gourmet produce and luxury accommodation.
  • Visit Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and its surrounding walk trails for the chance to see wildflowers in bloom on the cape as well as whales frolicking in the waters below. Truly a sight to behold!

Chapman’s Spider Orchid has large flowers with striking red markings. The overall colour varies from dark red to nearly white. Each flower is 10-14cm long and stems can reach 25cm tall.

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Wildflower Hotspots

Wildflower season begins at the northern end of the capes near Busselton and moves south towards Augusta as spring progresses. With this in mind, we’ve listed these wildflower hot spots following the coastline from North to South to help you plan.*

1. Ludlow Tuart Forest, Busselton

The 2000 hectare Ludlow tuart forest national park is the largest remaining area of pure tuart forest in the world. A number of beautiful scenic drives provide outstanding views of spectacular grey-trunked tuart trees. Orchids feature prominently in the flora list in springtime. A short interpretive walk site has been developed off Higgins Road in the Shire of Capel.

See: Tuart Trees, yellow flowering Hibbertia, Hardenbergia, Cape Spider orchid.

Get there: Easy access via Tuart Drive off Bussell Highway.

2. Ambergate Reserve, Busselton

This stunning reserve contains at least 326 species of native flowering plants. A four kilometre walk trail provides access through all parts of the reserve where you’ll see orchids, rare Verticordia and great Christmas tree displays in December. The reserve has a small interpretive shelter with information on the reserve and where brochures of the walk trail can be found.

See: Spider, Donkey, Enamel, Jug, Rattle Beak, Pink Fairy, White Bunny, Hare, Flying Duck and Blue Lady orchids, Verticordias, Swan River Myrtle, Trigger Plants, Coral Vine, Grass Trees.

Get there: Travel west along Busselton Bypass and turn left onto Queen Elizabeth Avenue. Continue to the carpark on the corner of Doyle Road, some 7km south of the Bypass.

3. Whicher Range, Busselton

Two things are certain: if you don’t visit the Whicher Range, you’ll never find the best wildflowers; and, if you don’t park and walk through the bush on the side of the road, you’ll likely to miss the thousands of colourful but small flowering plants that characterise this special part of Busselton.

Get there: The Vasse Highway and Sues Road offer the quickest and easiest access to this biodiverse area but many minor roads will also provide access to different parts of the Whicher Range.

4. Captain Baudin Reserve, Busselton

Squeezed between the ocean and the Vasse Estuary, this is a good spot for coastal wildflowers and seeing waterbirds on the Vasse Estuary wetlands, listed as ‘Wetlands of International Importance’ by the Ramsar Convention!  More than 30,000 birds of 80 species have been recorded within the Vasse and Wonnerup Estuaries in springtime, many of them rare.

See: Caladenia procera (Carbunup King Spider Orchid), Rattle Beak, Enamel, Coastal, Flying Duck, King-in-his-Carriage, Donkey and Jug Orchids. Kangaroo Paws, Hibbertia (Buttercups), Blue Grass Lily.

Get there: Travel towards central Busselton off Bussell Highway via Causeway Road. Turn right onto Peel Terrace and onto Layman Road. Access is off Layman Road in the Wonnerup area on the east side of Port Geographe.

5. Big Rock Reserve, Dunsborough

Beautiful views over Dunsborough, Busselton and the Indian Ocean will reward you for climbing to the top of Big Rock. Located on the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge, the Reserve represents a rich diversity of vegetation, with rocky valleys and sandy rises. The steep slopes have also allowed the formation of two main streams flowing through the Reserve.

See: Chapman’s Spider orchid, Cowslip Orchid, Common Donkey Orchid, Purple Enamel Orchid, Forest Mantis.

Get there: Take Caves Road to Dunsborough and then to Quedjinup. Turn left onto Yungurra Drive, then right onto Jones Road and right onto Big Rock Place.

6. Meelup Regional Park, Dunsborough

Meelup Regional Park covers an impressive 11.5 kilometres of coastline from Dunsborough to Bunker Bay. The coastline here faces north east, which means that it is sheltered enough for tall trees and dense vegetation to grow down to the water’s edge. The park encompasses whale watching lookouts and some of the best beaches in Western Australia.

See: Several varieties of Spider, Mustard, Jug, Donkey and possibly the rare Dunsborough orchid. Pea Bushes, Acacias (Wattles), Hakeas, Hibertia (Buttercup).

Get there: Take Cape Naturaliste Road from the centre of Dunsborough, and turn right down Meelup Beach Road after around 5 minutes. Turn right at Meelup Beach where car parking is available. Walk on coastal track east towards Castle Rock, or west to Eagle Bay.

7. Cape Naturaliste, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

The Cape Naturaliste area comes alive with carpets of coastal wildflowers during. This easy to follow walk trails around the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and provides spectacular viewing of wildflowers and coastal scenery including seals and whales in season. The Cape to Cape Track begins at the Lighthouse, and includes a wheelchair accessible track down to Sugarloaf Rock.

See: Dunsborough and Spider Orchid, Naturaliste Nancy, One-sided Bottle Brush.

Get there: Take the beautiful drive along Cape Naturaliste Road from Dunsborough. 10-15 minutes brings you to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where car parking is available.  Click here for walk trail routes.

8. Margaret River Walk Trails

A visit to Margaret River wouldn’t be complete without exploring the township’s easily accessible, pleasant walk trails. The trails here are rich in history, and include the Margaret River Heritage Trails, Rails to Trails and the Carters Road Walk Trails. Don’t forget the longer walk from Rotary Park to Ten Mile Brook Dam.

See: Hovea, Hibbertia, Wattle, yellow peas, Flying Duck Orchid, King-in-his Carriage and Rattle Beaks.

Get there: Walk trails begin within a short walk or drive from the centre of Margaret River. See walk trails map.

9. Boranup Forest, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

Journey through the majestic Boranup Karri Forest to see the slender, pale-barked beauties towering above your head, and wildflowers around your feet. We recommend taking the scenic detour via Boranup Drive (unsealed). While here, take time to explore the caves which lie beneath the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge.

See: Deep Blue Karri Hovea, trailing Clematis, yellow Cone bush and Patersonia, Forest Mantis, Cowslip, Common Donkey and pink Fairy Orchids.

Get there: From Margaret River, travel south on Caves Road, which provides easy access to the forest.

10. Cape Leeuwin

Take in the spectacular coastal scenery at Cape Leeuwin, where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet to crash fiercely against the cape. Combine your wildflower walk with a visit to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and the nearby town of Augusta.

See: Augusta Bee, Funnel Web Spider and Vanilla Orchids, Wisteria, Clematis, Coastal Pimelea and Fan flowers.

Get there: Travel south from Augusta via Blackwood Avenue. Parking is available at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

*To note: Locations may be best accessed via a four wheel drive vehicle. The type, location and abundance of flowers can vary enormously, depending on seasonal weather conditions, bush fires etc. Please note the picking of native flowers is strictly prohibited.

Bold Beauty is an erect shrub, that flowers between August and December.

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Insiders’ Information

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Accommodation

Choose from hotels, resorts, farmstays, guesthouses and self-contained apartments for the perfect place to stay.

Wildflower
Maps & Guides

Your local visitor centre has a great range of maps and guides to help you discover the region’s wildflowers.

More info

Detailed information on wildflowers is available at www.wildflowerswa.net (paid subscription)

Questions?

Contact Your Margaret River Region experts 7 days per week. Email or call (08) 9780 5911.