By: Tatum Stafford
Perth’s spacious bushland, reserves and parklands can only mean one thing when spring rolls around – this city is transformed into a wildflower wonderland.
There are plenty of bloom hotspots both north and south of the river, so if you’re a wildflower enthusiast, it’s time to hit the road and check them out.
1. Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, Martin
|Wildflower species||Donkey orchids, pincushion coneflowers, bird orchids and more.|
Between August and October, the sweeping Ellis Brook Valley National Park is packed with over 500 species of wildflowers. It’s one of Perth’s most plentiful locations for wildflowers, and is a great spot for beginners and experts alike to go wildflower hunting. Visiting at this time of year may also provide a glimpse at the picturesque Sixty Foot Falls; a short wildflower hike that provides stunning views of the Perth CBD.
One of the best ways to spot the park's bountiful blooms is on the Blue Wren Ramble Trail, a roughly three-kilometre loop. Starting at the Honeyeater Hollow or Valley Head car park, the walk follows the Ellis Brook through Wandoo woodland, dense thickets and a thriving nesting and feeding area for birds.
2. Kings Park, Perth
|Wildflower species||Everlastings, large-fruited mallees, blue leschenaultias, scarlet banksias, willow-leafed wattles, straw flowers, jacksonia flowers, kangaroo paws and more.|
Kings Park is one of the best-known spots to see wildflowers in Perth. The park’s most impressive floral display is found within the 17-hectare Western Australian Botanic Garden. This exquisite garden is home to over 3,000 species of flowering plants, and can be explored on two self-guided walking trails, the ‘short’ or ‘long’ version. After your walk, you’ll be treated to sweeping river and city views.
The annual Kings Park Festival each September welcomes the start of spring in WA. There are guided walks, native gardening workshops, flower photography competitions and outdoor exhibitions on offer – or if you’d prefer a self-guided option, you’re also free to peruse the wildflower displays at your own pace. This festival is the world’s biggest display of Western Australian wildflowers, so it's a must on every wildflower fan’s annual calendar.
3. Hepburn Heights Conservation Area, Padbury
|Wildflower species||Firewood banksias, scented sun orchids, feather-tip bottlebrushes, templetonias, orange star flowers, trigger plants and more.|
Hepburn Heights is one of the best bushland areas along Perth’s coast for wildflower spotting. The conservation area is filled with a large variety of wildflowers from July to November that are best viewed on the area’s 2.1-kilometre loop, dog-friendly walking trail.
4. Araluen Botanic Park, Roleystone
|Wildflower species (native and introduced)||Tulips, purple groundsels, prunus, cherry blossoms, camellias, jonquils, roses, dahlias, belladonnas, water lilies, fuschias, tibouchinas, crepe myrtles, sunflowers and more.|
Renowned for its annual sea of colourful tulips, the Araluen Botanic Park is the city's ‘hidden garden’ of gorgeous wildflowers - displaying a combination of both native and introduced species. Set amongst jarrah bushland, this 14-hectare developed garden features a variety of precincts that highlight a variety of exotic plant species and wildflowers. As well as its famous tulips (which are abundant during the park’s annual tulip festival each spring), the park boasts an impressive array of camellias, dahlias, and one of Australia’s largest rose collections.
You're welcome to stroll through the gardens at your own pace, and there’s also a quaint train with recorded commentary that does a loop of the park during spring. As well as wildflowers, the Araluen team plants cool-climate trees and plants to expand the diversity of unusual trees throughout the park.
5. Lesmurdie Falls, Forrestfield
|Wildflower species||Dryandras, yellow buttercups, grevilleas, white banjines, sticky starflowers, morning irises, couch honeypots, pincushion hakeas and more.|
Located within the Mundy Regional Park, Lesmurdie Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the greater Perth area – and from late winter to spring, it’s a haven for native wildflowers.
There are various walking trails that take you past the falls’ spectacular wildflower displays. There are plenty of white banjines, sticky starflowers, morning irises and couch honeypots to view along these trails. The northern side of the falls is where you’ll find the greatest variety of wildflowers in-season.
6. Star Swamp Bushland Reserve, North Beach
|Wildflower species||Banksias, spider orchids, wisterias and more.|
Renowned for its multiple species of orchids, the 96-hectare Star Swamp is one of Perth’s most beautifully-kept bushlands, thanks to its management by community volunteer group, the Friends of Star Swamp.
The Star Swamp Heritage Trail is a great starting point to explore the reserve’s impressive wildflower display. Starting from the Mary Street car park, the 1.4-kilometre trail winds you through dense bushland, plentiful birdlife and dozens of wildflower species from August to October each year. If you visit outside of these months, you’ll still be able to view other plants that flower year-round.
7. Wireless Hill Park, Ardross
|Wildflower species||Kangaroo paws, cowslip orchid, spider orchids, catspaw flowers, sundew flowers, donkey orchids, rattlebeak orchids and more.|
The Wireless Hill Park is renowned for its extensive displays of native wildflowers, including impressive examples of the State’s floral emblem, the red and green kangaroo paw.
The 1.1-kilometre loop Yagans Genunny trail is a great way to explore the rich heritage and plentiful wildflowers in the park. Starting at the Wireless Hill car park, the walk contains informative signs acknowledging the continued association the Whadjuk Nyoongar people have with the park and its surrounding areas. Throughout the trail, you’ll spot donkey, spider, sun, rattlebeak and cowslip orchid varieties amongst the park’s dense bushland.
8. Bold Park, City Beach
|Wildflower species||Zamias, acacia pulchellas, cockie’s tongues, hoveas, banksias and more.|
The Bold Park reserve displays impressive biodiversity, with over 1,000 species of flora and fauna identified in the area. Many don't know that Bold Park is actually bigger than Kings Park, and similarly, it’s home to plenty of wildflowers when spring rolls around.
There are 15 kilometres of walking trails throughout Bold Park; all of which boast stunning arrays of wildflowers. The five-kilometre loop Zamia Trail is the longest, and covers a range of scenery, lookouts and scenic park benches among the local zamias, hoveas and banksias.
9. Kensington Bushland Reserve
|Wildflower species||Firewood banksias, pixie mops, hairy yellow peas, kangaroo paws, orchids and more.|
Nestled between the Swan and Canning rivers, the Kensington Bushland Reserve is an extremely well-preserved jarrah-banksia woodland. With an excess of 200 plant and wildflower species, the nine-hectare reserve is a great area for wildflower enthusiasts to view firewood banksias, native kangaroo paws and pixie mops. A walk through the bushland during spring will unveil the 19 species of orchids that have been identified at the reserve.
10. Brixton Street Wetlands, Kenwick
|Wildflower species||Hare orchids, swamp bunny orchids, blue lady orchids, fringed lilies, prickly peas, purple tassels, variegated featherflowers, cowslip orchids, spider orchids, pansy orchids, kangaroo paws and more.|
This small conservation area explodes with wildflowers from winter to late spring. It is the most floristically diverse site on the Swan Coastal Plain with more wildflower species than Kings Park. This outstanding floral diversity is reason enough to visit the wetlands.
You can access the main lookout off Alton Street, and much of the wetlands’ wildflowers can be viewed from walking trails. You may also spot a quenda (Southern brown bandicoot) or two – the wetlands are a habitat for these small marsupials.
Ready to go wildflower hunting?
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Last updated: August 2020