September is a wildflower frenzy in Perth.
Perth's best wildflower hotspots explode into a sea of vibrant colour and delight locals and tourists.
There are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers to enjoy in WA, making it one of the world's largest collections. More than 60% of those species are native to the area and cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.
Are you showing friends and family around Perth this spring? Heading to WA from overseas? The good news is that you don't have to be an Anthophile (the official name for someone who appreciates flowers) to hunt down the best places to see the wildflowers in Perth. There's also no need to travel all the way to Japan to get caught up in cherry blossom madness when you can experience something similar with our native flowers closer to home.
Here are ten of the best locations where you can find an abundance of wildflowers in Perth, plus some of our best wildlife too!
Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
Where better to start than the ever so loved Kings Park and Botanic Gardens! Not only does it boast jaw-dropping views of the city and is an excellent place to spend half a day in the spring sunshine, the lush botanical gardens are in full bloom with beautifully colourful wildflowers in September. With more than 25,000 individual plants and wildflowers blooming in spring, it's going to be hard to cover them all, so we've picked the top three for you to check out.
- Anigozanthos manglesii - A yellow flowering form of Mangles' Kangaroo Paw. It was named 'Anniversary Gold' to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Botanic Gardens in 2015. It’s vivid yellow and green colouring make a perfect addition to areas with darker foliage.
- Heart-leaf Flame Pea – Flowers a striking hot pink, orange and yellow colour when in full blossom in September, which transforms the unassuming bush into a brightly coloured mass of flowers.
- Paper Daisy – Native to WA’s Southwest, these flowers appear from August to November and showcase a yellow or black centre. Bees and other insects are attracted to the Paper Daisy when the flowers are fully open in direct sunlight.
The Kings Park Festival is the perfect opportunity to go on guided walks of the wildflowers in September as well as a chance to explore the outdoor exhibitions, photography displays, family activities and much more!
Araluen Botanic Park
The star attraction of September is It's Yates Springtime Tulip Festival, where visitors will be welcomed with Perth's biggest display of Tulips. You can expect more than 150,000 of these multi-coloured beauties along with 20,000 daffodils, and thousands of other exotic bulbs you'd only find in the rolling flats of The Netherlands. Once considered a hot commodity, "Tulip Fever" was the original "Bitcoin" of the 1700's, where demand for the flowers rose so much that they were being used as currency. The bubble collapsed shortly afterwards, rendering them less valuable but no less beautiful to look at.
There's more to Araluen Botanic Park than wildflowers. It's also a popular place to enjoy an afternoon out with the family, as well as weddings, photography, bird-watching and Sunday BBQ's.
The Bibbulmun Track is a popular hiking trail that covers the whole of the South West, stretching nearly 1000kms from Kalamunda where the trails begin in the Perth Hills, down the coast to the southern coast port of Albany.
On the Kalamunda section of the track there is the opportunity to take part in the Bibbulmun Blossoms guided tour where you can learn more about the many wildflowers in bloom around Perth during September. There are more than 2000 species of plants that occur along the Bibbulmun Track, and of these, 300 or so can be readily seen along the northern end near Kalamunda, such as orchids, milkmaids, honeypots, green kangaroo paws and mountain bells – all adding their unique blend of colour to the bush.
Situated in Perth's western suburbs, Bold Park is in fact bigger than Kings Park and due to its proximity to the coast, you'll see a different variety of flora compared to the more popular tourist destination.
Bold Park is a good place to see hundreds of Donkey Orchids, Pink Fairy Orchids, Granny Bonnets and Geraldton Wax in bloom. The Geraldton Wax is, in fact, a misleading name for the plant as it's more commonly found in WA's South Western region between Walpole and Windy Harbour. Bold Park is worth a visit any time of year for wildflower watching, with over fifteen kilometres of walking trails and ten different lookouts boasting expansive city and coastal views. Spare yourself 2 - 3 hours for a visit.
Ellis Brook Valley Reserve
Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, which is part of the Banyowla Regional Park, is a bit of a hidden gem in the semi-rural suburb of Martin near Gosnells. September is the prime month to see a brilliant array of colourful wildflowers and you can expect to see species such as Mouse Ears and the pretty-in-pink Myrtle, which you can enjoy on the easy to walk 2.8km Blue Wren Ramble. If you are feeling more on the adventurous side, try the Sixty Foot Falls Trail which takes you from Ellis Brook and into the hills with spectacular views once you reach the top.
John Forrest National Park
Named after WA's first Premier, John Forrest National Park in Mundaring was established in 1900 and is one of the best places to get up close with the animals – mainly Kangaroos – as well as more than 500 different species of wildflowers.
In September you can expect to see Banksias, Grevilleas, Blue Lechenaultia and Kangaroo Paws all in full bloom. The 4.5km wildflower walk is one of many available to visitors, but the mother of them all is the 15km Eagle View Trail which delights visitors with spectacular city views and an abundance of wildflowers.
September is also an optimum time to view the park's two waterfalls – Hovea Falls and National Park Falls. With our decent rainfall over winter just gone, you can expect the water to cascade over the granite rock and provide some #instaworthy moments.
An hour north east of Perth lies Toodyay, a charming little town that boasts picturesque views of the Avon Valley and lots of historical buildings that reflect the influences of the convict and colonial eras. In September a number of wildflowers can be spotted in several parks and reserves surrounding the town. Head to one of the four parks: Pelham Reserve, Dawn Atwell Reserve, Wongamine Reserve or Majestic Heights to spot pink everlastings, blue leschenaultia and a variety of orchids.
Walyunga National Park
Head 35 km northeast of Perth along the Great Northern Highway and you'll end up at Walyunga National Park. The park is almost 1,800 hectares in size and it is the exact location where the Avon River becomes the Swan River. The park is known for sensational wildflowers during winter and spring, abundant native animals, and rugged valley scenery. One of the best trails for taking in the wildflowers is the Kingfisher Walk Trail – a medium, 8.5-kilometre, four-hour loop with varied and abundant plant and flower life.
Walyunga National Park forms part of the popular Avon Descent route, one of Australia's best white water canoeing courses in an area steeped with cultural significance. It has been used by Aboriginal people for more than 6,000 years according to archaeological evidence, and the site was used by the Nyoongar people up until the late 1800s. Expect to bump into a few Kangaroos and Echidnas during your visit.
Yanchep National Park
Famed for its Koala, Kangaroos and caves, Yanchep National Park is well worth adding to the itinerary to take in the diverse range of wildflowers. All year round visitors can see an abundance of paperbark, banksia, tuart, jarrah and sheoak. In September the colours explode to life with native orchids, Yanchep rose, kangaroo paw and wattles.
Hop on one of the nine walking trails and you'll quickly start to see the unique biodiversity of the area, with appearances of yellow buttercup, one-sided bottlebrush, blue flowering Hardenbergia, parrot bush and honey myrtles to enjoy. The trails suit all different ages and fitness levels. Don't forget to bring a picnic and enjoy the views near Lake Loch McNess, which will be full of waterbirds, while the Kangaroos join in on the fun around the banks.
York Bushland Garden
If you fancy a day trip out of town, head an hour east of Perth by car and you'll end up in York, which has a beautiful display of wildflowers from September to November. The York Bushland Garden, just a short walk from town, displays a wide range of Wheatbelt plants and wildflowers. Free to enter, wander through a tranquil bush setting while enjoying birdsong and the beauty of over 300 species of WA flora, including many that are rare in their natural habitat.
York is also known for its amazing displays of canola which are currently flowering now until the end of September. While accessing private canola fields is illegal, PetTeet Park (only open in wildflower season) located half-way between York and Beverley, have grown crops of canola specifically for tourists to enjoy.