- Australia - Western Australia
- See the majestic limestone pillars of Nambung National Park; Lesueur National Park, with 2,000+ species of flowering plants; the magnificent Kalbarri National Park; a private tour of Deryn Thorpe’s cottage garden; the impressive granite formations in Torndirrup National Park; a visit to Margaret River’s privately-owned Secret Garden & a tree top walk through the majestic Valley of the Giants.
Wildflower Tour of Western Australia with Helen Young
Day 1 Monday September 26, 2016 – Fremantle
On arrival in Perth Airport we will be met by our private coach for a guided city tour of the sights of Perth, including the Governor’s Residence, Parliament House and Perth University. We’ll continue to the historic port city of Fremantle to check into our hotel. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner to meet the other tour members and get to know Helen and your tour manager.
Day 2 Tuesday September 27, 2016 – Geraldton
Today we travel north to Geraldton, our base for three nights. On the way, we’ll visit Gingin to view a beautiful display of wild kangaroo paws, then continue to Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnacles, thousands of limestone pillars rising to three and a half metres. These peculiar geological formations were formed by calcified limestone thousands of years ago. From Cervantes, on the coast, we drive through Lesueur National Park, with over 2,000 species of flowering plants. It is the most wildflower-rich belt in the mid-west and offers flora as spectacular as it is varied. We’ll be on the lookout for smoke bush, black kangaroo paw, scarlet feather flower, scholtzia, cowslip orchids, banksias, blue and red leschenaultia and many more. This evening, those wishing to dine with the group can meet Helen and the tour manager in the lobby.
Day 3 Wednesday September 28, 2016 – Geraldton
We will travel to Mullewa, famous for its spectacular wildflowers, including the colourful wreath flower (leschenaultia macrantha), which grows only in this area. Carpets of everlastings are also a feature of the area along with orange bush pomegranate, bright pink native foxgloves, blue dampiera, fringe lilies and many species of orchids, grevilleas, wattles and banksias. We will take a walk around the area. We will also travel across the Coalseam Range, the site of Western Australia’s first coal mine. It comes alive with everlasting wildflowers after good winter rains. Seams of coal and ancient marine fossils are exposed where the Irwin River has cut through the layers of rock.
Day 4 Thursday September 29, 2016 – Geraldton
Today we take a day trip to the pretty fishing village of Kalbarri, travelling through the Kalbarri National Park, which boasts some 800 species of wildflowers. This area displays red river gorges and vast coastal sea cliffs. The Murchison River has cut a magnificent red and white gorge for eighty kilometres to the Indian Ocean, which includes the Z Bend, The Loop and Nature’s Window. At the Red Bluff Lookout, layers of sandstone form dramatic 100m-high cliffs, which loom over the crashing Indian Ocean.
Day 5 Friday September 30, 2016 – Perth
We travel south to Perth today, stopping to visit New Norcia, which was established as a mission over 150 years ago for Aboriginal people. Today it is a charming town and Benedictine monastic community, reflecting the influence of the early Spanish monks. We will have a tour of the monastery and church, and see the olive grove, established in the 1850s, still producing the community’s famous olive oil. Continuing on to Perth, we travel through Yanchep National Park, where many varieties of wildflowers flourish. We will stay in Perth for three nights. Helen and the tour manager will meet in the lobby those wishing to dine with the group.
Day 6 Saturday October 1, 2016 – Perth
We travel to Kings Park, where we will be able to admire the spectacular views over the city and the Swan River. Kings Park showcases an outstanding collection of West Australian flora. Nearly two-thirds of the park is natural bushland, with the balance superbly cultivated gardens and parkland. We will enjoy a guided tour of the remarkable local flora. The afternoon is free for individual exploration.
Day 7 Sunday October 2, 2016 – Perth
This morning we will visit Patsy Durack’s memorable rose garden. Located in the grounds of Kareela, previously owned by Archbishop Clune, it features more than 1,000 roses, including 300 David Austin roses, Delbard French roses and heritage roses. The perfumes are intoxicating. We’ll then visit Deryn Thorpe’s garden. Deryn is a Travelrite International garden tour guide and one of Perth’s most popular gardening personalities. She will take us on a private tour of the cottage garden designed to complement her 100 yearold federation home. The garden contains roses, including many climbers and heritage roses chosen because they have interesting and titillating stories, which Deryn will expand on during our private tour. The roses are underplanted with a variety of perennials and flowering annuals that thrive despite Perth’s sandy, water-repellent soils. The garden has many fruit trees, a herb garden, succulent garden and small vegetable patch.
Day 8 Monday October 3, 2016 – Albany
Our journey today is to Albany on the shore of the Southern Ocean. We’ll travel the Albany Highway, stopping to examine wildflowers en route to Stirling Range National Park, where we will enjoy stunning scenery and magnificent views. The park is a remarkable botanical reserve noted for its distinctive rugged beauty and wildflowers. Grass trees, pea flowers, leschenaultias, blue smoke bush, scarlet banksia and many orchid varieties are just a few of the wildflowers to be found in this area. We continue on to visit the farm garden of Cathy Wright. Cathy organised and created the Rose Maze, which is our next visit, and her garden is excellent. We will visit the Rose Maze at Kojonup, with time to enjoy the roses, have, lunch or buy locally produced handcrafts. The maze uses more than 100 species of Australianbred roses and weaves together the stories of three women to illustrate the hardship of rural life in the early 20th century. Back in Albany, those wishing to dine together can meet Helen and the tour manager in the hotel lobby.
Day 9 Tuesday October 4, 2016 – Albany
This morning we will have a tour of historic Albany, the site of the first European settlement in Western Australia, with its magnificent views of King George Sound. We’ll also view the impressive granite formations of The Gap and Natural Bridge in Torndirrup National Park. In the afternoon we’ll visit the five acres of display gardens at Banksia Farm, which boasts the world’s only complete collection of banksia species. A banksia expert will talk to us about this most distinctively Australian genus of plants. We return to Albany and the rest of the afternoon will be free for individual activity.
Day 10 Wednesday October 5, 2016 – Pemberton
At Bow Bridge, we’ll visit the garden of Tree Elle Retreat, where we’ll enjoy morning tea hosted by the owner. Privately owned, the retreat has different garden rooms in formal styles, including a vegetable potager. Then we will travel through the Valley of the Giants, where karri and jarrah trees tower majestically over the countryside and red tingle trees can have a base circumference of 16m. We’ll take the tree-top walk, through the canopy of the trees, 40m above the forest floor. Around the area we hope to see orchids, kangaroo paws, bottlebrush, flowering gums, dryandras and cone flowers. We will see the enormous Gloucester Tree, towering 72m above the ground. Used as a fire lookout, it has a cabin built 58m up the tree, accessed by 153 spikes that spiral the trunk. We continue to our hotel in Pemberton. Helen and the tour manager will meet those wishing to dine together.
Day 11 Thursday October 6, 2016 – Margaret River
Today we travel to Augusta and then Cape Leeuwin, where the Southern and Indian oceans meet. We then visit Boranup Forest, the prettiest karri forest in Western Australia. On the journey, we’ll look out for wildflowers, such as orchids, wild clematis, brilliant red coral vine, the karri hazel and wattle, before arriving at Margaret River, where we will stay for two nights.
Day 12 Friday October 7, 2016 – Margaret River
This morning the head gardener will show us around the beautifully designed Secret Garden. This is a very special, privately owned garden that is meticulously kept. In spring it features wisteria, clematis, iris and crabapples. Our special farewell lunch will be at Voyager Estate Winery, in its awardwinning restaurant. Around the Cape Dutch buildings, there are beautiful gardens to enjoy, including a large walled garden and two rose gardens.
Day 13 Saturday October 8, 2016 – Return
Heading back to Perth, we first stop at Busselton to see the largest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, then continue to Bunbury, Western Australia’s second largest city. If we’re lucky we will catch a glimpse of dolphins along the coastline. On arrival at Perth airport, we’ll join our return flights home.
- Travelrite Wildflower Tour of Western Australia with Helen Young Sep-Oct 2016 Download
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All prices in $AUD
This tour is priced at $4,825 per person twin-share. A single supplement of $855 is also available.
- Travel in first-class chartered coach
- The following accommodation in first and moderate first-class hotels: 1 night Fremantle, 3 nights Geraldton, 3 nights Perth, 2 nights Albany, 1 night Pemberton, 2 nights Margaret River, with daily buffet breakfasts, a welcome dinner and a farewell lunch.
- Sightseeing tours as listed in the itinerary
- Entry to gardens and attractions as detailed in the itinerary
- Tour leadership by Helen Young
- Tour management by Travelrite International Pty. Ltd., with an experienced tour manager meeting the group on arrival in Perth and travelling with the group
- A Travelrite travel bag
- Flights to and from Perth; please talk to our travel consultant about flights
- Meals unless specified in the itinerary
- Sightseeing and general expenses unless specified in the itinerary
- Additional travel arrangements not in the detailed itinerary; these will be quoted for separately