Did you know that Western Australia has the biggest number of wildflower species in the world, numbering at more than 12,000? What’s even more amazing, though, is that more than 60% of these flowers are endemic or can only be found in Western Australia. In the north, the blooming season begins in June. Meanwhile, wildflowers in Perth and other southern areas start colouring the landscape in September. You can book wildflower tours during these months, including multi-day tours that take you to various locations. If you only have time for single-day trips, try booking a Reynoldson Reserve Festival Day Tour in Wongan Hills or a Spring Wildflower Day Tour.
Kings Park Botanic Garden
Kings Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Perth, and even in all of Western Australia, with an annual visitor count of about 5 million. The park has over 300 native plant species, 80 bird species, and more than 200 indigenous fungi. The Kings Park Botanic Garden, which covers 18 hectares of the 400-hectare park, is a favourite among tourists. It has a collection of upwards of 2,000 flowering plant species and more than half of Australia’s 25,000 native plant species. Every September, the Kings Park holds the Kings Park Festival, the largest wildflower show, and exhibition in Australia.
The Botanic Garden has several famous landmarks within its acreage, including the Gija Jumulu Boab Tree and the Centenary of Western Australian Women’s Suffrage Memorial. There’s also a State War Memorial and individual plaques dedicated to Western Australian service men and women who served and died in World War I and World War II.
Swan Valley is a bit of an oddity in Perth, as it has fertile soil that’s perfect for growing melons, asparagus, strawberries, and other crops. Another type of fruit that grows in abundance in Swan Valley is grapes. As you can expect, there are plenty of wineries in the area. Other tourist attractions in Swan Valley include breweries and distilleries, along with a chocolate factory, lavender and goat farm, and olive groves. Some of the smaller wineries also organise events to celebrate the coming of spring.
Pinnacles Desert and Stargazing Tour
For something unique, you can book a trip to the Pinnacles Desert. The Pinnacles, located in Nambung National Park near the town of Cervantes, is composed of thousands of limestone pillars. Tour operators and hotels can arrange trips to the desert to see the limestone pillars and spot animals like emus and kangaroos in the wild. The highlight, however, is the Stargazing Tour, where you can catch truly beautiful views of the starry night sky. With the help of a powerful telescope, you can even see Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings! Those who love uploading photos on social media will appreciate the fact that you can attach a smartphone to the telescopes to take some pictures of these heavenly bodies.
The tour starts in the afternoon and lasts well into the night. As such, remember to bring both sun protection (a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen at the very least) and warm clothes. Depending on the tour you book, you may also have wine, coffee, chocolate tastings, and dinner included during your excursion.
Off the coast of Perth, you can find Penguin Island. This 12.5-hectare island is home to a colony of more than 1,000 little penguins, the smallest species of penguin in the world. This number is the largest population of little penguins in Western Australia. Within the island, you can also find various kinds of seabirds and a colony of pelicans. There are also 10 resident penguins kept in the Discovery Centre, a dedicated enclosure that acts as a sanctuary for injured wild penguins. The resident penguins were either badly injured, born in captivity, or orphaned as chicks and have been deemed to be unlikely to survive when released in the wild.
Other points of interest in Penguin Island include Pelican Bluff, North Beach, North Rock, South Beach, and Surfers Beach. Do note that visitors are only allowed on the island from mid-September to early June, so schedule your trips accordingly.
Nature lovers certainly won’t get bored with all of Perth’s attractions. There is plenty to discover, and these five are just the beginning!
Article written by Maria
(Photo by davies via Flickr)