I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published October 28th 2011
Areas north of Perth have always been famous for their spring wildflower display and Lesueur National Park is one of the best locations to represent this claim. The variety of wild blooms to be seen every spring in this park is staggering. For the uninitiated, the words "wildflowers in Western Australia" would probably conjure up an image of a kangaroo paw plant, but here we learned that they really come in diverse shapes, sizes, and colours: red, orange, pink, yellow, purple, green, white, you name it...
Walking among the flowering bushes with Mt. Lesueur in the background
Located about 250km north of Perth, you could reach this national park by driving north on the Indian Ocean Drive, turning right onto Jurien East Rd just after you pass the town of Jurien Bay, and then turning left into Cockleshell Gully Rd. The National Park is sign-posted on the right hand side of this road.
This distance of about 3-hours' drive I consider borderline, whereby depending on your preference you could either visit it in a day trip or stay overnight. The national park itself does not have camping facilities. However, you could stay at one of the accommodations in Jurien Bay, or camp at Sandy Cape Campsite. In any case, allow a few hours to explore the national park even if you don't plan to climb Mt. Lesueur, as there are several places where you could stop by, take a stroll, and enjoy the view.
One must-stop area is about half-way through the 18km one-way scenic drive through the park. It has well signed-posted walks of various lengths, the shortest being the 250m wheelchair-friendly Wilson Lookout and the longest being the climb up Mt. Lesueur (8km return). No matter which one we choose, this is where we could really sink our teeth into the business of wildflower-spotting. While walking, be sure to take turns glancing down to catch the often low-lying and tiny blooms and up to view the mountains and surroundings (try and see if you could spy the resident wedge-tailed eagles).
Some of the colourful spring blooms around Wilson Lookout
Make the most of this stop as most of the other ones along the scenic drives are more of a lookout and don't really allow us to have long meandering bushwalks. Walking outside the tracks are strongly discouraged due to the easily spreading dieback disease that you might carry under your shoes.
Fields of grass trees
Closer to the exit of the scenic drive, the scenery changed a bit and there were grass trees as far as the eyes could see. Although a grass tree may look a bit boring from afar, a closer inspection proved otherwise. The long white flower is usually full of busy creepy crawlies that are fascinating to watch (provided you have a strong enough stomach).
A grass tree's insect-attracting flower
To sum it all up, the DEC's website says it much more eloquently than I could, "Lesueur National Park is undoubtedly one of the scenic and biological jewels of the southern half of Western Australia, with its diverse plants and animals, rich in rare species, and its spectacular landforms." Enjoy.