Journalist, historian and naturalist living in Perth's eastern suburbs.
Spectacular wildflowers help event to blossom
With a bumper wildflower season predicted for Western Australia this Spring visitors to the south of the State are in for a treat with a month of events as part of the LiveLighter Bloom Festival.
Snowy, the final tractor of the Horsepower Highway with the Stirling Ranges as a backdrop.
The festival runs from September 18 to October 17 and features a host of free and ticketed events across the Great Southern Treasures region.
Guided wildflower walks searching for orchids in the Stirling Ranges, around Broomehill, the Porongurups, wildflower orienteering in Tambellup, the Ongerup Wildflower Display and Bloom Festival Exhibition at Katanning are at the heart of Bloom.
But the month of celebrations also includes the official opening of the Horsepower Highway, an intriguing trail of historic tractors through the region.
Enjoy the history of the Old Toolbrunup School.
The Horsepower Highway features a collection of 16 vintage tractors along the Broomehill-Gnowangerup Road, leading to the Stirling Range National Park.
More history comes in the form of a Historic Visit to Old Toolbrunup School with historic school activities and games; and the 100-year anniversary of Kenmare Hall with entertainment by the Mucky Duck Bush Band and an evening meal.
Local artists and craftspeople will be displaying their wares at Porongurup Artisans, Handmade Fabric Wildflower Workshops will be held at Ongerup and there will be 40 stalls at the Porongurup Markets.
For wine aficionados, Gilberts at Kendenup will be holding Bloomin Raid The Cellar offering wine tastings and sales of wine from four different decades. Gilberts is also offering a picnic box for two with local cheeses and dips.
There'll be music in the form of a free Concert in the Park at Katanning, featuring Murphy's Law and Caulfield Cup Day will be celebrated with a day of fun, frocks, fillies and fascinators for a CWA fundraiser at Nyabing.
The region's Noongar heritage will be celebrated with a Kambarang one-day guided tour of the upper Great Southern region, taking in Kojonup, Gnowangerup and Badebup/Katanning.
The LiveLighter Bloom Festival, a month of entertainment, spectacular scenery and wildflowers.
There'll also be cultural workshops in the local Noongar language and tool-making as part of a wider three-day Wongin Mia Spring Gathering, bringing together visual artists, musicians, performers, environmentalists, producers and Aboriginal people in the town of Cranbrook.
And for the children, Storytime at the Park at Katanning will encourage the little ones to dress as their favourite character ready for storytime.
All these events will be set against a bumper wildflower season backdrop that runs across eight local government authorities of Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Plantagenet, Woodanilling and the region's 19 towns.
Starting 10 years ago, from small beginnings the Bloom Festival is an initiative of Great Southern Treasures to coordinate existing events across the region in Spring to promote The Great Southern as a whole.
The Mucky Duck Bush Band will be performing at 100-year anniversary celebrations for Kenmare Hall.
Events can be linked to form a trail allowing visitors to spend one or two days or a week in the region enjoying its wildflowers and unique small community culture.
Chair of Great Southern Treasures, Emily Hardie, says there is every likelihood of new and rarely seen flora around the ranges this Spring following re-growth from the bushfires of two years ago.
The Great Southern Treasures region begins around 250km south of Perth at Woodanilling, running around 160km further south to Porongurup and from Kojonup in the west around 150km to Ongerup in the east.
Small communities are dotted in among livestock farms and crops with amazing national parks, large ephemeral inland lakes and outstanding flora and fauna.
Wildflowers are at the heart of the LiveLighter Bloom Festival in the Great Southern.
Accommodation options in the region range from the luxury Premier Mill Hotel, Katanning, to a host of pubs and taverns, bed and breakfasts and campsites which can be found on the Great Southern Treasures website.
Where:Across the inland Great Southern region from Mount Barker in the south, Kojonup and Woodanilling to the north, Pingrup in the east to Frankland River in the west. It will take in major centres such as Katanning, Gnowangerup, the Stirling Ranges and t
That old school hours brings back memories for me; it is the same construction style and exactly the sames colours that my grandparents house was. Their's unfortunately was bulldozed some time ago now.