Day 4. Sun 5 Sept: Fremantle - Dalwallinu Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Following breakfast and checkout we travel north along the Indian Ocean Drive to the lobster fishing town of Cervantes via the Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park. A visit to Australia’s Nambung National Park and The Pinnacles is a must. These amazing natural limestone structures, some standing as high as five metres, were formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements. We enjoy a guided tour at The Lobster Shack and then a hearty meal in their restaurant. We continue our travel through Moora, the gateway to The Wildflower Way, where the town clock and splendid murals welcome us. Moora is a beautiful country town situated on the banks of the Moora river in the wheatbelt region. We continue our journey to the Westways Wildflower Farm where Clive and Maureen have owned the Westways property for over 40 years making their knowledge and variety of flowers very impressive. Enjoy a 4WD tour of their 2000ha property going through sandy heartlands, giving us an up-close look at not only the stunning wildflowers but the native birds, kangaroos and occasional emus. We now make our way to Dalwallinu to check-in and refresh before dinner in the motel restaurant.
Overnight Dalwallinu: Wheatland Motel
Day 5. Mon 6 Sept: Dalwallinu Breakfast & Dinner
This morning our journey continues along The Wildflower Way to Perenjori, a small town full of history and heritage. Our first stop is at the Pioneer Museum and Visitor Centre housing an informative collection of historical memorabilia. We will be given an insight into the history of the building with one of the local volunteers while enjoying a homemade morning tea. The tour would not be complete without taking a look at the magnificent steel sculptures and interpretive panels that have been installed along the Wildflower Way. Making our way through to Morawa, a sheep and wheat farming town located in the heart of wildflower country there are a number of different flowers to take in. From August to October each year the region puts on a stunning display of colourful and unusual outback wildflowers, including orchids, native foxgloves, grevillea, acacias, and wreath flowers. Arriving into Mingenew for lunch at own cost and a slice of history. Mingenew is often referred to as “The Grain Centre” as it’s recognised as having the largest grain receivable site facility in the southern hemisphere. The Coalseam Conservation Park provides a variety of wildflowers with everlasting carpets of blooms that transform the usually sparse under-storey of wattle scrub during the wildflower season. Continue south on the Midlands Road through Three Springs and Carnamah and onto Coorow, a small but charming farming town, whose first settlers raised sheep and horses. Remnants of the area’s farming history are still very evident along with beautiful gardens and thriving wildflowers. Enjoy a drive around the Historic Coorow Farm and the breathtaking array of everlasting, pink fairy orchids and many other plant and flower species. We return to the motel after a fantastic day touring the wildflowers to refresh and meet for dinner in the motel restaurant.
Overnight Dalwallinu: Wheatland Motel
Day 6. Tues 7 Sept: Dalwallinu - York - Corrigin - Hyden Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast and checkout it’s time to farewell our hosts form the Wheatland Motel. We have something a little different planned for our first stop. Close by, the Windmill Shed is a privately owned collection belonging to historian Jim Sawyer, who has been collecting and restoring old windmills since the 1930’s. Enjoy a guided tour and talk as we pass through the shed before heading off to Northam situated right in the heart of the beautiful Avon Valley. The Rivers Edge Cafe provides the perfect stop for morning tea and also allows us time to wander through The Northam Tourist Centre. The Centre is home to a number of displays including The Migrant Heritage Interpretative Display, Environmental Interpretive Display, Aboriginal Heritage Interpretive Display and Art Gallery plus information on the Avon Valley Region. Our next stop is at York, an historic town best known for the first European settlement in Western Australia. It has maintained a vibrant spirit among its many Victorian and Federation Buildings. After purchasing our lunch from any of the boutique styled cafes we continue down to Corrigin stopping at the unique Dog Cemetery. Established in 1947, the cemetery is a tribute to man’s best friend, over 200 loved ones are buried here. Take time to wander and read some of the headstones of beloved pets in their final resting place. Late afternoon we arrive at the Wave Rock Wildflower Shop, Lace Museum and Toy Soldier Museum, just amazing! Meeting up with our local guide we take a stroll to Wave Rock – a 27 million year old prehistoric granite rock formation that will leave us in awe. 15 metres high and 110 metres long the rock has weathered into the shape of a wave. Follow the walking track around and also see “Hippos Yawn” another unusually shaped granite formation that was formerly part of the larger outcrop. After experiencing the sunset over Wave Rock we check in to our accommodation before dinner in the motel restaurant this evening.
Overnight Hyden: Hyden Motel
Day 7. Wed 8 Sept: Hyden - Albany Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Today we have an early breakfast and start as we farewell Hyden and travel south to Albany via many historic landmarks. Our first stop is at Lake Grace, known for its diverse range of flora and number of indigenous plant groups, including Grevillea, Hakea, Eucalyptus and Acacia. Within the reserve and roadsides of the shire we will be able to see these along with many other amazing flowering plants and trees. While in Lake Grace we will view the Pioneer Women’s Mural and also visit one of two remaining Australian Inland Mission Hospitals. The Lake Grace Australian Inland Mission Hospital was established in 1926 through the work of Dr John Flynn and the local community. Until the new hospital was built in 1952, the AIM hospital and the Royal Flying Doctor Service served the vast area from Kukerin to Ravensthorpe. The building, at the west end of town, has been restored as a hospital museum. Just a short drive down the highway is the unique Pingrup Silo Art, a scene drawing threads from the fabric of everyday life in Pingrup. Evoca1’s figurative depictions of the town’s iconic Pingrup races, its merino sheep, its people, cattle dogs and even a tractor based precisely on one found on the main street of town, a tell all story about the character of the community. Just south of Pingrup is the Stirling Ranges National Park, a breathtaking park in one of the world’s most important areas for flora with over 1500 species, many of which grow nowhere else. Indulge in a country style lunch at the Buff Knoll Cafe before taking a drive up to the Bluff Knoll Lookout admiring the rugged peaks, which rise to more than 1000 metres above sea level, feature stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies, magnificent views and a rich diversity of unique and colourful wildflowers. On arrival in Albany we check into our accommodation and have time to settle into our rooms before meeting for dinner in Ryan’s Restaurant at the motel.
Overnight Albany: Ace Motor Inn