Indian Ocean Drive and Wildflowers

Episode: 2
Title: Indian Ocean Drive and Wildflowers
Broadcast: 12th September 2015
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane

The area known as Australia’s Coral Coast begins just short drive north of Perth beyond Yanchep along the Indian Ocean Drive. Its one of WA’s richest and most spectacular wildflower areas and this is the time of the year to experience it at its best.

  • The first destination on this journey is the Nambung National Park. The landscape in this part of the world is spectacular in a unique “only in WA” way but the world famous landscape feature would be the pinnacles.
  • They were formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago, after the sea receded and left deposits of sea shells. Over time, coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements. This natural wonder attracts 190,000 visitors a year to experience a landscape that is in many ways quite eerie and alien like.
  • The region is also a biodiversity hotspot, particularly for flora and the 17,000 hectares of coastal features bush tucker plants like Quandongs and woodland plants Banksia, parrot bush, white Clematis and a large selection of coastal wattle species. These plants commence flowering in late winter and flourish into early summer with a stunning and quite different flower display to the wildflower carpet displays you find inland.
  • This next stop continues along the Indian Ocean Drive through the picturesque seaside towns of Jurien Bay, Leeman and Greenhead and there we head inland to discover Lesueur National Park. This is home to 900 species most of which occur nowhere else on the planet and it covers almost 10% of the states flora.
  • The flower highlights include the many acacias, Hibbertias, Leschenaultias, Melaleucas and Gastrolobiums. There are many different orchids, such as pink enamel, purple enamel, cowslip, blue lady, white spider and donkey orchids.
  • Birds and reptiles are abundant in the park. Carnaby’s beautiful black cockatoo is among the 122 species of native bird found in the park. There are 52 reptile species and the park is particularly rich is geckoes and legless lizards and then there are all other Aussie icons including Echidna’s, Kangaroos and Emu’s along the way.
  • This is an amazing landscape to drive through, its hard not to fall in love with its beauty in summer but spring is simply amazing and now is the best time of the year to get out and experience it for yourself! A drive along Australia’s Coral Coast to experience the best wildflower display in the world is something everyone should have on their bucket list.