Introducing the Golden Outback
Drive the Wildflower Way and discover nature’s breathtaking beauty as more than 12,000 wildflower species blanket the ground in the Golden Outback region.
What to do and see along the route
Stroll among fields of white everlastings that create a scene fondly referred to by locals as Western Australia's ‘snow season’. The wildflower season colours the state's landscape for about five months of the year – one of Australia's longest wildflower seasons – and is best enjoyed during August and September when the wildflowers to the north of Perth are at their most spectacular.
Drive into the theatrical landscapes and vast clear skies of the Australian outback; visit settlements built by gold rush pioneers and return by way of Australia's Coral Coast beaches.
Stroll through fields of wildflowers and past ancient natural wonders, explore long sandy beaches and dive the Indian Ocean reef to see colourful fish and coral or cruise past friendly dolphins.
Trip length from Perth 3–4 days
Total distance 1163 km
Road conditions All sealed roads
Segment distances: Perth to Paynes Find 5hrs 10mins; 423km
Paynes Find to Mingenew 4hrs 10mins; 340km
Mingenew to Perth 5hrs; 400km
Suggested overnight stops: Paynes Find and Mingenew
Must-see sights, include:
– In Australia's only monastic town, take time to explore the stylish Spanish architecture, including the Benedictine Monastery that dates back to 1846. Take a tour of the monk’s own chapel within the monastery, the Abbey Church and beautifully frescoed College Chapels, otherwise inaccessible to the public.
Discover richly decorated interiors, church bells, olive groves, Nyoongar Aboriginal culture and Mediterranean food. Join the monks for prayer in their private chapel (six times daily) or at Mass in the Holy Trinity Abbey Church to experience a 1500-year-old tradition.
– Known as the ‘gateway to the world of wattles (acacias)’, the region within a 100km radius of the town is home to the greatest density and most diverse range of acacia species in the world. Be sure to enjoy a picnic lunch among wildflowers and native fauna at Petrudor Rocks.
Located three hours drive north of Perth, Dalwallinu is the first town along the ‘Wildflower Way’, a route that stretches north to Mullewa and showcases a range of beautiful wildflowers carpeting the countryside.
– Get an authentic taste of Western Australia's outback and gold mining history at Paynes Find. Visit the old tavern, boasting a cellar hand-hewn from solid rock that was once used as a cool store; spend the night in the historic roadhouse, with its original pressed tin walls and ceilings that date back to 1912; and look out for the exquisite wreath flowers (Leschenaultia macrantha).
This circular wreath-like shrub with thousands of red to pink and yellow to white flowers looks like a man-made arrangement placed carefully on the ground.
– Look out for wildflowers such as white, cream, yellow and pink everlastings, as well as wildlife such as wedge-tailed eagles, kangaroos, lizards and emus, which can often be spotted racing through the bush.
This tiny settlement town, founded in the 1890s, oozes old-world charm and is filled with well-preserved heritage buildings from the beginning of the last century. Check out the Court House Museum for gold rush history and displays of old photographs, the Dominican Chapel of St Hyacinth and Joker’s Tunnel, which was carved though solid rock by early gold prospectors.
– Set in the heart of Western Australia's wildflower country, look out for species such as hakea, heath brush and spider orchids, which create a sea of colour over the landscape in spring. While here, be inspired by the beautiful church, designed and built by priest architect Monsignor John Hawes.
– Take the heritage trail walk to see carpets of everlastings, mulla mulla tails and delicate flowers of native bushes. The oldest surviving gold settlement of the region also offers a variety of attractions including historic buildings, the Historical Society Museum, the Mount Warramboo lookout and The Granites.
– Follow one of the town's walking trails through a colourful blanket of gold, pink, cream and white everlastings. Pick a perfect spot for a picnic or climb to Mingenew Hill, a tree-covered red rock monolith, for breathtaking views of the Irwin Valley from its summit.
Coalseam Conservation Park
– Be overwhelmed with the colourful display of pink, gold, cream and white everlastings and don’t miss the stunning cliffs rich in fossil shells dating back to the Permian Ice Age (the oldest geological era).
Dongara and Port Denison
– Stroll the tree-lined main street past historic buildings including Russ Cottage, built in the late 1860s and typical of a yeoman’s cottage of the time. Later cool off with a swim on the excellent beaches in the area.
Located on the coast just four hours drive north of Perth, Dongara and neighbouring Port Denison are often referred to as the 'Rock Lobster Capital', for the numerous crustaceans caught in season.
– Explore the long sandy beaches, dive or snorkel the reef that teems with colourful coral and fish. Join a fishing charter or get up close and personal on a cruise visiting friendly seals, sea lions, dolphins and whales.
Nambung National Park
– See kangaroos and emus in their natural environment, along with a diverse array of wildflowers in season. Don’t miss one of Australia's most significant natural attractions, the Pinnacles Desert, where thousands of huge limestone pillars rise up to 4m in height out of a stark landscape of white sand. Located just 17km from Cervantes.
Please note: Take nothing but photos; leave nothing but footprints. Western Australian law prohibits the picking of wildflowers and offenders can expect a hefty fine of up to AU$2000. Instead, purchase dried wildflowers from the numerous craft and souvenir shops found all over the state. To conserve native flora and fauna, no domestic animals are permitted in national parks.