There’s a lot more to Western Flora Caravan Park than just camping

After a quick overnight stop in Geraldton we continued driving south. The Western Flora Caravan Park just off the Brand Highway in Arrowsmith was our next destination. Our Tom Tom sat-nav indicated we had arrived but we were in the middle of nowhere so we kept driving and eventually saw a signboard for it. We drove in, registered and set up our caravan before eating lunch. In the next caravan was a couple we had seen earlier in our trip. The lady joined us during the afternoon as we explored the 12kms of trails around the 65 hectare (160 acre) park. The property is on the Enneabba Sand Plains, famous for the spectacular range of flowering plants and colourful displays during the flowering season, late winter, spring and summer. Even though it was a bit early for some plants to be flowering there were still lots that were. We started by walking over towards a dam and a bird hide tower.A row of mostly Hakeas was growing nearby. A number were stunning reds. This is a Hakea orthorrhyncha.This one is a Hakea bucculenta, also known as Red Pokers.Next we saw a Hakea lissocarpha with its delicate white flowers but prickly foliage.A drooping Eucalyptus macrocarpa’s huge red flowers certainly caught our eye. The seed pods were equally photogenic.Although finished flowering this Banksia had large seed pods too.This Eucalyptus was also in bloom with its lovely pale yellow flowers. Not sure which one it is though.We continued to walk in a loop around the dam back towards the camping area. This one is a Hakea incrassata. The specimen we saw was very spindly and low to the ground but apparently it can be a nice shrub in good conditions.Back near the ammenities block we saw an Acacia denticulosa (Sandpaper wattle) with its very rough leaves. The flower spikes were immature and green rather than the bright yellow they would become.We did find one yellow spike.Next we came upon a straggly looking plant, a Xylomelum angustifolium (Sandplain Woody Pear) with its impressive pear like pods.As we passed by the amenities block spotted this golden flower cone on a Banksia which I think is Banksia sphaerocarpa var. pumilio. It only grows in a small distribution area on the Eneabba Sand Plains so I’m hoping I have identified it correctly.It’s a shame my plant knowledge isn’t as comprehensive as I would like because there was a constant parade of stunning plants as we continued walking along the sandy trails and sadly I don’t know their names. Perhaps someone reading this may help me.

I’m pretty sure the next one is a Dryandra (now in the Banksia family) but don’t know which one.

Each time we came to an intersection in the sandy track we turned left, thinking this would eventually bring us back in a complete circuit.Interestingly the next plant we found was actually growing in the sandy gravel track and wasn’t very big so it was a good thing we saw it rather than standing on it.This next one was a low growing Casuarina and the flowers were quite tiny.However one of the highlights of our walk came near the end when we came upon a stunning Verticordia grandis in flower. Just loved the feathery red flowers.A lovely Geraldton wax flower (Chamelaucium uncinatum) finished off our walk very nicely.Even though we were only stopping here for one night we resolved to return another year, but just a bit later so we could see this amazing property in an even more spectacular season.

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