Shelly Beach surfing

Shelly Beach surfing

Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley


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Greetings from down-under where the weather is fast warming up and everywhere in gardens, parks and bushland, spring flowers are appearing. Most especially in that of Western Australia, famous for its fields of pure colour, and the red and green Kangaroo Paw which is their floral emblem.  Now is the perfect time to visit this fascinating state, after significant autumn rain and bright sunshine which has produced superb floral displays.

There is romance in the air

The 2019 Wildflower season for the Coral Coast commences mid-August and continues through to late October. For a strictly limited time blankets of brilliant wildflowers colour the outback landscape, dazzling all those who see them.

Shelly Beach surfing

Shelly Beach surfing

This is the heartland of wildflower country and the many towns of Coorrow and Mullewa have reported sightings of orchids, Eremophilas, Wattles and Aakeas, all in flower with more species well on their way.  The beautiful cerulean blue wreath Leschenaultia is in bloom now, this is a favourite flower for artists to capture and reproduce, along with keen photographers.

There is much to see in Mullewa which is located north of Perth via Coorow and Three Springs, east of Geraldton. Its appeal is not only the wildflower display which is enormous, but its range of fine religious buildings created and built by Mosignor John Hawes. For those interested tap up the many websites on the subject it is wonderful history.

Australia’s National floral emblem is the Golden Wattle it displays the national colours of green and gold, and is a symbol of unity. The Annual Wattle Week Festival is being held in Dalwallinu and there are daily activities for all to enjoy.

Dalwallinu is a major wheat producing shire and an easy drive north-east of Perth along the Great Northern Highway.  Nature lovers and wildflower enthusiasts flock to the region for the many unique species of plants and displays of roadside colour.

The seaside city of Geraldton is not to be missed.  Famous for its Geraldton Waxflower which is a flowering plant endemic to Western Australia and is extremely popular for the overseas flower market due to its long-lasting and tightly packed flowers.

This is another popular flower to paint, in various shades of pink and white, and has been reproduced on porcelain, pottery, and watercolours.

Overlooking the Indian Ocean the trendy beach resort of Geraldton enjoys mild winters, and is blessed with natural beauty. With crystal clear waters of Geraldton’s coast it is full of some of the best Australian seafood, including rock lobster. It has golden pristine beaches, rolling hills, aboriginal driving trails, and a unique pink lake which is best seen from the air.  It is also an ideal location to access carpets of wildflowers.

Coalseam Conservation Park is a nature lover’s paradise, with fields of pink, white, and yellow everlasting daisies and a diverse range of wildlife in the park including kangaroos, emus, echidnas, eagles and cockatoos. Entry to the park is free.

In fact the wildflower collection in Western Australia is one of the largest flower shows on earth, with more that 12,000 species of which 60% are only found in W.A. and nowhere else on earth. They cover the landscape from Coast to forest and city to outback.

Australia’s sunniest capital city is Perth W.A. and is also the home to Kings Park and Botanical Gardens, one of the world’s largest inner city parks, and adjacent to the beautiful Swan River.

Here you will find an outstanding collection of Western Australia Flora, with two thirds of the park natural bushland containing 319 species of native plants and 890 Bird species, as well as superbly cultivated gardens and open recreational areas, restaurants, also art and craft shops.

Western Australia has much to offer and you will need plenty of time to capture its essence, so take a week, a month, or even move there you will not be disappointed.

Here at Shelly Beach all is well, my bougainvillea is starting to bloom after a big cut back and some bulbs are out in flower. There are also masses of weeds for my trusty gardener to deal with when he comes.  Princess Pixie the Pomeranian has discovered we have a brush tail possum nestled in a tree; he sleeps during the day and does his thing at night which is how they live.

The ocean is stunning at the moment, sparkling blue and glistening in the sunlight, needless to say the surfers are out in full force riding the high waves.

My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” are available on Amazon and Xlibris.

Cheers.  Patricia