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Journeys : April May 2009
? Western Australian wildflowers W estern Australia is a fantastic holiday destination – it’s a place where you can visit white sandy beaches, lush tropical forests and rugged desert landscapes as well as enjoy charming towns and rolling vineyards. In late winter and early spring, the desert of Western Australia erupts in a kaleidoscope of colour as the magnificent native wildflowers burst into bloom. This is one of the richest wildflower areas in the world. The Stirling Ranges and Kalbarri National Park areas are world- renowned for their wildflowers, with more than 1520 species, including orchids and nine endemic mountain bells. Across Western Australia there are more than 7000 species of native wildflowers, most endemic to Western Australia. This is due to Western Australia’s geographic isolation – major oceans on one side and deserts on the other make it extremely difficult for wildflower seeds to be dispersed to other areas. The rains and sunshine greatly influence the timing and success of each wildflower season as some species require more warmth for growth. The wildflower season generally commences around August in the warm northern region of the Pilbara and extends south over the winter, culminating in the south-west around October or November. Even if you’re an armchair gardener you’ll draw inspiration from the opportunity to see spectacular species such as kangaroo paws, pitcher plants, banksias, dryandras and grass trees in their native landscape. AAT Kings offers fantastic holiday experiences in Western Australia, which Pinnacles, Nambung National Park combine wildflower viewing with many other attractions. On an AAT Kings fully-escorted 15-day Western Escape holiday you can sit back and relax as you are chauffeured by luxury coach. The range of premium and low-cost fully-escorted itineraries mean that you can be sure there’s a Western Australian holiday to suit your needs. The 15-day Western Escape holiday (valid for travel until 6 November 2010) is priced from $4235 per person, twin share and takes you from Perth to Margaret River, through the Valley of the Giants, into Albany, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Wave Rock and Monkey Mia. Some of the many highlights include seeing wildflowers in bloom, exploring the awe-inspiring Mammoth Cave, journeying through the Leeuwin- Naturaliste National Park to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, visiting the Royal Flying Doctor Service and meeting the Monkey Mia dolphins. AAT Kings’ tour prices include the services of a professional tour director and tour driver, quality accommodation, airport transfers and touring by luxury air-conditioned coach. For more information about visiting Western Australia call RACT Travelworld on 1300 368 111 or visit your local branch. April / May 09 43
June July 2009
June July 2008