Lesueur national park is around 200km north of Perth in Western Australia and is internationally known as a biodiversity hot spot. Within the park there are over 900 species of plants, that’s around 10 percent of all plant species within W.A. in the one national park. Now I’d read all about this and one of my wildflower books recommended it as a “must see” place in spring time, so I headed up there arriving just after dawn. As I mentioned, I was prepared and had read a lot about the park but when I actually arrived and drove into the park I was shocked. For the first half an hour or more I was literally lost for words, in fact I was making silly sounds and gibberish as I looked around me. I stopped within about 500m of entering the park and started taking photos, the following photos are to give you a little idea about the diversity within the park, the following 6 photos show the flowers I found within 10 steps of the car.
That’s 25 different flowers within 10 steps of the car while parked on the entrance road into the park, and if I looked closer I’m sure there would have been more, but I was in a state of shock. Ok one of the above may not actually be a flower perhaps, but you get the idea.
It’s 2km from the turn off into the park, until you get to the official entrance where you pay your entry fee and read up information about the park. This 2km drive to the main entrance took me close to an hour. After my initial photos above, I have another 30 photos of different species in flower before getting to the entrance. That’s over 50 different flowers before officially entering the park.
Please excuse the quality of these collage photos, I’m using an online collage tool and the quality is not brilliant, still this is more about quantity rather than quality at he moment.
Stupid, crazy out of control diversity, absolutely in your face. I also saw an emu feeding less than 20 metres from the road, a couple of kangaroos and some Carnaby’s black cockatoos as well as many smaller birds, and all before actually entering the parks main entrance.
The park has a one way scenic drive that’s about 18km long with a main stopping point where there are a couple of walking trails. Driving to the point of the walk trails took me another hour or two, I wasn’t really counting, but I spent a lot of time parked on the side of the road. Unfortunately when I finally made it to the walk trails the rain had set in, and although I wasn’t going to let that stop me, I only did the one walk trail skipping the section to the peak of Mt Lesueur.
Some flowers are small delicate and easy to miss like the broom milkwort, it’s probably only 10mm across and sparsely distributed along single long round stems. While other plants are a little more obvious and impossible to miss like this Globe pea.
Not sure what this is as I can’t find it in either of my wildflower books though it was very common in the area. From above the plant and flowers looked very unexciting a raggedy ruffled untidy flower and motley looking stems and leaves. But turning the flower over it’s quite beautiful underneath, and check out a close up of a leaf, now that’s protection against insect attack, it’s like a cactus.
But then I’m finding so many things look better close, even this simple pussy willow takes on a whole different meaning when you look really closely.
This is what I love so much about macro photography, it’s only once you get back home and look at your pictures on a large screen you really get to see some amazing things. I really should post this, there are so many more pictures I could put up but there are already a lot for one post. But a last word on Lesueur national park.
If you enjoy wildflowers even just a little bit, put this on your bucket list it really is truly spectacular and everyone I met during the day said the same thing, they were all blown away. I managed to fill a 64GB memory card in one day, over 1000 pictures, though I’ve whittled that down to just a few hundred now.
It doesn’t look so impressive from a distance, but it’s another matter up close.