The Great Southern of WA is going to be bloomin’ marvellous this spring with some of the region’s rarer blooms expected to make an appearance.
Highlighting the region’s wildflower season the Great Southern’s Bloom Festival returns for its 10th year from 18 September to 17 October.
There will be more than 60 events, including The Ongerup Wildflower Show, Kodja Place wildflower display and bush walks in the Stirling Range, which are featured every year.
Other events will take place across the region’s eight local government authorities, Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Plantagenet, Woodanilling and the region’s 19 towns.
They will include arts, crafts, displays, entertainment, exhibitions, fauna, floral themed activities, food events, guided tours, heritage, land care, markets, Noongar culture, open gardens, organics, trails, wildflowers, wine events and workshops.
Another major attraction this year will be the launch of the GNP360 Horsepower Highway which features a collection of 16 vintage tractors along the Broomehill-Gnowangerup Road, leading to the Stirling Range National Park.
The Bloom Festival celebrates the renewal of Spring focusing on the wildflower tapestries and town cultures that make up this diverse region.
The Bloom Festival started from small beginnings 10 years ago as an initiative of Great Southern Treasures to coordinate existing events across the region in spring with the aim of promoting The Great Southern as a whole.
The Great Southern Treasures region begins around 250km south of Perth at Woodanilling, running around 160km further south to Porongurup and from Kojonup in the west around 150km to Ongerup in the east.
Dominated by livestock farming and crop growing, the region is also known for its amazing national parks, large ephemeral inland lakes and amazing flora and fauna.
Accommodation options in the region range from the luxury Premier Mill Hotel, Katanning, to a host of pubs and taverns, bed and breakfasts and camp sites which can be found on the Great Southern Treasures website greatsoutherntreasures.com.au/town/.
Activities are held over the full region and can be enjoyed by linking events in a trail format to be enjoyed over one or two days or a week.
In 2021 the event is expected to attract around 15,000 visitors from Western Australia and interstate.
Chair of Great Southern Treasures, Emily Hardie, says the Ranges will be interesting this Spring with the likelihood of new and rarely seen plants flowering, which often follows on from the extensive fires such as those of the past year.
“While the amazing Spring wildflowers create a backdrop for the festival, the whole region has so much to offer, from sweeping farmland vistas to spectacular mountain peaks, but the lifeblood of the region are its rural communities,” Ms Hardie says.
“Each of the events that are part of the Bloom Festival will help demonstrate the creative spirit and vibrancy that exists in these communities.
“It’s a great opportunity to visitors to get a taste of one of WA’s lesser-known tourism regions, to meet the genuine people of these rural communities and see what the region has to offer.”
More information on the Bloom Festival and individual events as they come to hand will be posted on www.greatsoutherntreasures.com.au/festival/great-southern-bloom-festival/.