After a long, cold winter what better way is there to celebrate the first sunny weekend than exploring the onset of the wildflower season in the Darling Range. At 582m Mount Cooke is the highest of the peaks along the scarp and having been burnt the previous year it promised to put on a spectacular wildflower show.
Located near Ballina, Killen Falls is an easily accessible destination that offers a lovely short walk through regenerating sub-tropical rainforest to a refreshing watering hole. Surrounded by cliffs on three sides, the cosy pool is nested in a gully of ferns and is fed by the Emigrant Creek dam shortly upstream at the aptly named Fernleigh. The bed of the pool is quite rocky so don’t forget to bring reefs sandals and if you are lucky enough you will see the resident turtles that inhabit this gem of a place.
A stones throw away from Perth CBD, Lane Poole Reserve is a great location for a quick escape to the wilds. There is plenty to see and do with various hiking trails, mountain biking, kayaking on the Murray River or try your luck at spotlighting the native fauna at night with hopes to see chuditch, woylies and possums.
Visiting Mornington Sanctuary is a major highlight of the Gibb River Road and well worth the 80km detour. Owned and managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), Mornington is one of 23 properties across Australia that has been procured for conservation purposes, making AWC the largest private owner of conservation land in the country.
Nuytsland Nature Reserve hugs one of the most well known drives in Australia, the Nullarbor. Considered a right of passage for Australian travellers, this long and linear reserve will reward you with vistas of sheer limestone cliffs, remote beaches and increasingly arid sandplains. But out here, in the far south east of WA, is one of the most internationally known caves; Cocklebiddy Cave. Cocklebiddy is one of hundreds of caves that form the world’s largest arid limestone karst system and once proudly held the record for longest cave diving distance at 6250m. Researchers have described diving in Cocklebiddy as surreal and likened it to floating through air due to the extreme clarity of the water.