Bloom Festival to spring region into colour with bumper wildflower season

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
Email Kellie Balaam
Floral decorations at every turn.
Camera IconFloral decorations at every turn.

Spring is in the air with the region enjoying a bumper wildflower season as the fire-ravaged Stirling Range comes back to life during this year’s Bloom Festival.

The Great Southern’s wildflowers will provide a centrepiece for the annual festival running from this weekend until October 17 across 19 towns including Albany, Katanning, Kojonup, Cranbrook and Gnowangerup.

The Ongerup Wildflower Show, Kodja Place wildflower display and bush walks in the Stirling Range National Park provide the basis for the festivities each year with more than 60 spring-related events and displays.

Events this year will include art exhibitions, fauna and flora-themed activities, food and wine events, guided tours, markets, Noongar culture, open gardens, wildflower trails and workshops.

Great Southern Treasures chairwoman Veronica Fleay said it was a special festival.

“There’s so much to see and it’s so pretty driving through the countryside at this time, with the rolling hills even the canola looks magnificent,” she said.

“It’s just that lovely feel of spring, it’s the joy of getting out mixing with people, looking around and meeting locals, the farming community are the lifeblood of the region they do wonderful things.”

Dick the tractor on the GNP360 Horsepower Highway.
Camera IconDick the tractor on the GNP360 Horsepower Highway.

Activities for the Bloom Festival are held across the region and can be enjoyed by linking events in a trail format.

A key event will be the launch of the GNP360 Horsepower Highway on September 26 in Magitup.

The Horsepower Highway features a collection of 16 vintage tractors along the Broomehill-Gnowangerup Road, leading to the Stirling Range.

The Bloom Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and is expected to attract around 15,000 visitors from WA and interstate.

Ms Fleay said there was a likelihood of new and rarely seen flora blooming after extensive fires.

“Good comes out of bad sometimes ... each of the events that are part of the Bloom Festival will help demonstrate the creative spirit and vibrancy that exists in these communities,” she said.

“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.”

The Bloom Festival started 10 years ago as an initiative of Great Southern Treasures.

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