Everything you need to know about the wildflowers of the Grampians
The Grampians National Park, also known as the ‘Garden of Victoria’, hosts a vast array of both flora and fauna. In fact, over one third of Victoria’s flora call this beautiful region home.
Spring is one of our favourite times of the year to visit the Grampians as wildflowers start to bloom. All shades of purple, pink, yellow, orange and red are on display during this time, creating colourful carpets on the rolling hills and fields.
Where to go?
Boroka lookout not only offers one of the most spectacular views of the regions and local townships, but also blooms in spring with the Pink Thryptomene and numerous other lightly coloured flowers.
One of the best spots for orchid-hunting is Heatherlie Quarry. During the 19th and 20th century, Heatherlie Quarry was one of the biggest producers of freestone, primarily utilised in the construction of Melbourne’s growing metropole. Stone from this quarry was used in some of Victoria’s most iconic buildings including the State Library and Parliament House. After the freestone deposits were exhausted, the quarry closed in 1938. Slowly over the next 60 years, mining equipment was dismantled and nature reclaimed the area. Beautiful orchids such as the wax-lip can be found in the area which range from pale lilac to vibrant violet. Orchids are usually easily identified due to their bright colours and bilateral symmetry.
The Epacrus Impressa or ‘Common Heath’ (above) is Victoria’s floral emblem. Very wide-spread across the Grampians, this brightly coloured flower can be seen in shades of red, pink and white; with pink being the official emblem colour. The flower is shaped like a long, tubular bell and hangs downwards from the leaf stem. So many flowers can grow on one branch that it often gives the shrub a brush-like appearance.
Another hot-spot for unique flowers is Mt. Abrupt which stands about 800 meters above sea level. Here you can find the Leafless Bitter-Pea (below left), Banksia Saxicola, Slender Smoke-Bush and the Parrot Pea Bush. The walk up to the peak can be quite difficult and slippery but tracks are well-worn and offer plenty of places to stop, have a rest and admire the scenery.
As the National park spans over 1600 km2 there is certainly a lot of area to explore! During spring most of the wildflowers are out in bloom but make sure you watch your step! This time of year also brings out Brown, Tiger, Copperhead and Red- Bellied Black snakes. Tracks and areas with heavier foot traffic such as Hall’s Gap, Boroka and Silverband Falls are usually safe from these reptiles as they tend to be very timid and keep away from human dwellings.
Be sure to check for track closures, wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a flora guide to help identify all the beautiful flowers in bloom!