Winter, the coldest season of the year is here. Some of us can’t bear the mercury dropping below 20°C while the rest of us (including me) embrace winter with all the hot chocolates, cosy fires, snuggly blankets and warm winter fashion there is to have.
One of the best parts about outback Queensland is the cool months from autumn through winter and spring. Overnight temperatures can go below -2°C in winter but the days are so lovely to spend outdoors. This is where the wildflowers come in. Spring is the season everyone talks about to go and admire the bounty of the wild but by this time the wildflower show is already half way through!
Right now the wattles, the crowning glory of wildflowers, have already started putting on a show. There’s nearly 1000 different species of wattle spread from top to bottom across Australia. With so many species all competing for attention from pollinators (mainly insects), they take turns flowering at different times. Right now in the Maranoa district the Early-flowering Black Wattle (Acacia leiocalyx) and Crowded-leaf Wattle (A. conferta) have been flowering since early May. There’s another 20 or so species of wattle that will light up the bush with their lemon, yellow and golden blooms over the coming months.
Each year it’s a little different how long and when our wildflowers peak but as with the rest of northern Australia, the peak flowering begins before winter is over. Daytime temperatures hover around the low 20’s in August and is perfect for spending a day in the wildflowers soaking up the sunshine. As a self-confessed plant nerd, I’m looking forward to spending as many days amongst our wildflowers hotspots.
Our go-to wildflower hotspot is Gurulmundi, a renowned area amongst amateur and expert flora enthusiasts. This area boasts over 350 species of plants and we keep adding to this number as we explore off the beaten track. I hope you can join me on one of our planned day tours to this incredible area during this wildflower season.