- 4wd Trip Name: Dalwallinu Wildflowers
- Terrain: Sand tracks and dense scrub
- Difficulty (Dry): Easy
- Date Driven: 9th, 10th, 11th September
Day 1 – Dalwallinu Wildflowers
The Dalwallinu Wildflowers 4wd trip took a small group of adventurers through the wildflower country to the north east of Dalwallinu in Western Australia. The long weekend showed us the amazing display of wildflowers that visitors from all over the world come to witness. Although we are not avid wildflower watchers, we had heard that the wildflower display in Western Australia is well worth seeing, and we were not disappointed.
We pulled into Wubin road house at about 9:45am on the Friday and waited for the remainder of the group. Soon afterwards, we were joined by a couple from Germany who are slowly settling in to Western Australian life. They told us how they’d purchased their Land Cruiser Troup Carrier and were gradually setting it up to be an off-road tourer.
Some of the bargains that they had found were amazing! Such as a full length roof rack for just $50, a high lift jack, an exhaust jack, and a hand winch for a total of $150. Gumtree truly has been his best friend.
After a bit of chit-chat, we then continued north east along Great Northern Highway. After about 30 kilometres, we eventually turned north, off the road and into the scrub. Just off the road, we stopped to air-down before continuing into the scrub along good quality tracks of orange/red sand.
We wound our way through the countryside, making sure that if we found a gate that it was left closed afterwards. On occasion, our trip leader would ask us to hold back while he went forward to find the track. He explained that although the track was marked on the GPS, on occasion it completely disappeared from sight because it had become overgrown with wildflowers.
After traveling north along Dalgary Road, we eventually came across a rock outcrop where we stopped for lunch. Out trip leader told us that the Dalgary Rock hole had been used by aboriginal people for centuries, and it had been also used by stockmen as a watering hole for livestock in the area.
Continuing on after lunch through even more wildflower country, we commented to each other that it was nice to drive through a cloud of everlasting petals, rather than the usual chocking cloud of dust that reduces visibility to almost nothing on many 4wd adventures.
Towards the end of the day, our trip leader led us towards an area that is well known for orchids. Although the display of wildflowers through the trip had been astounding, we were a little too late for the orchids and we only managed to find a few. Some aging examples of donkey orchids and one small stand of spider orchids was all that was on offer.
As evening approached, we pulled into Camel Soak, a DEC campsite that was to be our first night’s accommodation. The others in our small group both pulled up in their fully equipped Troup Carriers, and were set up for the night in seconds.
They were then able to sit back with a cold beer and watch the entertainment of us trying to set up our tent that, I must admit, we haven’t set up in quite some time. I’m sure they got a good laugh out of our ’discussions’ around which pole went were, and whether the fly was inside out or not.
We eventually got the tent up, only to have my wife query the strength of the branch that we’d placed out tent under. My somewhat short reply was “It’s fine. I’m not moving it”. Conversation over.
After a short walk up the rock outcrop, we found the waterhole and, urged on by our 5 year old son, spent some time finding larger and larger rocks to throw into it.
Camel Soak was also a favoured watering hole for the local aboriginals, and later became a place where camel trains would stop overnight during the construction of the vermin proof fence.
Day 2 – Dalwallinu Wildflower
After breakfast on day 2, the troupies were all ready to go in about 5 seconds and were then entertained as we tried to pack up our tent. Although packing the tent up was much simpler than putting it up the evening before.
The amazing wildflower display was, if possible, even more amazing as we drove the tracks towards the abandoned Rothsay mine site.
Along the way, we stopped at a couple of abandoned station building sites in varying states of ruin. Some with semi complete buildings, and others with nothing but a tin shed and emus. The Rothsay mine site is an abandoned gold mine that was established initially in 1894 and was actively mined up until as recently as 1994.
We were able to walk down into the open cut trench of the mine, but were not able to descend into the underground section as it is much too dangerous.
At the Rothsay Mine Site Village, we were able to have lunch in the shade of a tree next to a concrete pad. This concrete pad used to be the foundation of one of the buildings that the miners used for accommodation. We also visited the old graveyard that contains only 2 graves. 3 if you include the more recent grave of someone’s poor pet pooch.
NOTE: Access to the Rothsay mine site is now restricted. Mining in the area has re-commenced and so the general public are no longer aloud to enter.
On leaving Rothsay, we continued on to our second night’s campground; Boiada Hill campsite. This is a well appointed campsite that is maintained by the Subaru Club of WA.
The campsite has running water, flush toilets, a camp kitchen and (very) cold showers. Most of us used a solar shower filled with water heated on the campfire. We decided to abandon the tent fly and set up on the floorboards, inside the three-sided hall.
Day 3 -Dalwallinu Wildflowers
Waking up the next morning, we discovered that one of the troupies had punctured a tyre along the way. Overnight it had become completely flat. It was a great opportunity for our trip leader to demonstrate his tyre repairing skills.
Unfortunately for him, the puncture appeared to be on the inside sidewall so he had to crawl under the troupie to perform the surgery.
Once the tyre was repaired, we were led along a number of other tracks to eventually find the rare Wreath Flowers that only grow in a few areas around WA. The plant is an interesting one that does not seem to fit with the surrounding flora. In the area, most of the plants are like the everlastings. Hardy, stiff, waxy plants that are designed to retain water. The Wreath Flower appears to be fleshy and green. More the kind of flower you’d expect in a tropical rainforest, or in the forests of Europe.
We then continued along more tracks towards Perenjori where we joined the bitumen road, re-inflated our tyres and headed home. At Wubin, our leader left us and continued on to Credo station to try his luck at making his fortune finding gold.
The 4w driving was never more extremee than some slightly rocky outcrops, but the scenery was amazing. It’s a pity that I’d forgotten to track this trip with my GPS.