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The whimsical wildflowers of the

Porongurups

/^~^% . \ hen it's springtime in the Por V- / / / ongurups there's a rainbow of

(jL/ colours on the horizon. Many come to enjoy this beautiful range that lies in the south-west of Australia.

Those who seek a naturalist's para- dise should follow the Mira Flores track which winds its way through the foot- hills. You'll come upon delicate maiden- hair fern, orchids and multi-coloured wildflowers blooming in profusion. There are more than 600 varieties of wild

i lowers here. The more energetic can ^limb the dome-shaped boulders of the *Porongurups to be rewarded with a mag- nificent panorama. The southern ascent

Ts not so hazardous.

More tracks wind through the im- posing Karri trees which are in-

terspersed with gnarled red gums, and

it

the purple hovea and bright-hued heaths add splashes of colour.

Early explorers and surveyors re- corded the Porongurups Range in their writings. There are 13 named peaks in this range, which stands 660m above sea level, each with its own story. Daisy Sum- mit and Bates Peak will commemorate for posterity the untiring efforts of Daisy Bates who lived and taught Aborigines in the Nullabor Desert. There is Gibraltar Rock, with its striking resemblance to its

namesake, Balancing Rock, and the mas- sive granite outcrops, Elephant Rock and Wellington Boots. Perhaps the most sen- timental story concerns Nancy Peak, named after a lost cow who died on it. IV]

Story and photograph: MAX HEAD

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