Harvey Wildflower Walk
Directions - Located just outside of Harvey, from the centre of town head east along Uduc Road until you reach South Western Highway. Turn left and follow the highway until you reach the turn-off for Honeymoon Road. Turn right and keep going up the hill until you reach the car park for the wildflower picnic site on the righthand side of the bend in the road. The start of the trail is on the eastern side of the car park and you follow the Grass Tree trail markers.
The Hike - Harvey is a town that most people in WA will associate with orange juice, milk, beef and farming but for me Harvey means going out to a maintenance trip on the Bibbulmun Track. In the hills east of Harvey lies the Kingdom of Py and most of my visits are not in peak wildflower season so I've never thought to add on the Harvey Wildflower Walk to my day trips out here. With a free weekend available in late spring, I thought I would do a wildflower survey of the kingdom followed by a visit here to see what was still in bloom.
After a really enjoyable wildflower survey of the kingdom and a scouting mission to realign the section off the excessive vehicle tracks, I had more than enough time to get this one in before driving home. I absolutely love the drive out to my section along the edge of Harvey Dam and have always thought it was a great shame that there aren't more trails in the area. Unfortunately the hypocritical rules that Water Corp have about using water catchment areas for recreational purposes (but strip mining and pine plantations are perfectly fine) mean that the area is not living up to its full potential. The best we have is this short 1.8km loop that is on the northern side of the dam and must either be a legacy walk trail or be technically out of the catchment zone. I had been alerted to this trail a couple of years back by fellow trail enthusiast Just the Sound of the Breeze and had been meaning to check it out ever since. Now would be that day and I was hoping to see some late season orchids and a bevy of wildflowers dotting the edge of the trail. Arriving at the car park, I found two older ladies there, all kitted up for the walk and both excited to photograph some wildflowers with their phones.
They seemed to be moving super slow, so I gave them a bit of lead time to head off along the trail as I could see this first section had nice views and I didn't want people in my shots. Taking a while to put my shoes back on and rehydrate, I figured ten minutes was enough time. I was expecting a bit of an unused and ad hoc trail through here with an old information sign at the start and nothing else so was surprised to see a proper trail marker attached to a post. With the camera prepped and ready to fire, I headed onto the trail and it didn't take long before I found something to photograph. Some bright yellow Cottonheads were just off to the left and this was followed by a Purple Tassel, Australian Painted Lady (butterfly), Morning Iris and some kind of white and yellow pea variety. The forest was impressive along the side of the hill and the views you could sort of see from the car park were starting to get closer. There are a couple of picnic tables through this first section if you just want to stop and enjoy some lunch here among the wildflowers and what a spot it is with the tall trees and granite outcrops leading up the hill. The real winner through here besides the wildflowers was the views overlooking Harvey Dam Reservoir with the trail being set on the hillside and offering some sweeping vistas looking across the water.