Where to find NSW’s prettiest wildflowers
In spring and summer, NSW is bejewelled with colourful wildflowers that decorate coastal walking tracks and thread through national parks. Here’s where to spot some of the state’s most beautiful blooms and the best time to visit.
Kosciuszko National Park
Best time to visit: November to April.
Once the last of the powdery white snow melts into the Snowy Mountains, the high-altitude Kosciuszko National Park comes to life with purple eyebrights, yellow billy buttons and everlasting daisies. Wildflower walks are everywhere: adventure up high to the Main Range track or Ramshead Range where the alpine trees give way to open fields blooming with magnificent patches of snowy white gentians, anemone buttercups, alpine sunrays and more; walk along the Thredbo River track to see sub-alpine wildflowers growing along the banks; or set out on the Illawong Walk from Guthega, where you can set up a picnic among bushels of alpine mint, billy buttons, and native yam daisies, and even go for an exhilarating dip in the cool waters of Snowy River.
Bouddi National Park
Best time to visit: September to December.
The coastal tracks and towering forests of the Bouddi Peninsula are some of the only trails in Australia that will lead you to snow-white patches of the stunning flannel flower, a delicate daisy-like Australian native. Take in this stunning rare beauty as you trek along the Flannel Flower Walking Track, or book a spot on Elixir Journey’s Bouddi Wildflower Walk in spring which explores lesser-known parts of Bouddi National Park on the Central Coast; as well as sightings of this special flower, you’ll also come across views that stretch all the way to Sydney.
Booderee National Park
Best time to visit: September to April.
Setting foot Booderee National Park is like stepping into paradise, with more than 460 different indigenous plants growing within this protected patch of Jervis Bay. Home to Australia’s only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens, you will find many native beauties. Watch birds flock to the fiery orange heath banksia, common around Hole in the Wall Beach and see the pretty pink pinnate boronia stud the path along the . Don’t forget to look out for NSW’s state flower, the crimson waratah, which blooms from September to November and visit in spring to see the spectacular round-leaf tea tree flowers in bloom. Make a stop at the Booderee Botanic Gardens and join a guided walk to learn how the local Aboriginal people use native plants in bush tucker and medicine.
Redlands Hill Reserve
Best time to visit: September to November.
Sometimes a short wander off the beaten path will lead you to the most special sights. This little patch of woodlands near Corowa on the Murray River is an ecological wonder that is a real hidden gem. Protected since 1999, Redlands Hill Reserve boasts four easy walking trails that will lead you to a number of serene forest scenes (interrupted only by kangaroos hopping past!). A place where Aboriginal communities have gathered for thousands of years, this grassy hill offers a diversity of plants and berries. You’ll see golden wattle in bloom, along with bush peas, native lilies, wedge-leaf hop-bush and plenty of everlasting daisies.
Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area
Best time to visit: March to October after summer rainfall.
The Outback may conjure visions of red dirt and sweeping desert plains, but follow the rivers and you’ll find pockets of greenery thriving with birdlife and open floodplains that burst with colour after the rains. Located at the junction of Warrego and Darling rivers, Toorale National Park is just an hour’s drive from Bourke, and offers dramatic naturescapes straight out of a watercolour painting. An easy amble along the Warrego Floodplain walking track can take you past golden sunray daisies, bluebells, billy buttons and pigweed. Pack a picnic and spend your lunch sitting beneath a shady coolibah tree at Many Big Rock picnic area, and make a pit stop at Mount Talowla lookout to take in views of seasonal wildflowers growing on the floodplains towards Mount Gunderbooka.
Crowdy Bay National Park
Best time to visit: September to November.
There’s no better picnic spot than one that’s surrounded by forest and flowers, and that’s exactly what you’ll come across at Kylies Hut in Port Macquarie. Settle down in a shady glen beside paperbarks and sheoaks, and after lunch wander the Metcalfes walking track. Not only will you likely spot a local koala or eastern grey kangaroo that call this area home, but you’ll stroll past a rainbow of wildflowers, attracting flocks of nectar-loving birds. Sadly, Kylies Hut, the rustic home of novelist and journalist Kylie Tennant in the late 1960s, burnt down in the 2019–2020 bushfires and only the foundations remain, though rebuilding is in the works.– just an hour south of
Blue Mountains National Park
Best time to visit: September to January.
With World Heritage-listed rainforests and some of the most famous views in the country, the Blue Mountains is known for its natural beauty. A hike in spring will also have you walking through a sea of colourful wildflowers. On the Lockleys Pylon walking track near Leura, past the eucalypt forests and sandstone cliffs, you’ll encounter lambertia shrubs that spike up with the red flower known as the ‘mountain devil’. If the conditions are right, you can also see pink flannel flowers. From Blackheath, the easy Fairfax Heritage walking track opens up to forests of peppermint and scribbly gums, and in early summer, vibrant red waratahs.
Please note: Check the National Parks website to make sure certain walking tracks are open before visiting.