More than 150 species of terrestrial orchids can be found in our Shire and Northcliffe and Windy Harbour are popular destinations for orchid enthusiasts. A variety of species can be found throughout the year from the first rains in autumn to when our ephemeral swamps and lakes dry in summer.
In early summer look for late flowering Spider Orchids, Leek & Mignonette Orchids, Donkey Orchids, Sun Orchids and Babe-in-a-Cradle Orchids. Slipper Orchids can be found throughout summer.
If you’re visiting in autumn look for Leafless Orchids, Hare Orchids, several species of Bunny Orchids, Banded Greenhoods and Autumn Leek Orchids.
Winter is the time for Pterostylis orchids – dull coloured Banded Greenhoods and Snail Orchids are common, along with Helmet Orchids in the damp forests. In late winter visit Windy Harbour to search for South Coast Spiders and Blue Beard Orchids.
In spring when our forests and heathlands warm up more than 50 species of orchids flower – Spider Orchids, Beard Orchids, Donkey Orchids, Hammer and Flying Duck Orchids, Enamel Orchids, Rabbit Orchids, Mignonette and Leek Orchids, Bird Orchids, Jug Orchids and Sun Orchids. Jarrah forests and the coastal heath at Windy Harbour flower mid-September to mid-October, Karri forest areas are at their best in October. For the 4WD enthusiasts, visit Coodamurrup or Yeagarup in D’Entrecasteaux NP for a spectacular drive mid-October, or the Summertime Track to Malimup in November.
Be prepared to get out of the car and wander trails to discover our many orchid species. Please remember to stay on existing paths, kangaroo trails and avoid trampling any delicate emerging plants and buds. Be conscious of the spread of dieback and stay out of disease risk areas and remember that picking or removing flowers and plants is illegal.