What a stunning part of the world it is down Ravensthorpe way in the far south of WA, 540km south-east of Perth, 209km east of Albany and 186km west of Esperance.
Now dominated by fields of wheat and sheep, the landscape is dotted with old mine shafts - remnants of the Phillips River goldfield days. Before it ran out in the 1960s, copper mining was also a major contributor to the local economy.
Two-thirds of the local shire remains as natural bushland, which includes Fitzgerald River National Park, about 45km south of Ravensthorpe, a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. Although dismissed as worthless by early explorers, the park is renowned for its diverse and spectacular scenery and flora, which in turn supports a number of threatened animals.
Surrounding the inlets of the Gairdner, Fitzgerald and Hamersley Rivers, this is one of the most diverse botanical regions in the world. More than 1800 beautiful and bizarre species of flowering plants, as well as myriad lichens, mosses and fungi, have been recorded in the park, representing nearly 20 per cent of the total number of plant species in WA. This is wildflower country and July to September is the time to visit for their colourful displays.