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Morawa, Western Australia

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Known as the heart of the wildflowers, Morawa's springtime displays are rarely equalled for sheer diversity and wow factor, making it a must-stop on the Everlastings Wildflower Trail. History buffs will be just as awe-struck by the legacy of its local Indigenous peoples, early European settlers and famous priest-architect Monsignor Hawes. You can reach Morawa in four hours by driving north from Perth via the Great Northern Highway, or 1 hour and 45 minutes from Geraldton. For a more leisurely route, follow the Everlastings Wildflower Trail through some of the flora hotspots that form part of the largest collection of wildflowers on Earth. Or hit the four-day Monsignor Hawes Heritage trail, exploring 15 of his fine works that dot the landscape from Geraldton to Perenjori. From August to October, this wheat and sheep farming region is transformed into a giant picnic blanket of pink, yellow and cream everlastings. A closer look will reveal some of the more unusual species, including the distinctive wreath flower, the bright orange wild Pomegranate, pink Foxgloves, purple Darwinia and Yellow bells, to name a few. To view the best displays, head for Koolanooka Springs or join a guided bus tour from Morawa. Exploring the region's Indigenous history and settler heritage is a popular year-round activity, starting at War Rock and Gnamma Hole, where evidence of occupation by one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth can be found. The original gaol and courthouse now house the Morawa Museum, presenting its world-famous collection of windmills, as well as farming machinery used by the town's early pastoralists. If you're making the pilgrimage to discover the beautiful works of Monsignor Hawes, you can stop to admire the Church of the Holy Cross as well as other striking churches including St David's and the Lutheran Church. More recent history awaits your discovery on a guided tour of Koolanooka Mine where the first iron ore was mined and exported from Australia in 1966. To make Morawa your base for a wildflower or history tour, stay a night or three at the hotel/motel, caravan park or farm stays.

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