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Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia

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Home to more than 1,800 beautiful and bizarre species of flowering plants, Fitzgerald River National Park packs 20 per cent of Western Australia's plant species into 0.13 per cent of the State, creating one of the most diverse botanical regions on Earth. It's also one of only three places in Australia where southern right whales come to calve in large numbers, giving you the chance to catch one of the greatest shows in the natural world. A 6.5 hour drive south of Perth will bring you to the western edge of Fitzgerald National Park at beautiful Bremer Bay. Or, if you're making it part of your southern coast adventure, it will take slightly over 3.5 hours drive east from Albany, or just over 2.5 hours drive west of Esperance. Bushwalking, four wheel driving, camping, canoeing, swimming, surfing, fishing or whale watching - lovers of nature and the great outdoors will be in their element exploring this coastal paradise. Of the more than 1,800 plant species recorded in the park, 250 are rare and 62 occur nowhere else on Earth. Many of these can be encountered in the distinctive quartzite coastal hills known as the Barrens. The park's extraordinary spongelite cliffs, left exposed in the Hamersley and Fitzgerald river valleys, have been 360 million years in the making - formed when sea levels were higher and the ocean flooded the coast up to 65 kilometres inland, leaving the Barren Ranges as islands. Every spring, you can see these ancient landscapes are covered in a sea of colourful blooms. While winter welcomes the arrival of southern right whales for the annual calving season. Watch these gentle giants and their playful babies from the cliffs at Point Ann and the white sands of Trigelow Beach. There are barbecues and toilets in the park, but no drinking water. So if you're planning to camp out with the kookaburras and parrots, be sure to pack plenty of supplies. More budget and family-friendly options can be found in nearby Bremer Bay.

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