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In the ancient ranges and rugged river valleys of Ravensthorpe, wildflower season is every season. To the west, you can marvel at more than 1,800 beautiful and bizarre species of flowering plants and one of the best whale watching shows on Earth in Fitzgerald River National Park. Make Ravensthorpe a must-stop on your outback-to-coast adventure. It's just over six hours' drive south east of Perth and two hours west of Esperance. From here, you can follow myriad trails leading to breathtaking vistas of pristine bushland. Meander through the salmon gums of the Ravensthorpe Range, following the Archer or Ethel Daw scenic drives to the lookout. Hit the four wheel drive Range Top Drive. Or, if you'd prefer to pull on your hiking boots, follow the Mount Short drive to start of the summit trail. These trails are also a great way to view the region's wildflower wonders, which are at their best between August and November. Time your visit to coincide with the town's annual wildflower show in September, and you can put names to the dazzling faces of over 800 local wildflower species. Ravensthorpe has been mined for gold, copper, silver, nickel and other minerals, leaving behind many mining relics - some of which can be viewed at the Dance Cottage Museum. This marks the start of the Cattlin Creek Heritage Trail, leading you through local history via the architecture of the early 1900s. Beyond town, the Railway Heritage Walk follows the route of the former railway that once linked the remote mines of Ravensthorpe to the port of Hopetoun. Head to the coast to fish or fossick Hopetoun's beaches, or to Fitzgerald River National Park for a day of bushwalking, four wheel driving, canoeing, swimming, surfing and fishing. It's one of only three places in Australia where southern right whales come to calve in large numbers. You can watch these gentle giants from the cliffs at Point Ann in the winter months. Whether you're dining or over-nighting, Ravensthorpe offers a good choice, from a la carte to takeaways and friendly farmstays to motels, backpackers and a caravan park.
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