Spring is in the air in Cooloola

Wildflowers - One of the appealing tracks off Rainbow Beach Road

One of the appealing tracks off Rainbow Beach Road

What a beautiful time of year to explore our unique coastal habitats to find local wildflowers in bloom.

Hurry – they won’t be around for long! Step off the path away from carefully created gardens into the profusion of native flowers that have sprung up in our natural places.

At first glance you may just see sand and trees, but look down and a little closer you’ll spot delicate pink flowers, then shrubs with a profusion of yellow peas, the white flowers running up the grasstree stalks (with sweet nectar to taste, if the insects aren’t there already).

You could be amazed at the number of different shapes of blossoms and leaves. Lovely ground orchids appear on their tiny stalks, with names that fit their animal shapes: White Donkey and Flying Duck!

Brand new booklet Cooloola Wildflowers and Walks, was published by Cooloola Coastcare and Wild/Flower Women in time for this season of flowering.

The pages show clear photos of 62 flowering plants most likely to be seen in this area. They are helpfully arranged by colour, with tips to distinguish one pink boronia from another, and alphabetised by their scientific names.

At the back of the booklet are maps and descriptions of 14 short walks in Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove (have you been to the upper part of Snapper Creek, or seen the salt marsh?), as well as some of the surprisingly scenic tracks off of Rainbow Beach Road.

Even in the Rainbow Beach industrial area is a rarely-explored firebreak track. You don’t need to venture far to appreciate the wealth of beauty we have in the Cooloola wallum, plains, waterways and forests.

The booklet is being sold for $5 at:

  • Tin Can Bay Post Office
  • Rainbow Beach Parks and Wildlife office
  • Rainbow Beach Community Hall
  • Online at wildflowerwomen.com.au/shop ($10 posted)
  • Cooloola Coastcare: treasurer@cooloolacoastcare.org.au
Wildflowers - Wallum Mirbelia (Mirbelia rubifolia) is commonly seen mixed among the shorted plants

Wallum Mirbelia (Mirbelia rubifolia) is commonly seen mixed among the shorted plants

Wildflower Walk Number 11

A 3km return, easy-moderate grade.

Grab your copy of the Cooloola Wildflowers and Walks booklet so that you can identify the flowers you see.

Head to the Rainbow Beach entry sign firebreak.

Follow the sandy vehicle track starting behind a small shed.

Keep left to head out on the lower track, returning on the upper one (or vice versa).

This track displays a lovely selection of wallum heath vegetation.

There are views out across a boggy area which represents an unusual landform called a patterned fens.

Plants you will see include Forest Boronia, Wallum Banksia, Flying Duck Orchids, Wallum Wedge Pea and more – consult the booklet for photos and details.

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