Christmas Rock Walk Trail that is. Christmas Rock is in Wongan Hills and I’ve written about going there before. This time I’m writing about the Christmas Rock walk trail which is located in a 2000 hectare reserve. It is an easy 2.7Km walk along relatively flat well marked paths not far from the centre of the town site. Along the trail are interpretive panels which give insights into the reserve. What makes it worthwhile is that at wildflower time the walk passes through country that is a riot of colourful flowers. It is a gobsmackingly beautiful sight this year as the weather conditions have been ideal. The bird life in the reserve is also pretty impressive and their song provides a fitting score for a very pleasant walk.
The rock gets its name from the Western Australian Christmas Trees (Nuytsia floribunda) which used to be found there and flowered at Christmas time. On the top of the rock is an elaborate series of channels that were designed to harvest rain water run off for the “Railway Water Supply” which was built in 1916. But the rock is also home to a wide variety of plants such as lichens and mosses. On a warm sunny day if you’re quick enough you might see the lizards who live in the various cracks and crevices.
But for me it is the display of orchids which brings me to Wongan Hills. There are so many different types in large quantities. It made me feel like a kid on Christmas Day. The funny thing is that it could have been very, very different. Prospectors actually dug pits looking for asbestos. Luckily they didn’t find it in large enough quantities to make it a viable commercial operation and went looking elsewhere. So in September give Wongan Hills a visit. This isn’t the only walk as there’s Mount O’Brien Lookout, Gathecole Nature Reserve, and the Mt Matilda walk trail. Then there are the lakes which host lots of water birds. So instead of a day trip why not make a long weekend of it.