Garden Life's marketing manager took a short trip to Western Australia recently to do a four day hike - time for a much overdue adult holiday, sans kids, partner, and all of life’s responsibilities.
With the goal of total immersion in nature, I set off on my first hiking experience. I was up for a challenge and ready to switch off.
When I say “hike” let’s use the term loosely. This wasn’t a hike in the traditional sense of roughing it with a heavy pack and camping in the wild. This was more of a bougie food and wine hike (without the pack), where every night we slept in the sublime comfort of the Injidup Spa Retreat and enjoyed a fully catered meals and wine tastings. The experience was hosted by a tour company called Walk Into Luxury. So, you get the idea.
Over four days however, we did walk about 40km of what’s considered the highlights of the Margaret River’s Cape to Cape track – a 125km stretch of coastline from Cape Naturaliste in the north, to Cape Leeuwin in the south. As we hugged the coast we traversed clifftops, famous surf breaks and beaches, visited caves and meandered through the Boranup Forest, for a bit of forest bathing with the marri and karri trees.
I never associated WA with wildflowers. It conjured up images of more arid landscapes, so it was a delight to see the abundance of flora and fauna in what I learned was a biodiversity hotspot of more than 2500 species of wildflowers.
Wildflower season runs from September to October – the perfect time to visit and enjoy the spectacular floral show, in cooler spring weather. Along the track we saw various types of acacia or wattle, along with tassel flowers, pea flowers, pimelea, coastal rosemary, coral vine and species of rare orchids, that were hidden along the paths. Some sections of the track looked like a tendered garden, with mounds of wind pruned shrubs, not unlike manicured topiary balls. Other parts looked like a beautiful, tangled mess of foliage, punctuated with bursts of colourful flowers that were scattered among the otherwise neutral tones of a native coastal landscape. Overall, I didn’t expect to be so awestruck by the beauty of the place.
Before the hike, someone said to me that thinking and hiking go hand-in-hand, and that I might solve some of life’s big problems while walking. I can honestly say, I was so present in the environment, putting one foot in front of the other, admiring all that was around me, and on the lookout for tiny flowers amongst the brush, that my mind just didn’t go there, or anywhere. I was completely on the track, in the moment, connected to nature.
GARDEN LIFE. PLANT JOY.