Two hundred years after natural history artist Charles-Alexandre Lesueur sailed what would become our Coral Coast aboard the Naturaliste, the area maintains its natural beauty and fascination for visitors.
Located 20 kilometres north of Jurien Bay and 250 kilometres north of Perth, Lesueur National Park is 24 kilometres across and covers 26,987 hectares. Only gazetted in 1992, the park is relatively new but its value to the conservation of flora and fauna has been long recognised.
The park contains undisturbed expanses of the northern sandplains region, with a wide range of geologic formations, landscapes and soil types. These vary from salt lakes in the west to laterite ridges in the east and partly explain the reason that it is a biodiversity hotspot, renowned for its wildflowers, birds and reptiles.
More than 800 plant species have been identified, making it one of the richest sites for plant species in the world. Nine of these are found nowhere else in the world while 81 are at their most northern or southern limits, providing unique plant communities.
There is always something flowering in the park but in the months of September and October Lesueur erupts into colour with a range of species from Leshenaultias to Melaleucas bursting into flower.
The construction of new recreational facilities has recently been completed, opening the very heart of the park and allowing easy access for visitors to explore all the area has to offer.
A bituminised 17-kilometre tourist drive takes visitors through the Cockleshell Gully valley providing panoramic views of the park. Pull off bays are provided throughout the drive to allow tour operators and visitors to stop and explore the flora close to the road in a range of vegetation types.
Drummond's recreational area has a number of trails to suit all visitors. Disabled and long vehicle parking bays link to a path network interspersed with interpretive panels. A 200-metre disabled accessible path leads to Wilson Lookout that provides unimpeded views of Mt Lesueur and back to the Indian Ocean. The more adventurous can take the four-kilometre trail to the top of Mt Lesueur or choose to take the easier trail around the Gairdner Ridge.
A picnic area with toilets, interpretation and easy parking is provided further along Lesueur Drive for those visitors who want to make the best of a day in this magnificent park.