Pyricularia oryzae (rice blast) conidial development at pre-penetration stage determines success or otherwise of infection inside the rice host plants. Studies on conidial germination and growth on the leaf surface in commercial rice (Oryza sativa) report differently, dependent upon host type and level of blast resistance. Although wild rice (O. australiensis) is known to be an alternative host of blast, the interaction between P. oryzae conidia and wild O. australiensis on its leaf surface has not been previously studied. We found significant (P < 0.001) differences in conidial development between two blast isolates with different virulence in terms of conidial germination, germ tube growth and appressoria formation on both wild and cultivated rice. Conidial germination at 6 h post-inoculation (hpi) for the virulent isolate was significantly (P < 0.001) delayed. Germ tubes of the avirulent isolate conidia grew significantly (P < 0.001) faster and with significantly (P < 0.001) longer germ tubes than from virulent conidia. Appressoria development for the virulent isolate was significantly (P < 0.001) faster at its later growth stages of 12 and 18 hpi when approximately 100% of germ tubes formed appressoria. In contrast, formation rate of appressoria for the avirulent isolate was significantly (P < 0.001) slower and only reached 76% of germ tubes forming appressoria. Appressoria formation on O. australiensis was significantly (P < 0.001) greater than the formation on O. sativa for both virulent and avirulent P. oryzae at 12 hpi, a clear indication that host type influences the extent of appressoria formation.