Since then we have been up the 4WD Holland Track to Coolgardie and the goldfields, camped at rock catchments, explored history of the pipeline and the goldrush, and most recently I have taken you to the far north west of Western Australia to Purnululu National Park in the Kimberly. Wow what a diverse State I live in!
But I did promise to take you back to the south west corner, specifically to the Boranup Forest.
If you are driving along Caves Road south of Margaret River you will pass through the spectacular Boranup Karri Forest in the heart of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. There is a particular stopping place where people pull over to take photos of the forest. In the early morning the lighting is spectacular. It has been photographed many many times by many many people. It is hard to come up with something new, but I was really pleased with the image you see above, with the morning sun breaking through the trees.
Boranup Karri Forest is unique for its proximity to the coast. This is the furthest west that these huge Karri trees grow. Karris can reach 60 metres or more in height and cover the hilly slopes and valleys of the forest. Evidently the whole area was logged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the forest you see today has grown back since then. Karri is the third-tallest tree species in the world. Karri trees are also a feature of the Pemberton-Walpole-Denmark area.
Here is a picture I took years ago in 2005 on slide film around about the same spot - hopefully I have learnt something about photography since those days.
I have just started using all manual controls. The lighting certainly is very tricky with shadows and highlights.
You can see some more views here. The group of people in the middle RH pic were getting ready to go abseiling - which you can do near here. I love Karri trees.
You can also divert off Caves Road south of Lake Cave and drive along Boranup Drive, which is a good gravel road. There are picnic spots and a camp ground at the southern end of the drive.
Did I tell you there are caves? The Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is home to over 100 caves along the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and were formed by the flow of water underground.
There are several caves you can visit - guided tours and cafe at Lake Cave and Jewel Cave and self guided (with audio commentary) at Mammoth Cave. Whereas Giants Cave and Moondyne Cave are for the more adventurous.
On this trip we visited Mammoth (see above) and Calgardup Cave (see below). Calgardup is a Department of Environment and Conservation run cave. Suitable for all ages, it is self guided along unlit paths, boardwalks and stairs. To tour this cave you wear a helmet and carry a flashlight. Turn off your flashlight and see how dark it is! It was our first visit to Calgardup Cave and we really enjoyed it.
I hope you have enjoyed this little tour through the Boranup Forest and the caves of the
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
To find out more visit - Margaret River Visitor Centre by clicking here - Margaret River Tourism
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