Karri forest Boranup Margaret River Australia

This unique stand of karri forest is the most western edge of the karri forest belt. Karri forest Margaret River with coral vine and purple hovea wildflowers at Boranup just south of Margaret River.

Karri forest Margaret River with coral vine and purple hovea wildflowers. This is the Boranup forest just south of Margaret River.

The first memories I have of visiting this place with a camera was in the late 1970s. I was a teenager with my first film camera. The landscape contains various elements of visual drama. Towering karri trees, limestone cliff faces, swales, and undulations. Below, a thick carpet of fallen bark and leaves hid numerous caves. From various vantage points, you have a view through the karri forest.

Above all else, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of peace I found here. Apart from the high treetops, the lower levels of forest are relatively still. You can hear the various birds higher up in the forest canopy, and the occasional stirring of tree branches.

Unlike all other stands of karri forest, this is the most western extent of the karri. What makes it even more unusual is that it is growing on limestone soils. Its the presence of limestone which is responsible for the numerous caves within the Capes region. Karri forest normally grows on dark rich karri loam. Karri loam is found further south and east from Manjimup, Pemberton, and Walpole.

I have published Karri forest Margaret River in magazines, calendars and in my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series where it has remained popular for over 20 years.

Loving it to death?

Sadly perhaps, Boranup forest is now, much busier. Cars frequently pull into the parking area off Caves Road. Viewing platforms and walk paths have been installed. Where there were once the beautiful clean trunks of karri, there are now graffiti scars across every tree. How can you reconcile being humble and receptive in the presence of such wonder, and then engage in a destructive activity?

Karri forest Margaret River is available as a limited edition 16×20 inch photograph and larger.

This image was made with a 6×4.5cm format Bronica ETRS camera using¬† Velvia ISO 50 film and a 40mm Bronica lens.

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Since 1989, Alex Bond has published cards, calendars, books, and posters under his imprint Stormlight Publishing. His images showcase the West Australian environment. Bond's handcrafted, silver-gelatin, fibre-based prints are personally made by the author in his darkroom.

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