Here we are again. I, Enrico, have been through a period of hard work as a chef in Margaret River, the place where I have been living for roughly a year. While summer had been lovely, warm yet breezy, winter has come over the western coasts of Australia and, due to the heavy rains that easily occur in this season, it is has not been easy to get out and take some shots. My brother Matteo has just come back to Australia after a year in New Zealand, and a couple of months of idle vacation. Now spring is kicking in, and hopefully it will bring a fresh season of photography.
Last week the weather has been quite merciful, so I managed to grab my camera and go for a walk in the spectacular Boranup Karri forest, a 25 minutes drive away from Margaret River.
The forest is a perfect example of how rich and diverse the environment is in this beautiful corner of South-Western Australia. While the coast consists of long sandy beaches or high and impressive cliffs, in the Boranup forest you can experience the feeling of being lost in the wilderness, surrounded by a very complex ecosystem. No people or noises, just the wind blowing, birds singing and the flowers’ scent spreading all over the forest.
The “Boranup scenic drive” is an unsealed road that makes a loop within the forest and can be easily managed by most of the vehicles; it allows you to drive through the forest, but I am sure this place deserves to be explored walking, not just sitting in a car. That’s why I decided to park my car close to the famous lookout and start exploring the numerous treks that stretch along the forest.
Most of the trees in the Boranup forest are Eucalyptus Diversicolor, better know as the “Karri”, a kind of eucalyptus native to south-western Australia. They can reach 90 meters high, that makes it the tallest tree in Western Australia and the third tallest tree in the world. Visiting the numerous and spectacular caves in the Margaret River is an experience everybody should do, they are very different from one another, and all of them are really worth a visit. In some of those caves you can see the roots of the trees making their way from the surface through the soil, keep growing into the cave itself.
The first British settlers reached this area around 1850 and they built different lookouts on top of the tallest trees in order to supervise the area. Nowadays it is possible to visit some of those spots, especially in Warren National Park, close to Pemberton, 130 km south-east of Margaret River: climbing the tree is quite a dizzy experience but the view from the top is going to leave you speechless.
It does not matter if you have some hours or weeks of spare time, here in the south corner of Western Australia there will always be something fun and interesting to do, especially during the summer season. Walking or running, surfing or skating, people are very active and they are just looking forward to getting more in touch with nature. I have met many people that wake up really early every morning, just to go surfing or riding their bike before going to work, and I am pretty sure it is the reason why everyone here is really chill and happy. No traffic at all, no horns or pollution, wilderness is just a stone’s throw away from your workplace. You can feel the relax as much as you can smell freshness in the air.
Wherever my destiny has chosen to bring me in the future, I will never forget the relaxed atmosphere and the lush environment that makes this place unique in the world.
Photography: Enrico Fabi