Chasing the Winter Blues

Around mid-year in Margaret River we all start feeling the winter blues: cold short days, gusty winds, endless rain. But for those who brave the elements and head out to the coast the blues are edged with gold and silver. Walking the beach in winter is a different story to the lazy sun soakings available…

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Hamelin Bay: King Karri and the Tempest

Hamelin is a peaceful looking bay in the far south-west of Australia. For most of the year, its shores are sheltered from the swell by limestone reefs. Stingrays sweep the shallows feeding on scraps, people line-fish from the beach, and small children play in the wavelets. But the bay has a dramatic history. For a…

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Tales From the Earth: the Palaeoclimates of Boranup

There’s no denying that climate change will have a massive impact on Margaret River. Over the past 50 000 years, locals have witnessed dramatic changes to landscape and ecology, and there are likely many more to come. Within the caves of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Margaret River holds a record of climate change spanning over a…

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Melangata Station: reviving the great Outback

Farming one of the most ancient landscapes in the world has never been easy. Over the years, many of the sheep and cattle stations in the West Australian outback have been abandoned due to land degradation and drought. These stations are a major part of the States’ heritage, and rather than see them disappear back…

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The Darnell Oak, Margaret River

In the heart of a small town in Western Australia there grows an oak. Not a very big oak, just a young tree with a short history, but potentially a very long future. When Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England in 1953, Margaret River chose to plant a tree at Memorial Park in her honour.…

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Wallcliffe – People and Place

A selection of profiles of historical characters born or resident at Wallcliffe House.  Wallcliffe Estate overlooks the Margaret River, at the final meander before it opens to the sea. Across the black waters lie a stand of brilliant white paperbarks, and the property is sheltered from the ocean winds by ancient dunes and a towering…

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Wallcliffe

Wainilyinup, the final bend of the Margaret River before it snakes around to the sea. The cliffs are made from fragile sand dune limestone, and are far younger than the river itself. Blown here by wind in a process that began around one million years ago, the carbonate sand has been cemented and weathered into…

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Wooditch – or the Margaret River

The Margaret River was first encountered by European immigrants not as a defined channel, but as a confusing network of streams and tributaries. In 1832 John Bussell published his account of an exploration from Augusta to Vasse. Four men and a few dogs spent a week walking through dense forest and scrubland, surveying as they…

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Cape Mentelle: a Profile

A limestone headland, looking down the prevailing wind from across the Indian Ocean. When the light is right, you can see the profile of a face jutting out from the stone: a vision of the spirit of place, the personification of a wild and rocky coastline. Cape Mentelle is a rugged series of steep, cliff-lined…

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The power in a name: the new Wooditjup National Park

The old man is on a mission to reach the sea. He runs down from the rocky ranges and onto the flatlands, where the way is obscured by forest and scrub. He emerges onto farmland, his path winding through fields covered with grapevines or dotted with cows, then into the forest surrounding the town of…

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Wooditjup Jarrah Gallery

Documenting old and significant jarrah trees in the forests of Margaret River. Jarrah forest is one of the major ecological niches in the wet south-west corner of Australia. It is endemic to the area, growing nowhere else in the world.  Since the arrival of Europeans in 1829, vast areas of forest have been cleared for…

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Calgardup Cave: the Fall of the Meteroric Shower

Caves were forming in the soft limestone of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge long before people appeared on the continent. Growing softly, the rainfall of a million winters cementing beach sand into stone. Or mixing with plants on the surface and dissolving it, before crystallising it again, drip by drip. Wadandi ancestors took shelter in the caves…

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Calgardup Brook

Redgate Beach is famous for a dramatic 19th century shipwreck, swimming, waves, fishing, and granite framed sunsets. But it is also has a deeper history. The stream that flows out onto the beach is millions of years old. It begins on farmland to the east. One tributary has its catchment on Nindup Plain, close behind…

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Caves Road: a Short History of a Winding Way.

Caves Road deserves special protection as a heritage and tourism icon. Caves Road traverses the limestone ridge between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. It runs south from Yallingup, through tree lined hills and valleys, past vineyards and breweries. Across the Margaret River and down into the Karri country, past Hamelin Bay and onwards to Augusta.…

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Ten Mile Brook: the Lost Valley

The Margaret River has only a few large named tributaries: the Mowen River, Bramley, Yalgardup, and Ten Mile Brook. The upper river valleys of the Margaret were formed after sediments filled the sunklands left by the breakup of Gondwana. They flow westward and onto the granite of the Leeuwin Block, a remnant of the super-continent…

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