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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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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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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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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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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Makuru: on Mermaids and the Winter Solstice.

Mermaids are the river-dreamings of northern Europe. Here in the south-west of Australia, the winter solstice falls with the first rains. The streams and rivers begin to flow, breaking the drought and releasing the dry and dusty old year back into the sea. The cultures of the European colonisers, still dominant in Australia, look back…

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