Boranup Karri Forest is just south of Margaret River on the west coast of Western Australia, in an area recognised as one of 34 global biodiversity hotspots.
It’s known for its pale karri trees, which can grow more than 60 metres tall, and the wildflowers that cover the forest floor during spring.
History & adventure
Boranup is an Indigenous name meaning ‘place of the male dingo’, and the forest is located on Wadandi land. While Boranup was milled during the timber boom of the 1800s, these days it’s a popular site for locals and tourists wishing to immerse themselves in the stunning landscape.
Visitors can stop at the Karri Lookout for spectacular views of the surrounding forest and distant coastline. Nearby they can also explore Lake Cave, which is home to the ‘suspended table’, a hanging crystal formation believed to be the only one of its kind. Boranup Drive winds its way through the centre of the forest, popular for those wanting to take a two- or four-wheel drive beneath the beautiful canopies.
For an extra adrenaline hit, take a quad bike tour with Eco Adventures – the electric bikes have been specifically designed to have minimal impact on the delicate forest ecosystem.
For the bird lovers
For the bird enthusiasts, Boranup Forest is home to several unique bird species including the purple-crowned lorikeet, splendid fairy-wren (known colloquially as the “blue wren” due to the breeding male’s distinctive bright colouring) and white-breasted robin. You’re also likely to encounter other native animals such as brushtail possums and blue-tongue lizards.
Boranup gallery hosts an outstanding collection of fine wood furniture from premium and rare West Australian hardwoods such as jarrah, marri, karri, blackbutt and sheoak. It also features art from regional and national artists including paintings, glass works, ceramics, sculptures, wood turning, jewellery, metal work and more.
Where to eat
Boranup is nearby to the Margaret River wine region, where you are spoilt for choice with over 400 wineries and vineyards on your doorstep. Check out all the beautiful cellar doors, breweries and restaurants this region has to offer.
Vasse Felix was the first winery in Margaret River, established in 1967, and it has stood the test of time. They specialise in chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, while their modern Australian restaurant merges Asian flavours and techniques with native ingredients like kangaroo and saltbush.
For those looking to explore craft beer options, Rocky Ridge Brewing is the place to go. With an eco-friendly ethos and focus on collaboration, its cellar door is the best place to try their signature brews and new releases.
Where to stay
For those wishing to stay, Boranup has a small campsite which can house only seven tents or campervans. It’s perfect for a peaceful and serene experience under the stars.
For a more luxurious option, the Injidup Spa Retreat will be sure to satisfy. Consisting of 10 adults-only villas, each one is equipped with its own fireplace and private plunge pool (with ocean views)! Indulge in the in-house spa, with luxe packages including massages, facials and spa baths.
The Margaret River Guesthouse is a comfortable and charming b’n’b right near the centre of town. Housed in a historical building, it is the perfect place to base yourself from to explore everything the region has to offer.
Fly into Perth with Rex airlines.
Want to explore more of Australia’s spectacular rainforests? Check out our features on the Tarkine Rainforest and Gulaga National Park.