Margaret River Destination Guide
People from all corners of the globe visit Margaret River for its pristine beaches, prehistoric caves, world-class cuisine, whale watching experiences and towering forests of ancient trees. But there is no argument when it comes to the region’s most famous draw card: its wine. The climate and soil of the Margaret River region provide the perfect conditions for growing a number of wine grape varieties, and vino lovers will be spoiled for choice with more than 95 wineries and cellar doors to visit during their stay. An easy 3-hour drive south of Perth, Margaret River is among the top must-visit locations within stunning Western Australia.
Celebrating the diversity of nature is the name of the game in the Margaret River region. Kick things off with a unique wilderness experience, venturing underground to explore some of the 150 limestone caves beneath the Leeuwin-Naturaliste ridge.
Then move on to the magnificent Boranup Karri Forest, where breathtaking karri trees stand at more than 60 metres tall. Surf lovers will relish the swells at the beaches off Cape Naturaliste Road, while the region’s famed whale watching tours will get you up close to these magnificent marine mammals during whale-watching season (June through to November).
And, of course, you must sample the region’s top drops. Join a winery tour and enjoy sitting back, relaxing and letting the experts lead you to some of the finest cellar doors in the world.
Foodies, you have come to the right place. From casual beachside eats to fine dining winery restaurants, Margaret River chefs place a high importance on using fresh local produce to really make their dishes shine. Sample the restaurants, pubs and cafés at some of the region’s key townships including Margaret River, Dunsborough, Busselton and Augusta. Or make a beeline straight to the wineries for dining amongst the vineyards – though it’s worth noting that many wineries only open for lunch, with a few serving dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, so make enquiries in advance.
Local wines naturally feature heavily on restaurant menus, with chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon drops being the most widely esteemed. Beer enthusiasts, you haven’t been forgotten – there are a number of excellent craft breweries throughout the region for you to explore and enjoy.
Where to Stay
The Margaret River region offers an excellent and diverse range of accommodation, with luxury hotels, hideaway retreats, cosy B&Bs, chalets, villas and even ‘glamping’ tents all on the cards. The hard choice is deciding whether you want to stay by the beach, among the vineyards, deep in the wilderness or out in the open air of the countryside. Around the Margaret River township you’ll find a mix of luxury lodges and eco retreats as well as woodland chalets and a few historic houses converted into chic modern hotels. Dunsborough is also popular for its stunning location and luxury resorts right on the beach.
Shoppers seeking unique treasures, mementos and gifts will be very pleased with the Margaret River region – this place is all about atmospheric boutiques and independently-run shops rather than run-of-the-mill shopping centres and chain stores.
Gourmet foods, quality clothing, books and vintage treasures can all be found in the charming shops around Margaret River town, Dunsborough and Busselton. What’s more, many of the local cellar doors have their own little adjoining shops where you can take your pick of wine-related goodies and souvenirs.
Margaret River like a Local
What better way to mingle with the locals than to pop down to the Margaret River Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning? This is the place to see just how passionate the Margaret River locals are about fresh produce. It’s a popular spot for breakfast so come early with an empty stomach and then wander around the stalls to hand pick freshly baked goods, cheeses, chocolates, fruits and veggies, freshly laid eggs, jams, olive oils and local grass-fed beef.