Your Ultimate Guide to

Margaret River

Margaret River is a triple threat of fine dining, world-renowned wine country and such enviable surf-breaks that it marks a stop on the World Surf League World Championship Tour, all while still retaining its country town charm.

 

To capitalise on all this splendour the region plays host to a number of events to cater to lovers of good food amongst stunning scenery but even if you visit out of season there’s something for everyone in this Western Australian idyll.

 

Read on for our guide to enjoying the ultimate Margaret River escape.

Getting there

Margaret River is just under 3 hours drive from Perth, which, by Australian standards, is a medium level drive. The benefit of travelling this way is it provides ample opportunities to stop in the charming towns of Busselton and the stunning crystal clear waters if Geographe Bay in Dunsborough.

 

The region is also serviced daily by domestic and international airlines, as well as South West Coach Lines from Perth’s Elizabeth Quay Bus Station.

Top Things to See and Do in Margaret River

Discover Caves

Majestic, ancient and a little bit wild; beneath Margaret River’s wineries and beaches are some of the world’s most awe-inspiring cave chambers just waiting to be explored. See the megafauna fossils in Mammoth Cave or walk beneath the ‘suspended table’ of spectacular crystal stalactites in Lake Cave or visit the stalactite star of Jewel Cave Augusta which houses some of the largest formations in the known world.

Experience the Best Bays

There’s no shortage of stunning coastal in Western Australia but Margaret River region lays claim to some 75 renowned surf breaks along 130km of pristine white sand. But those looking for low-key waves will love the protected Hamelin Bay Beach, which is home to a multitude of marine life including friendly sting rays slowly soaring through the tranquil turquoise waters. Castle Rock Bay is another popular spot for families, offering wheelchair access and gas BBQs providing a perfect spot for a day of swimming, whale watching and relaxing.

Walking & Hiking

From easy eye-opening strolls along the coast to majestic multi-day marches, arguably the best way to get up close and personal with Margaret River’s natural beauty is to walk amongst it. Big Brook Trail, Pine Tree Trail and Old Chimney Trail circuits each begin at Carters Road Trail Head and explore the lush jarrah woodlands that surround the town. While the Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock track covers a 3.5km portion of the famous Cape To Cape Trail and showcases some of the most scenic coastline in the region (as well as uninterrupted of views of whale migrations from June to October each year).

Wine & Dine Yourself Silly

There are about 215 vineyards in Margaret River and some 187 wineries serving up awarded Rieslings, Rose and Chardonnay and everything in between. Enough for multiple return visits, we say. Start with the regions founding estate Vasse Felix, which has more to show off than it’s Sauvingnon Blanc, including an art gallery, award-winning restaurant and modern minimalist architecture. The main course in Margaret River’s calendar is served up each November when some of the world’s top chefs gather for the Margret River Gourmet Escape. This three-day foodie extravaganza which has seen the likes of Noma’s Rene Redzepi and Momofuku’s David Chang serve up sumptuous feasts along the sand.

Soak Up The Surf Scene

You don’t need to know your Blue Crush from your Point Break to revel in Margaret River’s spectacular surfing culture. From around April to June (depending on competition dates) the town plays host to the best of the surfing world for the Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the World Surf League Championship Tour. The event sees the region swell with fans delighted to be sitting next to the likes of Kelly Slater during lunch at Morries.

Best Places to Stay in Margaret River

Luxury Accommodation

From rural relaxation to plush interiors, luxury can mean many things in Margaret River. Those looking for a restorative stay will love the immaculately designed villas of the Injidup Spa Retreat, located conveniently along the iconic Cape To Cape track.

 

Or stay at the Pullman Bunker Bay for large-scale luxe in a village-like setting, ideal for those who’ve already explored the wineries and are keen to simply camp out and enjoy the pristine national park that surround the hotel.

B&Bs

Sometimes you just crave the comforts of home and Margaret River Guesthouse has been awarded for its personal attention and historical charm, as well as the central location 2 minutes from the town centre. For a traditional take on B&B luxury book into Cape Lodge country house and explore its English-style gardens, manicured to perfection.

Motels

When convenience counts you can count on one of Margaret River’s many centrally located motels to hit the spot. Choose Vintages Margaret River Motel to tick the boxes for budget contemporary décor and ideal location, situated a very short drive from Voyager Estate and Leeuwin Estate wineries. The Grange On Farrelly is ideal for families thanks to its location just 4 minutes walk from the town centre and range of on-site activities such as tennis courts, outdoor pool and BBQ areas.

Where to Eat in Margaret River

Relaxed dining

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between, Morries opens at 7.30am and doesn’t stop serving up Brekkie Burgers and Bloody Marys until late into the evening, no wonder it’s such a popular meeting spot for locals and international surf stars alike. Another venue making serious waves is White Elephant Café in Gnarabup, just 13 minutes from Margaret River town and situated right over the white sands of Gnarabup Beach. The menu here might be all about simple Aussie classics of baked eggs and avocado and fetta toast but it comes with a side of the most spectacular view you’ll ever enjoy with your morning latte.

Fine dining

You won’t struggle to find a world-class feed anywhere along Margaret River but you’ll find the highest concentration of awards and medals along the Caves Road winery strip. Here you’ll find Vasse Felix, which as well as holding the title as the region’s first winery, also maintains position as one of the finest foodie venues around. Along with Cape Lodge Restaurant which leads the pack for its innovative menu influenced by Spain, North Africa and, of course, WA.

 

About 20 minutes north you’ll find Voyager Estate, which puts just as much emphasis on its food as it does its wines. Think ultra-attentive service, a regionally inspired menu to ensure optimum freshness, all served up with Michelin-star level presentation. You’ll need to book in advance to secure a table but you know what they say about good things coming to those who wait.

Tours and Packages in Margaret River

All ages and stages will love the Margaret River Stand Up Paddle tour, a 90-minute journey from Chapman Pool through the scenic Blackwood National Forest.

 

Losari Retreat offers a Horsemanship Package from $1370 for two adults and two children in the Luxe Spa Villa, or $1230 in the Garden Villa.