Waterfalls, wineries and caves compete for your attention in this devilishly handsome corner of the world.
A three-hour drive south of Perth, this accessible wine region has long been a favourite among holidaymakers seeking a beach break or gourmet getaway. While many plan their trip to revolve around wining and dining (and why wouldn’t you), that’s not to say this cruisy little pocket of WA has nothing more to offer.
Margaret River is full of surprising things to do, like getting up close to stingrays in Hamelin Bay. (Image: Tourism WA/ @ospreycreative)
From kid-friendly cave tours to beautiful surf beaches, award-winning gin distilleries, idyllic country breweries, hidden waterfalls, and even a dedicated chocolate cafe, you’re sure to find more than enough to keep everyone entertained. Read on for 19 of the best things to do in Margaret River.
The youngest wine region in Australia is packed with boutique and progressive wineries producing some of the country’s best expressions of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, with innovative and welcoming cellar doors to match, and some inviting winery restaurants too.
Margaret River is packed with boutique and progressive wineries to explore. (Image: Tourism WA)
1. Glenarty Road, Karridale
Come for the wine, stay for the farmgate experiences at this Karridale winery.
Meet the sheep at Glenarty Road. (Image: Russel Ord)
Rustic charm spills out the door at Glenarty Road, which is renowned for its warm country hospitality, its farm-to-fork feasts, its ‘wild wines’, and its easy farmhouse chic.
Glenarty Road winery oozes rustic charm. (Image: Alex Butler)
2. Howard Park, Cowaramup
With a wildly modern cellar door – think lofty ceilings, minimalist design and textural design elements – this Cowaramup scene-stealer is an obvious inclusion on any Margaret River wine touring itinerary.
Howard Park deserves a plum spot on your Margaret River winery list. (Image: Paris Hawken Photography)
Sign up for a tasting and sample Howard Park’s stellar range of méthode traditionelle sparkling while in the very capable hands of the winery’s friendly yet knowledgeable staff.
Howard Park’s modern cellar door is a sight to behold. (Image: Paris Hawken Photography)
3. Vasse Felix, Wilyabrup
The Margaret River region’s founding winery, Vasse Felix is hard to beat. Explore the winery’s history and heritage with a tour of The Vault, which houses every vintage of cabernet sauvignon ever made there, or journey to the future at the winery’s restaurant, which showcases local, seasonal produce in its artful platings of Modern Australian cuisine.
Landscape views of Vasse Felix vineyard.
Margaret River’s brewery scene is in full bloom: from bohemian in-town brew houses to bucolic breweries hidden away in the bush, the hills are seemingly alive with hops.
The hills are seemingly alive with hops in Margaret River, as Wild Hop Brewery can attest.
4. Margaret River Brewhouse, Margaret River
Known as much for its impressive food as its beers, Margaret River Brewhouse is a local institution that can seemingly do no wrong.
Relax on the deck at Margaret River Brewhouse. (Image: Jessica Wyld)
Locals and out-of-towners alike rave about the red duck leg curry, beer battered Spanish mackerel and free-range chicken wings, all of which are best washed down with one of the many house-brewed beers.
Order up a serving of the crowd-pleasing duck curry. (Image: Jessica Wyld)
There’s a bohemian-chic vibe to the place, super friendly staff manning the taps, and a small playground for kids too.
Margaret River Brewhouse is renowned for its food as much as its beers. (Image: Jessica Wyld)
5. Rocky Ridge Brewing Co, Busselton
Located just a block from Busselton Jetty, within the former family home of its owners – the Coates family – this taphouse is in a plum spot.
Discover why Rocky Ridge Brewing Co. has amassed a cult following.
Although it’s only been open since 2019 Rocky Ridge Brewing Co has already amassed quite the cult following, and rightfully so: the Coates family is serious about beer, but they’re pretty serious about sustainability too.
Their Jindong brewery is completely off-grid and achieved carbon-neutral status in 2021, and even features a water recycling plant.
Expect an exceptional brew every time at this Busselton taproom.
6. Wild Hop Brewing Company, Yallingup
You’d struggle to find a dreamier setting than that of Wild Hop Brewing Company, nuzzled in the Yallingup hills.
For the best seat in the house, sit on the terrace at Wild Hop Brewing Company.
Bifold doors and floor-to-ceiling windows in almost every direction capitalise on the unblemished views over the surrounding bushland and dam, and there’s a sizable terrace shaded by trees.
Soak up those views by the dam with a cold one.
Nab a table by the water, plant your feet in the grass and knock back a tasting paddle of the house’s batch brews, which are constantly changing.
Order a tasting paddle to really get the full experience. (Image: Jennifer Morton)
While the Margaret River doesn’t feature half as many gin distilleries as it does wineries and breweries, the few that have set up shop here number among the best in Australia, with a litany of awards to their name.
7. The West Winds Gin Distillery, Cowaramup
Showcasing Australia’s unique botanicals is the overarching raison d’etre at this Margaret River gin distillery. West Winds’ wide range of gins (seven and counting) feature everything from banksia honey to Davidson plums, native thyme, lemon myrtle, cinnamon myrtle, strawberry gum leaves, sloe berries, sea parsley and even native bush tomatoes, much of which are sourced directly from Indigenous growers. The team’s new distillery and tavern is set to open in Cowaramup by October 2022.
8. Margaret River Distilling Company, Margaret River Town
If graduating from ‘Giniversity’ with honours is on your to-do list then make a beeline for the Margaret River Distilling Company, which was among the first in Australia to produce gin.
The Margaret River Distilling Company was among the first in Australia to produce gin.
Play distiller for the day by signing up for the blending class, which takes you through the history of gin, shows you how to make it, and lets you sample the Giniversity range before designing and blending your own bespoke recipe.
Sign up for the blending class to discover the art of distilling gin.
The distillery is just on the cusp of Margaret River town and offers tastings and cocktails to boot.
Sample the Ginversity range at Margaret River Distilling Co.
Whether you’re looking to surf, sunbake, swim, or simply survey the action from a beachside cafe, these are some of the best stretches of coastline to visit in the Margaret River region.
Margaret River is home to an array of beautiful beaches. (Image: Tourism WA)
9. Gnarabup Beach, Prevelly
Not only is Gnarabup Beach home to a rather enticing arc of bone-white sand, but it also has a cafe that features front-row seats over the action.
Plant yourself at Gnarabup Beach.
White Elephant Cafe is the perfect spot to sit and soak up the beauty of Gnarabup Beach.
White Elephant underwent a facelift in September 2022 and is as schmick as they come (hello roaring fireplace, banquette seating, and blonde timber accents).
Dreary days can still be beach days when you visit the White Elephant Cafe at Gnarabup Beach. (Image: Driftwood Photography)
10. Injidup Beach, Yallingup
A little off the beaten track, you won’t have to share this stretch of silica with many other souls. Part of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Injidup is known as a bit of a local haunt for keen surfers, with three different breaks – ‘Car Parks’ is said to be the most consistent, while some argue that ‘Pea Break’ is the best, and ‘The Point’ is one of the region’s few surf breaks that is relatively offshore.
Get off the beaten track and visit Injidup Beach. (Image: Tourism WA)
11. Hamelin Bay
This sheltered bay is a bit of an all-rounder, its calm waters are ideal for swimming, snorkelling and fishing. But beyond the more typical draws, Hamelin Bay is also known as a hub for stingrays, which cruise the shallow turquoise water, often within inches of curious spectators.
Be amazed by the curious stingrays of Hamelin Bay. (Image: Tourism WA)
A welcome yet unexpected surprise for many visitors, Margaret River plays host to more than 100 limestone caves, of which seven are open to the public.
The limestone caves of Margaret River are one of the more unexpected activities you can do in the region. (Image: Tourism WA)
12. Lake Cave
Ethereally beautiful, Lake Cave is as intriguing to explore outside as it is in: you’ll enter through the base of an enormous sinkhole, carpeted with layers of greenery, and wander into an underground wonderland, with ‘floating’ karst formations hovering above a lake.
Admire the ‘floating’ karst formations hovering above a lake inside Lake Cave.
13. Ngilgi Cave, Yallingup
Unlike many of the other caves in the region, visits to Ngilgi are semi-guided, which means that after learning more about the cave and its place in local history, you’re free to explore at your own pace.
Take a guided tour of Ngilgi Cave. (Image: Tourism WA)
Little ones, in particular, will love this Margaret River attraction, which features a junior explorer’s tunnel.
Adults and kids alike will marvel at the formations inside Ngilgi Cave. (Image: Tourism WA)
14. Jewel Cave, Augusta
A surreal subterranean space, Jewel Cave is the biggest of its kind open to the public in the state, with three rather gargantuan chambers. Surrounded by Karri forest, the site is beautiful both below and above ground. Fully guided one-hour tours reveal the cave’s geological splendours, from helictites to cave coral, pendulites and some super-sized stalactites.
Explore the chambers of Jewel Cave, the biggest of its kind open to the public in WA. (Image: Tourism WA)
Looking for something to do in Margaret River in winter? Go chasing waterfalls. These two natural beauties are best viewed in the thick of winter, or after heavy rainfall.
15. Qunninup Falls, Wilyabrup
Among the more challenging to reach, a visit to Qunninup Falls is best attempted by those who are physically fit. It takes around 45 minutes to walk to the falls and almost an hour to walk back, and traverses sand dunes and clifftops blanketed in coastal heathland and wildflowers.
16. Yalgardup Waterfall, Margaret River
Also known as Kevill Road, this easily accessible waterfall is a serene spot to potter around and listen to the soothing white noise produced by the small cascade. Trace the path of this languorous creek to enjoy the leafy setting for a little longer.
Sit by the tranquil Yalgardup Waterfall.
Margaret River food
Food is a definite forte in this lush and fertile pocket of WA. Whether you’re creating your own shortlist of the region’s best restaurants ahead of a getaway, or you’re already in situ and trying to think of what to do in the Margaret River, these foodie experiences promise to hit the mark.
17. The Margaret River Chocolate Company, Metricup
This award-winning chocolatier may have outlets in Perth’s CBD and the Swan Valley, but the Margaret River location was its first and the site of its original factory.
Stop by the original factory at The Margaret River Chocolate Company. (Image: Tourism WA)
Visit The Margaret River Chocolate Company for free tastings and an opportunity to watch all kinds of confections being made through the viewing window. There’s also a chocolate cafe on site peddling both sweet and savoury bites.
Taste the goods at this award-winning chocolatier. (Image: Tourism WA)
18. Margaret River Farmers’ Market, Margaret River town
Pick up a cup of coffee from the Kombi van’s window, peruse the cornucopia of local produce, and snack on a pastry or two as you do the rounds at this award-winning farmers’ market. Held in town every Saturday morning, it’s a shortcut to feeling like a local.
Spend a Saturday morning perusing the local produce at the award-winning Margaret River Farmers’ Market. (Image: Tourism WA)
19. Meelup Farmhouse, Eagle Bay
Part restaurant, part hobby farm, this dreamy Dunsborough venue ticks several boxes and is great for families in particular. Savour a wholesome brunch made from hyperlocal ingredients, or enjoy a house-made picnic hamper on the lawn before dropping in to say hi to Meelup Farmhouse’s family of Alpacas, silkie chooks, and highland cow, Lizzie.
For more insider tips and inspiration, see our ultimate travel guide to Margaret River.