Diverse and beautiful, Margaret River is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Located 3 hours drive south of Perth, Margaret River is another lush green world compared to the dry arid conditions of the rest of the state. Here you will find some of the best surf in Australia, ancient and mystifying caves and more internationally acclaimed wineries than you can shake a stick at.
Uncharacteristically of WA all of the activities are within close distance. And I don't mean close distance in the Australian way (when they mean an hours' drive), they are actually all within 10 minutes drive. Having your own vehicle is definitely a must to explore the region, plus the roads are a driver's dream - twisting and turning through the forests, farms and vineyards.
What to do
This region is renowned for it's wine and the number one activity is, of course, wine tasting. There are a ridiculous amount of wineries to choose from all offering free wine tasting from very knowledgeable wine connoisseurs. A couple of recommendations are Providore, Knee Deep and Capel Vale for a more up market sophisticated experience.
Sample Gastronomic Delights
Along with the critically acclaimed wine, Margaret River is abundant with great food, some of which you can sample for free. Top of the list is The Margaret River Chocolate Factory (and unfortunately it does not resemble Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) but you can help yourself to handfuls of tasty chocolate and peak through the window to the factory. Also, get yourself to the The Margaret River Cheese Company producing some fantastic cheese and yogurt.
Catch a Break
From Cape Naturaliste 135km down to Augusta there are waves for everyone. Check out this summary of all the surf breaks.
Infamous Gracetown recently saw a monster 18 meter wave take out surf champion Justin Holland and crushed his leg to pieces in which he described as 'totally worth it'! So Australian!
Explore Ancient Caves
The region has multiple natural limestone caves so depending on which way you are heading you can choose one on route. We were really impressed with Mammoth Cave which, as the name suggests, is pretty huge! The installed lighting makes it all the more dramatic. Opt for the self-guided audio tour to learn some interesting facts about the region and the fossils found here. Entrance is $22.50.
Where to stay
High End - Hilltop Studios
A stay at the Hilltop Studios will make you want to live here forever. The studios and the surrounds are so gorgeous and tranquil located in a valley between Margaret River and the beach. One night from $250.
Mid-range - Darby Park Serviced Residents
Located in Margaret River town, Darby Park Serviced Residents is walking distance to all the bars, restaurants and shops. The apartments are beautifully presented and everything you could possibly need for self catering is provided. One night from $185.Low-end - Prevelly Caravan Park
This campsite is located right next to Prevelly Beach with a range of self contained cottages, cabins, powered and unpowered camping sites. One night from $12 per person.
Where to eat
Margaret River is a consumer’s heaven and you are guaranteed to walk away from a day exploring the region with good wine, tasty cheese and delicious chocolate perfect for a picnic. In my opinion, skip a crowded meal in town and opt for a romantic picnic somewhere beautiful. In summer pick a spot at Surfers Point overlooking the ocean or the hilltop watching the kangaroos. In winter, cosy up next to a fire and watch the stormy skies.
I absolutely love Margaret River and find more to do every single time we visit. I'd love to know your recommendations for the region.
À la perchoine, Jodie