Tucked away in the south-west corner of Western Australia, Margaret River is one of the country’s most famous wine producing regions — but it has so much more to offer.
With its wonderful restaurants, locally produced gourmet foods, stunning white beaches and ancient caves, Margaret River is an incredibly diverse travel destination, and perfect for a short break from Perth.
Here are ten top things to do in Margaret River.
Australia’s tallest mainland lighthouse, Cape Leeuwin is located at the southernmost point of Western Australia. Take in the breathtaking views of the Southern and Indian oceans. If you’re feeling fit, you might like to climb the many stairs to the top for a view as far as the eye can see.
Extending for almost two kilometres over the protected waters of Geographe Bay, the heritage-listed Busselton Jetty is the longest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. You can stroll all the way out to the end and back, chatting to local fishermen as you go. Alternatively, hitch a ride on the jaunty red tourist train that drops guests off at the Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory at the jetty’s ocean end. Hundreds of species of marine life have been spotted beneath Busselton Jetty, and the observatory provides a unique window on this watery wonderland. You may even be lucky enough to spot a mermaid (courtesy of Southwest Mermaids). The heritage boat sheds as the beach end of the jetty are at their Instagrammable best at dawn and dusk.
With the beautiful aroma of fresh coffee hitting your senses the moment you walk through the door, Yahava KoffeeWorks is a must-visit for caffeine connoisseurs. The staff will gladly explain the story behind the origin of your choice of beans.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? So make sure you stop by the Margaret River Chocolate Company. At the company’s original factory in Margaret River, you’ll be greeted with free tasting bowls of white, milk and dark chocolate. There’s a café on site too and my tip is to try their hot chocolate. It’s heaven in a glass!
The Cape to Cape Track is a 140 kilometre coastal walk through the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. It takes six days to do the whole track, but there’s a great two-hour option along a small part of the stunning coast. The trek is unbelievably beautiful. The deep blue of the ocean and the lush green landscape make you feel at one with nature.
The Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is just as amazing underground as it is above! The Ngilgi Cave at Yallingup is steeped in Indigenous tradition and is one of the most popular caves to explore. Book a standard semi-guided tour or take things a step (or perhaps a crawl!) further on a fully guided caving adventure deep underground.
Margaret River’s beaches stretch all the way from Yallingup to Cape Leeuwin. There are lots of options for surfing lessons. If you are lucky enough to be around in April, check out the Margaret River Pro at Surfers Point.
For a cheeky brew, check out Cheeky Monkey Brewery. This has to be one of the most picturesque beer gardens anywhere. Not sure which beer to taste? Well, that’s easy — order a tasting paddle and try a bit of everything!
The fresh produce in Margaret River is nothing short of mind-blowing. If you want to meet some of the farmers and other producers responsible, head for the Margaret River Farmers’ Market. It happens every Saturday morning.
Those looking to taste some of the Margaret River region’s top drops will be spoilt for choice. There are around 180 wineries to choose from. Here are two recommendations.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just love easy-drinking wine, add Leeuwin Estate to your Margaret River to-do list. As you walk in there’s a long wooden bar and friendly staff ready to help you choose the best drop to suit your palate. Wonderful food and wine tours of the estate are also an option.
The award-winning Sandalford Wines is one of the oldest family owned wineries in the region. With prices from only $14 a bottle, it’s affordable and there’s something to suit every taste.
If you prefer to leave the choice of cellar doors that you visit in the hands of an expert, book a Margaret River wine and food tour.
Rebecca Ruiz is a Perth-based freelance writer and life coach.
Do you have any suggestions to add to this list of ten top things to do in Margaret River? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
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