Famous for its world-renowned wine, the Margaret River region in Western Australia is also home to stunning beaches, mysterious caves and plenty of adventure.
1. Taste-test the region
Today, the Margaret River region is famous for producing world-class wines, however the area wasn’t well-known until the 1980s when local winery, Cape Mentelle, won a prestigious wine trophy. Now Margaret River is a wine lover’s paradise and one of the nation’s largest wine producers with more than 200 vineyards. It produces more than two per cent of Australia’s premium wine with varieties including sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and semillion. Stop off at one of the boutique wineries and cellar doors including Fraser Gallop Estate and Amelia Park Wines to sample the local vintages. Beer is celebrated here too, with Eagle Bay Brewing Co on Cape Naturaliste offering a tasty food menu and tanks in the brewery connected straight to the front-of-house tap.
2. Get out on the water
The area gets its name from the river that runs through this part of the country. Kayaking along Margaret River provides a chance to view the landscape from a unique perspective and marvel at native wildlife in their natural habitat. Join a guided tour with Margaret River Discovery Company, which takes guests across some of the region’s most beautiful and remote parts. From the river’s tranquil waters, you may be able to spot Baudin's black cockatoos. Sadly, these birds are predicted to become extinct in our lifetime, despite being prolific many years ago.
3. Go underground
The area south of Boranup Forest is home to some fascinating geological formations including Lake, Jewel and Mammoth Caves. Entering Lake Cave is like stepping into another world. Thousands of delicate stalactites and stalagmites adorn the ceiling caused by rainwater seeping into the limestone rock. The entrance to the cave was originally discovered by a local girl looking for cattle in 1867 though it took another 30 years for it to be fully explored. Make the most of the opportunity to see the sights of this magnificent natural wonder.
4. Learn about local history
A Cape to Cape walking tour at Bunker Bay north of the Margaret River township imparts knowledge about Aboriginal history and geological landforms. Follow the curved coastline to Busselton, where you can ride in the quaint carriages of a miniature train along Busselton Jetty, the second-longest in the world, which stretches almost two kilometres out to sea. At the end lies a treasure chest submerged amongst the bright coral: an underwater observatory. More than 300 species of marine life, including New Zealand fur seals, have been spotted here. Circle down the underwater concrete cylinder and marvel at fish and pretty tropical coral attached to the jetty pillars.
5. Explore a little further
Back above sea level and further north again along the coast toward Perth is Mandurah. Nicknamed Western Australia’s ‘Little Venice,’ restaurants and art galleries line Mandjar Bay. A meal overlooking the estuary is a must-do. The picturesque setting is often even more spectacular with a show of playful bottlenose dolphins. An hour’s drive will take you to Perth, a city well worth exploring. Join a walking tour with Two Feet & a Heartbeat. Local guides have an abundance of knowledge of Perth’s history, heritage, culture and architecture. Head to Elizabeth Quay and take a leisurely gondola excursion on the Swan River or, for something more thrilling, a jet boat ride with Wild West Charters will get your heart racing.