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Cellar doors, boutique hotels and seaside adventures are just the start of the things to do in the Margaret River. The ultimate mini-break for Perth’s city dwellers and 220km south of Perth, the Margaret River Region spans 100 kilometres from Busselton to Augusta. Apart from 100s of cellar doors and restaurants), the region holds many charms to keep visitors coming back for more.

Thrill seekers return time and time again for treks, cycling, caving, swimming, canoeing and surfing. Creatives visit for a culture fix of art, film, literature, music, photography and festivals. Wine, beer, spirits and food trails keep the gourmands satisfied while those seeking relaxation can’t resist immersing themselves in nature, beaches and day spas. Then there’s the scenery with towering marri and karri forests and a pristine coastline sprawling for over 120 kilometres of glorious cliffs and beaches.

Seaside Adventures

With over 120 kilometres of rugged coastline and dramatic clifftops punctuating the azure sea, discover your own deserted beach or head to the popular Meelup Beach, Gracetown, Bunker Bay and Hamelin Bay. The Margaret River Pro returns in April 2023, and you can learn the art yourself at a surfing school at Yallingup and Redgate beaches. For a different perspective, join a tour company like Naturaliste Charters and float along the craggy cliffs and coves millions of years old, home to New Zealand fur seals, penguins and dolphins. From September to December, witness migrating southern right, humpback and rare blue whales. Or dive, snorkel or sea walk among over 300 marine species beneath the historic Busselton Jetty, unless you prefer to take the train for 1.84km to the observatory without getting your feet wet.

Gourmet Shopping

Travellers seeking fresh produce could spend days visiting outlets, farms and towns sourcing truffles, cheese, marron, oysters, abalone, venison, preserves, nuts, vinegar, olive oil, handmade chocolate, coffee, wood-fired bread, ice cream, lamb, beef, yabbies, lollies and berries. Let’s not forget the region’s burgeoning breweries, cideries and distilleries. With an abundance of fresh and local produce available, the Providore (Wilyabrup), Origin Markets (Busselton) and Gourmet Food Merchant (Cowaramup) are destinations in themselves. Seek out the freshest produce on Saturday mornings at the Margaret River Farmers Market. Unless you have your fresh produce delivered to your accommodation from Gathered Organics or collect your customised box from their outlets in Margaret River, Witchcliffe, Karridale and Cowaramup.

Wine Tasting

The region’s Mediterranean climate and gravelly loam soil draw tens of thousands of wine lovers worldwide each year. Over 65 of the 100 wineries have received Halliday ratings, ranging from rustic sheds to sprawling estates with vistas galore along with restaurants, workshops, galleries, tours, exclusive tastings and accommodation. The only difficulty is choosing which cellar doors to visit, so pick one region to explore and meander at leisure. Collect a map from a visitor’s centre and plan out your own itinerary, or join a tour company like South West Chauffeured Escapes or Harvest Tours. Alternatively, organise for South West Winos to deliver your favourite drops to your self-contained accommodation.

Annual Festivals

The coastal landscape, magical forests and rural plains are an irresistible drawcard for creatives and artisans, attracting a jammed-packed line-up of annual festivals. While many galleries are open year-round, don’t miss the Margaret River Region Open Studios during September, where local artists open their homes and studios to visitors. After just one visit, you’ll appreciate why this annual event won a 2022 gold award in the Festivals and Events Category in the 50th WA Tourism Awards. CinefestOZ returns in August 2023 with immersive film screenings and experiences at the region’s cinemas, wineries, breweries, bars and galleries. Storytelling is embraced every May at the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival. In January, the circus comes to town at the Karnidale Circus Festival, and an incredible line-up of guitar talent performs at the Strings Attached: The West Australian Guitar Festival in October.

Caving Adventures

Discovered in 1899, Yallingup (the aboriginal word for place of love) became a favourite tourist destination thanks to its caves formed approximately one million years ago beneath the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge. Discovered in 1899, honeymooners and lovers once camped out in the exquisite Ngilgi Cave, and nowadays, extensive boardwalks and lighting make exploring this wonderland much easier. Visitors have been flocking ever since for the stalactites, stalagmites, shawl formations and fossils in Lake Cave, Mammoth Cave and Jewel Cave, the largest with three massive chambers featuring an impressive stalagmite known as the Karri Forest.

Wellness Activities 

You might forget how to get home after a massage or treatment at the Bodhi Yallingup Spa or a sound session at Uniquely Balanced. Now you’re at one with yourself and nature, return to your glamping accommodation or the self-sustainable eco-luxury Barn Hives resort. Before resuming to the horizontal position, make a pitstop at Glenarty Road where farm-to-table and ground-to-glass isn’t just a concept; it’s a reality for this fifth-generation farm producing small-batch wine, grass-fed meats, house-made charcuterie and a productive kitchen garden. Completely lose all sense of reality with an immersive four-day yoga and wellness retreat with tour company Untamed Escapes, where discovering Margaret River’s many hidden spots is all part of the journey.

Indigenous Stories

Songs, stories, spirituality and dreams are at the heart of the traditional owners of the land and their connection to the region dates back 60,000 years. The Noongar people once lived off the land, and some still do, by hunting various game, including kangaroo, emu, yabbies and an extensive range of edible wild plants. The land remains of immense significance to the Wadandi (Saltwater) People and you too can delve into their ancient customs on a Koomal Dreaming Cultural Tour.

Cape to Cape

Traverse the 135-kilometre Cape to Cape Walk between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin along the stunning coastline, across calf-pumping beaches and into magical forests through sky-scraping karri and marri trees. Day trekkers can independently join the trail at any point, as the walk can be completed in sections. Camp along the track or make your way to your accommodation at the end of each day, either on foot or arrange for transportation. Unless you leave the logistics to someone else and join a guided tour like Cape to Cape Explorer Tours or Walk into Luxury, which also showcases the region’s food, wine and luxury accommodation – in that order.

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