Margaret River is renowned for its premium wine area but also is the place for indulging in many other passions. It’s the only wine region in Australia where you can hop from award-winning wineries and restaurants to stunning beaches, tall-timber forests, world-class surf breaks and ancient caves.
Rolling vineyards sit against a backdrop of ocean and forest and the mild weather and abundant sunshine has helped Margaret River evolve from a chilled-out surfie town into a popular base for enjoying the region’s fine flavours and spectacular scenery.
Much of Australia’s premium wine is produced from the abundant vineyards where the tastings are top notch. There are over 100 wineries plus a wide choice of many fine restaurants, boutique breweries, art galleries and fresh produce. If you time your visit to coincide with the annual wine and food festivals you’ll get to savour many of these flavours in one hit.
Margaret River is known internationally as one of the best big-wave surfing locations on earth. Its consistently spectacular breaks are spread over 40 top spots along the coast with conditions ranging from powerful reef breaks to fun beach surf. Although tourists usually outnumber locals, Margaret River still feels like a country town.
Winter months bring pods of migrating whales, while the spectacular tingle trees of Walpole’s Valley of the Giants are more super-sized evidence of nature’s wonder.
On our recent trip to the west Alan and I hired a car for a quick trip to this beautiful South West corner of Australia. We stopped at Busselton to stroll the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere and there is a train that takes you to the underwater observatory over a kilometre out to sea.
We also drove to Cape Leeuwin, the most south westerly point of Australia. The wild and windy Cape is where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet and lived up to its reputation – it was blowing a gale, we didn’t venture far from the car but managed to take in the magnificent views.