Top quality wine, world-class surf and international events have put the Margaret River Region on the map, but it’s the rest of the offering which keeps both Australian and overseas visitors coming back.
The Mediterranean climate which makes the region ideal for growing grapes and fine wine is also well suited to growing other produce too. The region in overflowing with locally-grown fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood and a whole host of providers selling anything from fudge and homemade ice cream to olive oil, tapenades and chutneys.
All of this is fringed by some of the most pristine coastline in the world. The picture-perfect, calm waters of Geographe Bay entice families and sunbathers, while the dramatic west-facing coastline between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin attracts surfers, kite boarders and those who love some action on the water.
Top that off with an extensive underground cave network, migrating whales, stunning wildflowers and it becomes visible why this region really does have so much to offer.
The Margaret River Wine Region
With a Mediterranean climate of cool frost-free winters, good soils, low summer rainfall and a long, slow ripening period, the conditions are near-perfect for grape growing. This was first discovered by Dr John Gladstone in 1967, when he highlighted the region’s suitability in his report "The Climate and Soils of Southern WA in Relation to Vine Growing". Following his recommendation, the first commercial vineyard was planted that same year. Within the space of just fifty years, the region has produced internationally acclaimed chardonnay, Semillon, sauvignon blanc, Riesling, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz, although cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay are the region’s flagship varieties. There’s more than 150 cellar doors to choose from, most of which are small, boutique operators. Interspersed between cellar doors are gourmet producers, restaurants and farms, making the region a truly gourmet getaway.
Top 10 things to do in the Margaret River Region
- Enjoy a few hours of indulgence over a long lunch at a winery restaurant. Many of the best chefs in the region work from winery restaurants, so you’re guaranteed a delicious meal, paired with world-class wine.
- Give surfing a go. Or stand up paddle boarding. There’s some great learner beaches for both.
- Walk or train to the end of the Busselton Jetty, and meet the fish under the jetty at the Underwater Observatory.
- Browse the beautiful boutiques of Dunsborough and Margaret River. There’s homewares, florists, clothing stores, great cafes and plenty of beautiful souvenirs.
- Picnic or camp among the karri trees in Boranup forest. The 12km Boranup Drive takes you through the beautiful forest and past the campsite. You can also access a carpark near Boranup Beach in a 2WD car, one of the region’s best beaches.
- Do a cellar door hop and taste the region’s premium produce on a winery or brewery tour. Make sure you elect a designated driver, or better yet, join a tour.
- Head underground on an adventure tour of the magical caves systems. There’s several show caves within the region and one that’s wheelchair accessible too.
- Walk a section of the Cape to Cape track (or all of it, if you’re game!) The trac runs 135km from Cape Naturaliste near Dunsborough, to Cape Leeuwin near Augusta.
- Head up the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Australia’s tallest mainland lighthouse, and see where the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean meet. You can also see migrating humpback whales during season.
- Watch the sun set over the ocean at Yallingup, dubbed the ‘place of love’.