Photo Essay: Margaret River Region in 10 Must Do Experiences

The place to live your greatest passions every day - fine food, wine, surf and nature.

The one thing that will drive you to make the easy three and a half hour drive south of Perth to Margaret River, at any time of year, is the prospect of indulging as many of your passions as possible in a single day.

It’s the only wine region in Australia where you can start your day surfing some of the best big-wave breaks on Earth; then spend a few hours sampling award-winning premium wines and the gourmet creations of top-rated producers and chefs; and still have time for some extraordinary marine life encounters, a hike through the tall-timber forests, or an adventure into ancient caves.

A trip to Margaret River’s stunning coast in the warmer months, between September and May, often brings the added bonus of some shore-based dolphin watching. These playful marine mammals regularly ride the surf in the early morning and late afternoon.

Heading inland to the rolling vineyards, you’ll find some of Australia’s top-rated artisans and chefs drawing inspiration from the region’s finest fresh produce to bring you brunch, lunch, wine tastings, afternoon teas, cheese platters, sweet sensations and degustation dinners. And it’s quite possible that they’ll be served up with breathtaking views of the ocean, vineyards and forested valleys.

In the late afternoon, take a drive down to Hamelin Bay for more extraordinary marine encounters, watching the giant stingrays gracefully glide through the clear shallows as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.

Waking up to that view and deciding which premium cellar doors to visit

A stay at the Injidup Spa Retreat near Yallingup puts you in one of the most spectacular, luxurious and tranquil settings – high above the Indian Ocean and just a few minutes’ drive from some of Margaret River’s premium wineries and award-winning restaurants.

Escaping to a private country residence to indulge your inner foodie at Cape Lodge, Yallingup

Your boutique country house hotel has its own award-winning restaurant surrounded by its own vineyard, in the heart of the Margaret River premium wine region. Taste the exquisite flavours carefully selected from the ocean, local farms, the kitchen garden and wineries near and far.

Feeling dwarfed by the karri tree giants in Boranup Forest

Walk or drive this enchanted valley of tall pale-barked karri trees that rise up to 60 metres from the forest floor. Local lookout platforms give you the most majestic views, especially in October and November when the forest is filled with blooms of wildflowers.

Letting the Stingrays tickle your feet at Hamelin Bay

Watching stingrays cruise gracefully by just metres from your feet.

With a wing span of up to two metres, the friendly stingrays of Hamelin Bay make a visit to this sweeping pristine beach extra special. Enter the clear turquoise water for a snorkel, and you may also encounter more marine life in the bay.

See the humpbacks at play – breaching, spy hopping and tail slapping at Dunsborough

Catch the tail-end of one of the longest whale migrations in the world. Join the humpbacks and their newly-born calves in Geographe Bay between September and December, when they take a rest stop to play in the sheltered waters of Geographe Bay.

Stopping to catch your breath on one of the most diverse walking trails on Earth

The 135-kilometre Cape to Cape track between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in the far south west of Western Australia brings ever-changing scenery – from pristine white sandy bays and dramatic coastal heaths and headlands, to tall-tree forests filled with spring wildflowers. You can tackle the track in one, or get a taste over a short section in a few hours.

Meeting the surfing winemakers who call Margaret River home

Margaret River is the only wine region in Australia where it’s possible to indulge your passion for premium wine, food and surf in one place. Spend the early morning catching powerful world-class breaks, and the rest of your day hopping between cellar doors and award-winning restaurants.

Dining with the world’s top-rated chefs and watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean

The Margaret River beaches are a striking setting for a barbecue, especially on the opening night of the Gourmet Escape, Margaret River. Every November, this event draws world-class chefs and seekers of premium wines and fine food to the Margaret River region to taste and feast.

Taking a bushwalk through the superfood market of the ancient Noongar people

There are six seasons in the Noongar calendar, and each brings a unique tasting of native bush foods, flavours and traditional medicines. Take a guided tour of Australia’s superfoods in Yallingup and learn the difference between the emu and the emu plum.

Take a moment of quiet reflection in the stillness of an underground world

Descend from the ancient forest into one of the most stunning caves in Australia. As you enter Lake Cave, a light show highlights the many striking limestone features, perfectly mirrored in the lake below. There’s also the opportunity to experience the stillness of complete underground darkness.

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Feature An In Depth Perspective Artisan Home, Meet Margaret River Township

Margaret River manages to retain a small town feel even though it’s gone from being relatively unknown to a name that people from London to Los Angeles know for wine, surf and a pristine environment that still inspires awe in me daily. Local Max Brearley dishes the inside knowledge on Margaret River Township.

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