With top quality wine, artisan food producers, rugged coastline and world class surf beaches the Margaret River region packs an amazing amount of attractions into a small area. From Geographe Bay in the north the Cape Naturaliste Rd leads to the lovely beaches of Meelup, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay and on to Cape Naturaliste. At Cape Naturaliste take the free walkways around the headland, glimpse at the lighthouse (paid tours are available if you wish) and if you’re here between September and December, like we were, then sit and watch the migrating humpback and southern right whales breaching from the cliff tops.
Half an hours drive south is the town of Margaret River, the bustling foodie heart of the region. If you happen to be passing through on a Saturday morning drop into the Margaret River Farmers Market between 8am and 12pm, just to the south of the main street running through the town. Here you’ll find local fruit and veg growers, cheese makers, wine and cider makers and lots more. It’s a great place to pick up a few ingredients or treats for the days to come! My favourite purchase though was definitely a lovely bottle of Cabernet Merlot called the Purist by Gordo. It went so well with the local cheese selection that we bought!
The majority of the Margaret River wineries are situated around the tiny towns of Cowaramup and Wilyabrup. Either select a designated driver and explore the cellar doors at your leisure or for a much more fun option, that allows everyone to join in, take one of the many wine and food tours on offer. We booked a day tour with Bushtucker Tours for A$80 (winter special offer price but usually A$110) per person. The tour guide will take you to several different wineries throughout the day, a brewery, cheese and chocolate tastings and a liqueur tasting as well as a buffet lunch of local produce at one of the wineries. You’re sure to meet some new friends and have a great day out! For those of you not really into wine the region is also a destination for craft beer fans, with at least six different breweries dotted around and many of them serve bar snacks and lunch.
As you leave the region head south along Caves Rd towards Augusta and the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (the most south-westerly point on the mainland. On the way take the unsealed, but 2WD accessible, Borunup Drive detour and enjoy the scenery and solitude of the karri forest.