Why should you want to visit Margaret River Region? Is Margaret River Region a paradise? Or a hidden gem? We will answer all these questions and much more. We want to tell you why Margaret River Region should be on your bucket list and why we felt in love with this magnificent destination.
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Now let’s jump into Margaret River Region.
Facts about Margaret River Region
Margaret River Region is in the South West of Western Australia. From Perth it is a simple drive by car which takes approx. 3hours. It is a perfect weekend getaway.
We certainly think Margaret River Region is a paradise. You will find beautiful coastline views, magnificent forest, stunning beaches, great surfing spots, unforgettable experience of visiting caves, rivers and award-winning wineries. All in one.
Margaret River Region stretches from Busselton (in the north) down to Augusta (in the south). Right in the center you will find a magnificent town called Margaret River.
Margaret River Region is a favorite holiday destination for many Australians, and it gets more popular year by year. Every single day you can go on a new adventure.
You will need a car to explore this beautiful part of Western Australia. You don’t necessarily need a 4WD drive.
We split this blog into three parts: Northern, Central and Southern area of the Margaret River Region. Plus two additional activities, which you can find in all three areas of the Margaret River Region.
We think it will give you a better idea of what you will find in the certain area. We will also share our experience in the area.
NORTHERN area of the Margaret River Region
The biggest town in the area is Busselton, which is famous for its 1,8km long jetty (pier) and beautiful waterfront, which continually develops. You will find nice cafes, restaurants and breweries all filled with cosmopolitan vibes.
Don’t miss on the Busselton’s jetty. It is the longest wooden jetty (pier) in the Southern Hemisphere. It offers 360-degree views, and it feels like walking on open ocean. You can either walk the jetty or hop on the train, which drives on the jetty. At the end you will find an Underwater Observatory descending 8m to the ocean floor. You can look out on some 300 marine species that live beneath the jetty.
From Dunsborough to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
Dunsborough offers calm water and white sandy beaches. They are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving and other water activities.
You should definitely drive north and stop at Castle Rock Beach, Meelup Beach, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay Beach. They are all perfect!
Right at the tip you will find the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. You will get stunning ocean views and it takes only 59 steps to climb to get to the top of the lighthouse. Cape Naturaliste is also a starting point of the Cape to Cape Track. We will tell you more about this track later on.
Your visit to Margaret River Region would not be complete if you don’t visit this Paradise. Yallingup means in local Aboriginal “Place of caves“ but commonly known as the “place of love“ because of the popularity of weddings and honeymoons in town.
This place offers so much for you:
✨Head to the one of beautiful beaches: Smiths Beach, Yallingup and Injidup
✨Watch the surfers to catch some spectacular waves
✨Walk along the coastline which is part of the Cape to Cape Track
✨Ngilgi Cave: an amazing cave formations
Yallingup is a place you want to visit and stay. There are plenty of accommodation stays: romantic resorts, lodges, spas or private retreats.
From all above activities, we have not done the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse tour. But we will do it next time when we are in this area.
We walked on the Busselton Jetty and loved it! You can take a break, take pictures, and enjoy the feeling of walking over the ocean. Next time we will do it again and we will also visit the Underwater Observatory. When you look it up, it is just a stunning experience. Plan at least a half day to visit a Busselton. Have a bottle of water with you and a hat.
We went to all the beaches we told you about and we can not pick which one is our favorite. Seriously, visit them all and pick your favorite one. They are all perfect! Have your swimsuit ready.
For lunch or dinner, stop at Bunkers Beach House. We have visited already twice, and it never disappointed us.
Yallingup is a really great place to explore and stay. We will look for accommodation in this area when we are around next time.
🧀The Margaret River Dairy Company: We visited this cheesy paradise on our vineyard tour, and it was such a delight. They produce beautiful award-winning cheeses and delicious yoghurts for you to buy. But you can try it before you buy it.
🍺Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co: This is a fun place! Have some delicious food and one of their cheeky beers they have on tap. There is an amazing playground for your kids. Enjoy the view overlooking the lake and vineyard. Cheers!
🍫Margaret River Chocolate Company: This is a chocolate heaven on Earth! There is chocolate everywhere. Don’t miss this place if you are a chocolate fan. The chocolate is FREE. Yes, tasting is free and you can eat as much as you want. Did I mention chocolate? Check it out.
CENTRAL area of the Margaret River Region
Gracetown is a little town with an unforgettable character. The town is right between the North and the South Point. Both points are perfect for surfing and whale watching. Gracetown Beach is ideal for swimming. The town is small, but famous by local surfers. You will find beautiful holiday homes here!
After leaving Gracetown head east to Cowaramup. Locals call it “Cowtown”. Why? Well, some say that people have their difficulties pronouncing Cowaramup correctly and “Cowtown” is just easier. Another reason is, you will meet 42 life-sized fibreglass Friesian cows and calves all over the town. Have your camera ready!
This charming town is perfect to wonder around, have a glass of coffee or wine. Buy some presents for your family or friends and enjoy the time here.
The town has hosted the world’s largest public art event, and the world’s largest gathering of people dressed as cows! They love their cows.
This charming town is only a 10min drive away from the Indian Ocean. The award-winning wineries are just around the corner. Such a great location deserves your attention. It is busy during the day, along the main street you will find many cafes, restaurants and galleries.
When the sun sets, Margaret River offers fantastic restaurants, wine bars and pubs with live music to let the day end. A place where you want to be and see.
It is only 10min drive from MR to west. This is a beautiful area to watch sunsets over the Indian Ocean.
Just north of Gnarabup you will find Surfers Point and Margaret River Mouth. This is the point where Margaret river (the river itself) flows into the ocean. Surfers Point is a symbol of the South West’s wild shore.
This cave is the most easily accessed of all the show caves in the region. It is a self-guided cave. Like any cave, it is a nature experience worth a visit.
This cave is the most ‘actively dripping’ cave in the southwest, and it’s the only cave on the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge that has a permanent lake. Lake Cave is also the deepest of the show caves on the ridge.
Gracetown is a hidden gem of Margaret River Region and worth a short visit. Grab a cup of coffee in local Gracie’s General Store. Their meat pies are delicious, so we heard. Sold out by the time we got there.
Between Gracetown and Cowaramup you will find Olio Bello Cafe. Olives trees around you provide for relaxing time. Enjoy your lunch here. Check their store with a good deal of olive oil based goodies. We bought delicious olive oil here!
We stayed twice in Margaret River in beautiful Airbnb accommodations. You will find supermarkets there, cafes, restaurants, shops and so much. There is Visitor’s center where you will find useful information.
Gnarabup is a beautiful place. Visit White Elephant Cafe, which is a casual beachside dinning with a great selection of food and even better ocean views.
The Margaret River Mouth is perfect for small kids and families. Usually the mouth of the river is blocked by the sand, so there are no dangerous currents. On the other side of the beach, you will find a perfect place for surfing or to watch surfers.
Lake Cave is on our next visit list, as it is supposed to be one of the most beautiful limestone caves in Western Australia. Entry to this cave is from the floor of a sunken forest, surrounded by towering karri trees.
Our recommendation for eating in MR:
☕️ Drift Cafe Margaret River is a great place to get delicious coffee and breakfast. We love it there so much.
🍔Settlers Tavern & Margaret River Ale Co is a place where you want to eat. It is so authentic, really Australian style. It gets busy in the evening and we understand why. The food is so delicious, portions are big. And on top of it they have a great selection of beer and wine.
🍎Margaret River Farmers Market: unfortunately only on Saturday, so plan your trip over the weekend. They sell local products, fresh vegetable and fruits, flowers and gourmet foods.
SOUTHERN area of the Margaret River Region
This is a special piece of WA coastline. You will find a jetty (pier) at the beach. Well, the rest of it. It used to be a long jetty from a small port, but the waters were too difficult to navigate for reefs and rocks. This turquoise water and white sand is very inviting, and it became a tourist hotspot. So put it on your bucket list. You don’t want to miss the following experience.
What is the secret about this place? THE STINGRAYS.
They come close to the beach. You can stand in the shallow water and they swim around you. The old jetty is the reason they come. They are hoping to get a nibble of fish scraps from the anglers. Locals and tourists noted it and fed them by hand.
They will come to you when they feel comfortable but be gentle and respect them. They can be big up to 2m!
When you visit the Margaret River Region, you can easily see the obvious beauty of that region. Check out our Instagram Posts.
But even underground, the region offers real gems. There are over 100 caves and several highly decorated limestone caves open to the public.
We already mentioned Lake Cave, Mammoth Cave, and Ngilgi Cave. In the southern area, you will find Jewel Cave.
It’s the biggest show cave in Western Australia, comprising three massive chambers. Book yourself a ticket for a fully guided one-hour tour and enjoy this breathtaking show. You will see spectacular creations and hear amazing stories. Absolutely worth the time!
Jewel Cave was our first experience of visiting caves ever, and it was a magical experience! Kind of scary too, though. Stunning.
Augusta is the most south-western town in Australia. From June to August you can watch whales in Flinders Bay as it is the first stopping point for many southern right and humpback whales that come to feed, breed and play.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is also the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia. It is at the tip of a spectacular peninsula where the Southern and Indian Ocean meet. How incredible is it, two oceans meet?!
To visit this lighthouse, you need to book a tour. It is worth a visit, as you will get spectacular views. From May until September is whale season, keep your eyes open to spot any.
Standing in the water and having these stingrays swimming around you is an exceptional experience. We had a big respect towards these animals but enjoyed every single moment of this experience.
We only stopped in Augusta on our way to Cape Leeuwin. It is a pleasant town which has plenty to offer. From adventure around the corner to a nice family holiday.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is a must-see attraction in MRR. You will learn about the history, visit the original keepers’ cottages and you will walk up the lighthouse. Don’t forget to take a jacket with you as it cang get windy on the top of lighthouse.
2 additional activities
Cape to Cape Track
Cape to Cape track is a significant way to explore the beauty of Margaret River Region. It is a perfect activity for your adventure.
This walk trail is 135km long and you can find it between the lighthouses at the tips of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin.
You can access the Track whole year long and there are many access points along the Track.
🥾Walk the whole Track at once, five to nine days walk or
🥾sample the Track as a series of short walks over time or
🥾enjoy shorter walks as half-day or full-day walks.
You can choose from guided or self-guided tours, and from luxury accommodation to basic camping options.
We have done only a 2 hour walk, which took us along the coast with spectacular views of the ocean and landscape. We walked back through the bush (there is a path) which was so adventurous.
Margaret River Region is famous for its winey industry, which is one of the best. The first commercial vineyard planting in Margaret River was in 1967, and it came a long way since then.
There are over 200 vineyards and regional specialities are: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
All you need to remember to explore vineyards is: THE CAVES ROAD. This scenic road brings you to the most cellar doors of this region.
The best way to enjoy this experience is to a book tour. You can choose different options of transportation: from private tours to bus tours, or fancy for a helicopter ride.
We were on a bus tour, approx. 12 people and it was the best way for us to explore this region. The drivers are locals with a lot of knowledge of this region. They will tell you everything they know: about the region, about the wine, where to eat and drink, what to see and do. We would do it again.
We actually would love to do a helicopter tour, as you will get amazing views over the coastline.
Of course you can actually pick the vineyards you are interested in and visit them by yourself just make sure you nominate a drive for that day. Don’t drink and drive.
Before you visit a vineyard, read our Do’s and Don’ts of wine tasting.
Teri’s and Felix Vineyard picks
🍷Voyager Estate: we booked their tour, and it was so much fun. There were two more people with us on the tour, so it was very private. They drove us around the vineyard in their Land Rover Defender. They took us behind the scene, showed us where they produce the wine, told us something about the soil and ended the tour in the tasting room. What a delight!
🍷Redgate: We discovered this vineyard only through the full-day tour. It is a family owned business and they offer one of the best vines we have tasted. Don’t miss on this one.
🍷Vasse Felix: It is Margaret River’s founding wine estate. You can visit their cellar door, wine by the glass at Wine Lounge, or grab a lunch at their restaurant. It is a beautiful vineyard with beautiful wines to taste. We got hooked up on their Classic Dry Rosé.
🍷Fermoy Estate: It is the home of world’s best Cabernet. Fermoy’s wines developed such a reputation for its amazing quality that in 2004 Fermoy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was the only Western Australia wine served during the official reception for the royal wedding of Crown Prince Fredrick of Denmark and Mary Donaldson.
There are many more vineyards which produce premium wine, but all above are our favorites and we recommend them. We love them and will always buy wine at their cellar doors.
Get in touch with us
We hope our Margaret River Region guide inspires you to visit Western Australia.
Are you planning a road trip to Western Australia and you are not sure what to see or where to go?
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With love, Teri and Felix