Thursday, July 7, 2022
A day in the life of Margaret River tour guide Sean Blocksidge
Being a tour guide in Western Australia’s picture-perfect Margaret River region is surely up there as one of the world’s greatest jobs. For Sean Blocksidge, owner of Margaret River Discovery Co, it’s all in a day’s work.
What’s a typical day like for you?
My normal workday is like getting mates together and going out and having a bunch of fun. We might go canoeing, hiking, 4WDing, and enjoy some awesome wines with lunch. On one hand, I want to jump up and down tell everyone about how great it is, but on the other hand I want to keep it quiet so everyone doesn’t figure this lifestyle out! I pinch myself every day that I get to do this for a living.
Is your job the best gig in the world?
I think there are a lot of amazing jobs in the world; I just happen to have found one that works perfectly well for me. I get to connect with nature every day, with the added bonus of meeting great people. This type of tour attracts really interesting guests, and we have the best conversations. That’s the part I didn’t realise I would love so much – the people I get to meet.
What are some secret spots or things to do that most people don’t know about?
I’m not going to say the pandemic was good – it wasn’t! – but I finally cracked the market I was never that successful in: West Aussies. All these locals who had been visiting the region for decades suddenly discovered a whole new side to Margaret River they never knew existed. We took them canoeing on a section of the Margaret River they’d never seen before, discovered a winery they’d never had access to before, went driving down remote bush tracks, and walked one of the most spectacular sections of the Cape to Cape Track that was completely new to them.
They all then went home and told the next person and the next one … and now I’ve got this incredible situation of finally having locals experience new locations beyond the standard Margaret River itinerary where they’ve been doing the same thing for years. It’s a huge region, more than double the size of the entire country of Singapore! There’s so much to see and do, and anyone who thinks they’ve seen and done it all simply doesn’t know what they don’t know. I’ve been living here for 20 years and I’m constantly discovering new places.
How much do seasons factor in?
I truly believe every season has so much to offer and I genuinely love every season.
The deep rich colours of winter make for the best photos, and the Margaret River itself is just beautiful for paddling canoes. I love winter hikes followed by warm fires and cabernet. Many locals will say autumn is their favourite for the calm days, no wind, no crowds, great surf, and the vibe. Summer is awesome just because summer is awesome. But my absolute fave is spring. The explosion of wildflowers, peak whale season, and all the activity in the bush with the vines starting to burst and grow before your eyes.
It really doesn’t matter what season it is to be out touring; they’re all beautiful in their own way and they make even more sense when you understand the Indigenous Noongar six season calendar.
Which tour is the right tour?
I’ve got several tours listed on my website but far and away the best one is the Discovery Tour experience. I like to call it ‘the tour for people who don’t do tours!’. It’s definitely a wine tour, but much more interesting than just visiting wineries all day. We have a bunch of fun discovering why the wines from Margaret River are so special, we go canoeing, hiking and 4WDing, and reward that effort with an amazing behind-the-scenes winery lunch experience at Fraser Gallop Estate.
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