Thursday, August 8, 2019

Lonely Planet: Margaret River is #1

Margaret River Waves, Lauren Bath.

The travel experts at Lonely Planet have named WA’s Margaret River region and the Southern WA as the #1 destination in Asia Pacific as part of their “Best In” annual list. It’s also the first time an Australian destination has grabbed the top spot.


“Take one look at Meelup Beach and you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life: the West Australian bush parts to reveal ocean the hue of a Bombay Sapphire bottle, which is typical of the coastline stretching from Margaret River to the state’s south,” Lonely Planet said.

Aerial view of Meelup beach, by Matthew Moyes

“Beyond the sand, some of the country’s slickest wineries, breweries and restaurants lie between tracts of tall-tree forest and kangaroo-dotted farmland.”


We couldn’t agree more. There is so much to see and do but here are some of our favourites:

Sugarloaf Rock at sunset

Near surf mecca Yallingup, disconnected from the coast by a small stretch of water, is Sugarloaf Rock – a favourite destination for Instagrammers. The granite rock has been shaped by the waves and rises suddenly and violently from the Indian Ocean. It changes colour throughout the day, but it’s particularly striking when the sunset casts a deep red hue.

Image courtesy of Tourism WA

Meelup coastal trails

Meelup is a lovely family-friendly, white sand beach surrounded by trees.
The bush track twists and turns for 13km along the coast from old Dunsborough to Eagle Bay and on to Bunker Bay. Bask in the warm sunshine, bright blue sky overhead, and catch glimpses of pristine aqua waters peeking through the trees.

Quinninup Falls

This pretty spot is off the beaten tourist track. From the carpark at Moses Rock Road, it’s a 45 minutes hike to the falls and one-hour back. It’s not a short trip but the journey is just as scenic as the destination. The falls are best in late winter and spring, when it’s cascading with water after the rainy season, and the wildflowers are in bloom.

Bunker Bay

A tranquil beach paradise worthy of a postcard: glittering calm blue waters, spectacular stretches of white sand and, unbelievably, it isn’t overrun with crowds. It’s perfect for long walks all year-round, and you can rock hop over to Shelley Cove or continue on to Cape Naturaliste if you’re feeling active.

Cape to Cape

The entire Cape to Cape trail runs 134km along the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge.
If you’re short on time, we recommend the section from Smiths Beach to Injidup Bay in Yallingup. This is a picturesque hike and you can stop for a secluded swim at The Aquarium or Wyadup Rocks (locals’ secret spots) and maybe even slide down the big sandhill at Injidup.

Image by Garry Norris, courtesy of Tourism WA.

World-class wineries

There are almost 120 cellar doors in the region, so it’s difficult to choose a favourite. However, some standouts that you might want to add to your list, including iconic Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Estate, but we also love Wills DomainCape Mentelle, Woodlands Wine, Stormflower Vineyard and Glenarty Road.

Wills Domain. Image courtesy of Tourism WA.


We could write a book with the sheer number of things to do in Western Australia’s South West region. Instead, we write weekly blogs! Follow us for local news, school holiday ideas, romantic escapes, sightseeing information, and the latest in food and wine.


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You might also like:

The 20 best things to do in Australia’s South-West

Rediscover WA’s amazing South-West

CinefestOZ: Australia’s premier destination film festival

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