Thursday, April 27, 2023
Three days in Margaret River
Discover the beating heart of the Margaret River Region on this epic road trip through forest, coast and vine.
The heart of the vast Margaret River Region, the mighty Wooditjup Bilya (Margaret River) connects towering native forest, white-capped waves, rocky cliffs, vineyards, undulating farmland and a bustling town centre together with its gentle ebb and flow. This Margaret River itinerary highlights some of the best activities, sights and scenery surrounding Wooditjup Bilya, and wraps them up into a neat three-day road trip that you can experience any time of the year.
A three-day Margaret River itinerary
Before you leave
It’s a leisurely 3.5hr-drive from Perth to the heart of Margaret River, via the coastal cities of Bunbury and Busselton. We recommend setting aside at least three days to explore this beautiful part of the world and all that it has to offer, including the sights, attractions and must-dos listed below.
Set up base at one of our exclusive Margaret River holiday homes and you’ll be primed and ready for this adventure through, by and near Wooditjup Bilya. Surfboards, wetsuits and picnic baskets recommended; holiday mode – mandatory.
Day one: The great outdoors
Day one of your Margaret River adventure begins at dawn, with sand between your toes and a surfboard under your arm. Catch an early morning set at one of Margaret River’s world-renowned surf breaks, including at Surfers Point, the Margaret River Mouth and Gnarabup, before indulging in a well-deserved breakfast at White Elephant Café. This newly renovated, local and visitor favourite presents some of the best brekkie views in Margs, thanks to its elevated position above Gnarabup Beach. Sip hot coffee and dig into the menu while soaking in the ever-changing coastline as the sun rises.
After breakfast, head inland and explore Margaret River by foot or bike. There are heaps of adrenaline-inducing mountain bike trails that lace through bush and forest, including the Wooditjup Mountain Bike Network located in the Bramley National Park. If you’re seeking a gentle ride (or stroll), try a section of the Wadandi Track instead. This 31km-long trail, which starts in Cowaramup and ends just south of Witchcliffe, passes through natural bush, farmland and vines.
Raining? Don’t let that stop you from having a nature-based adventure. The Margaret River Region is home to a number of spectacular caves that you can discover on guided and self-guided tours. At the top of our must-visit list is Lake Cave, which is accessed via a jarrah staircase that descends through a huge, awe-inducing sinkhole surrounded by native forest; and Jewel Cave, the biggest show cave in Western Australia. If you’re heading to Jewel Cave, be sure to drive through the idyllic Boranup Forest, which is home to towering karri trees, wildflowers, birds and fungi.
Thanks to an abundance of locally grown, farm-fresh produce, the region’s restaurants and eateries feature tantalising menus to please anyone from the epicurious to those who prefer a steak sandwich or bangers and mash. For a true farm-to-fork experience, visit Glenarty Road, where you can experience a roaming four-stage feast through their farm. Back in Margaret River’s township, you can’t go wrong with a pie or gourmet sanga at the Margaret River Bakery, followed by an almond croissant and/or a decadent, crème brulee tart.
It’s only a short stroll from the Margaret River Bakery to the Margaret River, so head on down and go for a tranquil post-lunch walk. For an on-water experience, hop in one of Margaret River Discovery Co’s canoes and paddle down the river with guide Sean Blocksidge, stopping to spot freshwater marron along the way.
Come night, and you’ll want to head straight to Settlers Tavern and The River Hotel for local, national and international gigs served with a generous side of hearty pub food. The Margaret River HEART entertainment precinct also plays host to international arts festivals, major touring shows and cinema screenings, so check out their website for what’s if you want to spend the night out.
Just fancy chilling out somewhere with family and friends? Grab some fish and chips from Squid Lips or a curry from the Spice Odysee Curry Van then head back to your Private Properties home-away-from-home or for an idyllic coastal backdrop, try Surfers Point, Gas Bay or Redgate Beach.
Day two: A foodie feast
Today’s all about the food – local, fresh, tasty and ready for you to consume. Kick things off at the Margaret River Farmers’ Market, an open-air pantry overflowing with fresh fruit, veggies, unique food stall eats and delicious take-home sweets. You’ll probably find us there, filling our baskets with artisan bread, sheep cheese, breakfast baps and locally made preserves. Insider tip: Go early, or risk missing out on the best of treats.
Next up is a steaming coffee brew. If you haven’t filled your cup at the markets, drive down to Yahava for some caffeinated fuel, then it’s on to The Berry Farm or Lorien Blueberries to pick your own fruit (in-season only, check each business for season opening times).
For lunch, check out one of Margaret River’s breweries. Right on the edge of Margaret River’s township is where you’ll find Margaret River Brewhouse, which serves up delicious fusion eats and plenty of beer in a leafy green setting. CBCO Brewing is a great choice for families, thanks to a full outdoor playground, golf driving range and lots of grass for the little ones to run around. Try their famous and moreish chicken wings or share a pizza.
After lunch is the ample opportunity to discover some of Margaret River’s unique artisan wares and locally produced goodies. Walk up and down the town’s main strip and find shops full of bespoke products and keepsakes waiting to be added to your holiday collection. Pop into the Margaret River Fudge Factory and pick from an assortment of fudge flavours, and swing by Charcuterie Margaret River for gourmet salamis, sausages and more.
Don’t mind a drive? Jump in the car and make a beeline for The Colony Concept – a meadery and honey shop on Harmans Mill Road. You’ll also find too-pretty-to-eat cakes at Maison Lassialle, chocolate galore at the Margaret River Chocolate Company (don’t forget your free scoop of chocolate drops before you walk out the door) and yummy chutneys, relishes, sauces and more at Providore.
To make sure you end day two of your Margaret River itinerary full, book dinner at Miki’s Open Kitchen, where you’ll be treated to an exquisite Japanese degustation. Head to Pizzica for wood-fired Italian pizza or, for something a bit different, join one of Walk Talk Taste Margaret River’s evening tours, which run throughout summer. (Walk Talk Taste also do a delightful Brunch to Lunch tour if you’re after a daytime gastronomical adventure.)
Day three: Vine times
Did you even Margaret River if you bypassed the wine? Set in beautiful locations, and usually paired with delicious, world-class food, Margaret River’s wineries and cellar doors are worth a visit even if you’re not into booze. This morning, meander through the vines and grand grounds of our top five must-visit wineries: Leeuwin Estate, Voyager, Vasse Felix, Cullen Wines and Cape Mentelle. These institutions are renowned for their fine drops of wine, many of which are produced organically and/or sustainably.
While you’re visiting, do stop for lunch at Cullen, Leeuwin, Voyager or Vasse Felix. Each winery has their very own set menu experience and to be honest, we’re having trouble picking which one is the best.
Continue your wine journey by popping into a couple of the more boutique-style cellar doors in the region, including Mr. Barval and Stella Bella, or drive down some of Margaret River’s back roads (the ones that stem off Caves Road and Bussell Highway) – and discover a hidden grapey gem or two. Into spirits? At the Margaret River Distilling Company you can try blending your own gin, or if whiskey is more your thing taste your way through Limeburners’ best and fairest.
For those who are eager to stay outside, join one of Margaret River Adventure Co’s tours, which include riding a fat bike on the beach and through the forest, and coasteering between natural rock canals. Alternatively, horse ride your way through scenic countryside with Jesters Flat.
Your last night in Margaret River is best spent with good company, which you’ll find at Morries – a funky cocktail and tapas bar in the heart of Margaret River. For South American-inspired faire try El Toro, or go to Swings and Roundabouts for a wine on tap and a relaxed winery atmosphere. Wrap up the night, and your road trip, at the newly opened Pearl’s Bar – a small bar with a big heart, loads of flavour and the right bevvies to toast to an incredible Margaret River adventure.
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