19 Nov 2021
In a country full of world-class destinations, Western Australia’s Margaret River region punches well above its relatively small size.
From incredible surf and gorgeous wineries to sumptuous food and outdoor adventures, there are so many reasons to extend your stay in this truly enthralling location.
Easily earning its description as a ‘land of plenty,’ Margaret River is surrounded by an abundance of opportunity. Well-known around the world for its rolling vineyards and breathtaking coastline, it also offers jaw-dropping adventures, exceptional food and outstanding scenery.
Here are a few reasons you won't want to leave this famous Australian destination...
Although synonymous with the town itself, the region around Margaret River is world famous for its remarkable wines and stunning vineyards. Offering guests the opportunity to meet the makers, this relatively young wine region is considered a prodigy by those who know wine.
Achieving acclaim around the world, this geographically isolated environment - surrounded by ocean on three sides - and Mediterranean style climate means that no wine tastes the same here. Recognisable for its Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays particularly, in contrast to the industry they support, (the first vines were only planted in the early 1970s), the soils in which it thrives are some of the oldest in the world.
Now home to more than 100 cellar doors, sustainability and innovation are core values of the region. Widely embracing the principles of organic, biodynamic and natural winemaking, any day spent going from door to door in Margaret River will reveal a sophisticated but relaxed philosophy to viticulture, a diverse approach to farming, and a pride in being part of an award-winning West Australian industry.
Here are some cellar doors worth visiting in Margaret River:
Caves Road (cnr Tom Cullity Drive), Cowaramup
As Margaret River’s founding winery, any visit to the region should consider this beautifully aged estate. With a truly stunning cellar door and an award-winning restaurant, the entire property oozes with authentic charm that has combined intuitively with modern technology in recent years.
In terms of the wine, Vasse Felix's flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is the Tom Cullity, named after Dr. Thomas Brendan Cullity who established the winery in 1967. The Cab Sav and Malbec vines he planted then are the forebearers of this outstanding red.
4323 Caves Road, Wilyabrup WA
Another original of the region, Cullen Wines shouldn't be missed on any visit to the Margaret River region. Heavily focused on being carbon neutral, biodynamic and naturally-powered, swathes of granite and timber permeate this estate.
To compensate for their vehicle emissions, LPG use and water absorption, Cullen Wines has engaged with the Carbon Neutral Men of Trees programme to measure, reduce and offset their entire climate change impacts. They also make outstanding wine!
Sevens Road, Margaret River
Leeuwin Estate needs little introduction to oenophiles. A world-famous family-owned winery in the heart of the Margaret River region, Leeuwin is another founding member of the thriving West Australian wine industry.
Much loved as a gathering place for locals and internationals who appreciate good food and better wine, their philosophy of ‘making’ has always been intertwined with music, art and community.
While all of the above wineries boast dining options worthy of the awards that they regularly win, Margaret River has a thriving pub, cafe and restaurant scene of its own.
Regularly attracting world-class chefs that gain inspiration from the region's incredible local produce, foodies here are spoilt for choice. Whether it's casual dining or something a bit more fancy, check out these standout options!
131 Bussell Highway, Margaret River
Known for his highly original tempura creations, Japanese chef Mikihito Nagai has built a highly popular eatery where the theatre of food is as much a part of the experience as the food itself. You needn't worry if it lives up to the presentation though, because this is Japanese cuisine of the highest order. Choose from an a la carte menu or six-course degustation in this open kitchen diner. Be prepared to book for one of two nightly sittings at 6pm and 8pm only.
1/16 Cyrillean Way, Dunsborough
Balancing elements of east and west, sour-and-salty, hot-and-sweet, this popular Dunsborough eatery is the result of chef Coby Cockburn’s decision to open an earthy diner in the heart of south-west wine country. Featuring an excellent cocktail and wine list of its own, all manner of delicious seafood is the the perfect partner to a great night out here!
Shop 15/16 , 49 Town View Terrace, Margaret River
Specialising in local ingredients cooked over hot coals, this South American infused diner puts high-quality steaks on the grill, and loves making seafood and vegetarian share-platters. Half-restaurant, half-social club, El Toro invites travellers and locals to a latin-inspired party every night. Boasting a huge selection of top-shelf tequilas and mezcals, there's never a dull moment at El Toro.
Margaret River Beaches
Home to beaches worthy of the best surfers in the world, there are so many reasons Australians return to Margaret River’s pristine surf coast every year. Witness the might and power of the Indian Ocean over 120 kilometres of limestone reefs, plunging lagoons and bending headlands that offer adventure, relaxation and shelter.
From the calming waters of Geographe Bay to the north, to the ultimate swimming beaches of Dunsborough and Busselton, here are a few of Margaret River’s best.
Shaped by weather that funnels between North and South Point, these two landmark surf breaks bookend the quieter Cowaramup Bay. Intimate in size, Gracetown Beach is crossed by the famous Cape to Cape track, and is in close proximity to Cowaramup Brook, a hotspot of local birdlife.
An idyllic little bay perfect for anyone keen to escape the crowds, Foul Bay is a sheltered swimming beach on the leeward side of Cosy Corner. Looking out to Hamelin Island and various limestone outcrops, it’s often visited by pods of dolphins. Well worth the bumpy drive on its remote gravel access road.
Popular with surfers and families, this beach is the very best of the Margaret River coastline in one delicious lick of sand, ocean and sunshine. To the left of the main beach staircase is Yallingup lagoon, a tranquil blue embrace, free from the wild ocean breaks that serve up swells to the right. This beach is pet-friendly too, north of the Dawson Drive access path.
This one flies under the radar because of its position between Yallingup and Bunker Bay, but when the swell hits you can be sure the surfers will too. Walkers enjoy what is essentially an uninterrupted highway of white sand, and there is always space to pitch an umbrella without distraction. Yet another West Australian marvel.
Home to the Margaret River Pro
Surfers Point Road, Prevelly
Welcoming surfing's professional elite at the annual Margaret River Pro, Surfer’s Point in Prevelly offers epic views of the sand and the lure of monstrous swells that have become iconic on the South West shore. Bringing with it all the hype of the prestigious WSL World Championship Tour, the ten-day festival ensures this location remains on the lips of the world’s best long after the judges have given their final scores. Normally held at the end of April or beginning of May, look out for windsurfers and kayakers here in shoulder season. Truly an epic spot and an epic party to match!
Discover the Best of the Margaret River region
Regardless of how you travel, the Margaret River region has a list of experiences you and your family will love to discover. From incredible food and wine, stunning beaches, amazing outdoor adventures and a thriving arts and music scene, Margaret River will always have you thinking about your next trip back!