Travel to Margaret River, Australia

Just a couple of hours' drive south of Perth in Western Australia, is one of the most beautiful and scenic wine regions I have ever visited.

Close to pristine, sandy beaches, surrounded by rolling farmlands, national parks, and a huge number of wineries in a warm and summery climate, with friendly locals, this is the perfect vacation spot for families, surfers, nature and wine lovers.

A tank of wine and a stained glass window, at Lenton Brae Winery, Western Australia
A tank of wine and a stained glass window, at Lenton Brae Winery, Western Australia | Source

Beaches and coastal wildlife

The many beaches along the coast are pristine and often deserted! A variety of sandy and rocky beaches are loved by families, surfers and fishermen. Clamber over the rocks, bake in the sun, or enjoy the crystal clear, turquoise waters.

Western Australia is known for its wildflowers in spring, and the coast is no exception. An internationally renowned hotspot for biodiversity, this region is home to more than 150 types of orchids and 2,500 different wildflowers - a flower photographer's paradise!

Tip: Look out for whales and dolphins - they are often seen cavorting in the waters further out from the coast.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Western Australia.Cape Clairault all to myself, yes please! Near Margaret River, Western Australia. Smith's Beach near Margaret River, Western AustraliaLooking towards Bunker Bay, Western Australia.Torpedo Rocks, near Smiths Beach and Margaret River, Western Australia.Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia - where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.Coastal flowers,  Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.Coastal native flower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.Native coastal flower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.Native coastal shrub, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Western Australia.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Western Australia. | Source
Cape Clairault all to myself, yes please! Near Margaret River, Western Australia.
Cape Clairault all to myself, yes please! Near Margaret River, Western Australia. | Source
Smith's Beach near Margaret River, Western Australia
Smith's Beach near Margaret River, Western Australia | Source
Looking towards Bunker Bay, Western Australia.
Looking towards Bunker Bay, Western Australia. | Source
Torpedo Rocks, near Smiths Beach and Margaret River, Western Australia.
Torpedo Rocks, near Smiths Beach and Margaret River, Western Australia. | Source
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia - where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia - where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. | Source
Coastal flowers,  Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Coastal flowers, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia. | Source
Coastal native flower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Coastal native flower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia. | Source
Native coastal flower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Native coastal flower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia. | Source
Native coastal shrub, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Native coastal shrub, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia. | Source

Lighthouses

  • Where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet, the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse has been battered by powerful waves and stormy weather since 1895.
  • The Foul Bay Lighthouse was moved to the mainland from Hamelin Island in 1967.
  • The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, featured on an Australian Stamp in 2002, was built in 1902.

Hike from cape to cape

The 135km Cape-to-Cape hiking trail runs from Cape Naturaliste in the north, to Cape Leeuwin in the south. It runs past cliffs, caves and beaches as it winds through large swathes of national parks along the coast with a few inner loops through native karri forests.

Small sections of the hike are perfect for half day hikes, and the entire distance can be covered in 5-7 days. Many local tour and service companies offer support, transport and accommodation.

Margaret River and Augusta Caves

Three large limestone caves in a complex karst system, buried under native forests and national parks are open to the public. Caveworks runs group tours throughout the year (except on Christmas Day).

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lake Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia.A limestone formation (dragon?) in Lake Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia.A sink hole, leading into mammoth cave. I wish no-one had told me that all of the white dots were spider webs!Mammoth Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia.Native pigface flower,  Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.Native coastal shrub,  Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.Native coastal wildflower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Lake Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia.
Lake Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia. | Source
A limestone formation (dragon?) in Lake Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia.
A limestone formation (dragon?) in Lake Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia. | Source
A sink hole, leading into mammoth cave. I wish no-one had told me that all of the white dots were spider webs!
A sink hole, leading into mammoth cave. I wish no-one had told me that all of the white dots were spider webs! | Source
Mammoth Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia.
Mammoth Cave, near Margaret River, Western Australia. | Source
Native pigface flower,  Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Native pigface flower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia. | Source
Native coastal shrub,  Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Native coastal shrub, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia. | Source
Native coastal wildflower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia.
Native coastal wildflower, Leeuwin National Park, Western Australia. | Source

Artisan galleries and gourmet foods

It's not just all about wine in the Margaret River region, although that is the main draw-card. In many cellars you will find galleries, featuring artisan crafts and gourmet produce from the region. A few have their own facilities, show rooms and restaurants.

  • The Good Olive - anything made from their local plantation of olives. Oil, soaps, skin care products, marinated olives, carved wood and more!
  • Gunyulgup Galleries - 120+ artists with an ever-changing display of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, jewellery and textines.
  • Tunbridge Gallery - showcasing aboriginal arts and crafts.
  • Margaret River Chocolate Company - free tastings and sales of a stunning variety of chocolates. They really are mad about chocolate!
  • Margaret River Dairy Company - great cheeses and free tastings. Their range of cheddars are simply delicious!

Amazing sourdough fruit bread from Yallingup Bakery, Western Australia.
Amazing sourdough fruit bread from Yallingup Bakery, Western Australia. | Source

Margaret River wine tours

Of course, one of the main attractions in a wine growing region is its wine tours. With more than 60 wineries and boutique breweries around Margaret River, you won't be able to visit them all in one day!

A number of companies provide group as well as customized or individual half or full day tours.

  • Taste the South Tours - my personal favorite, the tours were wonderful and service first-class! The fantastic hosts provide all inclusive group and individual winery, brewery and gourmet food tours where you can pick your own itinerary. Taste the South also offers romantic and relaxing night tours, and tours catering for families with younger kids.
  • Margaret River Discovery Company - small group winery tours in addition to camping and canoe tours through the beautiful national parks surrounding Margaret River. Also provides a guided 135km coastal hiking tour along the cape.
  • Bushtucker Tours - offers winery, brewery, cave and canoe tours, with a premium tour including local sights and beaches.

Margaret River sightseeing map

This fantastic tourist map of the Margaret River region is also available from the Margaret River Tourist Information Center.

Bettenay Winery cellar door, Western Australia.
Bettenay Winery cellar door, Western Australia. | Source

Margaret River wines selection

The wines of Margaret River are extremely varied, from dry to sweet, both red wines and whites, still and sparkling.

Below are some of my own tasting notes of the wines I considered to be stand-out in quality, in plain English.

I'm sure you will find a wine you love in this selection!

White wines

Winery
Name and Year
Type
Tasting Notes
Adinfern
Shepherd's Rhapsody 2009
semillon sauvignon blanc
A white wine, perfectly balanced between sweet and dry.
Adinfern
Shepherd's Serenade 2009
autumn semillon
A light and drinkable white that would work very well with spicy Thai.
Bettenay
Sweet Dreams 2009
white blend
Amazingly light and refreshing white, especially when well chilled. A summer favorite.
Happs
Pale Gold 2009
white blend
Sweet and light, and would also work as a cocktail base with lemon and ice.
Lenton Brae
Chardonnay 2008
chardonnay
A well rounded taste with a nice finish. Would work well with fish or a light chicken dish.
Pallandri
Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008
white blend
Slightly chilled, this white is a very smooth summer wine.
Tanks and oak casks at Lenton Brae Winery, Western Australia.
Tanks and oak casks at Lenton Brae Winery, Western Australia. | Source

Rose and sparkling wines

Winery
Name and Year
Type
Tasting Notes
Adinfern
Shepherd's Fanfare 2009
sparkling sauvignon blanc
A light sparkling white, perfect on a summer's evening!
Bettenay - Lost Plot
First Blush 2009
rose, chili infused
A light and sweet rose, with a warm aftertaste. Perfect for chili lovers!
Happs
Muscat a Pink 2010
slightly sparkling rose
A chilled fruit bomb. Not overly sweet - a cold summer wine for drier wine lovers.
Hayshed Hill - Pitchfork
Pitchfork Pink 2009
rose
Delicious and cold, definitely appreciated on a hot summer's day.
An old propeller plane, at Edwards Winery, Western Australia.
An old propeller plane, at Edwards Winery, Western Australia. | Source

Red wines

Winery
Name and Year
Type
Notes
Adinfern
Merlot 2006
merlot
A strong and dry red, one of my favorites.
Bettenay
Caberney Sauvignon 2009
cabernet sauvignon
An excellent red, full taste, great with a meal.
Howard Park
Leston shiraz
shiraz
A smooth and subtle red with a delicious aftertaste.
Pallandri
Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005
red blend
An incredibly drinkable red, with a dry finish and a lovely aftertaste.
The Growers - Peppermint Grove
Moscato
muscat
One of my favorites - a sweet and clean finish. Loved it!
Mongrel Creek Winery, highly recommended, but closed when I visited!
Mongrel Creek Winery, highly recommended, but closed when I visited! | Source

Foritified wines

Winery
Name and year
Type
Notes
Bettenay - Lost Plot
White Port 2009
aged semillon and sauvignon blanc
Lighter than the red ports, this fortified sweet white is delicious chilled as a dessert wine.
Howard Park
Muscat
fortified red
Sweet, but not too sweet, with an amazing scent. Liquid plum pudding!
Willespie
Black Jewel 2002
port
A very fresh and bright taste for a port, yum!
Willespie
White gold 2000
fortified verdelho
An amazing fortified white - smooth and delicious.

Sights around Margaret River

show route and directions
A markerMargaret River -
WA 6285, Australia
[get directions]

B markerCape Leeuwin Lighthouse -
Leeuwin Rd, Augusta WA 6290, Australia
[get directions]

C markerCape Naturaliste Lighthouse -
1267 Cape Naturaliste Rd, Naturaliste WA 6281, Australia
[get directions]

D markerThe Margaret River Dairy Company -
Bussell Hwy, Metricup WA 6280, Australia
[get directions]

E markerMargaret River Chocolate Company -
Harmans Mill Rd & Tom Cullity Dr, Metricup WA 6280, Australia
[get directions]

F markerTunbridge Gallery -
3/101 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia
[get directions]

G markerThe Good Olive -
97 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia
[get directions]

H markerCape Clairault -
Cape Clairault, Western Australia, Australia
[get directions]

I markerJewel Cave (Caveworks) -
Jewel Caves Rd, Deepdene WA 6290, Australia
[get directions]

J markerGunyulgup Galleries -
Gunyulgup Dr, Yallingup WA 6282, Australia
[get directions]

Your favorite wines and wine regions

What are your favorite wines and wine regions?

If you have been to Margaret River, what did you think? What did you do?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Comments 5 comments

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

What a beautiful hub with gorgeous photos! The gourmet food tour and chocolate company especially interest me, and your charts are a great resource for choosing Australian wines. I'm ready to pack my bags now and head out! Thanks so much! Voted up and shared.


Benji 3 years ago

Great round up and you have picked some of the best sights here. Well done. Another secret spot is Brown Hill Estate Winery in Rosa Brook, check them out for fantastic Reds


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

Love your photos. Margaret River is such a wonderful place.


nifwlseirff profile image

nifwlseirff 3 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany Author

Benj - I missed Brown Hill Estate when I visited. It's currently hard to find good Aussie reds in Germany, but I'll keep my eye out for a bottle! Thanks for your recommendation!


nifwlseirff profile image

nifwlseirff 3 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany Author

LongTimeMother - Thanks! It is beautiful, especially the deserted beaches. And it has so many good wineries! Perfect holiday spot!

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